Hey, auditors! How confident are you that you wouldn’t royally screw up auditing the financial statements of a well-known U.K. cafe chain and could uncover a £94 million accounting fraud? Pretty confident, eh? Well, you couldn’t do much worse than the dolts Grant Thornton U.K. had handling the audit work on Patisserie Valerie’s accounts.
While Grant Thornton is currently being investigated over its horrible auditing of Pat Val, which collapsed earlier this year and its former finance director and five other people were arrested by authorities due to the fraud, the sixth-largest accounting firm in the U.K. is looking to fix its tarnished reputation as an auditor. And GT is hiring.
Accountancy Daily reported:
In a bid to restore confidence in its audit business, Grant Thornton plans to set up an audit quality board and increase audit staff numbers with a mix of external senior hires and an increase in trainee numbers.
As part of the plan, Grant Thornton will invest £7m in focusing on improving the quality of its audit operation, with plans to hire 300 audit staff over the next 12 months and invest in IT development to improve its audit functions and tools.
The additional staff will be made up of a combination of senior hires and trainees, and will represent a 6.8% increase in total numbers from the current 4,410 professional staff count.
Other ways GT is going to try and pull its reputation out of dumpster include:
- Establishing an audit quality board, much like Grant Thornton U.S. did earlier this year.
- Setting up two “centers of excellence” in London and Birmingham to “enhance the firm’s ability to deliver FTSE 350 audit work,” even though GT said in March 2018 it would stop bidding for new audit work at FTSE companies because of the Big 4’s stranglehold on the market, but that could change if audit reform legislation is enacted in the U.K.
- Approving an independent review of GT’s audit practice, although the firm didn’t specify who would be conducting the review.
Grant Thornton also recently appointed Fiona Baldwin as its head of audit. She is the first head of the firm’s audit practice to join GT’s strategic leadership team.
I know Grant Thornton U.K. is kind of a dumpster fire right now, but one of these open auditor jobs might still be worth pursuing or at least making a phone call.
PwC in the U.K. announced earlier this month that it would be spending an additional £30 million ($38.1 million) a year to improve its audit business, including setting up a new national digital audit team and hiring more than 500 auditors in addition to the 5,500 the firm already employs.