FRC

Watch out FRC – there’s a new Guv’nor in town

One of our members - Tony Johnson - who is a Chartered Secretary and longstanding member of ICSA, has brought to my attention ICSA’s planned rebranding to become “The Chartered Governance Institute”. See here for more details - https://www.icsa.org.uk/. ICSA or, should I say, CGI, appear to be positioning themselves as the “go-to” organisation for good corporate governance. Here’s what their President, David Vernon, had to say recently in his letter to members: “Over the last two years, your Council has been implementing ...

The Quindell Story and the FRC

5 years on and the FRC has fined KPMG for its performance over Quindell. It has taken far too long. The settlement received a huge amount of coverage in the press, e.g. https://www.ft.com/content/e8ce1a30-6d3d-11e8-852d-d8b934ff5ffa The FRC's official announcement can be found here: https://www.frc.org.uk/news/june-2018/sanctions-in-relation-to-the-audit-of-quindell-plc The KPMG fine of £3.15 million is derisory. It is absurd when compared with the (£2bn) shareholder losses as a result of being misled by the accounts. The average KPMG partner was paid £519k in 2018, and many were paid more. To ...

Belated Action by FRC Re Autonomy

I commented previously on the conviction of former Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussain for fraud in relation to the accounts of Autonomy Plc (see https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/regulations-and-law/they-do-things-differently-in-the-usa/ ). Just to show that this was not solely a case prompted by Hewlett Packard over their disastrous acquisition of the company, supported by a partisan California court as some have alleged, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) have now announced formal complaints over the conduct of auditors Deloittes and senior finance staff of Autonomy – including Mr ...

FRC review and the future of audit: break up or shape up?

Sir John Kingman has been appointed to undertake a thorough review of the FRC. ShareSoc and UKSA will be making a submission to this. The FT on 16 May had a front page article on this headed Carillion’s demise spurs call for action against Big Four. MPs’ report on collapse asks for possible break-up of ‘cosy’ auditors by Gill Plimmer. The key points were Outsourcer’s fate exposed 'systemic flaws' in corporate Britain and its ‘toothless’ and 'feeble' regulators, say Commons committees Damning ...

They Do Things Differently in the USA

Former Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussain has been found guilty of 16 counts of fraud in a Federal Court in California. He was convicted on all 16 counts of wire and securities fraud. This case was based on allegations of false accounting to ramp up the value of the Autonomy business prior to its acquisition by Hewlett-Packard. The latter subsequently wrote down most of the $10.3 billion cost of that acquisition. More background on this case is given in a previous blog post ...

Lack of Transparency at the FRC

The Financial Times ran an interesting article on Friday (13/4/2018) headlined “FRC criticised over transparency". It reported that the Financial Reporting Council answered only 6 out of 52 Freedom of Information requests since 2013. Atul Shah, Professor of Accounting at the University of Suffolk, was reported as saying: “This shows that there is a real problem within the soul of the FRC. It is a public regulator and not a private members’ club, and it has clear duties of transparency, accountability ...

Conviviality

It is a great name for a bar, but is a fancy name good for a quoted conglomerate plc? The shares were suspended on 14 March. The FCA and FRC need to look at this and asset managers need to think again why they missed the warning signs! Shares in the wholesaler and distributor of alcohol and impulse are now suspended as it considers the anticipated impact on its funding position of £30m due to HMRC. This business has looked questionable since ...

Carillion and FRC investigation

I know that some members are taking a very active interest in what went wrong at Carillion. The email below from the FRC contains a link to a document which you may find both useful and interesting to support your own research and in helping to reach some initial conclusions. "From: FRC Sent: 29 January 2018 09:54 To: Various Subject: News Alert - Accounting and reporting framework for the construction and business support services sectors In the light of the collapse of Carillion, the Financial Reporting Council ...

Quindell and Carillion

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) have announced that they have fined audit firm Arrandco (formerly RSM Tenon) £750,000 and the Audit Partner Jeremy Filley £56,000 in relation to the audit of the financial statements of Quindell for the 2011 accounts. They also “reprimanded” both parties and Tenon had to pay £90,000 in costs. Both parties admitted liability. Two of their errors were a “failure to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence and failure to exercise sufficient professional scepticism”. In other words, quite ...

Private Investor Dialogue with the FRC

Following the success of the last year's FRC event (photo below) a date of 26th November 2018 has been agreed for a Private Investor Dialogue with the FRC. Please put the date in your diaries. More details will follow later in the year.   Click here to see the feedback survey results of last year’s event. The FRC were very pleased with the event and the feedback research. We continue to have regular meetings with the FRC and are increasingly being invited to ...