PracticeAccounting FirmsPwC Russia defends its reputation

PwC Russia defends its reputation

PricewaterhouseCoopers has taken the unusual step of placing full-page advertisements in the Russian media, to defend its reputation as an auditor, as concerns mount in the wake of the Enron collapse.

The advert states: ‘We are concerned that much of the recent commentary on the work done by PricewaterhouseCoopers is based on a misunderstanding of the role and responsibilities of auditors.’

The move is seen as much as an attempt to dispel fears that a similar Enron-type collapse could happen in Russia as to defend its role as auditor to Gazprom, the Russian gas monopoly.

‘In part, such articles (referring to negative stories in the Russian press implicating PwC) may be an effort to relate the Enron case in the US to Russian companies. Such attempts demonstrate a lack of understanding of the differences between these markets – they also demonstrate a lack of understanding of the role of independent auditors,’ said the advert.

Minority shareholders in Gazprom have been calling for PwC’s dismissal as auditor following concerns that the firm failed to identify alleged asset-stripping and related party transactions.

The advertisements were published the same day the Russian Federal Securities Commission staged hearings to discuss the implications of the collapse of Enron for Russia.

Gazprom has now put its audit out to tender.

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