PwC cleared as FRC transparency questioned

The Accountancy Investigation and Disciplinary Board lost its first case this
week and was facing questions over its transparency, after
PricewaterhouseCoopers was cleared on charges relating to Mayflower, the
collapsed bus company.

On Monday the tribunal announced it was clearing PwC as well as the finance
director of Mayflower subsidiary David Donnelly.

But the judgment was not set to be released in full, with the panel likely to
deliberate as to which parts of the judgement should be made public instead.
Extracts are expected to be released tomorrow.

The defeat for AIDB executive counsel Cameron Scott marks a distinct shift
from the previous regime, the Joint Disciplinary Scheme. JDS executive counsel
Chris Dickson has only offered one significant defeat.

PwC was accused of failing to express concerns about the ability of Mayflower
to continue as a going concern in its audit of the 2002 accounts.

Leaked extracts reported that the panel said: ‘The whole tenor of the
evidence seems to a majority of the tribunal to show that “going concern” was
never an issue.’

Donnelly was cleared of complaints that he failed to disclose problems in
Falkirk, but the reasons for that were unclear, in the absence of the judgment
at the time of going to press.

The regulator’s chief executive, Paul Boyle, defended the AIDB, saying it was
‘not in the public interest for the AIDB to only take cases that it is certain
to win.’

‘It is not right that only cases in which we are certain to win, are looked
at. Otherwise others, in which there is good evidence, will not see the light of
day,’ Boyle added.

Related reading