Britain’s accounting watchdog has extended its investigation into the audit of collapsed outsourcer Carillion to include work done in 2013.
The regulator declined to comment on why the investigation had been extended for the second time this year, or when it expected to conclude the probe into one of the most high profile corporate collapses of the past decade.
The Financial Reporting Council said last year it was investigating KPMG’s audits of Carillion from 2014 to 2017 and the conduct of Carillion’s two former finance directors, Richard Adam and Zafar Khan.
KPMG had audited Carillion since 1999 and signed off on its accounts in March 2017 — four months before the business issued a catastrophic profit warning triggered by an £845m writedown, and nine months before the company collapsed.
The FRC has been under pressure from politicians to conduct a speedy investigation into KPMG’s audit amid widespread public anger over the company’s demise. However several extensions to the investigation have pushed back the prospect of a quick outcome.
The watchdog said last month it had extended the investigation to examine changes that were made to Carillion audit files when the regulator examined KPMG’s audit work for the company in 2017.
KPMG said at the time it had suspended Peter Meehan, the lead audit partner on Carillion, as well as three other employees, in relation to the changes to those documents.
KPMG said of the latest extension to the investigation: “Transparency and accountability are vital to building public trust in audit. We believe it is important that regulators acting in the public interest review the audit work related to high profile cases such as Carillion. We will continue to co-operate fully with the FRC’s investigation.”
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