Hay & Watson loses PCAOB registration over altered audit docs


Canadian public accounting firm Hay & Watson had its registration permanently revoked and must jointly pay a fine of $50,000 along with its owner for violating Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) rules and standards and failing to cooperate with an inspection.

The Vancouver-based firm and its owner/managing partner, Essop Mia, were each censured as part of the PCAOB’s settled disciplinary order published Tuesday. Mia was further barred from being associated with a registered public accounting firm without the possibility of reinstatement.

During a 2019 audit of a public company, Hay & Watson failed to assemble a final set of documentation for the audit, a violation of applicable auditing standards, the PCAOB said. Mia then directed his staff to improperly alter, add to, and backdate work papers “months after the deadline for assembling a complete and final set of audit documentation and shortly before a board inspection. Mia and the firm violated PCAOB rules by providing these altered work papers to the board’s inspectors without disclosing that they had been altered,” the organization said in a press release.

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