Three of the ‘big four’ accounting firms have declined to take on an audit of Sports Direct International.
According to a report by Sky News, EY, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) have all taken themselves out of the running because of potential conflicts of interest and concerns over reputation.
Owner Mike Ashley will now have to find an alternative auditor to replace accountancy firm Grant Thornton.
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is currently conducting an investigation into Grant Thornton’s audits of Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct for the financial year ending April 2016.
The FRC is investigating the accountancy firm after is signed off an arrangement between Mike Ashley and his brother John Ashley’s company Barlin Delivery.
Of the big four, KPMG is thought to have refused the role due to the fact it audits Sports Direct’s rival JD Sports Fashion.
EY recently acted as administrator to House of Fraser and turned down the role due to potential accusations of conflict of interest.
Meanwhile Sky News reported that Deloitte and PwC are believed to have concerns about the reputational risk of auditing Sports Direct.