Holy See to see first-ever international audit 

© Reuters
The Vatican has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to do its first audit to international accounting standards. The audit is part of Pope Francis’ reforms of the Catholic Church's murky financial dealings and allegations of corruption.

PwC will work "in close cooperation" with the Vatican's Secretariat for the Economy, headed by Australian Cardinal George Pell, said a statement.

Two recently published books allege financial fraud at the highest levels of the Holy See.

“This sad fact [the books] will certainly not divert me from the reform work that we are pursuing with my collaborators and with the support of all of you,” Pope Francis said last month.

The Vatican has been trying to regain the trust of investors since 2013, the moment when it was cut off from the international investment. Pope Benedict XVI and continuing with Pope Francis have been hiring external specialists to help the Vatican's ailing finances.

"If we don't know how to look after money, which you can see, how can we look after the souls of the faithful, which you can't see?" Pope Francis allegedly told clerics in 2013.

Before hiring PwC, the Institute for Religious Works, also known as the Vatican Bank, called KPMG to audit its accounts.

Last year, Pope Francis replaced all the cardinals appointed by his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI. He practically cancelled the decree of Benedict to reform the bank. His team shut down many of the suspicious accounts held in the bank and asked the Promontory Financial Group to audit the institution and bring it up to international standards.

In October 2013, the Vatican Bank for the first time in its 125-year history disclosed its annual financial report to the public. It then showed a total of €4.98 billion in assets and €769 million in equity funds.

Earlier this year, the Vatican said it incurred a loss of €26m in 2014, and its goal was to return to profit.