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January 29, 2023

Confirmed: An Audit Firm Will Resign From an Engagement If You Threaten Its Employees

Deloitte audited the Glasgow-based Rangers football club up until recently when the firm wrote a letter to shareholders detailing some disturbing news: 

Deloitte audited the Glasgow-based Rangers football club up until recently when the firm wrote a letter to shareholders detailing some disturbing news: 

The Deloitte letter dated June 19 states: "We have decided that we no longer wish to carry on as auditor to the company.

"During the period of our audit appointment in 2013 and 2014, members of our engagement team and other Deloitte partners unconnected with the audit received threatening or intimidating messages from anonymous third party sources.

"The safety and wellbeing of our staff is of paramount importance, and they should not be subject to this treatment when undertaking their normal professional duties. Accordingly we are resigning as auditors to Rangers International Football Club plc."

Whether Deloitte's auditors were under the threat from good ol' fashioned Scottish hooligans or something more nefarious, we can't possibly know; however, it gives us an idea of how a firm might react if their people are physical harm — surprisingly not well!

Auditors resign all the time, although it's usually for something pretty banal. However, like the situation above, we can recall a number of instances where auditors have stepped down for more interesting reasons. Among them:

1. A partner passing along material non-public information to a golfing buddy.

2. A Chinese company holding audit workpapers hostage.

3. "A transaction." (Not interesting as in "interesting" so much as interesting as in, "Nice try, guys.")

4. A partner having sex with the Chief Accounting Officer (Sure, EY was fired, but Ventas just beat them to the punch).

And now we can add "anonymous thugs threatend our people" to this list.

Because it's a slow day, I'll cruise Auditor Carousel for more interesting tales of auditors quitting, but in the meantime, if you have stories of opiners resigning under unusual circumstances, share them below.

Deloitte quit as Rangers auditors over 'threats' to staff [The Herald]

Image: Raysonho/Wikimedia Commons

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