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Grant Thornton Is the Latest Firm to Join the Chinese Auditor Resignation Jamboree

SGOCO Group, Ltd. issued a press release this morning to let everyone know that Grant Thornton's Chinese affiliate decided to take a walk on May 14th. They disclosed this with the SEC around 10 am on Friday, but with the Facebook circus going on, no one noticed. What's interesting is that the company filed Form 12b-25 way back on May 1st, notifying the commission that their Form 20-F would be late: 

The company will require additional time to finalize its financial statements and its independent accountants to complete the audit of the company’s financial statements. Consequently, the company’s Form 20-F cannot be filed until the financial statements are completed. Currently, the company plans to file its 2011 Form 20-F within fifteen calendar days from the original due date, as permitted under Rule 12b-25.

So on May 1st, the company knew the 20-F would be late. Fine. But if you read the press release, it kinda sorta sounds like SGOCO would like to blame GT's May 14th resignation for the delay:

As a result of Grant Thornton's resignation, the Company has missed the May 15, 2012 filing deadline for its 2011 annual report on Form 20-F. SGOCO will work diligently with its new auditor to complete the audit of its financial statements for the year 2011 and file its annual report on Form 20-F as soon as practicable.

So maybe this is the company spiting their auditor after the seemingly spiteful timing of Grant Thornton's resignation. Whatever the motivation, it's clear that auditing in China is still akin to the 8th Circle.

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