What if Accounting Firms Had Their Own Version of WikiLeaks?

We were a little surprised to learn that both KPMG and PwC had brief mentions in the WikiLeaks cables, however it is far less surprising that they were quite humdrum and didn’t bring anything new to light.


From the Swiss site, inAte>Wikileaks published cable referenced 09MOSCOW3144, created December 30, 2009, classified as confidential and originating from U.S. Embassy in Moscow, on alleged pressure that the Russian government has exerted on PwC to disavow its “clean opinion” audits in the Yukos Oil, aided by the reported raids on PwC office in Russia and threats to recall Russian audit license of PwC, closing this market for the Firm.

[…]

Wikileaks also published (09LONDON2598, for official use only, originating from U.S. Embassy in London, created November 11, 2009) KPMG’s sceptical reaction on the Queen’s opening speech in Parliament on November 18, 2009, where Her Majesty sets out one of the priorities for new legislative session – to develop a new Financial Services Bill, requiring form systemically important banks to establish plans for recovery and resolution, that ensure banks’ financial continuity, later called by journalists “living wills”.

Like we said – meh.

Now, what happens within a Big 4 or other large accounting firm is rarely a matter of national security (Francine may disagree with us) but there’s little doubt that firm CEOs, partners and other notables have said things that would range from the slightly embarrassing to the absolutely mortifying. Consequently, reactions to those statements would also range widely from mere chuckles to ”OH NO YOU DI’INT!” Because our imagination has a tendency to run wild, we’ll dispel a few of our own scenarios that we imagine being in the Big 4/mid-tier version of WikiLeaks:

Prior to the unveiling, Bob Moritz emails Tim Ryan, “Between you and me, the new logo looks like a half-finished Lego™ project.”

• Barry Salzberg and Jim Quigley are known inside some Deloitte circles as “Team Propecia.”

• After the OT loss to Michigan State, John Veihmeyer is so upset that he sends an email to Henry Keizer stating, “THAT’S IT! NO RAISES THIS YEAR.” Keizer responds to JV, reminding him that ‘if that punk Jimmy Clausen had stuck around’ they wouldn’t be in this situation and he shouldn’t take it out on the firm’s employees.

• Emails between two Ernst & Young partners in Jericho, reveal that they’ve been hoarding the extra bathroom keys because they can’t stand asking the receptionist.

• Various Deloitte partners are quaking because it is common knowledge that Arnie and Annabel McClellan have an elaborate spreadsheet detailing their various fetishes.

• In numerous exchanges Stephen Chipman begs Ed Nusbaum to let him ‘drop this ridiculous accent’ just like Ross did on Friends.

• High-level executives at McGladrey considered putting ecstasy in the punch so people would be happier but ultimately decided against it (Phoenix/Vegas went their own way) because it would have resulted in too many accountants dancing for no apparent reason.

Jack Weisbaum = The Most Interesting Man in the World. (Just like several actual WikiLeaks, everyone knew this to be true but it was not discussed openly.)

Perhaps you have your own theories or documentation regarding other exchanges. Please share with the group at this time or email us.

We were a little surprised to learn that both KPMG and PwC had brief mentions in the WikiLeaks cables, however it is far less surprising that they were quite humdrum and didn’t bring anything new to light.


From the Swiss site, inAudit:

Wikileaks published cable referenced 09MOSCOW3144, created December 30, 2009, classified as confidential and originating from U.S. Embassy in Moscow, on alleged pressure that the Russian government has exerted on PwC to disavow its “clean opinion” audits in the Yukos Oil, aided by the reported raids on PwC office in Russia and threats to recall Russian audit license of PwC, closing this market for the Firm.

[…]

Wikileaks also published (09LONDON2598, for official use only, originating from U.S. Embassy in London, created November 11, 2009) KPMG’s sceptical reaction on the Queen’s opening speech in Parliament on November 18, 2009, where Her Majesty sets out one of the priorities for new legislative session – to develop a new Financial Services Bill, requiring form systemically important banks to establish plans for recovery and resolution, that ensure banks’ financial continuity, later called by journalists “living wills”.

Like we said – meh.

Now, what happens within a Big 4 or other large accounting firm is rarely a matter of national security (Francine may disagree with us) but there’s little doubt that firm CEOs, partners and other notables have said things that would range from the slightly embarrassing to the absolutely mortifying. Consequently, reactions to those statements would also range widely from mere chuckles to ”OH NO YOU DI’INT!” Because our imagination has a tendency to run wild, we’ll dispel a few of our own scenarios that we imagine being in the Big 4/mid-tier version of WikiLeaks:

Prior to the unveiling, Bob Moritz emails Tim Ryan, “Between you and me, the new logo looks like a half-finished Lego™ project.”

• Barry Salzberg and Jim Quigley are known inside some Deloitte circles as “Team Propecia.”

• After the OT loss to Michigan State, John Veihmeyer is so upset that he sends an email to Henry Keizer stating, “THAT’S IT! NO RAISES THIS YEAR.” Keizer responds to JV, reminding him that ‘if that punk Jimmy Clausen had stuck around’ they wouldn’t be in this situation and he shouldn’t take it out on the firm’s employees.

• Emails between two Ernst & Young partners in Jericho, reveal that they’ve been hoarding the extra bathroom keys because they can’t stand asking the receptionist.

• Various Deloitte partners are quaking because it is common knowledge that Arnie and Annabel McClellan have an elaborate spreadsheet detailing their various fetishes.

• In numerous exchanges Stephen Chipman begs Ed Nusbaum to let him ‘drop this ridiculous accent’ just like Ross did on Friends.

• High-level executives at McGladrey considered putting ecstasy in the punch so people would be happier but ultimately decided against it (Phoenix/Vegas went their own way) because it would have resulted in too many accountants dancing for no apparent reason.

Jack Weisbaum = The Most Interesting Man in the World. (Just like several actual WikiLeaks, everyone knew this to be true but it was not discussed openly.)

Perhaps you have your own theories or documentation regarding other exchanges. Please share with the group at this time or email us.

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

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