First new audit win for PwC

PricewaterhouseCoopers has won its first new FTSE 100 group audit contract since the firm was created last summer by capturing computer software and services group Misys from Big Five rival Deloitte & Touche.

In July last year, Deloittes expressed its willingness to continue in office as auditors and a resolution to reappoint the firm was approved by the Misys board.

But a statement in the Misys annual report, released this week, said: ‘Deloittes will retire as auditor and the firm has indicated there are no circumstances connected with their retirement which they consider should be brought to the notice of shareholders or creditors of the group’.

The decision by Misys to change auditor follows the arrival of Howard Evans as the company’s new finance director in February last year.

Evans was formerly finance director of Courtaulds plc, another PwC audit client, and prior to that he was an audit partner for 10 years at Price Waterhouse in London.

‘We had previously used a multitude of different firms for advisory and audit work including PW, Andersens and Deloittes but Deloittes had the main audit contract,’ he said.

‘We have grown significantly through acquisitions and we felt the time was right with this growth to get the maximum benefit from having one firm.’

The audit contract could be worth as much as £1m a year to PwC. For the year ended 31 May 1999 remuneration to Deloittes for audit work totalled £0.5m. Non-audit services – including acquisition related and special project work, as well as corporation tax and VAT advice – carried fees of £0.3m.

Misys shareholders are expected to agree to the change at an agm on 14 September.

Deloittes declined to comment but a PwC spokesman said: ‘Following a review of its external audit arrangements and a competitive tender process earlier this year, the board of Misys plc has chosen PricewaterhouseCoopers as its auditor.’

According to the Misys annual report, Evans was paid £416,118 last year, but his £200,000 base salary has risen to £210,000 since July.

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