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FRC: Investigations in connection with the financial statements of Patisserie Holdings Plc
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has commenced an investigation into the audit by Grant Thornton UK LLP (GT) of the financial statements of Patisserie Holdings Plc for the years ended 30 September 2015, 2016 and 2017. The investigation will be conducted under the Audit Enforcement Procedure.
The FRC has also commenced an investigation under the Accountancy Scheme into the preparation and approval of Patisserie Holdings Plc’s financial statements and other financial information by the former Chief Financial Officer, Christopher Marsh, a member of the ICAEW.
Notes to editors:
- The FRC’s mission is to promote transparency and integrity in business. The FRC sets the UK Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes and UK standards for accounting and actuarial work; monitors and takes action to promote the quality of corporate reporting; and operates independent enforcement arrangements for accountants and actuaries. As the competent authority for audit in the UK the FRC sets auditing and ethical standards and monitors and enforces audit quality.
- To meet its responsibility as the competent authority in respect of audit enforcement, the FRC operates the Audit Enforcement Procedure. This procedure applies to the investigation and sanctioning of breaches of the various requirements of the statutory auditors of Public Interest Entities (PIEs) and any other cases retained by the FRC including AIM companies with a market capitalisation in excess of €200m.
In brief, the stages of the Audit Enforcement Procedure are:
- Initial case examination and decision to investigate
- Decision by Executive Counsel as to whether to issue a Decision Notice (a notice with the findings and recommended sanction);
- Referral to Enforcement Committee and decision by the Enforcement Committee whether to issue a Decision Notice; and
- Referral to a Tribunal
- In order for a matter to be referred for investigation by the FRC’s Executive Counsel under the Audit Enforcement Procedure, the FRC’s Conduct Committee is required to decide whether there is good reason to investigate an Allegation in relation to a Statutory Auditor and/or a Statutory Audit Firm.
Investigations are usually conducted by Executive Counsel and the Enforcement division. The FRC’s Conduct Committee may direct that the investigation is delegated to a Recognised Supervisory Body (RSB) which will provide an investigation report to the Executive Counsel so that (s)he may decide whether to issue a Decision Notice.
- The FRC is the independent, investigative and disciplinary body for accountants and actuaries in the UK dealing with cases which raise important issues affecting the public interest. In brief, the stages of the disciplinary process under the Accountancy Scheme are:
- Decision to investigate
- Decision whether to bring enforcement proceedings against Member Firm or Member and, if so decided, referral to Disciplinary Tribunal
- Tribunal hearing
- Determination and imposition of sanction and/or costs orders
Under the Accountancy Scheme the FRC can start a disciplinary investigation in one of two ways: (i) the professional bodies can refer cases to the FRC; and (ii) the FRC may decide of its own accord to investigate a matter. The Conduct Committee will consider each case identified or referred to it and decide whether or not the criteria for an investigation are met.
The criteria are specified in paragraph 5(1) of the Accountancy Scheme. A Member or Member Firm shall be liable to investigation under this Scheme only where, in the opinion of the Conduct Committee the matter raises or appears to raise important issues affecting the public interest in the United Kingdom and there are reasonable grounds to suspect that there may have been Misconduct or it appears that the Member or Member Firm has failed to comply with any of his or its obligations under paragraphs 14(1) or 14(2) of the Scheme.
Investigations are conducted by Executive Counsel and the Enforcement division.
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