This is a major move for the accountancy profession.
The profession has been under increasing regulatory pressure for a while now and the decision to appoint non-execs is reportedly in response to the new audit firm governance code that was published earlier this year.
The revised Ernst & Young advisory council structure will in broad terms mean that Ernst & Young will have a board structure which is similar to the multi-national companies that are their clients. Their remit will include monitoring strategy and risk.
Their global advisory council currently includes 36 senior partners. These partners will soon be joined by 4 non-executive directors drawn from the business and regulatory world.
The names of these non-execs will be disclosed later this year and although I’m not a betting man I’d probably have a wager that their CVs will not include the names of Deloitte, KPMG or PricewaterhouseCoopers.