Danny McCance 26 Jun 2019 04:39pm

BDO succeeds KPMG as AJ Bell auditors

The UK’s fifth-largest firm, BDO, has been appointed auditor to investment company AJ Bell, taking over from Big Four firm KPMG

In an announcement to the stock exchange, AJ Bell said that after a competitive tender process BDO had been approved to succeed KPMG for the year ended September 2020.

The firm’s appointment is subject to approval at the 2020 AGM.

KPMG has served as auditor of the company since 2009 but did not participate in the tender process. It will complete the audit for the year ending September 2019.

Scott Knight, head of audit at BDO, said the firm looked forward to commencing its work with AJ Bell in September and was committed to investing in its people and technology to “open up competition in the FTSE 350”.

In an attempt to attract talent, potentially away from the Big Four, BDO announced earlier this week that it was trialling a virtual reality game for its new hires.

“Today’s announcement – hot off the heels of our appointment to audit Galliford Try – is an important recognition that firms beyond the Big Four can have the skills, capacity and ambition to deliver complex audits for large listed companies,” said Knight.

BDO was also handed the audit of construction company Galliford Try in February, effective 1 July and pending AGM approval in November.

The company said in its half-year report that PwC was ceasing in its role as it had been the group’s auditor for more than 20 years.

Under mandatory audit rotation rules, introduced in 2016, companies must put their audit out to tender every 10 years and change audit at least every 20 years.

 BDO saw further success in April, after being announced as the new auditor to McColl’s Retail group for the current financial year following a formal tender process.

BDO took over from Deloitte after the Big Four firm’s resignation on 16 July, the reason for which it cited as “long tenure and association of Deloitte LLP as auditors to the company”.

In February, following a formal tender process, BDO was appointed auditor to Halfords to succeed KPMG for the financial year ended April 2020.

Yesterday, PwC was reappointed as auditor to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for a six-year term.

IOC audit committee chairman, Baron Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant, said the audit committee only invited Big Four firms to the closed tender process as it believed they were the only firms capable of delivering on its expectations.