An online filing error has revealed that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board authorized a probe into a 2003 audit performed by Big Four accounting firm Deloitte & Touche LLP.
According to an order inadvertently made available on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Web site, the PCAOB issued an order in May to review Deloitte's work for Navistar International Corp., a manufacturer of trucks, school buses and diesel engines. While the order does not explain what Deloitte may have done wrong, it does say that the firm may have failed to comply with at least five auditing standards.
Earlier this year, Navistar announced its finance unit mistakenly accounted for truck loans that had been packaged into securities for sale to investors. Spokespeople for both Deloitte and the PCAOB have neither confirmed nor denied an investigation, saying only that if such an investigation were ongoing, it would be a confidential matter.
According to Bloomberg News, the SEC received a copy of the investigative order from the PCAOB in late May and made the document available in its online reference room during a week in late June. The order was clearly marked "non-public" and the SEC has said that it is taking steps to ensure such a revelation doesn't happen again.
In April, Deloitte paid $50 million to settle allegations made by the SEC. The payments were part of separate settlements related to the firm's 2000 audit of cable giant Adelphia Communications Corp. and the 1998 audit of Birmingham, Ala.-based Just For Feet, a defunct shoe and sports apparel retailer. Deloitte did not admit or deny wrongdoing in either case.
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