PracticeAuditTaking Stock: Spotting accounting flaws is child’s play

Taking Stock: Spotting accounting flaws is child’s play

A secondary school student in Barcelona, spotted discrepancies in Abengoa accounts - apparently overlooked by auditors Deloitte

Taking Stock: Spotting accounting flaws is child’s play

A 17-year-old schoolboy has achieved what the auditors of Spanish engineering and renewable energy giant Abengoa could not – predict the company’s possible collapse a year ago.

According to reports in The Guardian, Pepe Baltá, a secondary school student in Barcelona, spotted discrepancies in Abengoa accounts – apparently overlooked by auditors Deloitte – as part of an economics project.

“If it does not act soon, there is a strong risk Abengoa will go into bankruptcy,” Baltá wrote in an 18-page analytical report on Abengoa for 2012 and 2013.

“I have some accounting knowledge,” he told El Mundo newspaper, “and Abengoa’s accounts did not seem to add up. There was a lot of debt and few active assets compared to fixed ones. The big surprise was that negative profits were being converted into positives. I didn’t understand how they could do that.”

The troubled outfit filed for bankruptcy protection last month and banks have employed KPMG to examine its accounts to get a clearer understanding of its financial position.

Baltá said neither Abengoa nor Deloitte have tried to recruit him. “I don’t know if it’s because they haven’t heard of me or because they’d rather not have anything to do with an 18-year-old boy,” he said.

Related Articles

BDO replaces Deloitte as Mitie auditor

Audit BDO replaces Deloitte as Mitie auditor

2m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
PwC to take over from Deloitte as Diploma auditor

Accounting Firms PwC to take over from Deloitte as Diploma auditor

2m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Deloitte rises in auditor rankings with most FTSE 250 clients

Accounting Firms Deloitte rises in auditor rankings with most FTSE 250 clients

2m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Deloitte scoops GSK 'mega audit' from PwC

Audit Deloitte scoops GSK 'mega audit' from PwC

11m Kevin Reed, Writer
PwC scoops Rolls-Royce audit as tender results pile up

Accounting Firms PwC scoops Rolls-Royce audit as tender results pile up

11m Stephanie Wix, Writer
Latest Big Four auditor changes

Audit Latest Big Four auditor changes

3m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
FRC closes investigation into PwC over Tesco accounts

Accounting Firms FRC closes investigation into PwC over Tesco accounts

5m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Deloitte set for brickbuilder Ibstock audit

Accounting Firms Deloitte set for brickbuilder Ibstock audit

11m Stephanie Wix, Writer