QUESTION TIME | The ‘Big Four’ accounting firms have all have had a bite at strategic development firm gone wrong, 1MDB, with various curious effects.
Ernst and Young refused to sign off on the 1MDB accounts when requested documents were not produced.
They were removed, and appointed in their place was KPMG, who approved the accounts for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012 ending March 31, but then drew the line for 2013 when they wanted some details verified. They were terminated too.
Deloitte took over in December 2013, and approved both the 2013 and 2014 accounts, but quit in 2016 after the US Department of Justice said in a civil filing that massive theft involving billions of dollars occurred at 1MDB.
For the years 2015 to 2018, inclusive, no accounts have been filed, which makes it four years in all, although Parker Randall – not considered a global accounting giant – represented by an obscure firm in Malaysia, was appointed in Deloitte’s place.
The last CEO of 1MDB, Arul Kanda Kandasamy, who was then campaigning for BN, said on May 3 that it was only in March that poor Parker Randall was allowed to access 1MDB accounts seized by the police. It’s a bit of a tall order, presumably, to audit four years of financial results in six months. It’s unclear what Parker Randall’s role is anymore.
Interestingly, while the Malaysian Institute of Accountants is said to be investigating both KPMG and Deloitte for their role in 1MDB’s audit, both have said the accounts they audited and approved cannot be relied upon because of subsequent developments. But that’s story for another day....