The Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority has fined and reprimanded two people over their audits of Wirecard UK and Ireland Limited.

IAASA said it has decided to impose a "severe reprimand" and a fine of €19,500 on Tony Kelly after an investigation into the audit of the company's financial statements for 2016 and 2017.

Mr Kelly was an audit partner with Byrne Curtin Kelly, which has ceased trading, and he signed off on Wirecard UK and Ireland's audits for the two years in question.

The authority also said it has decided to impose a severe reprimand and a fine of €10,500 on Alison Gray after its investigation into the audit of the firm's financial statements for 2018.

Ms Gray was an audit partner with BCK Audit, Accounting & Tax Limited, which has also ceased trading. The audit report for Wirecared UK and Ireland was signed by Ms Gray in 2018.

IAASA said its investigations into both cases identified a number of areas of non-compliance with international standards on auditing.

These included overall objectives of the independent auditor, the auditor's responsibilities relating to fraud, identifying and assessing risks of material misstatement and the auditor's responses to assessed risks, audit evidence, external confirmations and related parties.

The contraventions were admitted by both Mr Kelly and Ms Gray.

The authority said it took into account the timing of the admissions and it considered that it was appropriate to apply an early settlement discount of 30% to the level of the fines imposed.

Germany's Wirecard collapsed in 2020 in the country's biggest post-war fraud scandal which sent shockwaves through the country's political and financial establishment.

Founded in 1999, Wirecard had a fairy tale rise and became a showpiece for a new type of German tech company that could compete with the established titans of Europe's largest economy.

Wirecard, which started out processing payments for pornography and online gambling, rose to be worth $28 billion and displaced Commerzbank in Germany's DAX blue-chip index.

It batted away suspicions of wrongdoing from some investors and journalists and successfully lobbied German authorities to investigate those who were scrutinising its finances.

But in June 2020, Wirecard was forced to admit that €1.9 billion was missing from its balance sheet, while it owed €3.2 billion in debt.

Its former CEO Markus Braun and two other high-ranking managers of the defunct blue-chip company are facing a number of charges, including fraud and market manipulation.

IAASA is responsible for the supervision of the accounting profession and is the authority for the oversight of statutory auditors in Ireland.

IAASA CEO Kevin Prendergast said that although Wirecard UK & Ireland Limited's audit did not fall under IAASA's direct inspection regime, it used its powers under section 934 of the Companies Act to undertake an investigation where it is of the opinion that it is appropriate or in the public interest to do so.

He noted that this was the first time IAASA has sanctioned individuals using this power.

"The failures in audit identified were significant and this is reflected in the sanctions and fines. The financial sanctions have been reduced to reflect the admissions and cooperation of the parties involved," Mr Prendergast added.