Wetherspoon waves goodbye to PwC and plumps for non-Big Four replacement

Oliver Gill
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Pub Chain Lowers Price Of Beer To 99p A Pint
JD Wetherspoon appointed PwC as its auditor in 1983 (Source: Getty)

Britain's biggest pub chain JD Wetherspoon has ended a 34-year relationship with PwC, waving goodbye the Big Four accountant as the firm's auditor.

In a short announcement this lunchtime, Wetherspoon said it will recommend to shareholders that Grant Thornton takes over after PwC completes its final audit of the July 2017 financial statements.

The mid-tier beancounter beat larger rival KPMG in a final two-way showdown.

PwC has reviewed Wetherspoon's books since 1983. But it did not put a tender offer in to continue its relationship after the pub group decided to implement mandatory audit rotation.

European regulations that took effect in June 2016 stipulated companies must put their audit out to tender every 10 years, and change their statutory accountant at least every 20 years.

Read more: BT picks KPMG, pipping EY, to replace PwC as auditor

PwC recently lost the prestigious BT audit to KPMG. The accounting giant also avoided a slap on the wrists from regulators earlier this year in relation to its actions on Tesco accounts.

Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC dominate the market for listed audits. A report by the UK's accountancy watchdog, the Financial Reporting Council, found more than 97 per cent of the FTSE 350 is audited by the Big Four; a percentage that is on the rise despite the rise in tendering and rotation.

Wetherspoon said it would provide further details of its tender process within the firm's 2017 report and accounts to be published later this year.

Read more: PwC settles $3bn MF Global negligence case

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