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One Might Get the Idea That Glen Rose Petroleum Corp. Fired Its Auditor in Favor of a Firm That’s Less Likely to Issue a Going Concern Opinion
It’s not entirely clear why Jonathon P. Reuben’s services are no longer needed but you could easily conclude that the GCO wasn’t appreciated.
On June 20, 2011, the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of Glen Rose Petroleum Corporation (the “Company”) approved the termination of services of Jonathon P. Reuben CPA, An Accountancy Corporation (“JPR”), effective immediately.
JPR was the independent registered public accounting firm for the Company for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2010 and 2009. The reports of JPR on the Company’s financial statements for the years ended March 31, 2010 and 2009 did not contain an adverse opinion or disclaimer of opinion, and such reports were not qualified or modified as to uncertainty, audit scope, or accounting principle, except that the reports of JPR on the Company’s consolidated financial statements as of and for the years ended March 31, 2010 and 2009 contained an explanatory paragraph which noted that there was substantial doubt as to the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern due to a deficit in working capital and incurring significant losses.
BDO will take it from here. Perhaps a nice welcome to the partnership gift for one of the newbies?
If you’re given the task of running down assets that are left over from a Ponzi scheme, you’d think somone would throw in a little something for the effort. That stolen money is going to find itself after all.
Well! Apparently this is not so, especially as it relates to UK recovery firm Vantis. Vantis has been scouring the Earth for any of the plunder left over from the Allen Stanford hide the $7 billion game.
Six months into it, Vantis can’t get paid for its treasure hunt services and now Ernst & Young has said that the firm’s very life is at stake if they can’t start convincing some people to pay up.
Among the excuses that Vantis is claiming are the fact that most of the assets in the U.S. have been frozen and that the U.S. liquidator Ralph Janvey doesn’t play nice.
But hey! They’re still confident everything will be hunk-dory, “The UK recovery firm said it remained ‘confident’ that it would be able to recover its fees ‘in due course’ but said the timing remained uncertain.”
So more or less you’re day-to-day, right? Welcome to the prestigious Club of Those Ripped off by Allen Stanford.
One thing is for sure: clients don’t like getting them. Auditors may even go out of their way to not give one in order to maintain “excellent client service” or whatever the latest buzz phrase is.
Many companies risking the dreaded explanatory paragraph arrived there on their own accord but if a company is legitimately trying to recover from their stay in financial intensive care, auditors may be piling on by issuing the GCO.
Such a qualification can result in tougher-to-get and more expensive financing deals, just when the company is most in need of a break. Indeed, once hit with a going-concern qualification, companies may succumb to a “self-fulfilling prophecy,” say accounting observers. The pariah status such an opinion confers all but forces investors, suppliers, and lenders to turn away, often driving a company on the brink of bankruptcy into a Chapter 11 filing.
CFO’s piece cites the opinion of Al King, former Chairman of the Institute of Management Accountants, who mentions the guidance of auditing rules “don’t allow auditors a wider range of possible warnings.” The situation comes down to one of options: 1) we’re cool or 2) we’re doomed.
That may be a valid point but the idea of an explanatory paragraph that discusses the alignment of the planets along with management’s brilliant plan to save the sinking ship doesn’t seem like the answer.
Nevermind breaking the bad news to your client, who may be living in denial over the state of their company. Or as the Overland Storage situation demonstrated, clients just get their panties in a bunch and start firing auditors. But you still have to the your jobs, amiright?
The GC opinion. Discuss any experiences you have had in comments. Did it involve grown men sobbing like children? Delusional clients? Maybe just gnashing of teeth? Or did the partner fold like a cheap lawn chair in the name of client service?
Living with a Scarlet Audit Letter [CFO]
It appears that Overland Storage’s audit committee was pissed off enough about a second consecutive going concern audit opinion that they just up and fired PwC last week.
San Diego-based Overland filed the 8-K, notifying the Commission of the dismissal, on October 16th which also named Moss Adams as the new auditors. At the request of Overland, PwC sent a two sentence letter to the SEC stating that they “agree with the statements concerning our Firm in such Form 8-K.”
The Register states that Overland was all bent out of shape because PwC didn’t explain why they issued the going concern opinions:
While even accountants are entitled to a view about the state of the struggling business, Overland was upset because PwC didn’t actually identify any specific factor in the accounts that led them to that conclusion.
Presumably PwC was expressing a view based on such business events as Overland avoiding running out of cash by factoring arrangements, repeated staff headcount reductions, Nasdaq delisting, declining revenues and losses. Overland’s thinking is that, if so, it shouldn’t have.
The most recent 10-K has all the gory details and as The Register pointed out, Overland didn’t think all those negative things really matter, so obviously, firing the auditors was the next logical step. Moss Adams will get the esteemed pleasure of holding Overland’s hand to the bitter, tragic end.