Wirecard audit procedures yet to be completed

EY’s audit of German-based fintech Wirecard AG has been further delayed, pushing Wirecard’s 2019 annual results publication back for the third time in five months.

The Big Four firm said it needed more time to complete its audit procedures, postponing Wirecard’s annual results from June 4 to June 18.

“Within the scope of the completed parts of the audit procedures, Wirecard has not yet been informed of any material findings,” the company said in a press statement. “However, not all audit procedures have yet been completed.”

Wirecard has been accused of accounting malpractice by both whistleblowers and long-running reports in the Financial Times.

In late April, KPMG conducted a special audit into these accusations, but could not verify the authenticity of a majority of Wirecard’s 2016 – 2018 operating profits.

However, the Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel (FREP), Germany’s accountancy watchdog, opened an accounting fraud investigation into Wirecard last year.

“The renewed delay in submitting audited financial statements is more than annoying – with or without [coronavirus],” Wirecard’s chief financial officer, Alexander von Knoop, said via email.

“I assume that there will be no major deviations of these very intensively audited financial statements from the reported preliminary figures.”

EY declined to comment.

The delays follow calls from regulators and accountancy firms to tighten UK audit regulations through new legislation.

In mid-May, EY split its UK audit and assurance practice governance to “ensure that audit quality continues to receive dedicated focus,” per a company press release. However, many Big Four firms are already losing ground to mid-tier firms.

In the January – April 2020 AIM Advisers Rankings Guide, BDO held the highest number of AIM clients, beating second-place PwC by 72 clients.

Additionally, Grant Thornton UK and RSM both beat out Deloitte’s sixth place spot, with EY and Crowe tied for seventh.

While the Big Four beat most of the mid-tiers in client market cap, BDO still came second to PwC.

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