Overstock.com has engaged KPMG as its new outside auditor, but not without a parting shot at its previous auditing firm, Grant Thornton.
The Internet retailer dismissed Grant Thornton in November after the firm advised the company that it had changed its audit opinion and Overstock should restate its 2008 financials in order to record an additional $785,000 in assets stemming from an overpayment to a business partner (see Overstock CEO Objects to Grant Thornton Audit).
The company decided to file an unaudited version of its third-quarter 2009 financials until it hired a new audit firm and cited a conflicting opinion from its previous auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers. Overstock.coms outspoken chairman and CEO Patrick Byrne blasted Grant Thornton in two press releases, accusing the firm of inconsistencies and inaccurate statements (see Overstock CEO Escalates Battle with Grant Thornton).
The announcement of Overstocks newly engaged auditing firm, KPMG, took another swipe at its former auditor. It is nice to be back with a Big Four accounting firm, said Overstock.com president Jonathan Johnson in a statement. We are pleased to have the resources and professionalism that KPMG brings as our auditors. We will work closely with them to timely file our 2009 Form 10-K. In the meantime, we remain in discussions with the SEC to answer the staff's questions on the accounting matters that lead to our filing an unreviewed Form 10-Q for Q3.
KPMG will conduct an integrated audit of the companys 2009 financial statements, including reviewing Overstocks quarterly information for the periods ending March 31, 2009, June 30, 2009, and Sept. 30, 2009.
Grant Thornton declined to comment on Overstock's announcement. As a matter of professional standards and firm policy, we do not comment on the work provided to clients beyond information required by the SEC, and believe our services complied with professional standards," the firm said in a statement.
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