Hascol Petroleum Limited has informed the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) of possible accounting manipulations during 2019, which may necessitate restating Hascol’s prior income statements as well as current and prior balance sheets.
Hascol also announced the departure of external auditors Grant Thornton with immediate effect for the 2020 fiscal year.
Alan Duncan, chairman of Hascol Petroleum, stated in a statement that the business’s internal auditor received a whistleblower statement and evidence from within the company that a series of fictitious purchase orders were made and placed into the company’s books in 2019.
“As required by procedure, the internal auditor referred the matter to the Board Audit Committee, which concluded last week that there is sufficient evidence to support the accusation to justify referral to the full board of directors.”
“The board of directors has not yet received a comprehensive report on the alleged incident, but will later this week. In the interim, I believe it is appropriate to convey this information to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) via this statement.
“While the alleged statement, if true, may require the company to restate its prior income statements and prior and current balance sheets, it is not anticipated to have a material effect on the company’s recent and future operations.”
The board of directors of Hascol Petroleum decided to accept Grant Thornton’s resignation as auditors for the fiscal year 2020 with immediate effect. The company expects the departing auditors to adhere to all applicable legal and professional obligations throughout the years they served as the company’s auditors.
The company lost Rs26 billion in the fiscal year ending December 30 of 2019. It reported a loss of Rs20.90 billion in the third quarter of 2020 in its recently issued report.