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Today’s news in brief – 12/10/2023

KPMG has received a record £21m fine from the FRC due to “exceptional failings” in its audit of Carillion before its 2018 collapse. The FRC imposed a £26.5m fine, reduced to £18.55 million for KPMG’s cooperation and admissions in an investigation spanning multiple financial years. Former partner Peter Meehan was personally fined £500,000 (reduced to £350,000) for co-operating. KPMG’s audit failed to gather adequate evidence, lacked professional scepticism, and didn’t scrutinise Carillion’s financial statements rigorously. The fines, both financial and non-financial, reflect the severity of these audit shortcomings.

Williamson and Croft, a Manchester-based accounting firm, has merged with Musker and Garrett in Liverpool, rebranding the latter under the Williamson and Croft name. Supported by HSBC UK funding, this merger aims to strengthen both firms and expand their services. Employees from both offices will move to a new location in Liverpool. The merger enables Williamson and Croft to better serve clients in both Manchester and Liverpool, offering a broader range of services and reflecting a commitment to excellence and innovation.

Armstrong Watson has expanded its corporate finance team by appointing David Wilson as a partner. With over 15 years of experience, including more than 100 transactions, Wilson brings a wealth of expertise to the role. He will focus on delivering M&A transactions, using his market knowledge and experience to enhance Armstrong Watson’s service offerings. His appointment aligns with a period of buoyant corporate finance activity despite economic challenges. Wilson’s background and network in the corporate finance community will contribute to Armstrong Watson’s continued growth.

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Mark Ferguson has been promoted to the position of IT director at Shaw Gibbs. With a history of innovation and leadership at the firm since 2006, he will oversee all aspects of the company’s IT operations, including infrastructure development, cybersecurity, and digital transformation. His role is critical in driving technological advancements and ensuring data security and compliance. Ferguson’s focus is on delivering cutting-edge IT solutions that benefit clients and improve internal operations. His promotion reflects his exceptional contributions and skills, aligning with Shaw Gibbs’ growth and evolving technology strategy.

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