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Supermarkets agree supplier audit time limit

30th Jun 2014
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Eight large retailers have agreed a time limit on forensic audits that are used to check if suppliers owe them money.

These audits can go back six years but eight retailers – including Aldi, Asda, Co-operative, Lidl, Iceland, Marks and Spencer, Tesco and WM Morrison - have agreed to limit their search for missed claims in suppliers’ trading accounts to the current and two previous financial years.

Suppliers have agreed to do the same.

The voluntary agreement was announced by the Groceries Code Adjudicator, which oversees the relationship between supermarkets and their suppliers.

The adjudicator, Christine Tacon, said: “I am delighted that eight of the large retailers have taken on board the concerns I voiced about the impact on suppliers - particularly small suppliers - being asked for sometimes significant sums of money several years after they have closed their accounts for any particular year.”

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By Steve McQueen
01st Jul 2014 07:51

Having been in this industry
This is good news for the small suppliers, but will be of most benefit to the big boys.

Even on third pass audits we'd routinely find six figure promotional payments outstanding from 5 and 6 years previously.

Big business are simply too complex and things are always slipping through the net.

The ultimate cost is always then passed on to the consumer.

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By Michael Roberts
06th Aug 2014 19:38

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The voluntary agreement comes after the new Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA), which oversees a code of conduct governing the major food stores' treatment of their suppliers, found that supermarkets and other food retailers have been using forensic accountants to examine emails up to six years old in an attempt to claim payments that could run into millions of pounds.

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