Clarification on independence
requirements has spurred the recent fee income growth of Italy’s
largest professional services firm.

KPMG Italia: Fee income growth 2003-2007KPMG Italia recorded 14
percent growth in fee income to €403.1 million ($643.2 million) for
the year ended September 2007 (see Solid growth despite ailing
economy
) in an economy that is growing at a snail’s pace.

KPMG Italia partner Giovanni Rebay told IAB that
legislative changes implemented in 2006, which clarify independence
requirements for audit firms, has allowed it to focus on services
that previously it may have ignored due to conflict of interest
concerns. “This has allowed all the audit firms in Italy to
concentrate their commercial fortes, providing certain kinds of
services to their audit clients, and other services to non-audit
clients,” Rebay said.

Rebay said there is a “very long list” of services lines the new
guidelines allow: “You cannot give fiscal planning services to
audit clients, while you can provide them compliance services. All
normally routine fiscal services are permitted services to audit
clients, while everything that deals with fiscal planning and other
services regarding internal control – everything which regards
governance and so on – is normally not permitted for audit
clients.”

Carolyn Canham