A friendly reminder to audit firms: an auditor must maintain independence in both fact and appearance. Maybe PwC Mexico forgot this when it took over in fiscal year 2016 as the auditor of one of the largest financial services holding companies in Mexico. It just so happened that at the time the engagement letter was […]
While I was vacationing in South Carolina last week, word officially came down from across the pond about the highly anticipated fine KPMG U.K. would be receiving from a Financial Reporting Council disciplinary tribunal for bungling reports on Bank of New York Mellon Corp. The tribunal let KPMG off the hook, deciding on a fine […]
“Sell in May and go away” was an investors’ adage invoked as vacation strategy in a more genteel era. Returns in the summer were said to lag the rest of the year—and in any event, that’s how brokers justified their holiday cottages on the eastern seaboard. This year the maxim has twice failed my attempt […]
It was Deloitte’s turn on the Financial Reporting Council’s dunk tank today, as the U.K. regulator fined the firm and one of its partners over the audits of the 2011 and 2012 financial statements of Serco Geografix Ltd., a subsidiary of outsourcing firm Serco Group PLC, which were found to be complete rubbish. The FRC […]
The SEC made official today the news that Dave Michaels of the Wall Street Journal broke late last week, announcing that KPMG will pay $50 million to settle allegations that former partners “stole the test” by using confidential information that was being fed to them by a PCAOB insider to improve the firm’s performance on […]
Dave Michaels of the Wall Street Journal broke some huge news late last night about a huge fine the SEC could levy against KPMG later this month because of several former partners’ involvement in one of the biggest U.S. accounting scandals in recent years—stealing secret audit inspection information from the PCAOB. KPMG LLP is preparing […]
Oh look, a Big 4 firm other than KPMG got in trouble earlier today with the audit overseer across the pond. The Wall Street Journal reported: The Financial Reporting Council, Britain’s regulator for accounting and audit, on Thursday penalized PwC and partners Jaskamal Sarai and Arif Ahmad in relation to audits of the 2015 and […]
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. […]
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 […]
The Hong Kong Institute of CPAs doled out some fines on Nov. 13 to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and a Deloitte CPA for making some auditing faux pas. The firm and accountant Lee Po Chi each have to pony up $50,000 HKD ($6,384 USD) “for their failure or neglect to observe, maintain or otherwise apply professional […]
Deloitte Canada scored a hat trick of sorts on Oct. 16, but I doubt it was celebrated among the firm’s management. The firm was censured and fined $350,000 by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board on Tuesday for failing to maintain independence during its 2012, 2013, and 2014 audits of Canadian gold-mining company Banro Corp. […]
The Big 4 firms in the U.K. have been the target of repeated tongue-lashings from the Financial Reporting Council lately because, let’s face it, audits have been pretty damn bad. Things have gotten so desperate that EY is bringing in behavioral psychologists to improve audit quality. But the U.K. accounting watchdog’s most recent tongue-lashing wasn’t […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Remember last summer when Deloitte got itself wrapped up in a big international money laundering scandal? It was pretty exciting international intrigue-y stuff! The New York Department of Financial Services fined Standard Chartered bank $340 million last August for helping Iran move money around and now Cuomo & Co. have gotten around to holding Deloitte responsible […]
You've probably heard by now that escaped mental patient Michele Bachmann has suspended her campaign for president. While this is upsetting for many that stand proudly around the Bachmann couldron, the congresswoman should know that while voters all over Iowa were skipping over her name with ease last night, the Iowa City school district also […]
They were so unimpressed with it, in fact, that they are fining the firm $900,000 and partner David Shane $100,000 to settle up.
Mickey G’s issued an unqualified audit opinion for One World Capital Group’s 2006 financial statements and also stated that the company’s internal controls were just fine and dandy. Neither of these things turned out to be true. And when you read the CFTC’s press release, you really have to wonder if anyone was really auditing this company:
[T]he order finds that One World’s 2006 financial statements were materially misstated in various ways including: (1) the 2006 Statement of Financial Condition states that liabilities payable to all customers were over $6.9 million, when in fact information available in One World’s records showed that it may have owed at least $15 million just to forex customers alone, for whom One World served as the counterparty; and (2) the 2006 financial statements materially misstated the nature of One World’s business by failing to reflect that One World served as the counter party to its forex customers for over 90 percent of its business, according to the order.
In addition, McGladrey failed to report material inadequacies in One World’s accounting system and internal accounting controls, including the lack of a customer ledger, and an accounting system that did not properly identify the number of forex customers or the amount of customer liabilities, according to the order. These material inadequacies reasonably could, and did, lead to material misstatements in One World’s 2006 financial statements, the order finds.
David A. Costello, CPA, President & CEO and Michael R. Bryant, CPA, CFO of NASBA jointly and severally stated that NASBA’s 2010 financial statements did not contain any untrue material statements and their auditors, Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain, PC seconded that so obviously the following is all accurate. We looked ourselves. Not being professional financial statement ninjas, however, we invite you to take a peek for yourself here.
The good news for NASBA is that total consolidated revenue in Fiscal 2010 was $33.7 million compared to $31.4 million in Fiscal 2009, an increase of 7.3%. There were more CPA exam candidates as well as a new state added to NASBA’s CPAES program, which does the work of state boards of accountancy by processing CPA exam applications.
Interestingly, though my grandparents have been eating Alpo for the last two years thanks to Ben Bernanke and I’m earning a little under half a percent on my savings, NASBA must have a good investment banker because they did pretty well for themselves in FY 10. The annual report states that revenue from escrow management fees related to the CPA exam increased over the prior year and that higher interest rates, on average, during FY 10 were earned on these funds which are held in fully-insured securities or interest-bearing accounts. Can someone please let me know where these accounts are?! I want in.
But the most interesting part of NASBA’s mostly dull financial statements is the $300,000 “fine” Prometric paid them for violating its CPA exam agreement. Yes, the same agreement that was just renewed through 2024 with much fanfare last year.
The item is reported as “Income from Contract Issue” on NASBA’s consolidated financial statements and buried in note 12 thusly:
Note 12. Income from Contract Issue
As a part of the initial CBT Services Agreement effective May 31, 2002, Prometric was required to obtain and maintain insurance policies for certain specific perils, coverage amounts, terms and conditions naming the Association and its member boards as additional insureds. During fiscal 2010, the Association asserted that Prometric failed to comply with certain applicable insurance requirements. Prometric denied the assertions but, in resolution of the matter, provided evidence that it had come into compliance, agreed to indemnify, hold harmless and defend for any coverage lapses, and paid $300,000 to the Association. In addition, Prometric reimbursed the Association for certain legal and administrative expenses related to the resolution.
It doesn’t appear that NASBA declared the legal and admin expenses it also received so we’re assuming they were either immaterial or just embarrassing. Any financial statement detectives are welcome to come to their own conclusions.
A win is a win and the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals handed one to John Larson, one of three defendants sentenced last year for selling illegal tax shelters. The Court “found Larson’s [$6 million] fine too high, citing a lack of jury findings to support a fine above $3 million. It returned that part of the case to the lower court to recalculate any fine.”
That’s more or less where the good news ends. The court did uphold the convictions of Larson and his two co-defendants – ex-KPMG Partner Robert Pfaff and ex-Brown & Wood partner Raymond Ruble. Larson was sentenced to a 10 year prison term last year. Pfaff received 8 years and Ruble 6-1/2 years.
Hopefully they’ll spread it around, you know, with lifetime memberships to: ladyboyjuice.com, kinkycomments.com, sexyavatars.net, cafebuckskin.blogspot.com et al.
Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $550 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the largest penalty ever paid by a Wall Street firm, to settle charges of securities fraud linked to mortgage investments.
Under the terms of the deal, Goldman will pay $300 million in fines to the Treasury Department, with the rest serving as restitution to investors in the mortgage-linked security. Goldman will not admit wrongdoing, though it will admit that its marketing materials for the investment “contained incomplete information.”
That doesn’t sound nearly as fun but we understand a few people may have gotten hurt on this deal.