Global Firms

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Former PwC Employee Latest Star of “Auditor Mishandles Sensitive Client Information”

I haven’t been a Big 4 auditor in quite some time, which means I haven’t taken any training on handling sensitive client information in quite some time. However, my keen sense of self-preservation tells me that if I were in possession of sensitive client information, the kind of information about, say, an upcoming acquisition, I […]

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Grant Thornton Admits 39 New Partners and Principals

Who are the new Grant Thornton partners? Glad you asked. The firm announced them earlier today along with new principals and managing directors, as is customary for the Purple Rose of Chicago. If you like to parse these things out, then it breaks down as: 27 partners, 12 principals and 28 managing directors. In the […]

grant thornton compensation 2017

Here’s Your Open Thread for Grant Thornton Compensation Discussions (2017)

By the sound of things, it’s time for us to open the gate on the Grant Thornton compensation thread. This is a little strange because, in years past, tips usually start rolling into our inbox in the last half of July. One message we received over the weekend, however, might explain the delay: Comp releasing […]

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PwC’s 2017 to Forget Tour Rolls On

PwC, the Big 4 accounting firm most likely to request a mulligan on 2017, has been censured and fined $1 million by the PCAOB for violations in its audit of Merrill Lynch. The PCAOB order follows a SEC action against Merrill from last year after the broker “held tens of billions of dollars” of customer […]

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Sarbanes-Oxley 15 Years Later: Accountants Need to Speak Up Now More Than Ever

This Sunday, July 30, 2017, marks the 15th anniversary of the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”) of 2002. SOX emerged after the “smartest guys in the room” caused Enron to implode, and WorldCom magically erased billions in earnings overnight. The scandals shook the public’s confidence in the reliability of financial reporting and led to […]

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The Number of Female Audit Partners Is Terrible

A new study shows that women are drastically underrepresented as audit firm partners, averaging only around 16 percent for audit partners with U.S. audit clients. In some cities such as Washington, D.C. and San Jose, California, the percentage of female partners was around 10 percent. Yikes. The Big 4 firms performed a little better than […]

Arthur Andersen & Co.

This Dusty Stack of Decades-Old Arthur Andersen Materials Can Be All Yours

Thanks to the unruly playground-cum-marketplace that is Craigslist, you now have the opportunity to own a bit of Arthur Andersen history. No, I’m not talking about the cheap swag that the most loyal Andersen alumni whisper empty prayers to on private altars hidden in storage units. I’m talking about the written materials that guided the […]

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Ukraine Yanks PwC’s Bank Audit License

From the Financial Times, the National Bank of Ukraine “announced it had pulled [PwC’s] domestic bank auditing rights for failing in prior audits to identify a $5.5bn balance-sheet hole at PrivatBank, the country’s largest lender.” Look for a press release stating that the annexation of Crimea was totally legal from the firm in the coming […]

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NYSE President Not Sure About All This Auditing

Over at the House Committee on Financial Services, some opposition to Sarbanes-Oxley has come up in a hearing called “The Cost of Being a Public Company in Light of Sarbanes-Oxley and the Federalization of Corporate Governance.” The gist of it is this — some people think regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley have made it too difficult to […]

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Big Law Firm Takes a Page From Big 4 Player Book

A couple years ago we talked at length about the Big 4 going after Big Law. Since then we’ve noted the firms talking about the growth of their legal practices, with one PwC bigwig stating his firm’s ambitious goals openly while an EY leader said their threat to law firms is overblown. As we’ve discussed, […]

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PwC Admits 212 New Partners and Principals in U.S.

I think this year’s new PwC partners should feel extra special on their day of recognition because it also happens to be National Doughnut Day. Even if you NEVER eat doughnuts, I think you can forgo discipline for the day the world learns that you’ve become a partner at PwC. This marks the second year […]

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Would You Rather: Volunteer at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship or Work at KPMG?

At first glance, the headline may sound like a silly question but hear me out! Deadspin’s Samer Kalaf pointed out that volunteers for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship must pay $130 for the privilege for whatever it is volunteers at a major golf tournament do. Here are the details from the tournament website: If you […]

KPMG Breaks Ground on “Don’t Mishandle Leaked Info, Or Else” Training Center

I’m sure future visitors to KPMG’s now-under-construction training center will learn things aside from the fact that not turning over leaked PCAOB info in a timely manner is a bad career move, but it is an old lesson that recently became important again. Anyway, here’s your Twitter photo op: Breaking ground at KPMG’s #learning, development […]

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Accounting News Roundup: KPMG and Wells Fargo; Pass-through Tax Rates | 04.26.17

A different giant rabbit. KPMG and Wells Fargo As if KPMG hasn’t had a rough enough month already, that Wells Fargo stink is not washing off: Two U.S. Senate Democrats are asking a U.S. audit watchdog to review whether KPMG failed to disclose or prevent fraud when it audited Wells Fargo’s books during the time […]

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A Non-Exhaustive List of What You Should Be Doing Now That Busy Season is Over

Certain accounting publications which are not Going Concern have all kinds of suggestions for how you should be spending your life post-busy season, sadly the majority of said suggestions involve everything but decompressing from the worst months of your miserable life to date. Now is not the time for introspection. It is not the time […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Vault Accounting Firm Rankings and Marijuana Businesses | 04.20.17

Vault accounting firm rankings In general, I don’t get as excited about rankings like I used to, but I’d be remiss not to mention that Vault’s Accounting 50 came out the other day. For the most part, it’s you would expect. The Big 4 occupy the first four spots, but there’s quite a bit of […]

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Accounting News Roundup: ‘Strikingly Young’ PwC and Filing Last Minute Tax Returns | 04.18.17

Strikingly young PwC Last year we mentioned a class action lawsuit against PwC that accused the firm of age discrimination for its entry-hires. There’s not much new that I can see in this Wall Street Journal article on the subject, other than the Supreme Court might decide to hear a similar case to provide some […]

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Accounting News Roundup: When Good KPMG Auditors Go Bad and Brazen Tax Scams | 04.17.17

It’s hard to watch when auditors make bad decisions. When good auditors go bad The Wall Street Journal published a profile of Scott Marcello over the weekend, the now former Vice Chair of Audit for KPMG who was fired for his role in a ring of employees who received a leak of confidential information from […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Bad Press for KPMG and Revolving Doors | 04.14.17

Bad press for KPMG Last month we noted how PwC had become the Big 4 firm of ridicule and abuse after a series of bad publicity. We all knew that one day another firm would take PwC’s place on the dunk tank and, yes, as you might’ve guessed, that firm is KPMG. And it was […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Fired KPMG Partners and Tax Return Selfies | 04.12.17

Fired KPMG partners By now you’ve probably heard that six KPMG employees, including the head of audit and 4 other partners, have been fired for receiving confidential information on the PCAOB’s plan for its inspection of the firm’s audits. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Scott Marcello, the firm’s Vice Chair of Audit, as […]

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Six KPMG Employees Fired After Leak of PCAOB Inspection Info

Updates to report that individuals were terminated appear throughout. Welp, this looks bad. The Wall Street Journal reports that six KPMG employees, including four partners and the firm’s head of audit, have been fired after a PCAOB employee leaked confidential inspection details to the firm. The departing KPMG employees include four partners and Scott Marcello, […]

Accounting News Roundup: Big Auditors, A Tax Situation and United | 04.11.17

Big auditors Accounting Today reports on the latest numbers out of Audit Analytics on public company auditors. And congrats to EY, the audit-yiest of the auditors: Big Four firm Ernst & Young maintains its top spot in the rankings of auditors of public companies, with over 250 public company clients more than its nearest rival, […]

grant thornton compensation 2017

Grant Thornton Making Some Tweaks to Its Unlimited PTO Policy

Last time we checked on Grant Thornton’s unlimited PTO policy, we learned that it was having at least one desired effect: people were taking more time off. The median number of PTO days taken jumped from 17.4 to 19.1. However, the comments from that article suggested that things were getting a bit out of hand. […]

pwc oscars 2018

PwC Keeps The Oscars Gig

After dealing with weeks of embarrassment, brand damage, ridicule, repeated apologies, rejection and capitulation, PwC has finally caught a break. The Hollywood Reporter reports that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to retain the firm to tabulate the ballots for the Oscars despite the colossal screw-up that happened with the Best […]

Arthur Andersen & Co.

The “New” Arthur Andersen Was Just Kidding About Holding a Press Conference to Explain WTF Is Going On

Last week kinda blew by and we sorta forgot that this mysterious new Arthur Andersen was supposed to hold a press conference about…well something. In any case, it never happened and I didn’t even get a press kit I was promised. Accounting Today reports that they didn’t get anything either: The new Arthur Andersen told […]

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PCAOB Sanctions Former PwC Brazil Partner for Lousy Auditing

You may have noticed, maybe not, but PwC is in the midst of a bad publicity streak. Last month, one partner screwed up the hand-off of the Best Picture envelope at the Oscars while the other partner froze. A few days later, federal agents raided Caterpillar’s headquarters over its offshore tax practices that PwC helped […]

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Judge Didn’t Buy PwC’s Story, Rejects Call for Mistrial

Judge Victor Marrero rejected PwC’s argument that MF Global’s attorneys were presenting a new theory of causation in their case, dealing the firm a setback in the trial. PwC claimed that the plaintiffs were conducting a “trial by ambush.” From Reuters: PwC said the administrator has in three years of litigation blamed the bankruptcy on […]

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Exposure Drafts: Incredibly, The Entire Paper Shredder Industry Passed on ‘Arthur Andersen’ Name Rights

Exposure Drafts appears every other Wednesday. Send suggestions to editor@goingconcern.com.

pwc oscars 2018

It’s a Safe Bet That a Few People Knew That Saying “PwC Is a Bunch of Morons” Would Get Them Out of Jury Duty

This Associated Press report chronicles the first two days in the trial between the bankruptcy trustee of MF Global Holdings and PwC. The story is fine, a classic example of AP reporting, but two sentences make it truly remarkable (and thus worthy of our pages here): What was originally a highly technical case newsworthy mostly […]

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In MF Global Trial, PwC Hoping for Jurors Who’ve Been Under a Rock

Despite all the hubbub around the screw-up at the Academy Awards, PwC has to soldier on with its business. Unfortunately, right now that business includes defending itself against a massive lawsuit in a trial that starts on Monday. It’s hard to imagine a worse Monday than the day after #Envelopegate, but the firm’s face-off with […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Will the Real Arthur Andersen Please Stand Up? | 03.03.17

Arthur Andersen On Wednesday of this week, a post by Stéphane Laffont-Réveilhac appeared on LinkedIn entitled: “Arthur Andersen restarts with 26 offices in 16 countries on 5 continents.” Laffont-Réveilhac is identified as the “Global Managing Partner” in the byline, but the post reads more like a press release. As from the 1st of March 2017, […]

PwC’s Recruiting Will Take a Hit Over the Oscars Debacle

Forty-two years ago I sat down to make an important life decision, my second in two years.  The first was to go to graduate school instead of accepting a commission in the Marine Corps. The second was to join Price Waterhouse. Marriage would come later. I was the first in my family to go to […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Failing to Predict Failure and Unauthorized Tweeting | 02.28.17

Failing to predict failure One thing that I’m still confused about in this whole PwC/Oscars debacle is the plan of action — or lack thereof — in case the wrong winner was read on stage. Here’s what Brian Cullinan told the Huffington Post, in a now jinxiest interview ever conducted: Should a presenter declare a […]

Here Are Some of the Best Tweets Roasting PwC for #EnvelopeGate

As we all know by now, the 89th Academy Awards didn’t go as planned for the dynamic duo in charge of guarding the Academy’s great secret. It’s not like PwC has had 82 chances to perfect the process since they first started counting the ballots. Oh wait, it’s exactly like that. As expected the Twitterati […]

pwc oscars 2018

And the Award For Worst Oscars Gaffe Goes To… PwC

In case you’ve been glued to the livestream of a giraffe not giving birth for the last two days, you may have missed the fuss surrounding PwC’s gaffe at the Academy Awards last night and subsequent fallout. The long and short of it is PwC handed Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the wrong envelopes, and […]

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Accounting News Roundup: PwC’s Oscars Flub | 02.27.17

Oops Well, in case you went to bed early last night, here’s what you missed: In what was surely the most shocking moment in Oscars history, Faye Dunaway announced the wrong winner for best picture at the end of the ceremony, awarding the trophy to “La La Land” when it actually was supposed to go […]

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Accounting News Roundup: More Litigation Fun for PwC and Tax Reform on Snapchat | 02.24.17

Litigation I’m sure when you’re a mega professional services firm like PwC, things like class-action litigation probably just start to feel normal after awhile. Last week we noted the firm’s pending trial with the bankruptcy trustee of MF Global and now we have this story from BloombergBNA that reports on more fun legal stuff: PricewaterhouseCoopers […]

Big 4 Myth Busting: Staying Until Manager

It’s 2017 and the rules have changed. Taco shells are made out of fried chicken skin, the Syracuse mascot can get elected president, and you don’t have to stay to manager in public accounting to maximize your career.

Accounting News Roundup: Big 4 Breakup Speculation and Preparing for a Trump Tweet | 02.14.17

Big 4 breakup speculation Jim Peterson writes about the possibility of any or all of Big 4 spinning off their advisory practices and, give the current state of things, it’s probably as likely to happen as it is not likely to happen. You see, there’s regulatory pressure due to the conflicts of interest between advisory […]

Here’s What PwC US Chairman Tim Ryan Said About President Trump’s Immigrant Ban

In the first reaction from a Big 4 firm that we’ve seen, PwC US Chairman Tim Ryan has issued a statement on President Trump’s executive order that banned immigrants from seven countries. The statement appears on the firm’s PwC Inside Facebook page, is clear and carefully worded and stops short of explicitly opposing the ban. […]