As fiscal year ends, PW’s clients rethink relations

As companies wind up their annual audits for the fiscal year 2008-09, the future of some of global audit firm Pricewaterhouse’s biggest accounts is under a cloud.
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Updated on Apr 20, 2009 10:51 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByMahua Venkatesh and Samiran Saha, New Delhi

As companies wind up their annual audits for the fiscal year 2008-09, the future of some of global audit firm Pricewaterhouse’s biggest accounts is under a cloud.

Industry sources say quite a few of the clients are rethinking on retaining the auditor at the centre of the Satyam corporate fraud case. Most clients are expected to take a call on the relationship after their annual shareholder meetings,
once they have got their latest audited accounts out of the way.

The audit firm has Maruti Udyog, HCL Group and Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) (a unit of the GVK group) and the GMR Group among its clients.

Following the Satyam fiasco, several of Pricewaterhouse clients including GMR and MIAL introduced a joint auditing system and hired a second audit firm to maintain greater transparency.

A Subba Rao, chief financial officer, GMR Group told Hindustan Times that no decision had been taken yet.

“The audit committee has to make a recommendation to the board which would then seek the approval of the shareholders following which any decisions whatever that may be will be taken,” he said.

“There are a few companies currently with PW which have approached us,” said a senior official at a rival auditing firm. PW, however, said its clients had been supportive.

“"Our clients have been very supportive during the last few months and have expressed confidence in the quality of our services,” it said in an e-mail to Hindustan Times, which added: “In the normal course of business, we take on new clients as well as give up some.”

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