Baker Tilly quits over Citizens Advice accounts

BAKER TILLY has quit as auditor of Citizens Advice due to disagreement over the charity’s pension accounting.

The firm resigned at this week’s AGM, and the news comes shortly after Citizens Advice treasurer Mike Weaver stepped down after just four months, Civil Society reports.

Citizens Advice’s pension pot has a growing deficit, which leapt from £19.4m in 2006 to almost £36.5m by March 2010. The defined benefit scheme closed to new entrants in 2008.

The charity insists “it is not possible to separately identify assets and liabilities relating to Citizens Advice”. For this reason, it cannot make provision under FRS12.

However, Baker Tilly disagrees and last year gave a qualified opinion on the accounts, calling for a provision of £8,305,000 to be made at 31 March 2010.

This year’s accounts have not yet been signed off and partner Sudhir Singh refused to say whether they would again receive an auditor’s qualification.

A Citizens Advice spokesman said: “The reason they were not signed off at the AGM was one of timing only,” adding: “There is a technical issue over the treatment of our pension liability but lots of charities have a similar issue. We are confident the accounts will be signed off by the auditor in the normal way.”

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