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PwC to leave Dignity audit

A NEW AUDITOR is to come in at FTSE 250 funeral services provider Dignity.

PwC, who has served as the firm’s auditors since 2002, will step aside after Dignity’s AGM in June. Under the terms of Dignity’s secured notes, it is only permitted to appoint either KPMG, EY or Deloitte to replace PwC in the audit role.

Dignity has also tightened up the ratio of non-audit to audit fees available to its auditors – of no more than 50% “unless in exceptional circumstances”, it revealed in the 2013 annual report released today. The audit committee noted that last year there was pushback against PwC’s reappointment as auditors – with 37% voting against the resolution – due to the high level of non-audit fees it earned.

“[The committee] is also mindful of the feedback it received after the 2012 annual report was published and the voting at the 2013 AGM on the reappointment of PwC,” the committee said in the 2013 annual report released today.

In 2013, it was paid £1.2m for various non-audit services, alongside £700,000 for tax and other advisory services. PwC was paid £200,000 for auditing the group. PwC had earned £200,000 for auditing Dignity and its subsidiaries in 2012, compared to £400,000 in non-audit fees for tax advisory services.

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