Accountant pays penalty

Grant Thornton fined £2.3m over Patisserie Valerie audit

Patisserie Valerie Edinburgh

Patisserie Valerie fell into administration (pic: Terry Murden)

Accountancy firm Grant Thornton has been fined £2.3 million for failures in its audits of collapsed cakes and cafe chain Patisserie Valerie.

The fine was imposed for audits between 2015 and 2017, when the firm “missed red flags”, said the Financial Reporting Council. It had also failed to “question information provided by management.”

The auditor waved through third party invoices that contained errors such as missing company logos, typing errors, and incorrect addresses.

Patisserie Holdings announced in October 2018 that its board had been notified of potentially fraudulent accounting irregularities.

The company subsequently plunged into administration, leading to the closure of 70 stores and more than 900 job losses.

The collapse followed the discovery of a £94m shortfall in the firm’s accounts and the company was found to have overstated its cash position by £30m and failed to disclose overdrafts of nearly £10m.

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