Accounting News Roundup: ‘An event of the millennium,’ Cheating, and Stealing From a Marching Band | 07.07.17

kpmg south africa

Move it along, ducks, you squat-walking bread junkies.

“An event of the millennium”

Here’s an obscure story involving KPMG South Africa that’s been making headlines for the past week or so. Apparently, the firm did work for a wealthy family, the Guptas, who were close to South African President, Jacob Zuma. The story goes that taxpayer funds — the equivalent of $3.3 million — got shuffled between some of the Guptas’ businesses and wound up paying for a lavish wedding. So, yeah, that sounds like money laundering, and it’s been reported that KPMG ignored the issues brought up by some junior auditors.

Global consultancy KPMG’s clean audit of Gupta family companies is at odds with its description of itself on its website as a market leader in money-laundering prevention. Moses Kgosana, KPMG South Africa’s then chief executive officer, said by phone Friday that the auditor hadn’t known about the payments. It would have been obliged to raise them with the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors, had it known, he said.

Simply based on the number of stories out there, this is big news in South Africa. Moses Kgosana has resigned from his new position, and KPMG’s license to practice in South Africa may be at risk depending on how the investigation by the country’s audit regulator goes.

But the most amusing part of this story is, of course, an email. This whole saga blew wide open when the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism reported a trove emails that is being called #GuptaLeaks. In one email, Mr. Kgosana reached out to Atul Gupta, the father of the bride, for advice on dealing with an unflattering news report. It included this passage:

[W]e have not met again or spoken since the world class wedding of your daughter which my wife and I were privileged to attend and enjoyed every moment and every occasion. I have never been to an event like that and probably will not because it was an event of the millennium.

Oh man. I’m sure it was a nice wedding, but that’s a little too enthusiastic to not raise some eyebrows. You can never be too careful when it comes to sucking up to clients.

Cheating

I loathe to link to anything from the Daily Mail, but sigh here:

[A]n accounting student managed to find a way to bring her notes with her into the test room: her legs.

A web user posted a set of pictures on Chinese social media recently stating that a female classmate copied study notes on her long pin.

Since when do people share their cheating techniques with friends? And what kind of friend exposes these techniques on social media? Everyone sucks at everything.

Accountants behaving badly

You’ll have to excuse me; I’m still finding stories that ran while I was away. They include this accountant in Alabama who has pleaded guilty to taking $180k from non-profits there, including the University of Alabama’s Million Dollar Band. It seems pretty risky to commit a transgression against anyone or anything even marginally related to the Univ. of Alabama football team. They best put this guy in protective custody.

Brought to you by Accountingfly

The featured job of the week is a Senior Associate — Financial Institutions with Horne, LLP.

Previously, on Going Concern…

I wrote about a law firm that poached a PwC director to start a “consulting practice.”

In other news:

Get the Accounting News Roundup in your inbox every weekday by signing up here.

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

Related articles