The Satyam saga gets murkier. Now it has come to light that its auditor, Pricewaterhouse, furnished the company with a "wrong" PAN. Confirming this Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has said it would take "disciplinary action" against the auditors and may even consider cancelling its licence.
On Thursday, TOI mailed ICAI vice chairman Uttam Prakash Agarwal balance sheets of Satyam Computers that quoted PwC Hyderabad's PAN. Agarwal is heading the high power committee set up by ICAI to probe into the Satyam fiasco. As it turned out, the PAN was that of PwC Bangalore . PwC Hyderabad technically comes under PwC New Delhi. As per ICAI records and website, PwC Jubilee Hills office is listed under New Delhi 'Northern Region', with the firm registration number given as '012754N'.
The PAN reflected in Form 23 AC (used for filling a company's balance sheet and other documents with the Registrar) of Satyam Computers is that of PwC, Bangalore. After going through the documents, Uttam Prakash Agarwal told TOI, "The PAN (on the balance sheets of Satyam is wrong and our disciplinary committee is now working on it. Since a case is already been filed against PwC, we can't file a fresh case. But this (the documents) makes our case stronger. Depending on the extent of error, we shall decide upon a punishment, with the maximum being cancellation of PwC's licence."
But PwC's woes do not end here. Agarwal says ICAI will also issue notices to S Gopalakrishnan, Talluri Srinivas and Ramakrishna P for signing as PwC partners when they technically are partners with Lovelock & Lewes. PwC had acquired Lovelock & Lewes a decade ago. Though PwC became the public face of Lovelock & Lewes and those who work for the latter are considered as employees of PwC, it technically is a 'PwC network firm in India' and has a separate PAN. "As Lovelock & Lewes partners, the three cannot sign anything on behalf of PwC. Following their reports, notices will be issued to these people," Agarwal said.
Agarwal's statement comes even as chartered accountants in Hyderabad are planning to go to town with similar allegations against the global auditing firm. Sunil Appaji, a senior CA from Hyderabad has written to ICAI saying Hyderabad is a branch of PwC, New Delhi. "When PWC Bangalore has nothing to do with PwC, Hyderabad, then how can the PAN be that of Bangalore and that too when the address stated below is that of Hyderabad. This means that the form was filled in the name of a bogus company," says Appaji.