A majority of EU businesses support the need
of a more diversified audit environment consistent with the EC’s
audit reform proposal, a Grant Thornton survey found.

Sixty percent of businesses surveyed said the
audit market would benefit if it expanded outside the Big Four.

The support in Greece for more choice in the
audit market was overwhelming, with 86% of businesses calling for a
halt to market concentration, followed by 73% in the UK, Sweden and
Ireland.

The majority of 1,000 businesses surveyed
believe mandatory rotation would help avoid the risk of
over-familiarity between the auditor and the company, with more
than half preferring a 10-12 year maximum term.

Other EU proposals such as joint audits were
supported by a slim majority, while four out of ten said market
confidence would not be enhanced if companies had two auditors
instead of one.

The majority of businesses in Spain, Greece,
Poland and Belgium are in favour of a restriction on non-audit
services, but only 37% of surveyed across the EU agreed.

The survey was conducted by Experian in
January and February 2012 as part of the Grant Thornton
International Business Report.