The Accountancy Investigation and Discipline Board has been criticised by an
independent panel that sat in the industry’s first public tribunal.
The panel – dismissed charges against PricewaterhouseCoopers and David
Donnelly, FD of bus-maker Mayflower,
yesterday – and criticised the fact that the
AIDB called as an expert witnesses,
accountants who worked on the initial Mayflower investigation.
The judgment has unexpectedly not been officially made public as yet, despite
the proceedings being the first to take place in the public gaze.
Mayflower collapsed with debts of over ?200m in March 2004, with its
auditors, PwC, signing an ‘unqualified’
report on the company’s 2002 accounts, the FT reported.
Led by executive counsel Cameron Scott, the AIDB complained that the firm
failed to identify there was a significant level of concern about Mayflower’s
ability to continue as a going concern.
Donnelly was accused of falling short of the standards expected of a
qualified accountant, for allegedly deciding not to inform his board, PwC or
banks that profits at Mayflower’s subsidiary, Transbus, had been overstated.
Donnelly said yesterday he was ‘absolutely delighted’ that the complaint
against him was dismissed.
‘This complaint right from the outset was ill-conceived and should never have
been brought,’ he said.
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