Podia FD faces ICAEW investigation

Link: Podia says accounts were ‘misleading’

Podia, which has put its business up for sale, sacked FD Hatim Dungarwalla, last month on the basis of ‘gross misconduct’.

Dungarwalla, who declined to comment on advice from his lawyers, is a member of the ICAEW and the institute has ‘taken an interest’ in the practice of its member. It has written to Podia to ask for a copy of its report ‘once it is available’.

Podia aims to report its findings to the ICAEW by ‘early next week’.

‘We will tell them (ICAEW) what he has done,’ said Michael Twist, corporate development director at Podia.

In a stock exchange statement last Friday, Podia said its management accounts had incorrectly showed it was ‘fractionally’ outside its £0.5m credit facility. But banker Lloyds said its overdraft in fact topped £1m.

Podia also said the FD issued a ‘significant number of cheques’ in excess of his authority and that Lloyds honoured the cheques ‘in breach of its bank mandate’ by not obtaining a second director’s signature. Lloyds declined to comment.

‘The bank told us we were in a different position than our finance director did,’ Twist said, adding there was no evidence Dungarwalla had gained personally through his actions.

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