PCAOB Sanctions Gries & Associates for Audit Violations

The PCAOB announces disciplinary measures against Gries & Associates and Blaze Gries for violations of PCAOB rules and standards. The sanctions come in response to deficient audit work conducted during the fiscal year 2021 audit of Tingo Inc., leading to material misstatements in Tingo’s financial statements and subsequent restatements.

PCAOB Chair Erica Y. Williams stated, “Auditors must respond appropriately when they encounter warning signs.  PCAOB will not hesitate to take action when investors are put at risk.” The disciplinary action was prompted by the failure of Gries & Associates and Gries to properly assess Tingo’s accounting practices regarding a significant business combination, resulting in significant errors in financial reporting.

Robert E. Rice, director of the PCAOB’s Division of Enforcement and Investigations, commented, “Today’s order should serve as a reminder that auditing in compliance with PCAOB standards requires auditors to approach the work with a questioning mind and a critical assessment of audit evidence. The PCAOB will hold auditors accountable for significant failures to act with due professional care and professional skepticism.”

As a result of the disciplinary measures, Gries & Associates’ PCAOB registration has been revoked, and Gries has been barred from associating with registered public accounting firms. Both parties are jointly responsible for paying a civil penalty of $65,000.


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