U.K. Watchdog Seeks Record Fine for Deloitte Audit of Autonomy

Deloitte should be fined a record 15 million pounds ($19 million) for “serious and serial failings” in its audit of technology company Autonomy, a lawyer for Britain’s accounting watchdog told an independent tribunal today, Reuters reported. Deloitte, one of the world’s Big Four auditors, and two of its partners, Richard Knights and Nigel Mercer, were investigated in relation to their audit of Autonomy’s financial statements for 2009 and 2010. Autonomy, founded by Mike Lynch, was bought for $11 billion by Hewlett Packard (HP) in 2011, but the deal turned sour a year later when HP wrote off three-quarters of the former FTSE 100 company’s value, alleging it was deceived by its finances. In a draft report, the tribunal - which will decide on any sanctions - found instances of recklessness, lack of objectivity, and a failure to discharge its public interest duty by Deloitte. Read more.