UHY makes formal complaint to ICAEW about PKF

by Rachael Singh

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24 Feb 2012

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UHY HACKER YOUNG has criticised PKF administrators' appointment to Portsmouth FC by sending a formal letter of complaint to the ICAEW.

Trevor Birch, Ian Gould and Bryan Jackson, partners at PKF, were appointed joint administrators to the Championship side earlier this month.

UHY Hacker Young administrators were blocked by the courts in taking the appointment on the request of HM Revenue & Customs. The taxman was concerned UHY Hacker Young would be conflicted in taking the appointment as they are already administrators to the club's parent company Convers Sports Initiative (CSI).

However, UHY Hacker Young has issued a complaint to the institute, claiming the administrators are conflicted as PKF had undertaken audit and due diligence work with both Portsmouth's parent company, and the club, last year.

PKF has confirmed it received an engagement letter to undertake the audit of Portsmouth FC and its parent company CSI last year. However, the firm said it was unable to complete audit work, never produced an audit report or signed the engagement letter.

The accountancy firm also said it had undertaken due diligence work on behalf of CSI on Portsmouth FC before CSI acquired the club in 2011.

UHY Hacker Young managing partner Ladislav Hornan said: "After careful consideration, I can confirm that we have lodged a complaint about PKF's appointment with the ICAEW.

"PKF were appointed auditors of the club, its parent company and an associated company. Whilst I am aware that the audit was not completed, the ICAEW guidelines prevent a firm taking the appointment of administrator when they have acted as auditor, or undertaken audit related work. PKF has also advised Convers Sports Initiative, the club's parent company, on its purchase of the club."

However, PKF's Birch said: "All the information was disclosed to the creditors and the court - which made the appointment.

"We were backed by HM Revenue & Customs and the liquidators of Portsmouth, [when it previously collapsed in 2010] Baker Tilly."

He added: "There was an intention to appoint us as auditors but an engagement letter was not signed."

A spokesman for PKF said the court was made aware of the audit and due diligence work undertaken by the firm prior to the judge's agreement to their appointment.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Norris appointed the PKF partners on 17 February.

A spokesman for ICAEW said they could not confirm or deny that a complaint had been received.

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