Audit regulators have disciplined two former Big Four auditors—one over an audit of internal control and the other over inspection issues.
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has barred William Trainor, former partner at EY, over its allegations that Trainor bungled the 2013 audit of internal control over financial reporting for Forest Oil Corp. Trainor was the engagement partner with ultimate responsibility for the audit of financial statements and internal controls.
The PCAOB reported it found during its 2014 inspections that Trainor failed to adequately evaluate whether the company’s internal controls were effective. The engagement team identified “pervasive deficiencies” in certain IT controls for two significant systems at the company but relied too easily on a series of compensating controls, which were also defective, the PCAOB says in its disciplinary order.
The PCAOB says Trainor reviewed evidence that the compensating controls did not operate as intended. “Because Trainor improperly relied on ineffective controls, and performed no substantive testing of divisions of interests, he failed to obtain sufficient appropriate audient evidence supporting the relevant assertions for multiple accounts, including revenue,” the PCAOB wrote.
The enforcement order bars Trainor from associating with a firm registered with the PCAOB and fines him $25,000. Trainor left EY in 2016 and is now the chief financial officer at a non-public company, according to his online professional profile.
Trainor could not be reached for comment. “We are pleased that Mr. Trainor was able to resolve this matter and put it behind him,” EY said through a spokesman. “It is important to note that no action has been taken against EY or any of our other professionals.”
In a separate action, the PCAOB barred Humayoun Khan, a former PwC auditor, over allegations that he failed to cooperate with a board inspection and improperly altered audit documentation.
Khan was an audit manager at PwC when a 2015 year-end engagement he helped audit was selected for inspection by the PCAOB. After the audit work papers were archived, Khan learned of the impending inspection and altered a memo regarding liquidity risk, the PCAOB says, then presented the altered documentation without informing the inspection team of the changes.
According to the PCAOB, Khan was employed by PwC from 2005 through early 2018. Khan could not be reached for comment, and PwC did not respond to a request for comment.
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