Cook’s au­di­tors rapped for £50m bill

Daily Express - - NEWS - By Gra­ham Hiscott

THOMAS Cook’s au­di­tors are to be in­ves­ti­gated over its col­lapse as it emerged they took al­most £50mil­lion in fees since 2008.

Ac­coun­tancy reg­u­la­tor the Fi­nan­cial Re­port­ing Coun­cil an­nounced it had be­gun a probe into Ernst & Young’s (EY) over­sight of Thomas Cook’s 2018 fi­nances.

The FRC hinted that its re­view could be widened.

Anal­y­sis found how EY and Price wa­ter house Coop­ers (PwC) net­ted a for­tune from the travel gi­ant. It went bust last Mon­day, hit­ting nearly a mil­lion hol­i­day­mak­ers and trig­ger­ing 6,000 job losses, with an­other 3,000 set to go.

MP Rachel Reeves, chair of the Com­mons Busi­ness Select Com­mit­tee, has vowed to grill EY and PwC.

EY re­placed PwC as Thomas Cook’s au­di­tors in 2017. It was paid £4mil­lion in its first year, and £3mil­lion for 2018. Of the £4mil­lion, nearly £1mil­lion was non-au­dit­ing work for a bond is­sue and half-year re­sults.

PwC was Thomas Cook’s au­di­tor from 2008 through to 2016 as Thomas Cook paid out £41.6mil­lion – but £17.6mil­lion of that was for non-au­dit work.

Ms Reeves said: “Au­dits seem too of­ten to be the route to milk­ing the cash-cow of con­sul­tancy.”

EY said: “We will be fully co­op­er­at­ing with FRC.” PwC re­fused to com­ment.

Pic­ture: BPM ME­DIA

Travel firm went bust

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