PracticeAccounting FirmsMayflower to be first IDB case

Mayflower to be first IDB case

The scandal at automotive Engineering group Mayflower will be the first to be investigated by the new watchdog for accountants, the Investigation and Discipline Board.

Link: ICAS on collision coure with IDB

The IDB announced yesterday that both the ACCA and the ICAEW had referred individual members to the IDB for their roles in the accounting irregularities that led to a £20m black hole at the busmaker.

Mayflower, which owned the Dennis and Plaxton brands, was saved earlier this month when Deloitte sold the last of its subsidiaries after the group entered administration in March.

Cameron Scott, executive counsel of the IDB, said: ‘The encouraging thing is that the matter was referred by the ICAEW and the ACCA. It is encouraging that the new scheme is working as intended.’

The investigation will look at the audit of financial statements for the years ended 31 December 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003 by Arthur Andersen and PricewaterhouseCoopers; the conduct of a review of interim financial statements to June 2003 by PwC; and the conduct of former finance director David Thomas Donnelly.

Mayflower, which once boasted John Major as a non-executive director on its audit committee, encountered problems earlier this year when accounting irregularities were revealed by a former employee whistleblower.

The irregularities – uncovered in Mayflower’s TransBus Division – related principally to ‘delays in passing on payments from customers to one of the group’s finance providers’.

The scandal caused outrage at the time. ‘We are demanding a public inquiry into this mini-Maxwell scandal,’ said Tony Woodley, general secretary of the transport and general workers union.

‘The directors have run this company into the ground putting thousands of jobs at risk,’ he added.

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