RSM Tenon: flying too high?

Published in Economia

The advertising slogan once boasted it was “flying high”, but this January RSM Tenon crashed in spectacular fashion.

To the shock of the accountancy profession, RSM Tenon announced the resignation of chairman, Bob Morton, and much-fêted chief executive, Andy Raynor, followed by a £70.6m loss for the six months to 31 December 2011 and the restatement of its prior-year accounts.

Since then, the UK’s seventh largest accountancy firm has continued to bump along the runway, knocked by one setback after another. Adrian Martin, an RSM Tenon non-executive director who replaced Morton as chairman, resigned at the end of April, just three months into the role.

The firm has been rocked by management upheaval, including the departure of Mark Lucas, its national head of audit, tax and advisory, as well as a painful cost-cutting exercise involving a 10% headcount reduction. A potential sale of the firm also fell through earlier this year after the buyer pulled out. Now the latest blow, announced last week, is the widely anticipated decision of the Financial Reporting Council’s Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board (AADB) to investigate “certain members of the ICAEW” and RSM Tenon’s auditor, PwC.

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