A damning indictment by accounting regulator ICAI of audit firm Price Waterhouse and its former partners S Gopalakrishnan and S Talluri, who signed the Satyam accounts.
An ICAI sub group, whose report on the Satyam scam was considered by the Central Council last month, has found glaring irregularities in their audit of Satyam. The report says that the audit firm Price Waterhouse had two different sets of confirmations of Satyam's bank balances but they ignored the difference in bank balances. The report illustrates this with the example of ICICI Bank.
The ICAI sub group report available exclusively with Bloomberg UTV says: "The confirmation from ICICI Bank has been made available by the company to the audit firm for the quarter ended September 2008, as available in the documentation, surprisingly does not even contain the name of the company, but the same has been relied upon by the audit firm..."
The report goes on to say: "There is no documentation either in the soft copy 'My Client' or in hard copies that the confirmation letters were sent to the customers. The documents produced before the group do not indicate the compliance with their own guidelines. (PwC)"
And the final nail in the auditors' coffin - "The auditors have failed to carry out their professional responsibilities as per the basic principles governing an audit. There have been more than sufficient reasons to create suspicions in the minds of any prudent person, leave alone the trained mind of an auditor."
This report however will not be enough to punish either Gopalakrishnan or Talluri. ICAI's disciplinary committee, which has started proceedings against Price Waterhouse partners, will have the final word and whose findings will be accepted or rejected by the Central Council. Well, it is highly unlikely that the Disciplinary Committee's report will be much different from the sub group.