Aug 21, 2019

Sports Direct courts mid-tier auditors

Sports Direct is scrambling to avoid government intervention and possible suspension from the London Stock Exchange by reversing a commitment to appoint a Big Four auditor. Grant Thornton announced that it would quit as Sports Direct auditor last week. Each of the Big Four firms - PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY - has claimed to be conflicted from auditing Sports Direct. Mazars has previously approached Sports Direct about becoming its auditor but with a number of conditions around governance and a significant increase in fees. The renewed talks with "Challenger" accounting firms come despite Sports Direct stating in its annual report that a firm outside the Big Four would not be able to "Cope" with its audit because of an increase in the company's size and complexity.

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