The Vatican on Saturday announced that accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers will carry out its first external audit, as Pope Francis seeks to make the Holy See's finances more transparent.
PwC will work "in close cooperation" with the Vatican's Secretariat for the Economy, headed by Australian cardinal George Pell, a statement said.
On Thursday the pope unexpectedly took part in a meeting of his economy council to thank its members and encourage them to continue overseeing the Vatican's administrative and financial workings.
The move to submit the Vatican's finances to an external auditor comes a month after the publication of a book describing the pope's fury over uncontrolled spending and an inadequate accounting system.
According to Gianluigi Nuzzi, author of "Merchants in the Temple", Francis is fighting a war of attrition with vested interests inside the Vatican -- and it is far from clear whether he is winning his battle to change the Catholic Church.