PwC resigns audit after row over ‘ escalating fees’

PwC resigned just 28 days before the end of the financial year after a dispute over additional fee charges, it emerged this week. The company has now hired Ernst & Young as auditor.

Jarvis finance director, Henry Lafferty, said this week that the PwC walk out was due to ‘escalating fees’ and had nothing to do with the company’s accounts.PwC issued a shareholder notice that is believed to have warned that the complexity of the Jarvis audit required additional fees to be charged.

A PwC spokesman confirmed that a section 394 notice was issued, but declined to comment.

In a written statement, Jarvis said: ‘Following a regular benchmarking review of the cost to the company of advisors the Company was unable to agree fees.’Lafferty added: ‘There is nothing in their notice that refers to accounting treatments. They’ve given their reasons; we don’t agree with them and we’ve asked them to withdraw it.’

The choice of E&Y by Jarvis marks a return to the firm after five years with PwC.

Lafferty said that E&Y was ‘substantially cheaper’ than PwC, which is believed to have earned last year more than £1m for audit and other services.

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