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 […]
So, not only did fans of democracy have a successful protest in Hong Kong yesterday but the Big 4 — who felt compelled to take out an ad warning against assembly — were totally wrong about downtown festivities clogging up the center of business! OK, first of all, July 1st was a local holiday. So […]
As you may have heard, the Big 4 found it within themselves to unite in a recent advertisement taken out in three Chinese-language newspapers warning against pro-democracy protests that would clog up downtown and make it really hard to lube up the capitalist machine with trust and reliable audit opinions. Thanks to our pal Professor […]
Does anyone think that this sounds strange? This week, accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers announced that to help avoid layoffs, employees in mainland China and Hong Kong will be offered a chance to take an additional 12 days’ holiday in the coming months, of which eight of them will be unpaid. The company is also launching a […]
It's been 26 days since Deloitte resigned as the auditor of Daqing Dairy, which is an impressive streak considering the number of days between the previous two resignations was seven. This time around, the Green Dot is walking on SouthGobi Resources Ltd.: Deloitte & Touch LLP has resigned as an auditor “on its own initiative” […]
Busy season probably hasn't started in earnest for many of you but many people are getting geared up. Herman Miller is getting more ass, caffeine intake is on the rise, and you're blowing off your loved ones. All signs that things are about to get real. For some people, however, forgetting about the rigor and […]
It's not really that odd that someone would sue an auditor for $100 million. It's also not unusual that a company (usually through some PR flak) would publicly rebuke the auditor in a news report or press release. What is unique is a company issuing a press release announcing their lawsuit against their audit firm that […]
You may remember that the Big 4 have BIG plans to go on a hiring binge here in the States and around the globe over the next few years. Just last year, Deloitte announced that they were adding 250,000 new employees over the next five years (although we were a bit skeptical as to what the final numbers would actually shake out). The latest in job creation PR, comes from PwC who has announced that they will be adding 15,000 new professionals in Hong Kong and China:
Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers plans to hire 15,000 graduates and experienced professionals over the next five years in China and Hong Kong, it said Tuesday, as it capitalizes on growing business opportunities in the region, particularly mainland China.
The Big-Four firm said the new hires will be “across all lines of service,” adding it hopes to recruit more than 2,000 university graduates in the coming months in Hong Kong and China. The company is conducting campus recruitment in Hong Kong and three mainland Chinese cities this month.
Adding to this glowing news was Fitch Rating’s vote of confidence in the Big 4 who “should inspire confidence in terms of corporate governance” in Chinese companies. Right. Because it’s been clockwork so far.
~ Updated includes statement from Grant Thornton International in final paragraph.
The South China Morning Post is reporting that former Grant Thornton partner, Gabriel Azedo was arrested in Spain, citing “people with knowledge of his detention.”
Gaby was on the lam for over year and has allegedly stolen HK$91 million (around USD$11.7 million) from those close to him, although one of his alleged victims doesn’t see this as a half glass full situation:
Yesterday one of his alleged creditors, racehorse owner Archie da Silva, said: “I don’t know whether to be happy or not. Just because he has been arrested doesn’t mean we will get our money back. It could be a very tedious process to get him back to Hong Kong.”
Arch’s concerns about bureaucratic nightmare that is extradition seem to be well-founded, as the article explains that getting Gaby back to Hong Kong really isn’t going to be easy:
“There is no bilateral agreement between Hong Kong and Spain but a transfer under multilateral treaties the two jurisdictions are signatories to, or under provisions in Spanish domestic law, are two areas that can be looked at,” the person said.
However, it is likely extradition could involve a lengthy legal and diplomatic process because Hong Kong has no Surrender of Fugitive Offenders Agreement with Spain.
Another officer linked to the case said: “It’s really up to Spanish authorities to decide whether to hand over the man to us. They could ignore our request as there is no legal obligation for them to hand over Azedo.”
We contacted Grant Thornton International to see if they wanted to comment but have yet to hear back. It goes without saying that this story is pretty strange/intriguing so, we’ll continue to follow the developments.
UPDATE, circa 10:45 am ET: A Grant Thornton International spokeswoman provided us with the following statement regarding the matter:
“We understand from media reports that Gabriel Azedo has been arrested in Spain and that he may be the subject of extradition proceedings to Hong Kong. He was a member of the global leadership board of Grant Thornton International until his dismissal in October 2009. Immediately following his disappearance, Ms. Angela Gardner, a close relative of Mr. Azedo, filed a lawsuit in Hong Kong against Grant Thornton International Ltd but this was subsequently dismissed by the Hong Kong court.
While the situation is highly regrettable for the individuals concerned, this is now a matter for them and for the Hong Kong courts.”
The Wall St. Journal’s China Real Time Report stumbled upon the BDO/Grant Thornton
poaching exodus merger situation (some may say, “clusterfuck”) in Hong Kong and we have no choice but to take issue with it.