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Update: Final Report of the WIRECARD Committee of Inquiry

For more than a year, we have been deal­ing with the Wir­e­card col­lapse and its consequences.

(08/31/2021) In the pro­cess, it is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly clear how ser­i­ous the fail­ings of the aud­itor EY ac­tu­ally were. Of par­tic­u­lar in­terest in our in­vest­ig­a­tions is also the fi­nal re­port of the Par­lia­ment­ary In­vest­ig­a­tion Com­mit­tee, which was pub­lished on June 22, 2021.

We have eval­u­ated the re­port with the help of ex­perts and would like to ex­plain the most im­port­ant find­ings be­low. EY it­self, how­ever, is tak­ing legal ac­tion against the pub­lic­a­tion of the fi­nal re­port – con­trary to its own state­ments that it wants to co­oper­ate in cla­ri­fy­ing the facts.

  • The lack of a critical attitude

EY’s aud­it­ors did not act with a crit­ical ba­sic at­ti­tude in their work – the mem­bers of the in­vest­ig­at­ive com­mit­tee also as­sume this. Ac­cord­ing to Sec­tion 43 (4) of the Ger­man Aud­it­ors’ Code and IDW Audit­ing Stand­ard 400, a crit­ical ba­sic at­ti­tude must al­ways be ap­plied in the audit of an­nual fin­an­cial state­ments, but this was ob­vi­ously lack­ing in the case of EY and Wirecard.

  • Dealing with the “Project Ring

This is a forensic in­vest­ig­a­tion by EY, which was, how­ever, dis­reg­arded by the aud­it­ors in-house.

  • The audit of the 2016 annual financial statements

Here it must be as­sumed that audit evid­ence re­ques­ted by EY was non-​existent. Nev­er­the­less, EY – after prior warn­ing to Wir­e­card – is­sued the audit cer­ti­fic­ate. How­ever, only on the basis of verbal as­sur­ances from the Wir­e­card Man­age­ment Board.

  • The audit of the escrow accounts as part of the audit of the financial statements for the 2018 fiscal year.

EY did re­ceive in­di­vidual bal­ance con­firm­a­tions from the trust­ees, but these were simple for­ger­ies. There is also evid­ence that EY ad­vised Wir­e­card on the es­tab­lish­ment of the es­crow ac­counts in 2015 and played a key role in their design.

  • The audit of the third-​party business

The “Con­cur­rence Memor­andum” demon­strates a ba­sic un­der­stand­ing by the aud­itor of Wir­e­card AG’s busi­ness model. Nev­er­the­less, EY must have omit­ted sig­ni­fic­ant audit pro­ced­ures re­gard­ing the third-​party busi­ness. Oth­er­wise, the non-​existence of this busi­ness would have be­come ap­par­ent years ago.

The law firm Schirp & Part­ner has ac­cess to fur­ther ex­tens­ive ma­ter­i­als that prove a breach of duty by EY.

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