German payments firm Wirecard has brought in KPMG to carry out an independent audit following a Financial Times (FT) investigation which uncovered “suspect accounting practices.”
The investigation used internal spreadsheets and correspondence and ultimately claimed that the German fintech’s finance team had sought to inflate reported sales and profits at its businesses in Dubai and Ireland.
Since the report was released (led by FT reporter Dan McCrum) Wirecard’s share price has dropped more than 15%.
The audit, beginning immediately according to the firm, will be supported by Thomas Eichelmann, Chairman of the audit committee of the Supervisory Board and former CFO of Deutsche Börse AG.
Markus Braun, CEO, Wirecard AG, said, “I am convinced that confidence in our successful and strongly growing business will be strengthened as a result of this independent audit.”
In its initial response to the article, Wirecard described the report as “a compilation of a number of false and misleading allegations.”
It “categorically” rejected the allegations and will enable KPMG to “receive unrestricted access to all information on all levels of the Group” along with publishing the results of the report.
Wulf Matthias, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Wirecard AG, added: “We have complete confidence in the audit procedures performed to date and their results. We assume this renewed independent review will lead to a final end to all further speculation.”
Some believe that the investigation is connected with the act of short selling however the publication stated: “The FT rejects any allegation of market manipulation against its reporters as baseless, false, and a smokescreen obscuring serious allegations.”