The reliable Richard Murphy points out the extraordinary failure of KPMG to correctly audit Betfair’s accounts. Curious how the FT didn’t mention KPMG by name and I’m pretty confident the accounting profession will ignore KPMG’s role. Maybe some shareholders won’t be so relaxed?
The third interesting element was that the ICAEW guidance on distributions by quoted companies is noted as having legal status. Now I happen to think that is probably true, but the question has to be asked why that should be the case? Why is it that a technical guidance note issued by a private sector accounting body apparently has the force of law in this country, and should that be the case?
The issue is important because it is fundamental to the legal interpretation of what a true and fair view really means. Right now we have an absurd situation where what the ICAEW says on the subject appears to have legal status and yet their members seem unaware of it. It’s an issue in need of urgent clarification. If KPMG were brought to book on it that might help. Then some issues would have to be resolved.