(Pic Credit – Livemint)
Yes you read that correctly! PriceWaterhouse Network firms & other firms operating under the PriceWaterhourseCoopers Brand have been banned from issuing any audit certificates with respect to statutory compliances of listed entities & intermediaries in India. This ban has been issued by SEBI in light of the Satyam scandal of 2009. The order comes after a long arduous battle of words between the regulator, the ICAI & the PwC representation with regard to the responsibilities of an auditor. The strictures imposed on PwC have been outlined in the capital market regulator’s 108-page order.
Well this leaves the leading auditing firm’s publicly traded clients open for poaching! If this isn’t alike to the Pearson Specter Litt’s down slip, then I don’t know what is. The Indian firm had started bleeding clients since the scandal but didn’t take a major revenue hit. The firm is also supposed to cough up a hefty sum of Rs. 14 Crores (which includes 12% interest!) towards penalty.
This leaves us asking the question whether anybody in the Street earns an honest-day’s living anymore? Are we still human enough to own up mistakes? The markets which are driven by investor sentiments – can they be affirmed by cold expression of opinion?
An overview of the order can be found here –