Vatican Hires International Accounting Firm to Get Books in Order

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 19 2013 9:41 PM

Vatican Hires International Accounting Firm to Get Books in Order

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Pope Francis meets with Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie at the Vatican.

Photo by GREGORIO BORGIA/AFP/Getty Images

The Vatican continued its effort to get its finances in order on Monday when it announced it had hired an international accounting firm to audit its finances. The Vatican said the firm 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,” the Associated Press reports.

The move to bring in EY means that three departments of the Vatican are now being reviewed by external firms. The Vatican bank and the department that oversees the Vatican’s real estate holdings and investment portfolio are also under review. The increased scrutiny comes as part of Pope Francis’ call to action since being elected earlier this year “to tackle years of financial scandals, some involving the Vatican bank, which is being reformed after years of failing to meet international standards against tax evasion and the disguising of illegal sources of income,” Reuters reports. Francis, in one of his first acts as Pope, created oversight commissions aimed at cutting waste and improving transparency of the Vatican administration.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.