THE MUCH VAUNTED first external audit into the Vatican’s opaque finances has been halted.
A Vatican spokesman said the audit by PwC had been suspended.
Vatican watchers point to widening tensions between the Church’s reforming wing – championed by the Pope Francis-appointed Australian cardinal George Pell – and its old guard, deeply nervous of greater transparency
The Vatican has confirmed the audit suspension after leaks that Archbishop Angelo Becciu had written to all Vatican entities to say the permission granted to PwC to collect and view sensitive financial information had been revoked.
Pell has confirmed that he was “a bit surprised” by the letter and that he believed the audit would re-start after a number of issues have been resolved.
There is no suggestion that PwC, appointed in December 2015 to conduct a wide-ranging external audit of the Vatican’s accounts to assist the Pope in his drive to excommunicate corruption from the Church – has done anything wrong.
Argentinian Pope Francis (pictured) has repeatedly vowed to clean up the Vatican’s opaque finances where a number of church departments failed to abide by international accounting standards, which, in 2013, ultimately ended its relationship with the international financial markets.
In June 2015, the Vatican installed a Deloitte man as its first auditor-general as part of reforming Pope Francis’ latest assault on cleaning up the tainted and scandal-riven reputation at the global HQ of the Roman Catholic empire.
Italian Libero Milone, an ex-chairman and CEO of Deloitte in Italy, was selected for the role, and is expected to play a key part in cleaning up its finances, a Vatican statement confirmed.
Two years ago, KPMG was brought in by the Vatican to advise it on its internal accounting procedures following a series of problems within the Holy See’s finances.
Richard Oddy, Casper Kaars Sijpesteijn and Rory Goldthorpe have been appointed to senior roles in key sectors of high growth, with a further 17 junior and experienced hires
Richard White, Nicola Westbrooke and Richard Ross all join from KPMG, where they oversaw the real estate tax practice
Sheryl Davis joins the firm's High Wycombe office from Barnes Roffe
The appointments have been made across the VAT, audit and international tax teams