Satyam's Rs 7,800 crore scam may have sent the government, regulators and India Inc in a tizzy, but the top auditing firm Price Waterhouse saw no fraud in the IT company's accounts during 2007-08.
Incidentally, Satyam Computer Services, whose founder B Ramalinga Raju disclosed having cooked the accounts for several years to inflate profits, gave its auditors a five-fold hike in their out of pocket expenses. As per Satyam's accounts, vetted by Price Waterhouse, auditors were paid Rs 3.73 crore during 2007-08 as against Rs 3.67 crore in the previous fiscal. During this period, their "reimbursement of out of pocket expenses" went up from Rs one lakh to Rs five lakh.
The auditor's report, signed on April 21, 2008, by Price Waterhouse partner Srinivas Talluri, said: "... We have neither come across any instance of fraud on or by the company (Satyam), noticed or reported during the year, nor we have been informed of such case by the management." Meanwhile, PwC did not reply to queries whether its global CEO Samuel A DiPiazza cancelled his scheduled visit to India from Saturday in the wake of the audit arm's involvement in the Satyam scam.
The auditor's report also said: "These (Satyam's) financial statements are the responsibilities of the company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on our audit. "We conducted our audit in accordance with the auditing standards generally accepted in India. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatments," it said.