Big Four accounting firm Ernst & Young is planning a return to the consultancy business in 2005, according to Accountancy Age.
When it sold its consultancy to Capgemini in 2000, Ernst & Young signed a five-year noncompete agreement. And as recently as last week, reported the Accountancy Age website, E&Y insisted that it would not re-enter the IT consulting market.
According to the U.K.-based website, however, a senior source at E&Y conceded that the accounting firm is “seriously considering” returning to the consulting business next year. A spokesman told the website, “E&Y provides assurance and advisory services that address our core competencies around finance, risk, transactions, and reporting and regulatory matters.”
In addition, noted the Accountancy Age website, E&Y chairman Nick Land said last year that the firm “remained committed” to advising its clients on a range of business issues.
Meanwhile, Deloitte U.K. senior partner and chief executive John Connolly said it was “just a matter of time” before other Big Four firms were more transparent about the consulting services they offer, reported the website. “We have been very clear and transparent about our strategy in consulting, believing it is in the interests of our clients and people,” Connolly reportedly said.
However, he insisted its major consulting work did not come from audit clients. “Clearly, our strategy follows both the spirit and the letter of regulatory requirements,” Connolly told the website.