BDO moves in on top retail audit

BDO Stoy Hayward, the only firm outside the Big Four to audit a FTSE100
company, is a frontrunner for another big-ticket audit of one of the FTSE’s
largest companies.

Accountancy Age understands that the mid-tier firm is going
head-to-head with a Big Four firm in the final stage of bids for the audit
contract of a leading food retailer.

A spokeswoman for BDO would not comment on the bid, but a senior source
within the firm confirmed that the UK’s sixth-largest firm was competing for the

‘We are always pitching for a number of opportunities, but we can neither
confirm nor deny our involvement,’ the spokeswoman said.

BDO already audits FTSE100 online casino operator PartyGaming, and is the
only non-Big Four firm to have an audit client of such stature. BDO’s efforts
follow the launch of a DTI study into how market concentration affects audit

Regulators and investors are concerned that the market offers a lack of
choice to clients, and have expressed anxiety about the ramifications should one
of the Big Four collapse, as Andersen did after its involvement in the Enron

Mid-tier firms, meanwhile, have argued that institutional and audit committee
prejudice is blocking them from taking on large audits.

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