September 21, 2018

Big 4

Lynne Doughtie KPMG

Let’s See Where Your Favorite Big 4 CEO Landed on Glassdoor’s 2018 Top 100 List

Each year, Glassdoor puts out a list of the highest-rated CEOs in the U.S., based on anonymous employee reviews and feedback. Up until last year, the annual ranking was limited to 50 CEOs, but in 2017, Glassdoor extended the list to the top 100. Good thing, because while three Big 4 CEOs made Glassdoor’s 2018 […]

Deloitte Surpassed $43 Billion in Global Revenue in Fiscal Year 2018

The numbers are in, the press release is out, and the words “exceptional,” “unrelenting,” and “quality and distinction” were used by Deloitte’s No. 1 cheerleader, Global CEO Punit Renjen, to describe the firm’s 2018 fiscal year. I have no doubt that Green Dots around the world yesterday celebrated (i.e., sat half asleep at their desks) […]

BNY Mellon Client Asset Reports Were Seriously Bungled by KPMG, U.K. Watchdog Says

Oh jeez, KPMG U.K. is in trouble again with the Financial Reporting Council. Per Reuters: KPMG and one of its partners have admitted to serious failings in compliance reports for Bank of New York Mellon, Britain’s accountancy watchdog said, potentially leading to heavy fines as the auditor comes under unprecedented scrutiny. The Financial Reporting Council […]

Mark Weinberger Says Culture Defines EY, Fails to Define What Culture Actually Is

In the slow-as-molasses, reactive world of public accounting and behemoth professional services firms, there’s no such thing as “old news.” That’s why we’re pulling this three-year-old video out of the vault so we can all point and laugh at EY Chairman and CEO Mark Weinberger talking about culture. Or attempting to, anyway. The LOLs start […]

EY Global Revenue Up 11% in Fiscal Year 2018

Here we go, folks. It’s that time of year when we start seeing the Big 4 firms releasing their global revenue numbers for the most recent fiscal year. And EY is first out of the gate. According to the numbers Mark Weinberger and company want the public to know about, fiscal year 2018 was a […]

Where, Oh Where, Is KPMG’s 2016 Inspection Report?

KPMG’s 2016 inspection report has still not been published by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and the PCAOB won’t say why—or if the report will ever see the light of day. Compliance Week reports: The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board published its 2016 inspection results for Deloitte in December 2017 followed by reports for EY […]

PwC to Hold Moment of Silence in Remembrance of Botham Jean

PwC will observe a moment of silence throughout all of its U.S. offices later this week in honor of Botham Jean, a 26-year-old risk assurance associate in the firm’s Dallas office who was shot and killed in his apartment by an off-duty Dallas police officer on Sept. 6. First reported today by Bloomberg and confirmed […]

PwC Associate Shot and Killed By Off-Duty Dallas Cop Who Walked Into Wrong Apartment

[Updated with name of police officer, additional details, statement from Tim Ryan.] A Dallas police officer was taken into custody yesterday after shooting and killing a 26-year-old PwC associate in his apartment, which she mistakenly believed was her own, on Sept. 6. Officer Amber Guyger was arrested Sept. 9 on a manslaughter charge in the […]

Woman jumping

PwC Tries to Lure in Recruits Who, Like, Don’t Want to Be Held Down by the Man, Man

So you did alright in high school, graduated from a decent college accounting program, and possibly even tackled a Masters to ensure you stood out from all the other blue shirts vying for Big 4 internships. What’s next for you? Well, putting in a few hours at PwC between your Prime Now delivery gig if […]

Deloitte sign

Here’s Your Open Thread for Deloitte Compensation Discussions (2018)

If the last couple years have taught us anything, it’s that Deloitte compensation conversations are probably going down this week in some offices. And by “conversations,” we mean raises are online and ratings are plotted out on scatter graphs. Semantics, ya know? In looking at last year’s Deloitte comp discussion, we discovered that y’all Green Dotters […]

kpmg china medical

Federal Judge Strikes Down Ex-KPMG Partners’ Request for SEC Evidence Search

If you’re dying to know what’s going on with David Britt, David Middendorf, and Thomas Whittle, the former KPMG partners who are accused of participating in a scandal in which confidential Public Company Accounting Oversight Board inspection information was leaked to the accounting firm, Law360 has an update: A group of former and would-be KPMG auditors […]

Woman and child at a park

PwC Has Broken Into the Cringeworthy World of Mommy Blogging

When you think of PwC, what comes to mind? Coveted internships? Bob Moritz’s hot dad glasses? Totally screwing up the one job they had at the Academy Awards? Well, get ready for PwC’s latest venture: blogging about period cramps. That’s right, y’all, PwC has ventured into mommy blogging. Once solely the domain of Scentsy-pushing stay-at-home-moms […]

Deloitte Australia Is Going to Allow Partners to Work There Until They Become Old Geezers

We’re just chock full of news about Deloitte Australia today. Earlier on, Adrienne poked fun at the firm’s ridiculous career break program. Then we come to find out that Deloitte is going to allow its partners to work there until they are frail and barely breathing—as long as they are making a meaningful contribution to […]

A young woman dancing in the street

Deloitte Brags About Its ‘Make Your Team Think You’re a Dick’ Career Program

The various perks and psuedoperks offered by accounting firms have been discussed at length here in the hallowed virtual halls of Going Concern over the years. From ping-pong tables and on-demand popcorn to so-called unlimited vacation time, we’ve destroyed them all. But one I believe hasn’t been touched on is the Deloitte career break program. That […]

Big 4 (Except KPMG) Cracks Top 10 in Vault’s Ranking of Best Consulting Firms

Vault today released its 2019 ranking of the top 50 consulting firms to work for in North America, and the top 10 spots are dotted with the Big 4. Well, most of the Big 4. For the fourth year in a row, Deloitte Consulting LLP was ranked No. 4 on Vault’s list. According to employee […]

ernst & young report ashley madison

Here’s Your Open Thread for EY Compensation Discussions (2018)

Ya know, I don’t know why we’re even bothering with this since Going Concern sucks but on the off chance one of you gets his BVDs in a bunch over us not doing it, here we are. Historically, the emails start trickling in right about this time each year, presumably after the rulers of Ernstonia are able to […]

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before: FRC Reprimands KPMG U.K. for Crappy Audit

When it comes to the Financial Reporting Council and KPMG audits, it must be like shooting fish in a barrel. This time, the U.K. accounting watchdog fined KPMG £2.1 million ($2.7 million) on Aug. 20 following the Big 4 firm’s admission of misconduct on the audit of fashion company Ted Baker Plc’s financial statements in […]

A curious cow

PwC Is Getting Into the Exciting World of Fraudulent Meat

We’ve talked a lot over the last few years about accounting firms biting off more than they can chew, with ever-growing consulting arms and now even legal services, but this one takes the cake. The Telegraph reports: The accountancy firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PWC) is developing an edible signature with an agent used in spices and […]

PwC fdic colonial

U.K. Watchdog Blasts PwC for ‘Incomplete, Inaccurate, and Misleading’ Audit of BHS

In a leaked Financial Reporting Council report, the U.K’s accounting watchdog hammered PwC for bungling the audit of BHS, which resulted in “incomplete, inaccurate, and misleading” statements being made about the now-defunct retailer’s financial situation just before it was sold for £1, according to Accountancy Age. The article states: According to the leaked report, which […]

Another Former KPMG Employee Gets Into Trouble for Insider Trading

You can add Daniel Senn to the list of current and not-so-current KPMG employees and representatives, such as Scott London, Andrei Postrado, Thomas Avent, and Phil Mickelson (but not his KPMG hat), who have either been accused of, or found guilty of, insider trading. Senn, a Klynveldian auditor from 2007 to 2013, was convicted of […]

KPMG Rocks signs held by a woman in a KPMG shirt

25,000 Students Voted For the Top Internship and the Results Will SHOCK You

Alright so twice now I’ve been called out for writing clickbait headlines now that the comment section is reopened, but whatever, what do you guys think I did in the years between getting laid off from this website last time and coming back? I WROTE CLICKBAIT. I’m not joking. One time I paid my rent […]

Judge Allows Class-Action Suit to Proceed Against KPMG Over Shoddy Miller Energy Audit

A federal judge in Tennessee on Aug. 2 declined to throw out a securities class-action lawsuit against KPMG, in which investors are accusing the Big 4 firm of screwing up the audit of now-defunct oil and gas company Miller Energy Resources Inc. In Lewis Cosby et al. v. KPMG L.L.P., the investors say they got […]

Deloitte Gobbled Up the Most New SEC Audit Clients in Q2; EY and KPMG Threw Up a Bunch of Clients

After two Utah-based firms you might not have ever heard of picked up the most new Securities and Exchange Commission audit clients in the first quarter of 2018, Deloitte was the big winner in the second quarter, snagging 15 new engagements, with a net of 13, according to Accounting Today. BDO USA was the runner-up […]

Renowned U.K. Legal Eagles PwC Made Almost $92 Million in Law Revenues in the Past Year

You better watch your back, DLA Piper. PwC is coming for ya. From Law.com: PwC’s legal operations brought in around £70 million ($91.82 million) in U.K. revenues during the 2017-18 financial year—a figure that would have put it only just outside the U.K. top 50 based on last year’s rankings. The Big Four accounting firm, which received an alternative business […]

PwC Toeing Thin Line Between Independent Auditor and Client Lobbyist for Tax Reform

Francine McKenna of MarketWatch reported on July 30 that PwC has earned $10.74 million since 2013 as the exclusive registered lobbyist on tax reform for a coalition that includes several audit clients, which some say is a conflict of interest. Members of the Alliance for Competitive Taxation—which calls itself “a group of America’s leading companies […]

Max Livingstone-Learmonth dressed as bishop at I Move London

Non-Religious Future PwC Partner Credits ‘Divine Intervention’ For Nabbing Purse-Snatcher

The Evening Standard reports that a soon-to-be PwC partner got to play the hero in the midst of a potentially record-breaking relay race in London, all while dressed like a bishop. Forty-year-old Max Livingstone-Learmonth was on his 10km (about 6.2 miles) leg of the I Move London race when he spotted a woman chasing a […]

Older Job Seekers Denied Class-Action Status in Age Discrimination Lawsuit Against PwC

A federal judge in San Francisco rejected class-action status to a group of up to 14,000 older job applicants on July 26 who are accusing PwC of favoring younger workers over individuals over the age of 40 for entry-level positions within the firm. The age discrimination lawsuit, which was filed in April 2016 by CPA […]

Do KPMG’s Summer Employee Perks Put All Other Summer Employee Perks to Shame?

This Accounting Today article on the perks KPMG is offering to its 30,000 U.S. employees this summer got me thinking about the summer employee perks, or lack thereof, I’ve received during my career. And I’m not just focusing on my last 19 years as a writer and/or editor. I’m going all the way back to […]

Here’s Your Open Thread for PwC Compensation (2018)

So, yeah, the whole “putting the 2018 PwC compensation thread in Open Items” thing didn’t go too well. After just two responses (thanks to SlowlyDying1065 and Franchise) and a minus-27 vote rating, this thread had become a dumpster fire. But now that we’ve resurrected the article comment section, we’ve taken this discussion out of Open […]

Better Call Saul ad

KPMG U.K. Lawyers Up Because Not Breaking the Law is Hard, You Guys

The Financial Times did not hold back in its headline announcing the news on KPMG U.K.’s latest hire earlier this week: KPMG appoints risk management chief after accounting scandals. Ouch. Here, KPMG, you might need this. So just who is this brave individual willing to take on a brand-new role at a scandal-plagued accounting firm? […]

Setback in Court For Ex-KPMG Execs, As Judge Refuses to Toss Out Counts in PCAOB Inspection Info Leak Case

As Mick Jagger sings, “You can’t always get what you want.” What three former top KPMG executives and two former employees of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board—who are accused of participating in a scheme in which confidential PCAOB inspection information was shared with the accounting firm—wanted was for their conspiracy and wire fraud counts […]

EY Promotes 747 New Partners Worldwide

We here at Going Concern have been anxiously awaiting the new EY partners announcement, and it finally came today. The 747 new partners worldwide in the class of 2018 is the most in three years. So, I suppose fireworks were in order: Today we're proud to celebrate our 747 diverse new partners around the world […]

Changing the Big Audit Model: Where Might the Regulators Go?

In the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s litigation against PwC over its audits of the failed Colonial Bank in Alabama, Judge Barbara Rothstein has loosed a second blast—her decision of July 2 fixed damages at $625 million for the liability spelled out at length in her decision last December. Appeals will come, making premature any crystal […]

Report: Deloitte Employees Want the Firm to Cool It With ICE

Deloitte employees are circulating a petition saying they have “moral objections” to the Big 4 firm providing consulting for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and are asking management to sever ties with the immigration agency, the New York Times reported on July 12. According to the petition and internal emails obtained by the New York Times, […]

KPMG U.K. Chairman Taking Heat for Defending Carillion Audit

An article published today by The Times in which KPMG U.K. Chairman Bill Michael defended the firm’s audit of Carillion is getting some reaction on Twitter—good for the newspaper, bad for Michael and KPMG. The article states: The chairman of KPMG has hit back at MPs in charge of the inquiry into the collapse of […]

Big 4 U.K. Leaders Ready to Wine and Dine With Trump This Evening

Unlike some business leaders who are worried that attending an invitation-only dinner with President Trump later on tonight during his visit to the United Kingdom will damage their reputation, Big 4 U.K. leaders seem more than willing to break bread with the commander in chief. Trump, who has already arrived in the United Kingdom after […]

Big 4 CMA

Does the Big 4 Value the CMA Certification?

When talking about certifications prized by the Big 4, everyone sounds like a broken record: the CPA, the CPA, the CPA, and just to mix it up, sometimes they mention THE CPA. Is there any other certification that Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst and Young (EY), and KPMG find appealing? What about the CMA, another one […]

Deloitte sign

Deloitte ‘Betrayed Me,’ Alleged Sexual Assault Victim Told CEO in Email

A former Deloitte Bermuda staffer who has accused a senior partner in the Big 4 firm’s New York office of sexual assault emailed Deloitte LLP CEO Cathy Engelbert in 2017 about the alleged attack and said the firm “betrayed me,” according to a July 9 NBC News report. The senior partner has not been charged […]

Report: Ex-Deloitte Bermuda Staffer Accuses U.S. Partner of Sexual Assault

The Australian Financial Review reported on July 3 that a woman who used to work in Deloitte’s Bermuda office has accused a male senior partner from the Big 4 firm’s New York office of sexual assault in a Bermuda hotel room in August 2015. The woman, who did not want to be identified in the […]

Slim Pickings For SIG, as It Settles on EY as New Auditor

While the U.K.’s Financial Reporting Council investigates Deloitte’s 2015 and 2016 audits of SIG, the building products distributor has selected EY as its new auditor, according to the Financial Times. EY was the only Big 4 firm eligible to bid for the SIG contract, which according to The Times newspaper, is worth about £1.6 million […]

Does the ‘P’ in KPMG Stand For ‘Probes?’

Because we have two new probes into KPMG to tell you about. First, two weeks after the quality of its audit work was called “unacceptable” by the Financial Reporting Council, KPMG is being probed by the United Kingdom’s accounting watchdog over its audit of British beverage wholesaler Conviviality’s financial statements, according to the Financial Times. […]

Colonial Bank Collapse Will Cost PwC $625 Million, Reports Say

[Updated with statement from Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott] Reports are hitting the interwebs this afternoon that a federal judge has ordered PwC to pay the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. $625 million in damages for failing to uncover a long-running fraud scheme between its client Colonial Bank and the now-defunct mortgage lender Taylor, Bean & […]

PwC Cutting the Cord on Landlines in All U.K. Offices

It looks like PwC staffers are going all mobile, all the time in the United Kingdom. The Telegraph reports: Accountancy company PwC is doing away with landlines at office desks, expecting its 18,000 staff to use the “more efficient” mobile phones by the end of the summer. A spokesman for PwC said: “We already equip […]

Deloitte’s Audits of SIG Under U.K. Regulator’s Microscope

The Financial Reporting Council, the U.K.’s audit watchdog, is calling, is calling, is calling out Deloitte’s name in a probe of the Green Dots’ 2015 and 2016 audits of building products distributor SIG, according to several publications across the pond. From the Financial Times: SIG said in February it had discovered misstatements after a whistleblowing […]

Is Cathy Engelbert’s Time Almost Up As Deloitte CEO?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Deloitte LLP partners were told in an email that Cathy Engelbert has not been renominated for a second four-year term as CEO of the Big 4 firm. The Journal wrote: Ms. Engelbert, the first woman to run one of the Big Four firms in the U.S., is three-plus years into […]

KPMG Used Confidential Inspection Info to Snatch BBVA Away From Rivals, Report Says

If you missed this late last week, Francine McKenna of MarketWatch detailed how KPMG used access to confidential Public Company Accounting Oversight Board inspection information to poach a client from its Big 4 rivals. The client, Spanish bank BBVA, was one of nearly a dozen KPMG clients caught up in the audit inspection scandal. Others […]

Deloitte’s New Greenhouse Experience Unfortunately Has Nothing to Do With Plants

As a former writer and editor for a national horticulture trade magazine, my interest was piqued when I came across the June 19 press release, “Deloitte Digital Launches New Deloitte Greenhouse Experience for Enterprise Clients.” I thought maybe Deloitte was cultivating a new variety of, say, Chlorophytum comosum (spider plant) with the cultivar name ‘Punit […]

Report: Court Documents Name KPMG Audit Clients Caught Up in PCAOB Leak Fiasco

MarketWatch reporter and friend of Going Concern’s, Francine McKenna, wrote an outstanding article today after digging through court documents obtained by MarketWatch that name the audit clients caught up in the KPMG audit inspection conspiracy. And there are some pretty big names. The Justice Department in January brought criminal charges against five former KPMG executives […]

Squar Milner

What Next For the Big 4 in the U.K.? London Is Searching

A drunk, searching on hands and knees under a street lamp, tells the inquiring police, “I’ve lost my keys – over there in the dark alley.” “Then why look here?” they ask, perplexed. “Because the light’s better here.” In the city of London, where the modern audit profession was born in the Victorian era, no […]

U.K. Accounting Regulator Chides KPMG For ‘Unacceptable’ Decline in Audit Quality

And here I thought Phil Mickelson’s meltdown on the 13th green at the U.S. Open on June 16 would be the worst thing to happen to KPMG this week. From Bloomberg: KPMG’s audit work in the U.K. is of an unacceptable standard, Britain’s accounting regulator said, fueling calls to reform the industry, including dismantling the […]

You Must Be Digitally Fit to Land a Job at PwC

For those college students who aspire to one day possess a stack of PwC business cards, Mike Fenlon, PwC’s chief people officer, explains how you—yes, you—can land a job with the professional services firm. Obviously, interning with PwC will give you a leg up on the competition, as Fenlon told CNBC that a majority of […]

EY Remains the Most Audit-y of the Public Company Auditors

Congrats to EY for once again having more public company audit clients than any other Big 4 firm. Of the 6,167 public registrants in the United States, EY audits 921 of them, or 14.9%, according to Audit Analytics’ Who Audits Public Companies – 2018 Edition. PwC is next with 658 public company audits, or 10.7%; […]

kpmg general electric wells fargo

Recently Axed KPMG South Africa Employee Slams Firm for Mismanagement, Lying

You may have seen earlier this week that KPMG South Africa is planning to lay off 400 workers and close some regional offices, as the embattled firm tries to save face following the Gupta and VBS Mutual Bank scandals. If you haven’t been paying attention, here’s a nice synopsis of what’s going on, via Reuters: […]

pwc colonial award

PwC Admits 233 New Partners and Principals in the U.S.

A tipster (Caleb) let me know that PwC released its list of new 2018 partners and principals across the United States and Mexico on June 1. This year’s crop totals 233, which surpasses the 212 who joined the ranks of partner or principal in 2017. In comparison, there were 226 in the 2016 class, 201 […]

kpmg pcaob conspiracy

Clearly Not Everyone at KPMG Got the Memo About the ‘Raise-Your-Hand Culture’ at the Firm

Photo: A higher proportion of hand raising than at KPMG.

The Big 4 Loves the SCOTUS Decision on Arbitration

Hope you like those mandatory arbitration clauses in your employment contracts: The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a blow to the rights of workers on Monday by allowing companies to require them to sign away their ability to bring class-action claims against management, agreements already in place for about 25 million employees. The justices, in a […]

ernst & young report ashley madison

If EY Treats a Partner Who Reports Sexual Misconduct Like This, What Hope Do Other Employees Have?

Update in the 18th paragraph includes an additional statement from Ernst & Young. One of the more shocking details from the sexual harassment complaint against Ernst & Young is that even though the victim, Jessica Casucci, was a partner, other partners and senior officials in the firm either did nothing or took action to protect […]

deloitte-employee-maga-hat-happiest-hour

Judge Tosses Accountant’s Suit Claiming Bar Discriminated Against Him for Wearing MAGA Hat

Not a miter. Not even close. Last year we shared the story of Greg Piatek, a Deloitte senior manager who sued The Happiest Hour, a bar in New York’s West Village that he claims kicked him out over his “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” hat. On Wednesday, a judge threw out Piatek’s lawsuit, but not before […]

Lynne Doughtie KPMG

A Massive Scandal, the Likes of Which the Accounting Profession Had Never Seen, Got KPMG to Consider Outside Directors

In an effusive, buzzy word salad published in Accounting Today, KPMG Chairman and CEO Lynne Doughtie announced that the firm would be adding independent directors to its board. Why, might you ask? I’ll let Lynne tell you unabated: In today’s complex and fast-moving global business environment, successful organizations regularly reassess their mission and responsibilities to […]

KPMG South Africa VBS Mutual Bank

KPMG South Africa Calls in Reinforcements, Is Dumpster Fire

Uh oh: KPMG LLP’s South African unit is flying in trouble shooters from around the globe and hurriedly meeting clients to stem any further loss of business after becoming embroiled in three evolving scandals. Let me jump in here to say that I think I’d make a fine accounting firm troubleshooter. A Big 4 Mr. […]

KPMG master's accounting data analysis

KPMG Master’s Degree Program Admits 135 into Indentured Service in 2018

As a Big 4 alumna, when I saw the KPMG master’s degree program, I immediately thought, “What’s the catch?” But before we get to the catch, let’s look at the program itself a little more. The KPMG Master’s Degree Program Per Accounting Today, the cohort of 135 program participants for the 2018-2019 start class will […]

pwc colonial award

PwC Faces Damages That Range From ‘Bad’ to ‘Worse’ But Probably Far Short of ‘Catastrophic’ for Colonial Bank Failure

Francine McKenna reports on MarketWatch that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. stands to collect a pret-tay pret-tay pret-tay big chunk of change from PwC for the losses from the bankruptcy of Colonial Bank. The FDIC, acting as receiver for the failed Colonial Bank Group that collapsed in 2009, has asked Judge Barbara Rothstein to award […]

ernst & young report ashley madison

Rest Assured, Seekers of Illicit Love, Ernst & Young Has Your Back

Back in 2015, the popular adulterer website Ashley Madison made news when hackers leaked the personal details of its millions of users. At that time, one of the things we learned about the site was that, not only did the number of male users greatly outnumber the number of females, the females were bots or […]

chivalry emotional restraint public accounting resize

On Chivalry and Emotional Restraint in Public Accounting

When I started in public accounting we did a Skittle icebreaker on the first day in the office and each color had an associated question. My random Skittle question was, “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?” and I remember saying: “Nerves of Steel.” Most people thought it was a unique response. […]

Ginger Diversity Hire accounting firm

Exposure Drafts: The One Way Accounting Firms Are Succeeding at Diversity

Exposure Drafts appears every other Wednesday. Send your accounting cartoon ideas and diversity quotas to [email protected] You can follow Greg Kyte on Twitter.

pwc culture

Thanks to Millennials, PwC Now Knows Their People Want Lives Outside of Work, Have the Feels

The history of PricewaterhouseCoopers goes back to 1849 when Samuel Lowell Price set up business in London. Shortly after that, in 1854, William Cooper started his firm, which would later become Cooper Brothers. It’s hard to know what either Price and Cooper were thinking about back then other than outrageous blacksmith prices and how to […]

voluntold accounting firms

Beware of Public Accounting’s ‘Voluntold’ Assignments

Employment-at-will. It’s a lovely sentiment; if you don’t like it, quit. Easy. But, all jobs require you to do things that aren’t your cup of tea. Once you sign an offer letter at your accounting firm of choice, your schedule will be decided months in advance by the scheduling overlords (i.e., whichever unlucky partner or […]

bdo kpmg deloitte zimbabwe

Foreign Affiliates of Big Audit Firms Screwed Up Some Stuff

The Securities and Exchange Commission fined foreign affiliates of BDO, Deloitte, and KPMG for skirting oversight of the PCAOB. Here’s the skinny: According to the SEC’s orders, the Zimbabwe affiliates of Deloitte & Touche and KPMG improperly audited the majority of assets and revenues of a publicly traded company without registering with the PCAOB. The […]

Accounting News Roundup: Big 4 See, Big 4 Do; Tesla’s Top Accountant Leaves; Politics and Tax Breaks | 03.09.18

KPMG, PwC to include partners’ pay in gender gap calculations [FT] Following EY and Deloitte’s inclusion of partner pay, KPMG and PwC will play ball after “public pressure” in the U.K. Tesla’s top accountant and controller leaves [MW] Eric Branderiz is resigning for “personal reasons,” according to a securities filing. The company did not “specify […]

kpmg eaudit phone sex cropped

KPMG Employees Seeking Help with Audit Software Might End Up With Phone Sex Instead

One of the best things about working at a Big 4 firm is that for virtually every problem you encounter, you can dial up an internal hotline and get some help. Computer acting up? There’s a hotline. Forget the basic accounting equation? There’s a hotline. Partners passing along illegal information about PCAOB inspection plans? Um, […]

quitting public accounting

A Field Guide to Quitting a Job in Public Accounting

That is the look of a man who no longer bears the yoke of a Big 4 job. Are you fantasizing about quitting your public accounting job? It’s finally March. Busy season will start to wind down soon and those miserable hours will begin to taper off. You may catch yourself daydreaming about finding another […]

#Envelopegate Redux: PwC Failed to Predict the Worst-Case Scenario

Last month we noted that PwC had gone far out of its way to not talk about its role at the Academy Awards after last year’s colossal screw-up with the Best Picture envelope. That doesn’t prevent the rest of the entertainment and accounting media (well, maybe just us) from talking about it, however. You can […]

deloitte cyberattack

Deloitte Agrees to Fork Over $149.5 Million for Its Crappy Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Audits

The Justice Department announced that Deloitte would pay a $149.5 million fine to put “potential False Claims Act liability” to bed for its role as the auditor of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp., the failed mortgage originator. Justice alleged that “Deloitte’s audits knowingly deviated from applicable auditing standards and therefore failed to detect TBW’s […]

Former PwC Partner Suing Firm After Getting Fired for Groping a Co-worker Who He Can’t Remember Groping But Knows He Didn’t Grope

Let’s say you’re a professional businessperson and you’re at a work event. Let’s also say that you and your colleagues are wearing costumes. And let’s also say that there’s plenty of alcohol and some people are overserved and you are one of these overserved persons. At some point in this scenario, while you’re deep in your […]

reverse mentoring public accounting

What to Do if You Find Yourself Reverse Mentoring a Public Accounting Partner

It’s no secret that public accounting churns and burns its employees. Burnout is a cost of doing business. The result is fewer people embark on the partner track and those who become partners plan on staying put. I’d say most of those partners are crossing their fingers that the gravy train keeps chugging along from […]

pwc colonial award

Veritas Capital Sets PwC Free From Its U.S. Public Sector Business

It’s not every day that a Big 4 firm sells a piece of it lucrative consulting business, so, hey, look: Veritas Capital is buying PwC’s Public Sector Business. It’s a relatively small part of the firm; only 1,500 partners and staff make up the group, one that Tim Ryan called “a tremendous business” in an […]

tax returns prepare deadline

Insecure Overachievers Will Always Have a Place in Public Accounting

Does the endless stream of work make you want to cry sometimes? I know it is enough to make even diehard auditors buckle and break. Overwork is a hallmark of the accounting profession, and we all know it. But why? Surely if you factor in all of the international teams, we have plenty of people […]

big 4 promotion senior manager partner

To Partner or Not to Partner: That Is the Senior Manager’s Question

A while back, a Big 4 senior manager reached out to share his plight. In short, this person told us making partner in a big firm is nothing but a game; tn this person’s words, “[There’s a] Game of Thrones-esque BS that goes on in the firm as people try to jockey to be promoted […]

department-of-defense-audit

The Defense Logistics Agency Be Like, “Accounting? What’s Accounting?”

Occasionally I will see something charged on my credit card that I don’t remember. I rack my brain. Sometimes I start to think maybe someone’s stolen my card number. But, more often than not is a charge from an obscure parking meter or something similarly mysterious that I didn’t commit to memory. The credit card […]

pwc oscars 2018

PwC Not Talking Up Its Role in the Academy Awards This Year, Obviously

The Golden Globes were a few weeks back, and it caused me to reflect on how an awards show should go for the accounting firm that tabulates the ballots: Congrats to Ernst & Young for not being in the news this morning. #goldenglobes — Caleb Newquist (@cnewquist) January 8, 2018 Last week, the Academy of […]

auditor fraud pwc colonial fdic

Auditors and Fraud: Where Does Responsibility Lie in the Wake of the FDIC’s Win Against PwC?

In the waning days of 2017, a judge in Alabama found PwC was negligent in its audit of Colonial Bank. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation had sued the firm for failing to detect the fraud at the root of Colonial’s 2009 failure. Although Judge Barbara Jacobs Rothstein denied other claims brought by FDIC and the […]

kpmg china medical

Report: Ambac Was One of the KPMG Clients That Got a Second Peek Thanks to Stolen PCAOB Info

Francine McKenna did some expert sleuthing and reports at MarketWatch that Ambac Financial Group was one of the unnamed issuers in the indictment of former KPMG employees and one former PCAOB inspector. There were enough clues to piece together that “Issuer-2” was Ambac, one of the companies that were allegedly subject to a re-review by […]

accounting-news-pwc-india-ban-flying-cars-sales-tax

Accounting News Roundup: PwC Appeals India Ban; Blockchain Names; Flying Cars and Sales Tax | 01.26.18

PwC appeals two-year ban on audits in India [AT] The Securities Exchange Board of India banned PwC from auditing public companies earlier this month over the firm’s failure to detect the fraud at Satyam Computer Services. The appeal is expected to be heard by the end of February. PCAOB Board Statement on Passing of Former […]

Lynne Doughtie KPMG

What Do We Think Is Going Through KPMG CEO Lynne Doughtie’s Mind During This Interview?

If you’re a Big 4 CEO, part of your job includes bopping around lavish business events like the World Economic Forum. KPMG U.S. CEO Lynne Doughtie is no exception, but given this week’s events, you can’t help but wonder if she’s doing so with a raging fire atop her head. Not that you would know […]

questions kpmg pcaob conspiracy

A Running List of Unanswered Questions About the KPMG Audit Inspection Conspiracy

Updates appear below If we learned anything from yesterday’s indictment of six accountants — five of whom were employed by KPMG — it’s that there are even more questions that remain unanswered. Some of these questions are simple and some of them are complicated, but it seems worth the time to list them here. Is […]

kpmg auditors pcaob partners conspiracy

All the Gory Details From the Indictment of Former KPMG Partners

If you’re not one of the six accountants who was criminally or civilly charged today, then you’re having a good Monday. And if you’re still not convinced, let’s peruse the details from the criminal indictment so you can feel better about yourself. The allegations paint a pretty sad picture of some prominent audit professionals at […]

KPMG partners criminal charges pcaob sec

Former KPMG Employees Learn That Using Confidential PCAOB Inspection Info Has Its Drawbacks

Six former employees of KPMG have been arrested and charged “with conspiring to defraud securities regulators and misuse of confidential auditing information.” These charges stem from the leak of confidential PCAOB inspection information that we learned about last year. The Securities and Exchange Commission also filed civil charges in a parallel action. The 54-page indictment lists […]

deloitte cyberattack

This New Deloitte Anthem Is Sweeping the Globe

Over the years, Big 4 employees have tried (and mostly failed) to compose anthems, jingles, raps, and other musical variations to express their feelings about their firm. They come from all over the world and range in quality from god-awful to audibly tolerable. A couple years back, erstwhile GC Australian correspondent Chris Hooper compiled the […]

pcaob inspection report pwc ey 2016

PCAOB Inspection Reports Are Practically Beach Reads Now

Over the years, people have complained — myself included — that PCAOB inspection reports were not exactly useful documents. Sixty-odd pages of audit and legalese don’t exactly make for riveting content. However! In the new EY and PwC inspection reports that were released today, you’ll note executive summaries that list tables for the “Effects of […]

pwc colonial award

Accounting News Roundup: India Bans PwC for Two Years Over Satyam Fraud | 01.11.18

India Bans PricewaterhouseCoopers From Auditing Listed Firms for Two Years [WSJ] The Securities and Exchange Board of India banned PwC affiliates from auditing listed companies for two years over the $1 billion Satyam fraud (India’s Enron, if you prefer). As you may recall, PwC partners were sentenced to jail for this debacle, but the firm […]

Deloitte Legal UK

Accounting News Roundup: Deloitte Legal, EY Boomerangs and Praying for the Pass-Through Deduction | 01.10.18

Deloitte muscles in on legal services in UK [FT] Oh, looky what we have here, another Big 4 firm splashing its way into some press about legal services. Deloitte is “applying for an alternative business structure licence” which allows non-law firms in the U.K. to offer legal services. And wouldn’t you know it, Matt Ellis, […]

kpmg auditors pcaob partners conspiracy

Reminder: KPMG Fired a Bunch of People for Mishandling PCAOB Inspections Details They Weren’t Supposed to Have

KPMG released its global revenue results today and its the standard self-congratulatory Big 4 flimflam that we love to hate around here. The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times both covered the results in earnest; the Journal noted that KPMG’s growth lagged its BIG peers, while the FT mentioned a couple of the firm’s “huge […]

ernst & young report ashley madison

EY Employee Shot in Las Vegas Is Home for the Holidays

EY employee Tina Frost, one of the victims of the horrific Las Vegas mass shooting in October, has continued a miraculous recovery. An update on her GoFundMe page reports that she walked out of her rehabilitation hospital late last week: 12/10/17 – Hi everyone, well another HUGE milestone for our Tina. She walked out of […]

audit dod department of defense

Ready or Not: Auditors Descend on Department of Defense

It’s not as cool as a multi-ship C-17 formation dropping paratroopers as a part of a training exercise (like the one that everyone thought was a UFO on Saturday night). But, our profession’s only semi-equivalent — 2,400 red-pen wielding auditors — will infiltrate the Department of Defense (DoD) this month to kick butt and take […]

pwc culture

Let’s Wildly Speculate About Why PwC Is Shopping Its Government Services Practice

This Reuters story reports that PwC is looking to sell its government services, perhaps “to pursue the growing business of auditing government agencies.” The story says that Morgan Stanley is running the sale and private equity firms Veritas and Madison Dearborn Partners are two potential buyers. None of the firms mentioned commented for the Reuters […]

pcaob-nominees-sec-jay-clayton

We Might Have New PCAOB Member Nominees Soon, Someday, Maybe

Just keeping it warm. Dave Michaels reports at The Wall Street Journal that SEC Chairman Jay Clayton’s preferred choice to lead the PCAOB is rumored to be the same person everyone thought it would be: SEC Chairman Jay Clayton wants William Duhnke to become the PCAOB’s next chairman, according to one of the people familiar […]

pcaob inspection reports

PCAOB Inspection Reports Have Been MIA Lately

Here’s something odd that was brought to our attention: @going_concern @PCAOB Why has the PCAOB not posted an inspection report on their website since July? pic.twitter.com/nMZzKFEB0q — Know Your Audience (@csilvey) December 1, 2017 Sure enough, if you cruise the PCAOB’s Firm Inspection Reports page, you’ll find that the last report was for Crowe Horwath’s […]

accounting news tax reform cuts bitcoin pwc rats

Accounting News Roundup: Senate Debates Tax Cuts and PwC Takes Some Bitcoin | 11.30.17

Corporate Tax Rate in Flux as Senate Votes to Open Debate [WSJ] As the Senate bumrushes towards a vote on its bill, a lot of things remain up in the air, including the corporate tax rate which some now want to be set at above 20%. Also, “As of Wednesday evening, they didn’t yet have […]

accounting news deloitte digital

Accounting News Roundup: Anti-Excel CFOs and Deloitte Digital Gets Bigger | 11.27.17

It’s Cyber Monday, so in between your holiday consuming sessions, try to catch up on some reading. Stop Using Excel, Finance Chiefs Tell Staffs [CFOJ] The battles lines are fierce in a debate straight out of a Ben Wyatt Parks & Rec storyline. Consequences of Proposed Changes to the Net Operating Loss Rules [BNA] Under […]