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December 5, 2011

Satyam auditors receive $9k fine and life ban

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has begun taking action against PwC India audit managers nearly three years after Satyam, India’s largest corporate fraud, broke.

Two audit managers from PwC’s Indian affiliate Lovelock & Lewes, C Ravindranath and P Sivaprasad have received a lifetime ban from auditing in India as well as fines of INR500,000 ($9,706).

Ravindranath and Sivaprasad performed statutory audit of Satyam Computers between April 2001 to September 2008. Sivaprasad was Satyam’s external auditor from 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2005. Ravindranath took over on 1 April 2005 and was auditor until 30 September 2008.

It is the first time an Indian auditor has received a financial penalty and been removed from the ICAI’s auditor register. The fines are the maximum penalty against auditors permissible by law.

It is understood that the ICAI would like to conclude all Satyam disciplinary hearings in the coming few months. However, to date legal action has dramatically slowed down the process.

The ICAI, India’s audit regulator, would like stronger powers so it can penalise errant audit firms. At present the ICAI can only act against individuals.

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