PWC is to vet the accounts of Vodafone after Britain’s second-largest listed company replaced its auditor for the first time since listing on the stock market.
The Big Four firm has replaced rival Deloitte and picked up one of the most lucrative FTSE 100 audits in the process.
Deloitte had audited Vodafone’s accounts for the past 26 years, and was paid £8m in audit fees by Vodafone in 2013, plus £1m in audit-related fees and £400,000 in non-audit fees.
Vodafone originally announced it would put its audit contract on the market in its interim financial statement in November last year.
Nick Land, chairman of Vodafone’s audit and risk committee, said: “We thank Deloitte for their significant contribution as Vodafone’s auditors and we look forward to working with PwC going forward.”
The move comes as European and UK policymakers are implementing new rules intended to open up the large-listed audit market to greater competition.
The UK Competition Commission requires companies to tender their audit every ten years, while European politicians are pushing through rules that will force auditors to be replaced within a similar time period.
Notable audits to have changed hands recently include: Berkeley Group; Marks & Spencer; and Unilever.
The UK’s imminent exit from the EU that may now put the audit committee to the ultimate test
Audit tendering has turned from good practice to legal practice under the EU audit reforms
Businesses will have to think more strategically about where they can source those non-audit services in the future
The FRC has raised concerns that the FTSE 350 audit market remains highly concentrated among the Big Four despite high levels of tendering and rotation