Grant Thornton fined £3m over Con­vivi­al­ity au­dit

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Michael O’Dwyer and Louis Ash­worth

THE ac­count­ing watch­dog has fined Grant Thornton £3m and banned one of its part­ners from sign­ing off on com­pany ac­counts af­ter it breached eth­i­cal rules for three years and com­pro­mised its in­de­pen­dence as the au­di­tor of Con­vivi­al­ity, the col­lapsed Bar­gain Booze owner.

The penalty is a fresh blow to Grant Thornton, which has been hit with a se­ries of reg­u­la­tory fines.

Grant Thornton sent a se­nior man­ager on sec­ond­ment to Con­vivi­al­ity, which the Fi­nan­cial Re­port­ing Coun­cil said cre­ated such a threat to the au­di­tor’s in­de­pen­dence that it should not have signed off on the ac­counts.

In ad­di­tion, Kevin En­gel, the au­dit en­gage­ment part­ner, told the man­ager to trans­fer a four-and-a-half hour time en­try she had recorded on the au­dit file to con­ceal her in­volve­ment in the au­dit. The watch­dog has banned Mr En­gel from sign­ing off on au­dit opin­ions.

The com­pany’s £3m fine was re­duced to £1.95m be­cause it ad­mit­ted the breaches.

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