Back to News & Insights
/ Tax

Where in god’s name did £72.5m come from?

Author: Henry Ejdelbaum

Tags: Accountants, pope, prison, smuggling, Tax, Vatican

First of all, I apologise for the blasphemy in the title. When you’ve read this short blog you will realise the connotation.

The association between the ‘holy father’ and an article that I read recently are loosely linked though the Church. This is the first year that the Vatican (or Institute of Works Religion) has published its accounts in an effort to be more transparent.

This led to the announcement that they made a net profit of £72.5m in 2012, achieved from a conservative approach to their financial management and safeguarding of assets. The really juicy story comes when you find out that the chief accountant for the Vatican was arrested for attempting to bring £17m into Italy from Switzerland via a government aeroplane with a member of the Italian secret service (not so secret anymore).

There are a couple of striking points to make; first of all, how on earth do you even attempt to transport £17m without getting noticed and secondly, the accountant has been ordered to remain at Rome’s ‘Queen of Heaven Prison’ until further notice. I’m not sure about you but that sounds like a peaceful penitentiary for an act so severe.

I can’t help thinking this could all have been avoided if that accountant had used some common sense and signed up to online banking or managed the accounts on a cloud based software, accessible from any country.

For sensible, modern accountants that are no ordinary bean counters, use AIMS. For smuggling money into Italy, it’s advisable not to consult the Popes disciples