In its 2018 annual report CRH noted that the audit committee conducted a competitive tender process last year in which three firms were invited to apply.
“[While] the Committee appreciated the quality of the proposals presented by all the firms, it believes that the strength and experience of Deloitte’s team best met the predefined criteria it had set,” the report read.
EY has been auditor to the company since 1988, and as such was not invited to compete in the tender process due to the length of its tenure.
Following proposals from the firms CRH evaluated each for audit quality, cultural fit, corporate fit and experience. The evaluation was done on a “fee-blind basis”, in which fees are negotiated after the appointment has been decided.
In 2018 CRH paid EY €1.2m (£1m) in non-audit fees, which represented 6% of the €20m (£17.2m) in total fees paid to the Big Four firm for the year – down from 11% in 2017.
In its report it stated that this “did not compromise [EY’s] independence or integrity".
Pending a confirmatory vote at the 2020 AGM, Deloitte will take over as auditor for the financial year ended 31 December 2020.