Wiggins auditor HLB Kidsons and a non-executive director are facing investigation after the UK’s financial reporting regulator forced the company to cut its 2000 profits by £35m.
Chris Dickson, executive counsel of the Joint Disciplinary Scheme, will examine the role of Lance Blackstone, chartered accountant and chairman of the leisure to construction group’s audit committee, and that of the auditors from mid-tier firm Kidsons.
A spokeswoman for Kidsons said the firm was aware it might be subject to an investigation and it intended to fully comply with any probe once it had received official notice from the institute.
ACCA-qualified Leslie Inwood, company secretary for the leisure and construction group, could also appear before an internal disciplinary board at his institute.
An ACCA spokesman said: ‘We are aware of the concerns surrounding the Wiggins Group but beyond that we cannot make any specific comments.’
The ICAEW referred the case to the Joint Disciplinary Scheme following a review of the Financial Reporting Review Panel’s findings published in March.
Wiggins was forced to restate its accounts by millions of pounds for the last five years, turning each to a loss. Its £25.1m profits for the year to 31 March 2000 became a £9.9m loss. Profits going back to 1995 also turned to losses, after a dispute over revenue recognition and development costs.
Speaking at the time of the reissue, Richard Sykes QC, chairman of the FRRP, said investors should be able to rely on Wiggins’ published accounts, but could not because of accounting errors.
COUNTING THE COST OF NEGLIGENCE
The Joint Disciplinary Scheme has faced a rapidly growing workload over the past 18 months due to the number of negligence cases against accountancy firms. In the last seven years the JDS has received fines from UK firms totalling almost £5m.
See: Past haunts Big Five, page 28.
The second largest improvement in ‘significant’ levels of financial distress since the EU Referendum was in professional services, found research from Begbies Traynor
Just one half of UK practices have implemented a pricing structure around auto enrolment implementation and advice - with many suffering increased costs
Deloitte's north-west Europe foray; BDO, Smith & Williamson investment paths; Shelley Stock Hutter; and Wilkins Kennedy discussed by editor Kevin Reed on our Friday Afternoon Live broadcast
Accountants should alter their perspective on auto-enrolment to maximise business opportunities, according to Eric Clapton.