Kenya: Audit Firms Angle for Key Central Bank Job

18 February 2019

Key audit firms in the country are in a race for the lucrative job to audit Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) books that has paid at least Sh10 million annually in the last three years.

The tender closes at the end of February with the successful bidder expected to audit the banking regulator's books for the next three financial years being 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21.

The CBK says in the tender document that eligible tenderers shall be "established audit firms" that are dealing in the provision of audit services.

"The appointment will be subject to fulfilment of mandatory, technical and financial criteria; and also subject to the discretion of the Auditor-General," said CBK in the tender notice.

Since 1991, only Ernst & Young, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte -- commonly referred to as the Big Four -- have been interchangeably auditing CBK books on behalf of the Auditor General.

Three years to 2017/18 financial year, the books were being audited by Deloitte. The information contained in CBK's annual reports show that auditor's remuneration was Sh31 million in those three years.

This was split as Sh10 million each in 2015/16 and 2016/17, then Sh11 million in 2017/2018.

Last year's remuneration of Sh11 million is the highest fee ever. The fee was Sh5 million in 2011 before rising to Sh5 million in 2012 where it remained constant up to 2015.

The pay, however, is low considering that PwC earned Sh57 million from Equity Group #ticker:EQTY for auditing its books for the financial year ended December 2017.

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