In a statement issued by the auditing firm, it said that “Deloitte Ghana (Deloitte) has taken note of recent media reports alleged to have been issued in relation to findings and sanction made by the ICAG against the firm.”
Auditing firm, Deloitte responds to sanctions by ICAG
Deloitte Ghana has said that it disagrees with the recent findings and sanctions by the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana (ICAG) on some audit firms involved in the collapse of banks in the country.
The statement was signed by the Country Managing Executive of Deloitte Ghana, Charles Larbi-Odam.
It added that “We have the utmost respect for ICAG. However, if the findings and sanctions as reported in the media were to be confirmed to us by ICAG, we would respectively disagree with them. We have for some time been constructively engaging with ICAG on the matter and will continue to do so. We remain committed to full compliance with all professional standards, and to perform high-quality audits”
Their response is coming after the ICAG sanctioned four audit firms for shortfalls in their professional duties to comply with the required International Auditing Standards.
ICAG has therefore fined the four auditing firms a total of over GH¢2.2 million. The breakdown includes Deloitte & Touche – GH¢1,150,000, PKF Chartered Accountants – GH¢550,000, J. Mills Lamptey & Co. – GH¢150,000 and Morrison & Associates – GH¢350,000.
DELOITTE & TOUCHE – UNIBANK, UT BANK, AND THE ROYAL BANK
The Disciplinary Committee identified that:
i. The definition of cash & cash equivalents in the financial statements of all the three (3) banks audited by the firm include, among others, "liquid assets with maturities of less than three (3) months". However, the cash and cash equivalents in the cash flow statement in all the three (3) banks included "Placements with other banks" with maturities of more than three (3) months. This is inconsistent with the provisions in all the three (3) bank's own accounting policy; IAS 7 and Section 2.12(3(j)) of Guide for Financial Publication for Banks and Bank of Ghana Licensed Financial Institutions (2016).
ii. Deferred Tax assets of GH¢9,563,313 was recognized in the Royal Bank’s Financial Statements. However, there was no documentary evidence in the working papers that the recognition was done in accordance with the provisions of IAS 12 (revised)
iii. The financial statements of all the three (3) banks audited by Deloitte contained errors that suggested a weak quality control over-reporting.
The following are examples of significant errors:
a) A review of UT Bank’s financial statements for the year ended 31st December 2014 indicated that an amount on the face of the statement of financial position for total liabilities is GH¢1,489,991 whiles the amount in the notes was GH¢1,513,377. Additionally, the comparative amounts on the face of the statement of profit or loss for interest expenses, net interest expense, fees, and commission income, taxation did not agree to the amounts in the notes.
b) A review of The Royal Bank’s financial statements for the year ended 31st December 2016 indicates that the comparative for other expenses figure on the face of the statement of profit or loss was GH¢30,446,862, whiles the amount in the note was GH¢73,430,364.
In addition to the above, the comparative for deferred income figure on the face of the statement of financial position was GH¢605,434 whiles the amount in the note was GH¢605,437.
The Council of ICAG therefore, approve the recommendations of the Disciplinary Committee, and sanctions Deloitte & Touche and its Engagement Partners with a fine of GHC 1,150,000.00 with respect to the audit of UniBank’s Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December, 2016, UT Bank’s Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December, 2014, and The Royal Bank’s Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December,2016.
In August 2017, the Bank of Ghana approved GCB Bank Limited’s acquisition of the good assets of UT Bank and Capital Bank, through a Purchase and Assumption Agreement.
The BoG announced the formation of Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited (CBG) in August 2018. The CBG was to take over the good assets and the operations of Five (5) local Banks that were placed under receivership by Bank of Ghana.
According to the ICAG, it took note of these developments especially the roles auditors played in the takeovers.
After a meeting held on Monday, 13th August 2018 with the Auditors of these banks, the Council of the ICAG decided to set up a Fact-Finding Committee to:
a) Review the audit files prepared by the Audit firms on the said banks to determine whether audit work done supported the opinion issued by the Auditors.
b) Review the specific circumstance of each bank under receivership and determine whether or not there were sufficient grounds to initiate disciplinary action against the Statutory Auditors.
The Fact-Finding Committee completed its work and presented its final report on Friday, 12th April 2019 to the Council of ICAG.
Subsequently, the Council in accordance with Section 16 (2) of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1963, (Act 170), set up a Disciplinary Committee for the purpose of holding an inquiry into the conduct of Auditors of the Seven (7) banks that were placed under receivership.
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