Deloitte pair refuse to apologise as firm faced huge fines over botched Autonomy audit
A former Deloitte partner banned from accounting for ‘serious and serial’ failings refused to apologise even as his firm faced multi-million-pound fines over audits of software giant Autonomy.
Richard Knights said tribunal findings that he had lost his objectivity and acted recklessly were ‘devastating’ and made it impossible for him to get new work
But in a 270-page report yesterday, a Financial Reporting Council (FRC) tribunal said his expression of regret fell ‘well short of an apology’ and added: ‘We are left with the impression that Mr Knights may not even now accept that he did anything wrong.’
Former Deloitte partner Richard Knights said tribunal findings that he had lost his objectivity and acted recklessly were ‘devastating’ and made it impossible for him to get new work
It said Deloitte and Nigel Mercer, the other partner in the case, failed to ‘unequivocally’ apologise.
‘Although it cooperated with the investigation, Deloitte contested all the many allegations every inch of the way,’ it said.
The case brought by the FRC accused the two of becoming too cosy with Autonomy’s bosses and helping them to present a ‘misleading’ picture of finances.
Autonomy was later sold to Hewlett Packard for £9billion but HP wrote off most of its value and alleges a huge fraud at the firm.
The claims are denied by Autonomy’s former bosses and are the subject of a High Court trial.
The report, released for the first time, said Knights signed off Autonomy’s books in 2009 despite ‘ample grounds for scepticism’.
Deloitte was fined £15million in September, while Knights was banned from accountancy for five years and fined £500,000. Mercer was handed a £250,000 fine.