Grant Thornton executives this week urged regulators, public company boards and executives, and auditors to move to protect capital markets and investors by taking steps to increase choice and competition for public companies and auditors.

"Sarbanes-Oxley -- not to mention the numerous accounting failures leading up to it -- has dramatically changed the audit environment," chief executive Ed Nusbaum told members of the National Press Club in Washington. "But there is also another, less-reported factor in play, and that's the ongoing consolidation and resulting concentration in the accounting profession."

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