KPMG to review Wirecard accounting

KPMG has been called in to conduct an additional independent audit at leading German online payment specialist Wirecard, following media allegations that the fintech company had fraudulently inflated sales figures and profits, which it strongly denies

In a statement, Wirecard said its management board and supervisory board had decided to bring in KPMG ‘to clarify fully and independently all accusations raised by the British newspaper Financial Times.’

The statement continued: ‘The audit will begin immediately. KPMG is obliged only to the supervisory board and will present the audit report in due course. KPMG will receive unrestricted access to all information on all levels of the group.

‘The results of the report will be published. Thomas Eichelmann, chairman of the audit committee of the supervisory board, and former CFO of Deutsche Börse, will support the audit on Wirecard’s side.’
Wulf Matthias, chairman of the supervisory board of Wirecard, said: ‘We have complete confidence in the audit procedures performed to date and their results. We assume this renewed independent review will lead to a final end to all further speculation.’

Markus Braun, CEO of Wirecard, said: ‘I am convinced that confidence in our successful and strongly growing business will be strengthened as a result of this independent audit.’

Earlier this month the Financial Times published articles questioning Wirecard’s accounting methods, including its accounting for some of its overseas activities.

In a statement last week, Wirecard said: ‘Wirecard categorically rejects the Financial Times’ allegations of impropriety. Yesterday’s article by the Financial Times is a compilation of a number of false and misleading allegations, which the Financial Times had raised before in a series of defamatory articles, and which were already fully refuted before.’

EY’s German firm has audited the company and the group as sole auditor since 2011, having previously held a joint auditor position since 2009.  According to the 2018 annual report, the firm was paid €2.1m for audit services during the year. EY has declined to comment, citing client confidentiality.

In a statement, Wirecard said: ‘Wirecard’s group auditor Ernst & Young GmbH, Germany, confirmed that they have complied and will comply with all statutory and professional audit standards.’

By Pat Sweet

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