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July 26, 2013

Unilever’s audit up for tender

Global household products manufacturer Unilever is to invite accountancy firms to tender for its statutory audit contract when PwC complete their audit of Unilever’s accounts for the year ending 31 December 2013.

Unilever chief financial officer Jean-Marc Huet said that, though the company was "impressed" with the quality of PwC’s auditing, "given changes in the regulatory environment and market expectations, it makes sense for Unilever to rotate its auditors at this time."

Currently, companies are to put their external audit out to tender every 10 years under the UK’s Corporate Governance Code, however the UK Competition Commission has issued this month provisional remedies that mandates five year retenders, after a five year transitional period.

Since the FRC’s new code was announced a number of large companies have either retendered or announced an intention to retender, including HSBC, RSA and Schroders.

Huet added: "We look forward to continuing to work with Pricewaterhouse Coopers as a key provider of other professional services going forward."

Unilever hopes to have a decision made in time for the 2014 Annual General Meetings.

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