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PwC partner fined £325,000 over auditing of BHS accounts

BHS was bought for £1 a year before it entered administration Picture: Archant.

BHS was bought for £1 a year before it entered administration Picture: Archant.

Archant

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and one of its partners who audited the accounts of now collapsed retailer BHS have been fined.

Steve Denison was fined £325,000 and banned from the profession for 15 years after admitting misconduct in relation to the 2014 audit of the Taveta Group, which he had audited since 2008, and BHS.

According to watchdog the Financial Reporting Council, Mr Denison signed off the BHS accounts as a “going concern” days before it was sold to serial bankrupt Dominic Chappell for £1.

It collapsed into administration in 2016, affected 11,000 jobs and around 19,000 pension holders and leaving a £571m pension deficit.

The regulator also fined PwC £10m, which will be reduced to £6.5m for early settlement.

A PwC UK spokeswoman said the company accepted there were “serious shortcomings” with the work.

She said: “At its core this is not a failure in our audit methodology, the methodology simply was not followed.

“As a result of our internal reviews, we took swift action to enhance our monitoring procedures.”

PwC UK added that the failings, although serious, “did not contribute to the collapse of BHS” – a conclusion noted in the Financial Reporting Council’s settlement.

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