Tesco avoids prosecution for 2014 false accounting with fine

Tesco false accounting

Tesco has reached an agreement with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) which, if approved by the court, will allow it to pay a fine for its false accounting in 2014 rather than face prosecution. Separately it has agreed with the Financial Conduct Agreement (FCA) that it will pay compensation to investors for market abuse when it presented misleading trading statements in August 2014.… Read the rest

BT accounting fraud: new controls and clawbacks expected

BT: Accounting irregularities revealed in Italian operation

Communications company BT has admitted improper accounting practices at its Italian subsidiary which resulted in overstated earnings over several years. BT is now conducting a broader review of financial processes, systems and controls across the company. BT’s remuneration committee will also consider the wider implications of the investigation. … Read the rest

UK’s FRC targets thematic reviews to improve reporting and audit

The UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has announced that in 2017 it will carry out a number of targeted thematic reviews of company reporting and audit on issues it knows to be of shareholder interest and where weaknesses have been identified.… Read the rest

Sports Direct 2016 accounts to be investigated

Sports Direct Logo

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has commenced an investigation into retailer Sports Direct’s accounts following reports earlier this year that there was an arrangement between Sports Direct and Barlin Delivery which was not disclosed as a related party in the company’s 2016 financial statements.… Read the rest

Tense Australian proxy voting season

Shareholders of Australian companies are showing their muscle in this year’s proxy season with significant opposition votes over the governance of retailer Harvey Norman and a rejection of executive pay at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The Australian Shareholders Association has called on the chairman of  Harvey Norman, Gerry Harvey, to resign and for an independent non-executive director to replace him.… Read the rest

Survey questions directors fiduciary focus

FTSE 100 companies paid more out in dividends to shareholders last year than the combined pension deficit figure according to the annual Accounting for Pensions report produced by pensions advisers Lane, Clark Peacock (LCP).

The survey found that the combined pension deficit of the 56 companies in the FTSE 100 that disclosed a deficit at their 2015 year-end was £42.3bn while those same companies paid dividends totalling £53.0bn, some 25% higher in 2015, while they paid around five times as much in dividends as they did in contributions to their defined benefit pension schemes. … Read the rest

UK’s Financial Reporting Council publishes revised audit firm governance code

The UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has revised the audit firm governance code aiming to improve its visibility, relevance to investors and increase its alignment to the UK’s corporate provenance code. This follows a review carried out into the implementation of the original 2010 code between 2014-2015 and a consultation into the draft revised code published last December.… Read the rest

UK audit report: competition concentration concerns

FRC to undertake thematic reviews

frc-logo-370x229Confidence in the quality of auditing is improving according to the UK’s Financial Reporting Council,  however there remains concerns about the level of concentration in the market which is dominated by four major firms.

The overview of auditing report is the first since becoming the country’s Competent Authority for audit under EU rules.… Read the rest

HBOS & BHS audit investigations launched

The UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has launched two separate audit investigations,one into KPMG’s audit of HBOS in 2007 and secondly PricewaterhouseCoopers audit of BHS in 2014 – under its accountancy scheme which it allows it to take disciplinary action against members of the profession.… Read the rest

VW shareholder resolution requests a special audit of ‘dieselgate’ scandal

The German investors’ association, DSW, has tabled a shareholder resolution to be considered at next month’s AGM of carmaker Volkswagen (VW), which is proposing a special audit into the actions of its directors in respect of the ‘dieselgate’ scandal. Last year the company admitted falsifying emissions test results in its diesel cars around the world.… Read the rest

Shell has muted opposition to executive pay but Standard Life continues to raise auditor concerns

Royal Dutch Shell experienced a relatively modest level of investor opposition to its executive remuneration report at its recent AGM with a 14% vote against, this follows the rival oil company BP’s loss of its pay vote last month. However, Manifest data shows it is the highest level of opposition Shell has received in the past six years – although it hovered between 10% and 11% between 2012 and 2014.… Read the rest

US audit firms to disclose the partners who carry out audits

The US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has  announced that its rules to improve the transparency of the audit by disclosing the names of audit engagement partners, as well as information about other firms that participate in the audits, were approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission.… Read the rest