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Audit profits at Grant Thornton slashed by 90%

Grant Thornton announced it has seen a return to revenue and profit growth towards the end of last year, despite significant losses in its audit division.

The firm said it saw “significant improvement” across all its operations, with particularly strong growth in its advisory services, though the company has seen its audit profit slashed by 90%.  

In the 18 months to January 2020, the group made a total profit of £1m from audits, down from £13m in the previous 12 months. 

In order to bring changes to its audit quality, the firm has now launched a new Audit Quality Board and appointed “industry veteran” Philip Johnson as chair, and has also invested £7m into its audit services.


However, in the 12 month period ended 31 December 2019, the firm’s profits increased by £7m, an 11% year-on-year increase. Fee income also increased by £12m to £514m in the period. 

Dave Dunckley, CEO of Grant Thornton UK LLP, said: “I’m pleased with the progress our audit practice has made to learn from the past and make a number of changes to further improve the quality of our work.  

“Our return to growth by the end of last year shows that the efforts of everyone at Grant Thornton have created a more focused firm, better placed to serve our clients in the core markets we operate in.” 

He added: “We ended the financial period in a much more robust position, with a clear strategy, focused on our strengths and priorities, which has continued into 2020. 

“Clearly, the economic landscape has changed rapidly over recent weeks, but the hard work of our partners and our people during 2019 in implementing our strategy and structure have allowed us to make informed and proactive decisions to help our people and clients manage during this period.”

In its latest update, the firm also said it has taken “proactive action” across its business to protect its people and clients in light of the ongoing pandemic, including redeploying people to services where demand is “expected to remain buoyant”.  

Some 150 employees have also opted for flexible working, with a 40% reduction in pay and hours in order to help the firm shore up its finances at this time. 

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