A joint select committee inquiry into the collapse of outsourcing giant Carillion have criticised the big four accountancy giants. They were accused of “feasting” on the beleaguered company and one of the four had managed “to play all three sides.”
Evidence was brought to the inquiry that indicated that these accounting juggernauts have billed for £71m worth of work from Carillion since 2008.
KPMG, acted as Carillion’s auditor for 19 years, billed the construction giant £20.2m. PwC, Deloitte, and Ernst and Young charged a total £21.1m, £12m and £18.3m respectively.
Frank Field, chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, said PwC had “managed to play all three sides”.
PWC had carried out auditing work for Carrillion, advised on pensions, and is now acting as special manager for the government as part of Carillion’s liquidation.
Field continued: “The image of these companies feasting on what was soon to become a carcass will not be lost on decent citizens.”
KPMG even designated Carillion as a going concern, months before it issued a £845m writedown on a contract and a profit warning.
A total of 989 Carillion employees have lost their jobs so far.