KPMG

(UPDATE) Rumor Mill: KPMG Compensation Discussions Starting

PomeranianSP1324.jpgYour patience is unmatched, Klynveldians.
Rumor is that the Advisory practice in the Southeast region is having a conference call today (which is slightly more awkward than a voicemail) with all the non-exceptional managers and staff to communicate their banishment to compensation-Siberia. Our source indicated that this has never been done before, in case it sounds strange.
If you’ve got more details on this call or if you’re in another region and have details drop us a line. In the meantime, you’ll probably have to live with the official silence until at least Monday.
UPDATE, 4:02 pm: All right you guys. Sounds like it was a pretty awesome call. If you’re not above under an “SP5” you might actually get a pay cut and there’s no chance in HELL that you’re getting a raise. Also, apparently the HR rep phoned in from home and his dog was barking in the background which just crosses the line of appropriateness in all kinds of awesome ways. We’re picturing a pomeranian (can’t leave them alone, they eat the bloody furniture) but if we’ve got it wrong, please let us know.

Accountants Raiding Accountants Probably Makes for a Hilariously Awkward Scene

gun_awkward.jpgJesus, that was fast. After Wednesday’s snoozer raids at the E&Y office in Hong Kong, Icelandic police have raided the offices of KPMG and PwC in Reykjavik, Iceland, according to the Daily Telegraph.
More, after the jump

Police have raided the offices of KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Reykjavik, seizing documents and computer data as part of an investigation into alleged criminal activity at three collapsed Icelandic banks…The office of Olafur Thor Hauksson, the Icelandic investigator charged with examining the collapse of
the three banks a year ago, confirmed that 22 policemen and six foreign accountants took part in the searches yesterday.

Six accountants? Whoa, this thing was way more serious. No coffee and bagel strategy here as it would have totally distracted the investigating accountants from their jobs.
Likewise, we doubt anyone was strapped for this raid. Especially the number crunchers. We can definitely picture them begging the police though, “C’mon, they don’t even have to be loaded. We’ll just leave them in the holsters. WE SWEAR.”
The most excitement that we can envision was some bean counter trash talk that may have escalated into open-hand slaps and flailing arms and legs. The real police, after enjoying this hilarious scene for a few moments, would have had no choice but to break up the nerd fight as it began encroaching on the investigation and other people’s personal space.
KPMG and PwC Reykjavik offices are raided by Icelandic police [The Daily Telegraph]

KPMG Layoffs Part II Follow-up

It’s been fairly quiet since this past Tuesday’s layoffs but it sounds like lots of cuts occurred in national support services in Montvale, NJ. We also received a tip that the Richmond office let go a few professionals from their Internal Audit Risk & Compliance team which adds to the advisory cuts that were reported last week.
We also got more details on the Chicago office’s layoffs of tax professionals:

In addition to the 5 from ICS there were at least these:
• 4 in Fed Tax (Consumer Markets) – 1 manager, 2 seniors, 1 associate
• 1 in SALT – manager
• 1 in EVS – senior manager
• 3 in Fed Tax (Real Estate) – 1 managing director, 2 seniors

There were lots of rumors of it continuing this week, so continue to keep us updated. The bright side is today is New Year’s Day in the land of Klynveld.

KPMG…Raises…Still…No…Word…

So it’s October 1st, and several Klynveldians have got ants in their pants. Here’s one source that echoes many:

I work in the SE and they haven’t mentioned raises at all and I was promoted to senior in july. We usually have some sort of idea or at least have our meeting scheduled. However nothing…

We touched on this two weeks ago and other than some sit-downs in the Mid-Atlantic, it’s all been speculation about what the Radio Station will actually be doing re: merit increases.
The debate was polarizing, with some claiming the incommunicado was typical and others saying something should have been communicated by now.
Promotees, non-promotees, whatever your sitch, discuss your anxiety (and continue speculating) in the comments. Email us if your region gets word, for better, for worse.
UPDATE, 12:36 pm: Email has been sent to those in the Mid-Atlantic that discussions with ‘designated partners’ will be had next week.

Layoff Watch: KPMG September Edition Part II

Layoffs of client service support professionals occurring circa now.
UPDATE, 4:28 pm: Rumor is that layoffs will continue through tomorrow. One source informed us that 25% of the Information Security Department in Montvale, NJ was let go. Continue to keep us updated with any developments.

Phil Provides the Morale Boost All You KPMGers Needed

Phil-Mickelson_Tim Flynn.jpgUnless you hate golf and then you probably don’t give a damn.
Phil Mickelson may have turned his year around as the walking billboard for KPMG. Fill came from behind to win the Tour Championship yesterday, winning by three strokes over some no name. Apparently the Tour Championship is a big tournament so Fill/Phil* should feel good. You ALL should.
This will require a serious reassessment of Phil’s prior rating that we gave him last month after the PGA Championship.
We need your input on how to rank everyone’s second favorite golfer to be sponsored by an accounting firm. Give us your expert analysis in the comments on the impressive win and if you’re good, we’ll throw a 9-box out there at some point.

*Do we need to vote on this? This seems like a polarizing debate. Discuss.

Rumor Mill: KPMG Wants to Make Sure New Associates Are Comfortable

As if there isn’t enough bad blood in the land of Klynveld, we received this tip:

Not only did the firm spend thousands of dollars to send new hires to Rome, they also gave then [sic] all single rooms. Roomates [sic] are required for all staff level people at firmwide trainings.

We looked around and depending on when these new associates were in Rome, it may have been god-awful hot, so it couldn’t have been that great of a trip. Then again, we’re not familiar with this whole Italian get away so if you’ve got details, discuss in the comments or shoot them to us.

KPMG Is Probably Happy This Guy Left Prior to Getting Really Creative

charlie-and-the-chocolate-factory-20050715092008864.jpgA former KPMG partner has pleaded guilty today to conspiracy charges related to tax shelter scheme.
According to the WSJ, “[Robert] Pfaff is currently serving a 97-month prison sentence after he and two others were convicted on tax evasion charges last year in a case once billed as the largest tax-shelter fraud case in U.S. history. In that case, prosecutors had alleged that Pfaff and another former KPMG employee left KPMG in 1997 and formed an investment adviser known as Presidio Advisory Services, which was little more than a ‘tax shelter mill’.”
Doesn’t ‘tax shelter mill’ sound like a wonderful place of capitalistic creativity and entrepreneurship where things just magically happen and you don’t why or how? Sort of like a financial Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? The kind of place where you wish you worked?
Ex-KPMG Tax Partner Pleads Guilty In Tax-Shelter Case [WSJ]

(UPDATE 4) KPMG Layoffs Follow-up

There are several cities where we can confirm layoffs but total numbers are hard to come by and KPMG is not returning our calls/emails at this time. Here are cities that we definitely know got hit:
Chicago – At least five in Int’l Tax. At least one in financial services tax.
Denver – Transaction Services
Kansas City – Six to eight in Tax
Houston – Transaction Services
San Fran – Five in Fed Tax
LA and OC – Several comments report ten to twelve in tax for LA, five for OC
DC/Tyson’s Corner/McLean – Between five and eight total in tax and advisory.
Silicon Valley – Thirteen total. Five to Seven Mostly in Tax, possibly some in EVS and one in Transaction Services.
Seattle and Portland – Two in Tax for each
Salt Lake City – Three in Tax
Detroit – Three to five in Tax
Jacksonville, FL – Two in Tax
New York – Three in the transfer pricing specialty group in the tax practice. Three in the real estate practice. According to our source, these were performance performance related.
Boston – Two in Fed Tax and one in M&A
Nashville – Two in Tax
Tampa – Two in Tax, one manager and one SA
We haven’t been able to confirm much out of the New York office, although it sounds as though Transaction Services has had some cuts. If you’ve got new details on any city, let us know.
UPDATE: See updates above. Altogether it appears to be over thirty-five in the west alone. Continue sending us updates.
UPDATE, Thursday, 11:54 am: Information is still crawling in. We heard that the number of nationwide layoffs for Advisory was 50, including 20 in the NY/Boston offices but we’re still waiting on more information. Continue to send tips in and make sure you note which office you’re in. Oh, and apparently the Dallas office needs SA’s in audit.
UPDATE, Friday, 12:30: Still a few tips coming (see updates above) in but it seems the worst (hopefully) is over.
UPDATE, Monday 3:04 pm: Just a couple more updates above for Nashville and Tampa.

Rumor Mill: KPMG Layoff Started Early in Philly

Not that Klynveldians need reminded but tomorrow is the rumored next round of layoffs. This time its rumored to be the tax practice and perhaps the advisory practice as well making cuts.
Someone in the Philadelphia office got their call earlier than planned according to a tip we received:

…one associate who received a phone call at 3:00 PM letting her know that her services were no longer needed. She was initially told this would likely happen on the 21st, but for some reason, the powers that be thought it more appropriate to call someone on the 15th

If you’ve got details on your office or if you have received a request for a meeting, let us know and we’ll continue to update you as we hear more.

Rumor of Morning: KPMG Layoffs September Edition

This isn’t how Klynveldians probably want to start their Friday but we’ve received a tip that conference rooms have already been reserved by HR for all of next Tuesday at the Radio Station in Kansas City.
If you’re throwing a birthday party that day, let us know, otherwise discuss.

(UPDATE) Rumor Mill: KPMG Making Pay Freeze Announcement?

There’s been rumors about pay freezes at all firms and E&Y came out last month to say it’s happening mostly because it’s fair.
Since many of you Klynveldians are probably anxious for some kind of “official” word, we’ll pass this along:

Rumor is the Radio Station will be announcing raises and bonuses on Monday/Tuesday in the Southeast next week (rates are loaded online on the self service connection next Friday for all to see, so talk about waiting until the last minute).
Firm leadership is saying KPMG will pay market and market rates are down when compared to the prior year… so here’s to no raises!

Ernstinites got a voicemail announcing the news which didn’t seem to go over well, so here’s hoping that some kind of live feed from Tim Flynn’s office will be KPMG’s approach for this announcement with Q&A to follow of course. More personal that way, don’t you think?
If you’ve got information on your city or region matching the market rates, drop us an email to us or discuss in the comments.
UPDATE, 2:57 pm: Apparently the offices in the Mid-Atlantic are willing to sit down with you to discuss this as we received a tip that “roundtables” were held by partners to explain the merit increases. Beats a voicemail. If you participated in one of these sit downs or had similar meetings in your region, discuss further.

KPMG UK Head of Audit Explains Rentokil Arrangement

KPMG_chair.jpgKPMG’s new arrangement with Rentokil has brought some differing opinions amongst the firms, even prompting PwC to take a not-so direct jab at the Radio Station for scooping Rentokil.
Today, KPMG’s head of audit in the UK, Oliver Tant, wrote a piece for Accountancy Age explaining the firm’s new “extended assurance”:
Continued, after the jump

Under the service, those responsible for corporate governance may ask KPMG to perform work beyond that which is required for the statutory audit, for example by testing a larger sample of controls or additional transactions and balances of lower value than the materiality level set for the statutory audit.
This work does not replace, conflict with or undermine the independence of the external audit it simply extends our understanding of the business and its controls and hence the breadth and depth of insight we can offer. That is why we call it extended assurance.

Mr. Tant also cites the savings passed along to the client, which is so hot these days. He also explains what “extended assurance” is NOT:

The service is not about merging the external and internal audit functions. A company can continue to have its own internal audit function and those charged with corporate governance will still be responsible for assessing the overall adequacy of a company’s control environment and the need for skilled internal audit expertise.
Ethical standards do not prevent the auditor from doing more than the bare minimum to support the audit opinion. We will identify and plan the work necessary to support our audit opinion independent of any further work we may be requested to perform.

As we mentioned, PwC has already made their opinion known and E&Y’s head of assurance in the UK, John Flattery has stated that they will not be “mirroring the arrangement.”
It’s already been speculated that this type of arrangement would not be allowed in the U.S. but there has been no indication that the U.S. firm is pursuing such arrangements.
Since independence is kinda, sorta important for auditors, and many of you are ramming these rules into your brains as we speak (or just waiting to see if you learned anything) discuss in the comments how you feel about the arrangement. Would it pass the smell test Stateside? Is KPMG evolving to the market or are they on thin ice? Are P. Dubs and Ernie being self-righteous dicks since they didn’t think of it first? Feel free to get ugly about it.
KPMG audit head defends controversial Rentokil role [Accountancy Age]

KPMG Director Who Must Have Really Loved His Wife Gets Four Years in Prison

Shopping_Bags_woman.jpgThe KPMG Director who rammed about £500,000 expenses back to the firm was sentenced to four years in jail in London today.
Andrew Wetherall, claimed that “when his wife’s previous partner tried to reduce maintenance payments, he was worried her lifestyle would suffer. Her spending sprees came to about £15,000 a month, the court was told. The court heard he was desperate to avoid marital tension or a divorce so made bogus expense claims.”
Four years in jail over marital tension or divorce? This was the dude’s second marriage. That’s about average these days so we’re not sure about his decision making ability.
Is this true love, stupidity, or enjoying a loose expense reimbursement policy at play here? Discuss.
Finance director jailed for fraud [BBC]

Is KPMG’s Song Writing Team the Same as E&Y’s?

8ball.jpgNo doubt that you remember E&Y’s Grammy-worthy attempt at a theme song/torture method from last week.

We have now discovered that KPMG also thought this was worthy of the firm’s resources. The only problem we find is that the songs sound oddly similar in melody, atrocious use of harmony, etc. This kind of artistic double-agentry between the firms only reaffirms are suspicions about the firms working together in some sort of oligopolic conspiracy of which the purpose is, we haven’t figured out, except maybe to perpetuate the use of Excel.
After the jump, we’ve provided links to both songs here so that you can provide your expert analysis on which firm has the best song. And by best, we obviously mean drives you to agony similar to Alex DeLarge/Beethoven-esque levels. In addition, feel free to provide your favorite lyrics in the comments.

Let’s Just Call It an Even 50

More rumors out of KPMG today as the audit practice in New York will be ramping up to 50 hour weeks approaching October. Apparently the extra 32 hours for the entire month that was originally required will not suffice.
This follows a similar request put out to the Klynveldians on the left coast. Unless you’re a football fan or trying to observe religious holidays, this doesn’t strike us as much of a problem.

Uzbekistan Gives KPMG the Boot

two thumbs up.jpegNot sure how we missed this but since it’s still slow out there we’ll kindly inform you that the country of Uzbekistan has had enough of KPMG.
According to Kazakhstan Newsline, “Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Finance has canceled licenses for audit activity on the part of KPMG Ltd.”
Obviously you can see how this would not be good if you wanted to audit anything in Uzbekistan. If any of you are willing to bite the bullet for everyone and get a subscription to this fine source of media so we can know the full story, that’d be great.
Otherwise, just use your imagination about the reason for the Radio Station banishment and discuss in the comments.
Personally, we’re hoping it had something to do with two physically repelling male employees running naked around in a hotel conference room but perhaps that’s a stretch*.
Uzbekistan takes away KPMG’s license [Life of An Auditor via JDA]
*Thanks for pointing out that Borat was from Kazakhstan. They’re neighboring countries, close enough for today.

Firms Sponsoring Golfers – An Analysis

Accounting firms don’t do much advertising. It’s got something to do with ethics and since the CPA exam is ancient history for some we can’t talk specifics.
Firms do like to sponsor stuff related to golf. Tournaments, players, etc. One recipient of accounting firm cash has been widely followed here but now we recently discovered another firm sponsoree that, we feel, may rouse as loyal of a following as Phil.
natalie.jpgThis is Natalie Gulbis who is sponsored by RSM McGladrey.
Natalie works with RSM in partnering with the Special Olympics Golf Program and will be a contributor to RSM’s new golf blog.
We’re not really into golf so we can’t really debate who has a better game or who garners better exposure for their sponsor so, after the jump, we’ve presented a more superficial analysis:


phil-mickelson.jpgnatatlie 2.jpg
We admit that we know nothing about promotion or advertising but if you’ve got opinions on which firm seems to have found the better golfer to sponsor, discuss in the comments.

Chrysler Auditor Switcheroo Follow-up (UPDATE)

We’ve confirmed with a Chrysler Spokesperson that the new entity emerging from bankruptcy has appointed Deloitte as the external auditors, a role that KPMG held for the entity that remains in bankruptcy:
More, after the jump

[We] can confirm that, as a new company, Chrysler Group LLC has appointed Deloitte as its external auditors. KPMG had previously served this role for the old Chrysler, which remains in bankruptcy. The new company, Chrysler Group LLC became operational on June 10, 2009.

Basically, as some have speculated, this may be a chance for Deloitte to poach the entire KPMG team, which, we have to admit, might not be a bad idea.
KPMG did not immediately respond to our requests for comment. Deloitte got back to us with no comment.
UPDATE: Chrysler got back to us with some additional information including
Why the change in auditors – “Chrysler Group LLC is a new company and, as such, the company has decided to appoint Deloitte as its new external auditors.”
If Deloitte was in the field – “Deloitte has begun initial planning work for the 2009 audit.”
KPMG’s remaining responsibilities – “We cannot address any services KPMG may be performing for OldCarco (the official name of the company that remains in bankruptcy).”
Nothing too surprising here except for the hilarious awesomeness of “OldCarco”.

Rumor of the Day: Deloitte Snagging Chrysler Audit from KPMG?

chrysler1.jpgMaybe figuring that bankruptcy means a fresh start with everything, we received a tip that Chrysler is dumping KPMG for Deloitte as their external auditors:
“it was announced to KPMG Detroit employees late yesterday…via voicemail or conference call”
Could be the reason the Green-dots in Detroit were rumored to be getting raises but WTFK.
Right now we’ve reached out to all three members of this love triangle and only Deloitte has gotten back to us and could not confirm or comment.
If you’re at Radio Station or the D in Detriot and have details on this, let us know. We keep all sources anonymous.

More KPMGers Have Their Labor Day Plans Put in Jeopardy

This time it’s San Fran:
See the text after the jump

Dear Senior Managers, Managers, Senior Associates and Associates,
Thank you for your hard work and continued commitment to the firm. As you know, we continue to do everything reasonably possible to achieve our chargeable hour goal for the remaining fiscal year. While we have made progress toward achieving our collective goal, there remains a gap between where we are and what we need to achieve to give ourselves the best chance of meeting our forecast for the month of September.
In order to close this gap, we are increasing the scheduled chargeable time for each senior associate and associate in the month of September to 50 hours per week (average of 10 hours per day). Teams already scheduled at 10 hours per day or more will remain as scheduled. We ask that each engagement team does its best to find meaningful work to fill this additional chargeable time. If seniors and associates are unable to identify meaningful work for themselves or their team, they should contact their engagement partner or manager to discuss ideas for utilizing this time. This increase in chargeable time has been discussed with and is supported by the engagement partners on your accounts.

Any idea what qualifies as “meaningful work”? Discuss in the comments.

KPMG Didn’t Hear You Say ‘Uncle’

So we know why the final numbers in a few offices haven’t been reported for last week’s layoffs at KPMG: They’re still happening, circa now. According to somebody within earshot: “I passed someone in the hallway mumbling about getting the ax. I thought they were over; clearly not the case.”
We hear that the timing of these is partially due to the firm sending little auditors to training first and then bringing them back only to say, “Hope you enjoyed yourself, ’cause it was your last.”
This begs the obvious question of why the hell KPMG would go to this expense of sending them down there only to can their asses upon return.
We’d love to hear some wild speculation on the reasoning although based on yesterday’s mention, you’re all numb at this point.

KPMG Arrives at the Paperless Audit Party

office-space-402a-061907.jpgWe’ve received several reports about Klynveldians attending “eAudit” training this summer which marks the firm’s attempt to get break into the “paperless” audit world. Reports have been mixed with some saying that it’s best technology KPMG has invested in but others claiming that it will only run on Vista which may be problematic when Windows 7 rolls out.
Forgetting the technology mumbo-jumbo, it’s been long rumored that KPMG was the last major firm to make the move to a paperless audit. This could have been due to a number of things:
More, after the jump


• Partners that have been around since WWII that can’t even use email put the kibosh on the whole idea
• M-O-N-E-Y
• Accountants, in general, resist the idea of trying a new restaurant so don’t even think about messing with their audit methods
What’s more surprising is that some Radio Station clients have said that they prefer the old school audit. Not exactly sure what is so appealing about young auditors schleping around boxes of binders that weigh a few metric asstons but whatevs.
Our point, dude, is that KPMG has finally caved on this whole “paperless” idea. Since audits aren’t truly paperless we’re not sure what all the fuss is about but KPMGers got an extra week in Florida in the dead of summer out of it. Discuss the firm breaking into the new century in the comments or let us know how terrible your lives will be because of it.

Possible Confirmation for Your Unfounded Rumors about Partner Expenses

magic money.jpgThere’s a large misconception that partners and directors can run anything through on their expense reports. Lapdances, red meat at Bobby Van’s, shoes at Bergdorf’s, you know, the usual rumored fare.
Alleged abuse notwithstanding, one KPMG director in London has managed to live up to the reputation of flagrantly assaulting the expense reimbursement policy:
More, after the jump

Andrew Wetherall, a director at the firm, fraudulently claimed expenses to pay for holidays, cars, computers and even his divorce from his first wife. The 49-year-old also used them over five and a half years to keep his second wife happy by funding her £15,000-a-month lifestyle. Southwark crown court heard today how he falsely claimed £545,620.89, making several claims for flights abroad and expenses relating to business trips he never went on. After a boss raised the alarm, Wetherall initially claimed it was a mistake. But he owned up to the fraud after an internal probe.

We’re all for bending the rules for some bagels here and there but seriously. What did this guy spend his salary on? Did he have a Stevie Nicks-type coke habit? Whatever happened, all’s forgiven because according to the piece, Wetherall was “suspended by KPMG and has repaid more than £337,000.” It’s only money, right?
Accountant paid for divorce and holidays with £545,000 fraud [London Evening Standard]

KPMG: We’re Not Done

The Radio Station, presumably not wanting to break its stride, is not done handing out bad news. Apparently layoffs have still been occurring as recently as yesterday in Chicago. The total there is now between 30 and 35. Check out the final numbers for other cities in our debrief post and if you have updated numbers please pass them along or discuss in the comments.

KPMG Needs Everyone’s Help

Whether or not you’ll be working on Labor Day isn’t exactly clear:
More, after the jump

As we approach year end, we need everyone’s help to finish the fiscal year strong. Our goal is to achieve our forecast for the month of September. Based on the hours that are currently projected…we are falling short of that goal.
As a result, we have asked all Client Service Delivery professionals (including partners, senior managers and managers) to increase their chargeable hours in the month of September. With respect to seniors and associates, we are asking each of you to work an additional 32 hours in the month of September. We recognize this may result in overtime hours for some individuals
I encourage you…to make sure all chargeable hours for September are reflected. The amount reflected…will be increased by 32 hours to arrive at your goal. Please work with your managers to determine the best way to utilize this additional time in a productive manner.
We encourage you to delay any non-charge activity until October, assuming there are no required deadlines. This will help maximize our chargeable hours

At least they’re kind enough to “recognize this my result in overtime hours”. Tax associates probably won’t have any problem coming up with the extra hours but as for the rest of you, we’d love to hear your feelings on your extra four days of work in September.
UPDATE, 7:46 am: Our understanding is that this email was sent to audit professionals in the New York Office but judging by the comments, other offices have been put on notice to squeeze in some extra time for September. If you’ve received a similar email for your practice or office, shoot us the details.

Today in Big 4 Thriftiness

soda machine.jpgOur post from yesterday re: PwC’s concern over your consumption of high fructose corn syrupy beverages has struck a nerve with some.
So, being big believers in striking while the iron is hot, we thought we’d tell you that about a tip we received telling us that KPMG has also recently raised the price of soda in their offices from 50 cents to 75 cents.
Thriftiness continued, after the jump


We also learned that any perks, luncheons, birthday cakes, etc., etc. that do not benefit the entire office have been eliminated. Gourmet coffee machines apparently still remain because the coffee drinkers will not settle for freeze-dried Taster’s Choice.
Bottom line seems to be one of two things: 1) The firms are squeezing pennies until Lincoln’s beard pops off or B) The powers that be are faux-concerned about the reality of you sitting on your asses for 12+ hours a day and are attempting to get you to cut down on the calories.
Discuss your firm’s favorite cost cutting measure, unique revenue ideas, or your plans for losing the Big 4 fifteen in the comments.

Your Daily Fix

bubbles.jpgBecause some of you are obviously jonesing for it, we’ve got some updated details on this week’s Radio Station bloodbath:
Dallas Somewhere between 30-40
Silicon Valley Between 20-30
Kansas City Five staff – Two associates, three SA’s and three in client service support
Still no final word on New York. Shall we just call it 50?

PwC Calls Out KPMG

argument.jpgAwhile back, we mentioned how KPMG didn’t seem so concerned about the appearance of independence. Well now it appears that P. Dubs might be getting a little self-righteous about the whole issue or they’re just bent out of shape that the Radio Station swiped the Rentokil audit by lowballing the proposal:
More, after the jump

KPMG’s arrangement was able to shave 30% from Rentokil’s audit, but it was the manner in which the firm brought about the cost saving that raised eyebrows. Audit guidelines warn against two threats when an external auditor takes on internal audit work. The first threat, known as the self-review threat, warns against the external auditor relying heavily on its own internal audit work. The second threat, known as the management threat, warns against the internal auditors assuming the role of management.

KPMG says it’s totally fine because that’s where the client’s interest was:

KPMG said it was fielding interest from potential clients. ‘Unequivocally we have found interest,’ says Oliver Tant, KPMG’s UK head of audit. ‘We will be discussing it with more people, undoubtedly as will other competitors.’

PwC, at present, seems to be taking the highroad, even though we’re pretty sure they think Rentokil are a bunch of cheapskates:

PwC, would not be drawn on its opinion on the Rentokil audit, citing its policy not to comment on clients, but did say: ‘It is vital that we maintain our independence from – and in no way are seen to act as part of – management infrastructure…Internal audit can often be regarded as acting as part of that infrastructure.’

Typical passive-aggressive accounting rhetoric but it still sounds like P. Dubs is calling bullsh*t on KPMG. Feel free to defend your firm’s position by whatever means necessary (we suggest low blows and name calling) or get on your soap box about independence.
Debate rages on over KPMG’s cut-price Rentokil audit deal [Accountancy Age]

For the Record

Radio Station NYC finally sent out the email today notifying everyone that the fiesta in Times Square got the kibosh. FTW.

KPMG Layoff Debrief

Akin to talking gun control at the RNC, we’re here to dispense more red meat.
Here are the final numbers that we have for select cities:
Gory details, after the jump


San Fran9 17 total, at least 8 SA’s
Dallas – 16
Chicagoclose to 15 Between 30-35 50
NYC – Someone help us out. We know it’s big but we haven’t gotten any specifics
Louisville – 3, including a 9th year Senior Manager
LA – 18, 6 associates, 10 SA’s, and two managers.
Why such good details on LA? Here’s a tip we received:

how do I know this so precisely? Because today our office also sent out an email notification of a staff meeting tomorrow to discuss what happened, and the email shows the names of everyone in the audit practice it was sent to. All lay offs were left out of the email. Way to be sensitive KPMG. Within a day, our whole practice knows the names of everyone who was let go. Also, Orange County office had 10 total lay offs in external audit. For a smaller office, that was quite significant.

See yesterday afternoon’s post for additional cities that we didn’t get final numbers for. If you’ve got the details, either post them in the comments or send us the bodycount to tips@goingconcern.com.
UPDATE, 1:54 pm: Word is that the remaining Klynveldians in San Fran will also have an awkward meeting re: yesterday’s bloodbath. We’d ask you to submit audio/video of the proceedings if possible.
UPDATE, 5:47 pm: Two managers in Oklahoma City down.
UPDATE, August 26, 11:29 am: One lonely SA in Bodymore, Murdaland and two associates in Boise, ID.

Radio Station Black Tuesday Update

Four weeks severance, termination date of September 1st, not performance related. Cities reporting bodies include: New York, Hartford, Dallas, Kansas City, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Cleveland. We’ve heard all levels have taken a hit, although it varies by city. We haven’t gotten any confirmation of partners being bought out at this point. West coast cities have yet to confirm victims since last night’s comments.
If you’ve got final numbers on your office or any other details we didn’t discuss here, shoot us an email: tips@goingconcern.com.
KPMG representatives had no comment.
UPDATE 4:11 pm: San Fran reports at least seven victims, six of which are SA’s.
UPDATE 2, 6:16 pm: San Fran updated to nine total, eight SA’s. Other cities reporting layoffs: Boston, Houston, and Louisville.

Good Luck Today KPMGers

Received word last night that a known executioner (and we’re assuming others) at the Dallas office has reserved several conference rooms from 7 am to 3 pm today and that some had already received emails setting up with their meetings last night. Let us know when the shooting starts in your office and drop us any details, including where you’re getting bombed tonight. Go with God (and for the atheists, just go).

KPMG Doomsday Eve?

fired.jpgWe’re going to briefly remind you about the hammer that is going to drop on some unlucky Klynveldians tomorrow.
So far it sounds like there has been blood shed in Dallas, Indianapolis, and New York but no details on severance and it sounds like only second year associates have gotten shown the door so far.
If you’re one of the KPMG casualties, drop us a line at tips@goingconcern.com and give us the gory details: severance, number laid off, lunging across the desk, did the partner you met with wear an executioner’s mask? Tell us everything.

KPMG Decides that Eating Lunch While Traveling for Work is Acceptable

penny.jpgLast week we learned about KPMG’s latest effort to do some belt tightening for the last two months of their fiscal year. These penny pinching plans included, most notably, filling your stockings with coal before winter.
On Thursday of last week a lot of the Kylnveldians, mostly in the Northeast, had not received the gracious and long winded email. Our suspicions at that time were that Tim Flynn and Co. were reconsidering the butchering of time honored tradition of drunken idiocy on company dime.
More, after the jump


Turns out out we were half right. It was noted in the comments and we received several tips that the Radio Station did indeed cave on their grand idea of not letting traveling partners and professionals expense their lunches “since this is a meal that one would buy during the workday regardless of location.”
If we were to guess, this would have been #2 on the list of the new policies that garnered most of your wrath. Well, you must have let them know because the firm then came out with this:

after hearing feedback from many of you about the short-term change to meal reimbursement policy, the firm has decided that for now the existing meal reimbursement policy provides the appropriate level of flexibility and room for judgement when it comes ot managing the cost of meals while traveling….

So FOR NOW your ass better get used to value menus and $5 footlongs because we’re guessing that’s the meaning of “ROOM FOR JUDGMENT“. If there has been more correspondence from up on high about this particular issue send us the details or discuss in the comments. On the other hand, folks in the Northeast, if you’re still in the dark, let us know.
Oh, and Santa Claus is still not coming to town.

KPMG UK’s Sweet New JPM Gig

KPMG_chair.jpgNothing like a good (alleged) fraud story to finish up our week, eh?
Just in case you missed the story, it appears as though KPMG UK will be a tad busy in the near term trying to unravel this little mess. I suppose that’s good news for the kids working those 4 day work weeks across the pond, though the same cannot be said for JPM, who is facing an unlimited fine as a result.
UK’s Daily Mail:
More, after the jump

The FSA has called in a top firm of accountants to examine the bank’s London activities after evidence emerged that JP Morgan had mixed customers’ funds with its own.
Banks are meant to maintain a strict segregation of their own money from that which is held on behalf of clients.
But JP Morgan managers in London discovered last month that client and bank money used for trading futures and options – a way of speculating on movements in currencies, share prices and commodities – had apparently been put into a single pool.

This isn’t the first time regulatory authorities have busted firms for pooling client money and using it to play craps in the market but it is certainly the first time the FSA has gone after a big player like JP Morgan.
JP Morgan claims an “operational error” in their options and futures arm dating as far back as 2002 caused the “mix-up” though we aren’t sure we buy that line. “We identified an operational error that was corrected within 24 hours of its discovery. No clients have lost money as a result of this error and we are cooperating fully with the FSA,” a spokeswoman for the bank said.
Sure, okay. Just because no clients lost any money doesn’t make it legal. It’s now up to KPMG to slog through 7 years of transactions (at JPM’s expense) to see if any clients missed out on interest due as a result. Prelim findings are due to the FSA by the end of August, with a final report expected in September.
Have fun, KPMG UK!

Fill to be Part of a RIF at the PGA?

Continuing our coverage of Fill’s quest to not finish second in the PGA Championship, our hero has finished up his second round and he shot another round of +2. That puts him at +4 for the tournament and in serious danger of missing the cut and possibly being included in the rumored upcoming reduction in force.
Check out the latest 9 box, after the jump


Phil_9 box_round 2.jpg
Fill, this is going to be a difficult conversation. Obviously this isn’t where we’d like to see you. We had high expectations for you. Maybe too high. We have to make a lot of hard choices when there are so many talented people out there. Fill, we don’t want you to wear the Radio Station hat any more.
While there are several hackers out there the projected cut is currently at +2, so we don’t like the chances of seeing the Radio Station hat on the weekend. Got anything you want to say Fill? Tell us in the comments.

Rumor of the Day: KPMG Layoffs in Dallas Next Week

As if you didn’t need another excuse to go on a three day bender, we received a tip that audit professionals will be getting laid off at the Dallas Radio Station next Tuesday, the 18th. Tax professionals will get their turn in September, most likely after the filing deadline.
Word is that no one level is safe as the cuts will be made at all levels including partners.
KPMG did not immediately respond to our request for declined to comment.
If you’ve got more information on the sitch or you’ve heard similar rumors for other offices, drop us a line at tips@goingconcern.com.

Phil Mickelson 9 Box Update

Fill had a less than ideal first round, shooting +2, which is seven shots behind the leader. On the one hand, he’s well on his way to not winning the tournament. On the other, he’s well on his way to not finishing second.
Check our initial rating if you need to get caught up.
So after not considering a hell of a lot, we’ve come up with Fill’s new ranking:
Check out where the Radio Station billboard falls, after the jump


Phil_9box_Fri.jpg
As you can see, Fill has dropped from the relative safety of SP5 to the less than acceptable position in NI7. He teed off at 9:35 EDT so Radio Station employees can waste their entire Friday watching Fill try to step it up.
Discuss the current ranking in the comments and if by chance you’re at the tournament following Fill, let him know that Going Concern (and Tim Flynn) would like to see more out of him today.

Phil Mickelson Gets 9 Boxed

We’re upping our coverage of Phil Fill Mickelson’s quest to not come in second place at this year’s PGA Championship.
In the spirit of performance review season, we thought we’d see where Phil Fill would fall on the illustrious Radio Station 9 box.
See the initial ranking, after the jump


Phil_9box.jpg
As you can see, Phil Fill is right where he needs to be. We’d like to see him step up his game and shoot for that EP though. Right now we hear that he’s +1 at the turn for his first round. We’ll update you tomorrow morning with his first round results and his updated ranking.
Feel free to approve or disapprove of the current rating and give us your suggestions about where you think Phil Fill should be.

Ernst & Young Ups the Ante

8ball.jpg
Guest 46 @7:17
makes a good point and wants everyone to get some perspective on a firm’s priorities. Don’t even think for ONE SECOND that your office is thrifty stingy until they axe a corporate volunteering event because it conflicts with the FSO All Hands Webcast*.
More, after the jump


Uncle Ern would like you to forget about these difficult times by staying within the confines of your cube farm and getting down with a mandatory webcast because there are plenty of people without jobs out there that could volunteer instead.
The Radio Station takes a slight different approach, clearly thinking that if everyone sacrifices one night of open bar to help others, the joy you feel will certainly beat puking and then passing out in the bathroom at some hotel.
So now the debate looms: what firm currently wins the award for the best example of a company channeling its inner-George Costanza: E&Y or the Radio Station? Discuss in the comments and if you’ve got additional examples to bolster the case for/against your firm, please share.
*That’s the word we got from E&Y, so if someone can elaborate on just what the hell that is, that’d be great.

KPMG Takes Phil Mickelson FTW

Phil-Mickelson_Tim Flynn.jpgBecause we’re big fans of shameless promotion, we’re starting our coverage of the quest of the Radio Station’s walking billboard, Phil Mickelson, to win the PGA Championship. He’s teeing off circa now, so drop what you’re doing and get to at TV Radio Station duffer geeks.
Phil won the tournament back in 2005 but gets lots of attention for being a bridesmaid at the U.S. Open five times. Most notably for our purposes, he has not won any majors since he signed with the Radio Station back in early 2008.
No word on where Phil is falling on the 9 box rating system or if his visions of sugar plums have been dashed but if someone could put us in touch with his performance counselor or get us a copy of his contract with KPMG, that would be great.

KPMG Incommunicado?

We’re getting mixed reports on the email going out to Radio Station employees about canceling the one thing to look forward to in the month of December.
We heard the email got sent out to some offices in the West but also that New York hasn’t heard a peep so we’re getting suspicious if the big dogs in NY are reconsidering their Grinchiness.
Let us know whether or not your visions of sugar plums have been dashed or not in the comments.

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]

KPMG Cancels Christmas Hanukkah Kwanzaa the Holidays in August

8ball.jpgTo round out the year, KPMG is kindly reminding everyone about the SPEND SMART initiatives implemented this year and with just two months to go in the fiscal year, the Radio Station has decided that some additional belt tightening is necessary.
We understand that the email we received will be sent out by each Office Managing Partner to each individual office. We have not received confirmation that employees have received the email. We are reaching out to KPMG for corong>See the Firm’s statement below.
According to the email obtained by GC, Radio Station’s leadership has decided that all offices will suspend this year’s holiday office parties. Instead offices will host “community service events” between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. We find this commendable that the firm wants to give back in this fashion but we imagine some of you probably would probably still like to get your holiday party drink on.
Some other cost cutting measures for August and September include:
Check out the entire text of the email, after the jump


To: All Partners and Employees
From: ANY OMP
Additional SPEND SMART Initiatives
First, I want to thank everyone in the ANY office for following the many SPEND SMART initiatives that the firm has implemented this year. Your compliance with the firm’s travel and meetings policies, as well as careful management of other costs, has enabled the firm to reduce our expenses by hundreds of millions of dollars.
In spite of some indicators that the economy may have hit its lowest point, businesses everywhere are still feeling the impact of the economic crisis, and that includes our firm. And while there are indications that the economy is at the beginning of a recovery, no one can accurately predict how long that will take.
With that in mind, the Operations Committee has identified some short-term cost management initiatives for travel and meetings that–if implemented immediately–can help us begin FY 2010 in a stronger position. Those measures are outlined below and remain in effect until October 1, unless otherwise noted.
During the next two months, the firm will be reviewing all of our Time and Expense policies to align with our cost structure for FY 2010 and beyond. However, we’ve made one decision now that will impact the way we celebrate the holiday season.
Community Service Event
The end of the calendar year is traditionally the time when KPMG offices hold parties to celebrate the holiday season. A great deal of time and planning go into these events and they are a great opportunity for all of us to get together in a festive atmosphere. However, given the impact of the economy on so many people’s livelihoods, people throughout the firm–at all levels–questioned whether there would be other ways we could create this same sense of community during the holiday season while giving back to those in need. After careful thought and consideration, firm leadership has decided that all KPMG offices will suspend this year’s holiday office parties and instead host a community service event between Thanksgiving and the New Year.
You may recall that last year, in lieu of a holiday gift, the firm donated a full week of meals to families in need through an organization called Feeding America. In total, we donated 1.6 million meals in the communities where we live and work.
This is a tremendous way for all of us to come together to help make a meaningful difference for people in need during the holiday season. You’ll be hearing more about this effort and how you can get involved later this fall.
In the meantime, please do all you can to follow the SPEND SMART guidelines we announced in October and the additional initiatives I’ve outlined below.
Meetings and Travel
· Additional Travel Restrictions – Airfare is one of our largest travel expenses. Currently, our policy provides partners and employees with a choice of airlines when traveling. Until October 1, the travel team will book the lowest cost flight for your destination and travel times, regardless of the airline. We also ask that you continue to limit non-client travel as much as possible, and verify the criticality of all international travel.
· Car Service – Until October 1, car service may only be used when a taxi or one’s own car is not available. We also ask that you use taxis for transportation to and from airports, rather than a car service. If taxi service is not available in your city or area, or the cost of using a taxi exceeds that of using a car service, a car may be used. We will continue to honor our car service policy for employees required to work past 8:00 p.m. during winter and 9:00 p.m. in the summer; however, we expect that during August and September the need for this service will be rare. Click here for information about our transportation policy.
· Meal Reimbursements – During August and September, we are putting the following policies in place regarding meal reimbursements:
Lunch – Lunch for partners and employees while traveling will not be reimbursed since this is a meal that one would buy during the workday regardless of location. We will continue to reimburse lunch meetings with clients.
Non-client Meals – During these two months, the firm will not reimburse non-client meals held outside our offices. Meal expenses for those traveling for internal training or meetings are subject to the expense limits allowed by our meal policy. As always, team leaders should use their judgment when ordering meals for groups working overtime.
Cell Phones, PDAs, and Other
· One Mobile Device per Person – Effective August 1, we will no longer reimburse individuals for both a cell phone and a TreoTM or Blackberry®. People who have both devices have the option of adding phone service to their PDA. If you wish to keep both devices, you will be charged the full price of service for one. In addition, per our existing policy, we will deduct $20 a month from everyone using firm-supplied cell phones or PDAs. We also encourage you to review your current plan to determine whether you need all the features to which you’ve subscribed. To learn more about the various mobile plans available to you, please click here.
· Inter-office Mail: Use Scanning and e-Fax – Going forward, we will be looking at ways we can reduce the cost of handling interoffice mail, including the frequency of delivery. In the meantime, we encourage you to make use of all the technology available within the firm to send documents between offices, including scanning documents that can then be e-mailed to colleagues or clients. When scanners are not available, make use of our e-Fax capabilities. Check with your local OneStopOps group to learn more about these services.
In closing, both the ALL partners and I want to thank all of you for your ongoing support of our SPEND SMART initiatives. Your efforts have made a difference and we continue to welcome suggestions to help our office and the firm run more efficiently.
Even more important, we want to thank you for your high-quality service to our clients. We all know that these are difficult times, but that is why our clients are depending on us to deliver our highest standards of service and professionalism.
Thank you for your continued support.
UPDATE, 5:51 pm EST: We reached out to KPMG regarding the Grinchiness and we were provided with this statement:
“Like businesses everywhere, we’re identifying cost-saving opportunities that will provide the most benefit while still allowing us to provide high quality service to our clients.”

Firm Watch: KPMG

KPMG_chair.jpgSo after dissecting opining on sliming P. Dubs and E&Y, we’re moving on to KPMG in round three. We’ll dispense with the pleasantries and get right to the list:
New Century Lawsuit – This is the ball buster for KPMG. A $1 billion lawsuit filed back in April that alleges “grossly negligent audits”. This tale also includes a smoking gun quote from an email sent from New Century engagement partner to a specialist, “As far as I am concerned, we are done. The client thinks we are done. All we are going to do is piss everybody off.” We’re not sure if it’s possible to take that out of context.
Check out the rest of the Radio Station’s list, after the jump


Madoff Exposure – Per D&O Diary, the Radio Station is named as a defendant in at least ten lawsuits as a result of auditing the Madoff feeder funds.
Overtime Lawsuits – Listed as a defendant in five lawuits.
Layoffs, Pay Freezes, etc. – Allegedly, the word that pay was being frozen was slowly leaked from the top on down. Layoffs have been pretty steady for the last twelve months including rounds in November and March in the audit and advisory practices. In addition, the ubiquitous trend of performance rating cuts is in full effect, and we just learned that by the this time last year, audit interns had heard yay or nay on receiving a full time offer. That probably makes for some nervous intoxicated co-eds.
Miscellaneous – Phil Mickelson, the Radio Station’s walking billboard, was a bridesmaid at the U.S. Open for a third fourth fifth time.
Done-zo. Anything else you want to see tacked on? Drop us the dirt at tips@goingconcern.com and we’ll get it in for the final tab.

KPMG Thinks the Appearance of Independence is Overrated

200px-KPMG.svg.pngThe Radio Station is throwing caution to the wind in the UK, accepting a new arrangement with Rentokil Initial, that brings out the ghosts of accounting scandals past. Under the new agreement, the firm will serve as both the external auditors and take on internal audit work, working alongside the client’s internal audit staff.
Prior to the new agreement with KPMG, Rentokil’s external auditor was PwC and internal audit services were provided by Deloitte.
Last we checked, audit textbooks still state that external auditors are to be independent in fact and appearance but KPMG UK must have got their hands on an edition that was printed in auditor bizarro world.
Rentokil’s KPMG deal raises eyebrows [FT.com]

Rumor of the Day: KPMG Slashing Performance Ratings

Commenter Guest @ 2:39 brought to our attention that the Radio Station is cutting performance ratings circa now. This is a little more salt in the wound after pay freezes were announced slowly leaked. If you’ve had your performance review recently and you got blindsided by a cut rating let us know. Email your tips to tips@goingconcern.com

The SEC Takes a Trip to India

140px-United_States_Securities_and_Exchange_Commission.pngThe SEC sent a team to India in order to make sure that everything was hunky-dory re: Satyam. The three-member team met with Ashwani Kumar, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director, and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The SEC also met with the KPMG team that is responsible for restating Satyam’s balance sheet.
No details were given on any of the meetings but we imagine that the SEC/KPMG meeting went something like this:
SEC Bureaucrat: Hello KPMG India.
KPMG Paper Pusher: Hello SEC America.
SEC: How are things progressing?
KPMG: Oh this is a blast. Restating balance sheets is a dream job. We were just talking about how we wish we could work in the States so we could do stuff like this all the time.
SEC: What do you mean?
KPMG: Well, there seems to be much more fraud and other problems in the United States than here in India so the need for forensic accountants would be extremely high.
SEC: Are you insinuating that the Commission is unable to detect fraud?
KPMG: Well there have been some signficant fraud over there lately that you guys pretty much ignored or missed. Either way, it makes for a high demand for forensic accountants. Plus, we hear that the guy who tried warning you about the Madoff fraud has issues but still won an award.
SEC: This meeting is over. Keep us informed.
Satyam scam: SEC team meets CBI, SEBI, KPMG officials [The Hindu Business Line]

Promotion Watch: KPMG

Forgive us for being a little behind on this, we’re still twisting arms out there:
On July 15th, the Radio Station announced the promotion of 874 new Senior Managers and Managers. This compares to 1,228 that got the bump last year.
Some might say that there were less people up for promotion this year, hence the drop. Others might say “that’s because I got the axe and now live on government cheese”.
Click on the image below for a full-size view of the announcement (please note the crookedness as a sign of authenticity). Anyway, congrats to all the new taskmasters managers at KPMG!
kmpg_memo.gif

SHOCKER: Number of Fraud Cases in the Courts is High

In probably the most shocking news of the day, KPMG’s “fraud barometer” reports that the number of fraud cases in UK courts in the first six months of the year are the highest since the firm started issuing the report, 21 years ago.
Here in the states, the big sexy fraud gets all the attention but there is plenty of small fraud to go around. Plus, the bright side is, we’ve haven’t seen anything yet:

“These figures are bad, but the worst is yet to come,” Hitesh Patel, a partner at KPMG, said. “It will be a number of years before the impact of the recession fully feeds through into the fraud statistics.”

So our advice would be for any of you that are nervous about layoffs, look into getting transferred to the forensic accounting practice. You won’t be out of work any time soon.
Record total of fraud cases in court – and worse to come [FT.com]