KPMG replaced by BDO as Wincanton auditor

05 March 2020 2 min. read

BDO has secured the auditing contract of logistics firm Wincanton, with the role commencing from April 2020. The news sees Wincanton call time on a two-decade relationship with its current accountant KPMG.

Since the collapse of outsourcing giant Carillion, talk of ‘breaking up’ the Big Four has been steadily reaching a crescendo, and earlier in the spring a Parliamentary report even endorsed the separation of the Big Four’s accounting and advisory wings. In April 2019, this led the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to recommended a shake-up of the British audit market. While it stopped short of calling for a dreaded ‘break up’, it cited the need for legislation to address what it described as “serious competition problems.”

Recently, this saw one of the world’s largest insurers has lined up an accounting firm from beyond the professional services world’s Big Four. Mazars now stands to inherit the AIG contract from PwC, less than a year after it did the same at banking giant Goldman Sachs’ UK wing.

KPMG replaced by BDO as Wincanton auditor

Now, while some might say it is a lower profile announcement, listed logistics management specialist Wincanton has ended a 20-year relationship with Big Four firm KPMG with the appointment of BDO as its external auditor following the conclusion of a formal competitive tender process. KPMG was first appointed to the haulage company when Wincanton listed on the stock exchange in March 2001, and despite holding a new tender for the role in 2016, Wincanton had become increasingly aware that lengthy auditing appointments in the UK are coming under mounting scrutiny.

In Wincanton’s 2019 annual report, the firm admitted, “A robust and thorough audit tender was undertaken in 2016 which concluded with a recommendation to reappoint KPMG as the group’s external auditor. The committee is acutely aware that, despite undertaking the tender in 2016, KPMG has been the group’s external auditor since it listed in 2001.”

As a result, BDO has been selected to replace KPMG as of the new financial year commencing in April 2020. The auditing and advisory firm will conduct the audit of Wincanton’s financial statements for the financial year ending with March 2021.

Commenting on the news, Wincanton's audit committee Chair Paul Dean said, “We would like to thank KPMG for their many years of service as Wincanton's auditor. Subject to shareholder approval at the 2020 AGM, we look forward to working with BDO in the future.”