The so-called Big Four accountancy firms have made more than £71m on Carillion-related work in the last 10 years, fuelling accusations of a “cosy relationship” between auditors and the failed business.
As part of a parliamentary select committee investigation into Carillion’s collapse last month, MPs asked KMPG, Deloitte, EY and PwC to disclose their involvement with the company, its pension fund and Government contracts it was appointed to since 2008.
The companies’ responses show that PwC had billed the most of the four, at £21.1m, thanks to its work with two business bought by Carillion, Alfred McAlpine and EAGA, and other consulting services to the company itself. EY made £18.3m, while Deloitte made £12m.
KPMG, which has been Carillion’s auditor since 1999, billed £20.2m in the last decade, and in its response to MPs also defending its signing off of the company’s last accounts. The firm said it had conducted its work “appropriately and responsibly”.
“An audit opinion is an opinion (based on obtaining reasonable assurance) on a company’s accounts at a particular point in time,” it said. The Financial Reporting Council is investigating the firm’s work for Carillion in 2014, 2015 and 2016, plus its half-year review work in 2017.