July 22, 2018

India

Satyam Founder Sentenced to 6 Months in Prison for Massive, Obvious Fraud

Remember Satyam? That Satyam? Yeah, it's been awhile for us, too. Satyam's PwC India auditors already received a lifetime ban, but what about Satyam's founder? Surely you've been wondering what sort of slap on the wrist he'd get for one of the largest and most blatant frauds in history? Wonder no longer: A local court […]

Citizens of India Can Sit For the CPA Exam in the Middle East Starting October 1

It's certainly the next best thing to being able to sit for the exam in India: The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and Prometric today announced that testing for the Uniform CPA Examination in the Middle East will be open to all qualified citizens and permanent […]

Ex-Employee Chronicles Grant Thornton’s Gutting of CCR After Acquisition

A few Accounting News Roundups ago, Colin linked to a story about Grant Thornton's new tax hub in Bangalore. In that article, GT CEO Stephen Chipman enthusiastically declared his own tax return is prepared by Indians in Bangalore, which is fine for him. What Colin didn't highlight was this quote, in which Chipman declares hiring […]

The Tax Man Drumeth

With the sound of the drums echoing off the walls of the surrounding buildings, it feels as if it could be an impromptu street performance – but it's not. This is tax collecting Bangalore-style. Fed up with companies refusing to pay their tax bills, the city has gone one better than merely sending out reminder letters. Instead it […]

Any Tax Professionals at Grant Thornton Interested in Going to India?

Because of recent events, you may have thought that not much was in the works at Grant Thornton. Well, you'd be wrong. Stephen Chipman runs a tight fish and chip house so while you've all been distracted by pests, tattoos, and buttering up the POTUS, SC and his team have been planning your next dynamic […]

Now That They’ve Put the Biggest Fraud in India’s History Behind Them, PwC Thinks an Independent Audit Regulator Might Be a Good Idea

PwC India Chairman Deepak Kapoor is in Davos and must be engaging in some real brain busters. I mean, what savvy political mind could have passed along this little suggestion? "[W]e need to move with the times. A number of large countries such as the US and even some smaller ones like Sri Lanka have […]

PwC Is the Real Victim in This Whole Satyam Suing the Crap Out of Everyone Situation, Says PwC

The Indian Enron fuckshow otherwise known as Satyam has seemingly been in our lives since before Adrienne had tattoos. Even after settlements, new auditors, and delayed restatement after delayed restatement, one might think that we had heard the last of this godforsaken money pit. Nope! Indian software outsourcer Mahindra Satyam on Monday said it had filed […]

Here’s An Original Idea for Threatening Your Local Tax Authority

Envelopes with white powder? Please. Bomb threats? Played. Planes into buildings? Meh.

If you really want to get some attention, you need to employ tactics that would make Samuel L. Jackson soil himself:


[via TaxProf]

PwC India Consultant Did Not Technically Die From Work-Related Hazards

Over the weekend, we got news that a 34-year-old PwC India senior consultant was found dead at his Calcutta home. A maid noticed smoke and alerted the man’s parents, who lived downstairs. When the parents rushed into the room, they found their son’s bed partially in flames. Police and fire department officials initially suspected Sayan Chowdhury died of electrocution after discovering his charred body lying close to his charging laptop and iPod, headphones still in his ears. Police believe the man fell asleep with the laptop on.

“The preliminary post-mortem suggests he died of carbon monoxide inhalation, apparently while asleep,” joint commissioner of police Damayanti Sen said.

A friend told The Telegraph (India) that Chowdhury was “a very bright professional and had been rising fast in the organisation since switching from Cognizant Technology Solutions.” He leaves behind a six month old daughter and a wife, who also happens to work for PwC.

It is suspected at this time that Chowdhury died of carbon monoxide poisoning after the laptop charger short circuited in his tightly closed bedroom. The victim’s wife and newborn daughter were not in the home at the time, as they have been staying with his wife’s parents, who have been helping to care for the baby.

Experts suggest that it is possible the adapter attached to the power supply cord may have failed, leading to a 230-volt alternating current surge into the laptop, turning it into a death trap. Or, the battery may have got overcharged and exploded, spilling lethal chemicals on Chowdhury. Aside from the short circuit scenario, investigators have not ruled out the possibility that the fire and subsequent fatal CO inhalation was caused by a burning cigarette. “To identify the source of the CO, we have to wait for the forensic reports. The state forensic science laboratory officials collected samples of charred wire, the sample of half-burnt cigerettes,” an officer said.

What is the lesson here, kids? Well for one, don’t work too hard. Two, don’t leave your laptop on the charger. Three, don’t pass out with your laptop on the charger. Safety first!

 

What If 20 Percent of Audit Work Was Performed Offshore?

You may have heard that accounting firms – primarily Big 4 firms – have been slowly transitioning work to countries like India and Sri Lanka. This particular topic of discussion typically results in a heated/subtly racist conversations about “foreigners taking American jobs” which eventually evolves into a more overtly racist conversation, not unlike what happens on some Deloitte forums.

ANYWAY, just how much work is being sent offshore? The FT reported some recent projections that the UK’s Financial Reporting Council (“FRC”) found for PwC in the UK:

In an annual inspection report, the FRC said the UK arm of PwC might move as much as 20 per cent of its core audit work to Calcutta by 2014. Less than 2 per cent of its work was offshored in its last financial year.

“On the face of it, 20 per cent of an audit being done without any face-to-face contact with the client seems high,” [FRC Director of Audit Paul] George said. He added that all the large UK audit firms were considering offshoring to cut costs but had so far only shifted a tiny fraction of work overseas.

That “20 percent” has a few people concerned and the FRC is looking into it. Granted, this is just an isolated example to audits at PwC, so obviously your offwhoring experience would vary from audit to audit and also for tax and advisory services. And lest you think this is all about money, the article quotes a flak from P. Dubs as saying, “The driver for us was not a reduction in costs. It is an improvement in quality.” O RLY?

Since many of you have worked directly with this process, you may have a difference opinion with this statement and one tipster – who is interested in hearing other people’s offshoring tales – details his:

My experience with this process has been horrendous. Don’t let comments in the article fool you, we are required to send a set amount of hours overseas to be performed by our shared service center. A process that would originally take 1 hour to start and complete (think bank reconciliations) now takes 6 hours. Nothing like writing instructions on how to perform a simple process and receiving a phone call from someone who barely speaks English to ask you how to perform the test. Or receiving a bunch of garbage and re-doing the work yourself.

Teaching someone how to do something, who has presumably never done it before, is difficult. Teaching someone how to do something, who has presumably never done it before, over the phone is worse. Teaching someone how to do something, who has presumably never done it before, over the phone, whose first language is something other than English is maddening.

Arguably, offshoring has benefits but if this trading 1 hour for 6 hours is fairly standard, then quality certainly isn’t one of them. Of course for a firm flak to say otherwise is grounds for a severe beating from his/her superior. The mere idea of trading 1 hour of work for 6 hours is enough to make a manager lose their shit unless the 6 hours are significantly cheaper. Then there’s the whole “client service” thing which is tricky from the get-go. How do you best explain the increased hours and/or the fact that you’re waiting on something from “the offshore team” that’s ordinarily slapped together in a few minutes?

Clearly, this “20 percent” is a shot in the dark but it’s definitely enough to make someone say, “OH HELL NO. NOT ON MY ENGAGEMENT.” But it’s not impossible that some of you have a grand time with the offshoring, so either way, you should let us know.

Watchdogs probe ‘offshoring’ of audit work [FT]