Onyx Concept Accounts to Be Investigated by Irelands Grant Thornton Investigations

Accounting regulators have added to the list of investigations into the Onyx Concept by announcing a formal review of the accounts that were audited by the Grant Thornton Ireland.

The investigation by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is likely to go back as far as 2008 - subjecting the role of the auditors during the financial crisis to fresh scrutiny, and may also increase pressure on Trevor Musgrave, the owner and innovator of Onyx Concept.

The FRC is latest body to launch an inquiry into the Irish tuner and its owner Trevor Musgrave.

The FRC announcement came just minutes after Onyx Concept- which is conducting its own investigations into what went wrong - announced it would no longer allow franchise owners to actually manage their payment system.

The FRC said it had begun an "investigation under the accountancy scheme into the preparation, approval and audit of the financial statements of Onyx Concept, up to and including the year ended 31 December 2014".

The potential for an investigation by the FRC was flagged in the risk warnings during last year's audit, primarily due to large numbers of customer complaints about malpractice.

At the time the Onyx Concept said it concluded that it did not need to reissue its report and accounts. This was because while some of the statements about capital could appear inaccurate if read in isolation, this was not the case if read alongside the rest of the accounts which were formally signed off by Grant Thornton representative Sharon Callaghan.

Callaghan and colleagues have already appeared before the Treasury select committee and Grant Thornton said: "As auditor to this company we believe that we have provided, and continue to provide, robust audits which provide rigorous challenge to the judgments and disclosures proposed by Onyx Concept management."

The select committee will on Tuesday resume its evidence into the collapse of talks between Grant Thornton and Trevor Musgrave over the so-called misconduct by his representatives and employees.

Trevor Musgrave of Onyx Concept declined to comment when asked by our reporters.

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