The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has empanelled nine companies including Grant Thornton, KPMG, Ernst & Young Associates LLP for conducting forensic audits of listed companies’ financial statements to check fraud. SEBI had invited applications from eligible CA firms for this purpose in July this year after some concerns were raised that certain auditors show negligence while examining listed firms’ books and also ignore various inconsistencies in the financial statements.
Apart from KPMG, Grant Thornton and Ernst & Young, other entities that have been chosen are Chokshi & Choksi, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP, GD Apte & Co CA, JLN US & CO, TR Chadha & Co Ltd and Pipara & Co LLP.
On September 21, the capital markets regulator ordered a forensic audit of the steel company Adhunik Industries, which came among the list of 331 ‘suspected shell companies’, on prima facie suspicion of misrepresentation of financials and misuse of the company’s books of accounts. SEBI also asked the firm to reply or file its objections to the interim order within a period of 30 days.
Also, earlier this week, the regulator ordered the exchanges to appoint an independent auditor for the forensic audit of the Mumbai-based infra company J Kumar Infraprojects, so as to check misinterpretation of financial or business.