Even as the investigation on Satyam fraud continues, Price Waterhouse (PW), its beleaguered auditor, has initiated measures to improve its audit quality, which includes setting up an independent advisory board to provide external guidance and other multiple and substantive actions. In a significant move, the accounting firm, for the first time, decided to accommodate leading auditors from outside the firms network in the board.
The PW move coincided with the beginning of three-day-long emergency meeting of the ICAI central council on the collapse of Global Trust Bank, where again PW was the auditor, and the show-cause served by Sebi on the Satyam fraud.
A spokesman of the firm said, This advisory board will comprise five members, four of whom will be from outside the PwC network and will be individuals of repute. PW has asked that the PwC global network identify a senior partner from another PwC member firm to serve as the fifth member.
PWs Hyderabad office, which was engaged in the Satyam audit, is now being placed under new management. The spokesman said that these moves should not be taken as the firms lack or loss of confidence in its existing people.
PW has confidence in the quality and integrity of its people and of its work in India. However, to provide additional reassurance to its clients, and generally, it has decided to take the following steps, the official spokesman said.
Ramesh Rajan, chairman of P W India, later said, While we are confident in the overall quality of our services and our people, the problems at Satyam have created a difficult environment and, therefore, we are taking all the necessary steps to demonstrate to our clients and other stakeholders our commitment to the highest standards.
PwCs global network fully supports the steps taken by the leadership of our member firm in India. India is a very important market for PwC and one that we are committed to supporting and developing, said Samuel A DiPiazza Jr CEO PwC International.