Hunter’s Managing Director Mrs. L.R.P.Dossa, in a letter referring to the article in The Sunday Times FT last week regarding the change of auditors at Hunter & Company Limited, says:
The Board of Directors of Hunter & Company Limited did not “fire” Ernst & Young as auditors of the company. The reason for their resignation was over a dispute relating to a disclosure pertaining to the occupation of a company bungalow owned by a subsidiary company of Hunter & Company Limited by a Director in the Annual accounts of the Company for the year ended 31st March 2007.
The company has obtained an opinion in writing from the Sri Lanka Accounting and Auditing Standards Monitoring Board (SLAASMB) that a separate and specific disclosure was not required regarding the occupation of a Company bungalow by a Director and that it should be disclosed under short term employee benefits according to paragraph 16 of SLAS 30. This is this same practice followed by other companies owning company bungalows e.g.James Finlay & Company.
Ernst & Young did not agree with the opinion given by the Sri Lanka Accounting and Auditing Standards Monitoring Board (SLAASMB) and offered to resign as auditors of the company which we accepted.”
Business Editor says -- Mrs Dossa is misleading shareholders and the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) when she says in her letter that Ernst & Young “offered to resign as auditors of the company which we accepted.”
The company’s own circular to shareholders on the resignation of the auditors of which a copy was sent on July 4 to the CSE clearly states that Ernst & Young resigned ‘as requested by the company.” The Sunday Times FT has a copy of this letter, an extract of which is reproduced here which clearly contradicts Mrs Dossa’s assertion.