• Author Archive

    Update: Writing About Equity Market Structure at MarketWatch

    By • Feb 16th, 2016

    One area I am covering now at MarketWatch is market structure, specifically the equity markets. Reforming equity markets is a big ongoing issue, especially after the May 2010 flash crash. Here’s a summary of the articles, updated for a new one on February 3, I’ve written since May on the subject and some background on some of the many controversies.



    Three Accounting-Related Stories At MarketWatch

    By • Feb 15th, 2016

    At MarketWatch I am fortunate that I am not expected to write a story every day, although that’s fine if something comes up like an SEC enforcement order or a spectacular corporate scandal.  I am encouraged, instead, to come up with original analysis of important stories in financial regulation and legislation. We want to add […]



    The SEC vs. The PCAOB and Jim Doty: Impasse or Détente?

    By • Jan 18th, 2016

    Jim Doty’s term as chairman of the PCAOB, the audit regulator, expired in October. All summer since I arrived in Washington D.C., leading up to that date and since, there’s been speculation about whether or not SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White would reappoint him to the job.



    Best Case Yet For Publishing Audit Partner Names: Grant Thornton’s Koeppel

    By • Dec 14th, 2015

    The PCAOB will vote on final rule based on its proposal on Tuesday Dec 15. If audit partner names were published in the audit report, or anywhere, the public, audit committees, investors and journalists could stop lousy auditors in their tracks. Melissa Koeppel of Grant Thornton is the best case yet for making audit partner names and their engagement history, disciplinary history, and litigation history public.



    The Case of Valeant; Not Over By a Long Shot

    By • Nov 2nd, 2015

    Now that Valeant has cut off the gangrenous Philidor arm, we may never know the true extent of any accounting manipulation or fraud. And then again it may all come out when the rest of the organization is scrutinized. I’d say be prepared for big inventory writeoffs, or maybe even a restatement.



    Failure to Earn: What Scattershot Enforcement of Sarbanes-Oxley Clawbacks Tells Us About Paybacks Under Dodd-Frank

    By • Oct 20th, 2015

    I wrote at MarketWatch about the SEC’s proposed Dodd-Frank clawback rule.



    McKenna Interviewed On KPMG And FIFA By The Bottom Line Canada

    By • Oct 19th, 2015

    I was interviewed by The Bottom Line magazine in Canada back in June on KPMG’s role as auditor of FIFA.



    McKenna Interviewed By The FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report

    By • Oct 18th, 2015

    I was interviewed back in August by Tom Fox for his podcast on FCPA compliance and ethics issues.



    The NYDFS Case Against Promontory and the Bigger Problem of Big Four Bank Consulting

    By • Aug 23rd, 2015

    Bank regulators should start hiring the consultants that are responding to bank regulatory sanctions, consent decrees and NPA/DPA legal orders directly, and also strictly monitor them. It’s time to change for regulators to change their approach before another waste of time, money and public trust occurs.



    PCAOB’s Franzel Speaks to AAA; Are Auditors’ ICFR Opinions Just “Busy-Work”?

    By • Aug 9th, 2015

    Auditor opinions on ICFR are not only not being done well, they are not producing warnings for investors and regulators that a material error and restatement is likely. Worse than that, when auditors get them wrong they whitewash their mistakes.