October 17, 2018

Europe

English pub

Starting in October, You Can Grab a Pint at a Real English Pub After the CPA Exam

Congratulations, unlicensed U.S. expats in Europe, beginning October 1 you no longer have to head to Bahrain to take the CPA exam. According to an announcement from the AICPA, NASBA, and Prometric, nine Prometric locations across the pond will offer CPA exam testing for qualified applicants. Bristol, London, and Manchester (England) Edinburgh (Scotland) Cork and […]

Guy Who Ran Off with $1.5 Million in Credit Suisse Money Was Once a Deloitte Spreadsheet Jockey

In case you avoid the financial news like I avoid Colin before I've had my morning coffee, let's get you nice and caught up on the hedge fund manager on the run after Credit Suisse "accidentally" sent him $1.5 million that wasn't his: In the board game Monopoly, when the bank makes an error in […]

Maybe Ernst & Young *Can* Save The Global Economy All By Itself

Yeah, there are doubters, but that doesn't mean Black and Yellow isn't going to try like hell to turn this thing around. In addition to the hires in the U.S., E&Y is trying solve employment problems around the world:   Tens of thousands of financial services jobs are going in London according to the CEBR. […]

Europe Finally Resorts to Making Empty Threats Over U.S. Stalling on IFRS

The foot-dragging by the SEC over IFRS is a sight to behold. At some point in time – the Triassic Period, or thereabouts – the G20 requested "key global accounting standards bodies [to] work intensively toward the objective of creating a single high-quality global standard." And yet on Friday, the SEC served up a steaming pile of […]

The Big 4’s Lobbying Efforts In Europe Make the Banks Look Like a Bunch of Amateurs

Proposed audit reforms in Europe, which include mandatory firm rotation and a ban on advisory services provided to audit clients, have been met with, shall we say, resistance: The Big Four are campaigning hard to stop many of the core changes from being approved by the European Parliament and EU states. Smaller auditors are urging lawmakers […]

Former Andersen CEO Joe Berardino Admits That We’re All Just As Stupid Now As We Were When Enron Went Bankrupt

[caption id="attachment_52236" align="alignright" width="150" caption="People are still letting this man speak."][/caption]

Of course CNBC would put this guy on TV today.

Asked whether lessons had been learned since Enron filed for bankruptcy, Berardino said, “we’re still learning” and pointed to the sovereign debt crisis currently engulfing the euro zone. “(Enron) ran out of time in terms of its liquidity and a lot of the same elements — leverage, the need for liquidity, crisis when you lose confidence — are repeated in all those examples. And I would argue we’re now living through it with the sovereign crisis in Europe,” he said. “There are a lot of the same elements.”

Arthur Andersen Ex-CEO: Enron, Europe Are Similar [CNBC]

Audit Reform Goodie Bag to Be Opened Tomorrow

Michel Barnier delayed things for a week – not his choice – but your anxiety should subside tomorrow:

Internal markets commissioner Barnier will present his audit reform proposals to European Parliament tomorrow, one week later than planned. […] Headline proposals include pure audit firms, mandatory joint audit and mandatory rotation, but critics claim the measures would not address Barnier’s proclaimed objectives.

Barnier’s audit reform unveiled tomorrow [Accountancy Age]

Did You Blow Off the CPA Exam to Have an Epic Summer? Here’s How to Start Your New Job and Study Smart

If you have a CPA exam question for me or (even better), our audience as a whole using me as a pawn in your game to get better information, please get in touch. I’ll try to Google any answers I don’t know and will not berate you for your choices. Unless your choices are stupid.

Hi Adrienne,

I appreciate you offering to give CPA advice to readers of GC.

I am starting with GT next week, but due to summer school, summer work, and an awesome trip to Europe I opted to not even look at CPA exam material until now. I went against better advice saying I should study with the free time I had, and instead opted to genuinely enjoy my last Summer before life officially ends.


From Zero Hedge:

Norway’s Government Pension Fund, which is another name for its Sovereign Wealth Fund, has just announced it is suing Bank of America for mortgage fraud. Not only that but it is also going after Countrywide, obviously, but far more importantly, is also suing KPGM [sic], the auditor on the Countrywide transaction, and, drumroll, ole’ Agent Orange himself [That’s former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo for those of you not up to speed].

So what, you say? Norway is just some Scandinavian wasteland with a lot of blondes and the occasional psychopath? Not the point!

[J]ust like the US lawsuit spigot opened ever so slowly at first, it is now gushing, and is absolutely certain that every company (ahem insolvent German banks) that ever bought a mortgage from Countrywide, Merrill and Bank of America will serve the local branch of the bank with a summons over the next month.

In other words, this little breakout may turn into a full-fledged epidemic.

Bank Of America’s Legal Woes Go Global After Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Sues For Mortgage Fraud [ZH]
Also see:
The Fund suing large bank in the U.S. for fraud [DN.NO (Beware, the translation is brutal)]

Big 4 Senior Wants to Know If Her Family Planning Scheme Is Crazy

Ed. note: Are you in the middle of a career conundrum that could use some third-rate advice? Email us at [email protected] and we just surprise you with some sensibility.

Hi!

I work in audit at a Big Four firm in Europe. I’m starting my second senior year and I’ve received good evaluations so far (B+ on my first year,
and then A’s on my second and third years). I love the job, but I know I won’t stay forever (too many long nights, plus I just don’t think
I’d like to be manager). I’m 25, I’ve been married for 2 years and I want kids. I want to start trying, keep working through pregnancy, take the usual time off after birth (paid by government), and return to work part-time. Then after some time I’d probably look for a job elsewhere to work full time (but not Big Four hours).

I haven’t heard of anyone being pregnant during their senior years. How crazy is my plan? Will my senior manager have a heart attack when
I tell him I’m pregnant? Should I wait to try to get pregnant and look for another job with more normal hours?

Thank you!

Hi Europe,

Greetings from across the pond. I’ll do my best to help with your questions, but seeing that I am neither a) pregnant nor b) part of the busy season cycle, I hope the GC.com community can pitch in their own advice. My advice is based on a combination of what I’ve seen here in New York, my general knowledge of Big 4 firms, and what I think (or hope) is common sense.

EU: I haven’t heard of anyone being pregnant during their senior years. How crazy is my plan? Will my senior manager have a heart attack when I tell him I’m pregnant?

DWB: The timing of your pregnancy and pending childbirth will determine how your senior manager takes the news. Generally speaking (again, from what I see here in the States), it’s better from a career move perspective to be pregnant during busy season than to give birth and be out of the office during final reviews, sign-off’s, etc. So, conceiving in the next few months shouldn’t pose too much of an issue.

Let’s say your nine month clock kicks off in October; you’re looking at a July baby. Like the rest of your life, working through busy season will require an adjustment on your part and open communication with your team will be essential. Summer babies are a very common and oftentimes planned with busy season in mind.

EU: Should I wait to try to get pregnant and look for another job with more normal hours?

This question contradicts with what you said earlier in your email, so I’m going to say stay where you are for now. You’re doing well at your firm, and your job there might even act as a rock as you transition into parenthood. I suggest taking advantage of the support groups your firm has in place, and seek out the advice of senior employees who balance work and parenting already.

Good luck with starting your family! GC’ers – what kind of advice can you provide to our hopeful accountant-and-mother-to-be?

KPMG Europe Makes an Announcement that Won’t Upset Anyone

8ball.jpgIn a demonstration of spreading the wealth or possibly just a strategic international ploy, KPMG Europe is adding seven new nations to its firm.
Regardless of the motivation, it clearly demonstrates that the most positive news that the Scrooge American firm is capable of announcing is that it is ruining everyone’s holiday season prior to the start of football season so you have plenty of time to get over it.
KPMG Europe will add Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Georgia to its stable of bean counters. They join the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands and will increase the Europe revenues to over £4bn which probably could pay for a few parties (but not full bar) in the States.
KPMG Europe spreads wings to take in seven nations [Accountancy Age]