Deloitte hits back in row over debacle at Autonomy

Deloitte scrambled to distance itself from the Autonomy debacle yesterday, as the auditor strongly denied any knowledge of "accounting improprieties" in the wake of Hewlett Packard's (HP) accusations against the UK software firm it bought last year.

HP, which spent $10.3bn (£6.5bn) on Autonomy, wrote off $8.8bn on the deal on Tuesday after uncovering the alleged "misrepresentations".

Meg Whitman, HP's chief executive, said: "The board relied on audited financials – audited by Deloitte – not Brand X accounting firm accounting firm, but Deloitte."

The auditor hit back yesterday, saying: "Deloitte categorically denies that it had any knowledge of any accounting misrepresentations in Autonomy's financial statements … Deloitte was not engaged by HP, or by Autonomy, to provide any due diligence in relation to the acquisition of Autonomy."

Autonomy's founder has robustly denied HP's claims, which the US giant has referred to the Serious Fraud Office.