controversies

Ex-KPMG Executive Director’s Sentencing Put Off Until June

We won’t know until June at the earliest how much prison time former KPMG executive director Cynthia Holder will get for her involvement in a scheme to steal confidential audit inspection information from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. Holder was supposed to be sentenced in Manhattan federal court on April 5, but her sentencing […]

The Olds vs. PwC: Age Discrimination Case Can Proceed as a Collective Action

It’s been a while since we’ve had an update on Rabin v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the age discrimination lawsuit accusing PwC of favoring younger workers over individuals over the age of 40 for entry-level positions within the firm. Well, we’re happy to tell you we have a little bit of news, courtesy of Law.com: U.S. District […]

Trial of Ex-Dallas Cop Accused of Killing PwC Accountant Botham Jean Delayed Until September

Amid all the Chicago Cubs angst that has been in my Twitter feed of late was this tweet from the Dallas Morning News: Former Dallas officer Amber Guyger's murder trial delayed in slaying of Botham Jean https://t.co/RHdhIN1FnA — Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) April 2, 2019 Guyger’s murder trial was supposed to begin on Aug. 12, […]

Oh Look, EY Is On the Receiving End Of Another Sexual Harassment Complaint

After we recently reported on sexual harassment allegations made against male executives at EY U.S. and EY Switzerland by former female employees, Adrienne and I got an email from a woman by the name of Ana Raquel Villanueva who told us that she, too, was a victim of sexual harassment while employed at EY in […]

Ex-Dallas Cop Accused of Murdering PwC Accountant Botham Jean Will Go On Trial In August

The murder trial for Amber Guyger, the former Dallas police officer who was charged in the 2018 shooting death of PwC Associate Botham Jean, will begin on Aug. 12, according to published reports. Guyger and her attorneys made a brief appearance in court on March 18 for an “announcement setting,” but a gag order issued […]

Ex-KPMG Partner’s Fraud Trial: David Middendorf and Jeffrey Wada GUILTY!

A Manhattan jury on Monday convicted former KPMG partner David Middendorf and former Public Company Accounting Oversight Board staffer Jeffrey Wada for their roles in one of the biggest accounting scandals in recent years. Law360 court reporter Jack Newsham broke the news on Twitter earlier this afternoon: BREAK – Middendorf, Wada convicted on all but […]

Ex-KPMG Partner’s Fraud Trial: David Middendorf Takes the Stand

Law360 court reporter Jack Newsham wrote on Feb. 28 that it could happen this week, and he was right: Former KPMG partner David Middendorf took the stand this afternoon to testify in his own defense. Authorities have said that Middendorf and four of his former KPMG colleagues—Thomas Whittle, Brian Sweet, David Britt, and Cynthia Holder—were […]

Ex-KPMG Partner’s Fraud Trial: What David Middendorf Allegedly Said Once the Scheme Started to Unravel

OK guys, things are starting to get good in the David Middendorf trial. We now know the identity of “Partner-5”—the person at KPMG who allegedly blew the whistle on the information-stealing scheme that five KPMG executives and one Public Company Accounting Oversight Board employee were involved in to help KPMG know ahead of time which […]

Ex-KPMG Partner’s Fraud Trial: Brian Sweet Takes the Stand

The trial of ex-KPMG partner David Middendorf keeps rolling along, as prosecutors on Feb. 19 called on one of the major players in the scheme to steal secret audit inspection information from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to testify against Middendorf. Brian Sweet, a former associate director at the PCAOB who later became a […]

Legal Experts Think KPMG France Will Likely Get Away With Fidal Lawyer Poaching

Early last week we told you guys about KPMG France recently stealing away 130 lawyers (some reports say 144 or 145 lawyers) away from France’s largest law firm, Fidal, which is threatening to sue the Big 4 firm for “unfair competition.” But legal experts who were interviewed by Law.com say Fidal’s case against KPMG is […]

Ex-KPMG Partner’s Fraud Trial: Opening Arguments

A jury heard opening arguments in a Manhattan courtroom on Feb. 12 in the trial of a former high-ranking audit partner at KPMG who was charged with conspiracy and wire fraud for his role in a scheme to cheat the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board inspection process. David Middendorf and co-defendant Jeffrey Wada, a former […]

EY Won’t Waive Arbitration Provision for Ex-Partner Who Says She Was Victim of Sexual Harassment

Last September, we reported on a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by former EY partner Karen Ward, who accused her former employer of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and retaliation. A couple of days after filing the complaint, Ward sent an open letter to EY Global Chairman and CEO Mark Weinberger, asking him […]

KPMG France Just Poached 130 Lawyers From a French Law Firm, Which Is Understandably Pissed

In Going Concern’s nine-plus-year history, Caleb and Adrienne have chronicled many, many instances of “competitive poaching” among the Big 4 firms. PwC and KPMG, in particular, have a long history of poaching from one another. But with the Big 4 firms’ legal brands showing huge growth among alternative legal service providers, what is starting to […]

EY Switzerland Managing Partner Accused of Sexual Harassment Has Been Relieved of His Duties

The outside investigation into accusations of sexual harassment at EY Switzerland has been completed, and the accused harasser, a male managing partner who also served as the firm’s chief talent officer, has been shown the door. But according to published reports in Switzerland and confirmed to Going Concern by several sources, the law firm engaged […]

Marcel Stalder Is Out as CEO of EY Switzerland

A couple weeks ago, we got an email from a tipster who told us that EY Switzerland CEO Marcel Stalder was “dead meat” due to the firm’s handling of sexual harassment allegations made against a male managing partner by a former female associate. Well, turns out this person was right; Stalder has stepped down as […]

Lots of IRS Workers Will Have to Trudge Back to Work From Mandatory Unpaid Vacation

It’s hard enough being an IRS employee during tax season when you’re receiving a paycheck. But having to work as the start of tax season nears without being paid and having to resort to selling some of your belongings on eBay or Craigslist to make ends meet ROYALLY SUCKS. But this is the current reality […]

Here Is More Proof That EY Switzerland Is a Total Frat House

Well, guys, we learned today that at an EY Switzerland holiday party a few years ago, Santa Claus got an erotic lap dance on stage in front of about 200 people. And the man dressed like jolly ol’ Saint Nick is a partner in the firm’s banking practice, and the woman grinding on his lap […]

Ex-Dallas Cop Who Killed PwC Accountant Botham Jean Comes Out of Hiding

Amber Guyger, the former Dallas police officer who was indicted on a murder charge late last year for fatally shooting PwC Associate Botham Jean in his apartment in early September, appeared at a Dallas County courthouse on Jan. 8, where a judge issued a gag order preventing attorneys from speaking publicly about the case. According […]

New Year’s Eve Was Kind of a Bummer for Hertz

Man, I hope executives at Hertz got shitfaced on New Year’s Eve, because being told the company has to pay a $16 million civil penalty to the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle a case involving numerous accounting violations is not a stellar way to end 2018/begin 2019. An SEC cease-and-desist order filed on Dec. […]

KPMG U.K. Employees Are Reportedly Pissed Off About Being Fined for Late Timesheets

A new timesheet policy being rolled out at KPMG U.K. is causing a little ruckus between employees and management. From The Guardian: KPMG has angered UK staff by threatening them with £100 fines if they submit their paperwork late. The accounting company said it would impose the penalties if staff were late to file their […]

EY Switzerland Suspends Chief Talent Officer Accused of Sexual Harassment

The chief talent officer at EY Switzerland was suspended by the firm today pending an independent investigation into sexual harassment allegations made by a former EY female associate, who claims the male executive made inappropriate comments about her breasts, made sexual advances toward her, and then bullied her when she rejected him, according to published […]

KPMG Got Down on Its Knees and Begged South Africa for Forgiveness

South Africa, KPMG is sorry. Sorry for doing work for the billionaire Gupta family, who has been accused of using their links to former South Africa president Jacob Zuma to influence government decisions and the awarding of government contracts. Sorry for making severe auditing mistakes that led to the collapse of VBS Mutual Bank, in […]

KPMG, PwC, and EY Also Kicked U.K. Partners to the Curb for Sexual Harassment, Bullying

We learned on Dec. 9 that Deloitte U.K. had fired about 20 partners in the past four years for inappropriate behavior, including sexual harassment and bullying. The Financial Times, which broke the story, had asked the other Big 4 firms in the U.K. if they would disclose similar information. They declined. But KPMG, PwC, and […]

Deloitte sign

Deloitte U.K. Fired 20 Partners for Being Scumbags

Over the past four years, Deloitte U.K. has gotten rid of about 20 partners for inappropriate behavior, including sexual harassment and bullying, the firm’s CEO, David Sproul, told the Financial Times in an article published on Dec. 9. “We will fire people for any inappropriate behaviour. No one is protected,” said David Sproul. “There has […]

Federal Judge Sides with KPMG in Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

KPMG scored a huge victory in court on Nov. 30, as a New York federal court judge declined to certify a long-running class-action lawsuit by thousands of current and former female KPMG tax and advisory professionals who accused the firm of gender, pay, and promotion discrimination dating back to 2008. While the ruling bars the […]

Fired Dallas Cop Amber Guyger Indicted on Murder Charge in the Shooting Death of PwC Accountant Botham Jean

A Dallas County grand jury on Nov. 30 indicted former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger on a murder charge for fatally shooting PwC Associate Botham Jean in his apartment in early September. After two days of hearing evidence this week, jurors voted this morning to upgrade the charge Guyger faces from manslaughter to murder. Guyger, 30, […]

Female KPMG Employees Seek Class Status in Gender Discrimination Lawsuit, Detail Alleged Sexual Misconduct at the Firm

There was a new development yesterday in the long-running gender bias lawsuit against KPMG, in which a group of current and former female advisory and tax professionals have accused the firm of gender, pay, and promotion discrimination, as well as condoning sexual harassment. Attorneys representing the plaintiffs filed a motion on Nov. 27 that asked […]

Grand Jury Hears Case Against Dallas Cop Who Killed PwC Accountant Botham Jean

Evidence against Amber Guyger, the Dallas police officer who shot and killed PwC Associate Botham Jean in his apartment on Sept. 6, was finally being heard by a Dallas County jury this morning, the Dallas News reported. The Jean family’s attorneys, Lee Merritt and Daryl K. Washington, told reporters on Monday that the family was […]

Former EY Consultant Indicted on Hate Crime Charges for Allegedly Attacking Gay Couple, Being a Total D-Bag

Brandon McNamara, a 25-year-old former EY employee who was arrested in September for allegedly beating up two gay men outside a Brooklyn bar, faces up to 15 years in the slammer after he was indicted on hate crime charges last week. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said McNamara was arraigned on Nov. 14 and charged with […]

New Dallas County DA Not Shy About Wanting Cop Who Killed PwC Accountant Charged with Murder

The newly elected Dallas County district attorney believes that former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger got off easy with a manslaughter charge in the September shooting death of PwC associate Botham Jean (pictured above). “I don’t know any police reports. I don’t know any forensic reports, but based on what I have seen, manslaughter is […]

KPMG Adds Another Independent Warm Body to Its Board of Directors

KPMG has given retired Air Force General Janet Wolfenbarger a friend on its board of directors. KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm, is pleased to announce the appointment of Linda L. Addison as an independent director to its U.S. Board of Directors. Addison is the second distinguished independent director the Firm has […]

Botham Jean’s Family Sues City of Dallas, Trigger-Happy Cop Who Killed PwC Accountant

The family of Botham Jean filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Dallas and police officer Amber Guyger late last month, claiming that Guyger used excessive force and violated Jean’s constitutional and civil rights when she shot and killed the 26-year-old PwC associate in his apartment on Sept. 6. The lawsuit—which was filed on […]

Ex-KPMG Partner Pleads Guilty to Using Stolen PCAOB Inspection Information

The former national partner-in-charge of inspections at KPMG pled guilty on Oct. 29 for his involvement in a scheme in which the Big 4 firm repeatedly used stolen confidential Public Company Accounting Oversight Board information to cheat the regulatory inspection process. Thomas Whittle, 55, pled guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy charges, pursuant to a […]

L’Affaire Denim: Accounting Firm Dress Code Debates Span Borders, Decades

Cosmic issues are being raised in the great Dress Code debates: Is denim okay every day? What’s the largest allowable team logo on a sweatshirt? How about pajamas outside the house? My experiences may offer some useful historical and cultural context. In the late 1990s I was expatriated to Paris with one of the then […]

The ‘Everyday Jeans’ Policy Backlash Has Begun

As the culture wars in the accounting profession continue, it was inevitable that concerns would arise around the "Don Your Denim" policies. On Accounting Today earlier this week, one worry that was brought up is that the casual dress policy is allowed "as long as you don’t have a client meeting" and that would discourage […]