Grant Thornton Audit Pty Ltd (Grant Thornton) and former Grant Thornton director Bradley Laurance Willot Taylor have today appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court charged with failing to conduct the 2018 audit of iSignthis Ltd (ASX:ISX) in accordance with the Australian Auditing Standards. iSignthis changed its name to Southern Cross Payments Ltd (ASX:SP1) in May 2022.
Mr Taylor has been charged with five contraventions of s307A(2) of the Corporations Act 2001. As an authorised audit company, Grant Thornton, has also been charged with five contraventions of s307A(1) of the Act.
Grant Thornton was appointed as iSignthis’ statutory auditors for the 2018 financial year. Mr Taylor was a director of Grant Thornton at the time, and ASIC alleges that he was also responsible for the conduct of the audit.
The maximum penalty for each s307A offence at the relevant times was $10,500 for individuals and $52,500 for body corporates.
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The charges were adjourned to 1 December 2022.
The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
This is the third time ASIC has brought criminal charges arising from the failure to comply with auditing standards:
On 17 August 2021, EC Audit Pty Ltd (previously known as Bentleys NSW Audit Pty Ltd) and Mr Robert James Evett were convicted and fined for audit failures relating to the audits of the profit and loss statements and balance sheets of Halifax Investment Services Pty Ltd, which collapsed in November 2018 (21-218MR).
On 1 August 2022, Graham Rothesay Swan was convicted and fined for audit failures relating to the 2017 audit of Big Un Limited (22-198MR).