Should accountancy firms be investigator and receiver?
Is it right and proper that an accountancy firm which carries out a corporate investigation on behalf of a bank should subsequently be appointed receiver of the same company? The issue is one which arouses extreme passions. All the big accountancy firms have their insolvency arms, and it is normal procedure for banks to use both - if necessary - when a debtor company runs into trouble. The pro-separation lobby, which opposes the practice, sees an inevitable conflict of interest. How, ask the separationists, can investigating accountants be impartial when - should they report unfavourably - the same firm can expect to win the receivership business?