Grant Thornton fined £1.3m for botched Sports Direct audit

Watchdog slaps Grant Thornton with a £1.3m fine over ‘serious failings’ in its auditing of Sports Direct

The accounting watchdog has fined Grant Thornton £1.3million over ‘serious failings’ in its auditing of Sports Direct.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) hit the accounting group and its former partner Philip Westerman with a ‘severe reprimand’ for their work.

Westerman was also fined £79,575. The fines related to its audits of annual reports for Sports Direct, now Frasers Group, in 2016 and 2018. 

The Financial Reporting Council hit accounting firm Grant Thornton and its former partner Philip Westerman with a ‘severe reprimand’ for their work with Sports Direct

The FRC said Grant Thornton failed to properly investigate whether Sports Direct and another firm, Delivery Company A, were related.

Listed firms must disclose transactions with companies run by controlling shareholders, directors and people close to them. 

But Grant Thornton failed to show ‘professional scepticism’ of Sports Direct’s claims that it was not related to Delivery Company A, reportedly controlled by founder Mike Ashley’s brother.