Tesco ends 32-year relationship with PwC

Britain’s biggest retailer names Deloitte as its new auditor after an accounting scandal last year

After 32 years, PwC will step down as Tesco’s auditor. Tesco said in September it had overstated first-half profits by £250 million due to incorrectly booking payments from suppliers, a figure it later raised to £263 million. (Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters)

After 32 years, PwC will step down as Tesco’s auditor. Tesco said in September it had overstated first-half profits by £250 million due to incorrectly booking payments from suppliers, a figure it later raised to £263 million. (Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters)

 

Tesco, Britain’s biggest retailer, has named Deloitte as its new auditor, ending its 32-year relationship with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) after an accounting scandal. The appointment follows a formal tender process in which PwC did not take part.

“We and PwC mutually agreed that they would not take part in the tender process. PwC will therefore stand down as the company’s auditors at the conclusion of the 2015 annual general meeting,” Tesco said on Monday.

Tesco said in September it had overstated first-half profits by £250 million due to incorrectly booking payments from suppliers, a figure it later raised to £263 million. The scandal led to the suspension, then exit, of several senior executives, and sparked investigations by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), accounting watchdog the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and a grocery industry watchdog. It could also prompt investor lawsuits both in Britain and the United States.

PwC has not commented directly on the scandal, but said when the FRC investigation was announced in December that it would cooperate fully with the inquiry and was committed to delivering work to the highest professional standards.

Tesco’s new chief executive Dave Lewis has since changed the retailer’s relationships with suppliers.

PwC has been Tesco’s auditor since 1983. Its auditing of the supermarket’s 2014-15 accounts was its final act for the company.