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PKF Littlejohn pick up Boohoo audit from PwC

Boohoo has revealed that PKF Littlejohn will replace PwC as auditor.

23rd Dec 2020
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The UK-based online fashion retailer Boohoo this week announced PKF Littlejohn as its new auditor following PwC’s decision in October to walk away after auditing the company for seven years.

Following a competitive tender process, the PKF board approved the appointment with immediate effect, adding: “PwC, previous auditor to the group, confirms that there are no matters in connection with this change that should be brought to the attention of the group’s shareholders. The board would like to thank PwC for its services and support provided to the group over the past seven years.”

Factory conditions

Boohoo’s ethics and sustainability were called into question after an audit of supplier factories in Leicester found workers were being paid less than the minimum wage. Campaign group Labour Behind the Label also accused Boohoo of sourcing garments from factories with poor working conditions that failed to protect employees from the risk of Covid-19.

Boohoo denied these allegations, but the reputational damage was reported to be a factor in PwC’s decision to stop auditing the fashion retailer. Boohoo’s shares lost almost a fifth of their value following PwC’s announcement.

Before the scandal broke, Boohoo had built up £1.2bn in annual revenue. Founded in 2006, the company has grown into one of the best known fast-fashion brands in the UK by targeting teenagers and young people.

Boohoo this week unveiled PKF Littlejohn as its new auditor. One of the group of firms challenging the Big Four following audit market reforms, PKF Littlejohn firm is ranked among the UK’s top 10 with annual fee income of £149m and ranks seventh in number of UK listed company audit assignments it holds.

While the Big Four have held a long-term monopoly on big audits, Boohoo’s decision to appoint PKF could be an indication that things are starting to progress for challengers in the UK audit market.

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