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Answered

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For a decade, audit firm KPMG had stamped Hyflux's annual reports with a clean bill of health, attesting to the water treatment company's ability to continue to operate.

But with the company now facing the possibility of liquidation after a scuppered restructuring deal on Thursday, its shareholders and investors are asking why auditors failed to flag the risk of Hyflux spiralling into heavy debt.

The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra), which enforces Singapore's strict auditing and accounting laws and standards, said in a statement that it will also "assess if further action is warranted".

Corporate governance experts believe the accounting and auditing issue is likely to centre on Hyflux's 2017 books, which the company released in March last year and carry the unqualified opinion of the auditors. It had slipped into the red for the first time in 2017 since its listing in 2001.

Yet two months later in May, Hyflux shocked investors when it filed for bankruptcy protection.  Its financial statements were prepared on the basis of going concern - an accounting method that assumes the company will remain solvent and operational indefinitely until proven otherwise.

Required

In recent years, we have witnessed the sudden collapse of large corporations such as Hyflux in Singapore and Carillion in the U.K. Some investors and analysts have attributed this phenomenon to ethical threats impairing auditors’ independence and objectivity.  Critically discuss the extent that external auditors are truly independent from their clients.

P23001-Auditing

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Tellus molestie nunc non blandit massa enim nec dui. Tellus molestie nunc non blandit massa enim nec dui. Ac tortor vitae purus faucibus ornare suspendisse sed nisi. Pharetra et ultrices neque ornare aenean euismod. Pretium viverra suspendisse potenti nullam ac tortor vitae. Morbi quis commodo odio aenean sed. At consectetur lorem donec massa sapien faucibus et. Nisi quis eleifend quam adipiscing vitae proin sagittis nisl rhoncus. Duis at tellus at urna condimentum mattis pellentesque. Vivamus at augue eget arcu dictum varius duis at. Justo donec enim diam vulputate ut. Blandit libero volutpat sed cras ornare arcu. Ac felis donec et odio pellentesque diam volutpat commodo. Convallis a cras semper auctor neque. Tempus iaculis urna id volutpat lacus. Tortor consequat id porta nibh.

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