Deloitte faces action over Autonomy accounts

The accountancy watchdog has started disciplinary proceedings against former bosses at Autonomy and auditors at Deloitte linked to alleged fraud at the software business.
Autonomy Corp was bought by Hewlett Packard for $11bn (€7.4bn) in 2011.
The following year HP announced an $8.8bn writedown and accused Autonomy of dishonestly inflating its value.The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said after an investigation into Autonomy's financial reporting between 1 January 2009 and 30 June 2011, it had on Thursday filed formal complaints against the company's former finance chief Sushovan Hussain and ex-vice president of finance Stephen Chamberlain.It alleges they acted dishonestly or recklessly when preparing the firm's accounts for 2009 and 2010.Accountancy firm Deloitte and two of its auditors, Richard Knights and Nigel Mercer, are accused of failing to adequately challenge Autonomy's accounting and disclosure of its purchases and sales of computer hardware, as well as other offences.Mr Knights is also alleged to have breached the "fundamental principle of integrity in that he recklessly failed to correct a misleading statement" made by Mr Hussain.
A date for the tribunal is yet to be set, said the FRC, which carried out its investigation in parallel with criminal and civil investigations in the UK and the US.Their conduct is alleged to have fallen "significantly short of the standards reasonably to be expected" of a member or member firm of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, the FRC added.The action comes at a time when the FRC and the country's biggest auditors come under pressure over their handling of Carillion before the company's collapse earlier this year.A spokesman for Deloitte said it "acknowledges today's announcement from the FRC and has fully cooperated with the investigation to date".
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He added: "We are disappointed that these complaints have been brought and we will defend ourselves against them at tribunal."Mr Hussain was convicted of fraud in the US earlier this month.
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