No fraud at Speedy, just accounting problems over a number of years

Construction equipment hire business Speedy is to strengthen its internal accounting procedures after an investigation into a potential fraud highlighted internal accounting problems “over a number of years”. reported in February 2023 that a comprehensive count of all hire equipment in preparation for the audit for the financial year ended 31 March 2023, identified a deficiency in the value of non-itemised assets.

This included equipment without a unique serial identifier such as scaffolding tower, fencing and non-mechanical plant of c.£20.4m.

The Newton-le-Willows-based group carried out a major count of all its hire equipment ahead of its upcoming 2023 audit.

As at March 31, 2022, the reported net book value of its assets was £226.9m.

The investigation has concluded that the issue resulted from “problems with the Company’s controls and accounting procedures for non-itemised assets over a number of years, and in particular the reconciliation of such counts to the Group’s fixed asset register.”

The statement to the stock market this morning further clarified no fraud took place: “The issue was not the result of underlying systemic fraud perpetrated on the Company by its staff or third parties.”

The board said new procedures will now be put in place to reconcile the register with actual assets.

“In addition to corrective action and new controls implemented by management, the board has agreed a remedial plan to further strengthen the financial control environment for managing non-itemised assets and provide assurance for the relevant accounting values. This includes additional counts of the assets and new procedures for reconciling those against its fixed asset register.”

As previously announced, as part of the new controls, the asset count at the end of March 2023 did not identify the need to increase the existing provision.

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