Grant Thornton fined £3m over Conviviality audit
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.