Vatican hires accounting firm to get books in order

The Vatican this week announced it had hired an international accounting firm to audit its finances.

The Vatican said that EY, formerly known as Ernst & Young, will “verify and consult” on the economic activity of the Vatican City State administration, which controls the money-making Vatican Museums, post office and tax-free department store.

A Reuters report said EY will deliver its findings to a commission appointed by Pope Francis to advise him on how to make the Vatican’s financial activities more transparent.

With this week’s move, three Vatican departments are now under review by outside firms. The other two are the Vatican bank and APSA, a department that manages real estate holdings and financial and stock portfolios.

On Monday the Vatican also issued new statutes for its Financial Intelligence Authority, further strengthening the regulatory office’s independence from potential interference from senior members of the Church hierarchy.

While the new rules mostly incorporate changes on financial transparency already enacted, they also establish a new “office for prudential supervision”, a body that Moneyval, the Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering committee, said was needed.

Moneyval, which carried out a review last year at the Vatican’s request, is due to conduct a new assessment later this year.


Image: AFP/Slate

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