• Archive for the ‘Audit Firm Management’ Category

    Writing for the Stigler Center ProMarket Blog

    By • May 30th, 2017

    The last time anyone attempted to “modernize” auditor independence rules it was the Securities and Exchange Commission, in 2000, before the Enron failure and Arthur Andersen’s demise, as a result of the growing concern that firms increasing focus on consulting was distracting them for their core purpose, auditing. The Big Four firms are now opportunistically lobbying to go back in time, before Enron, when the industry was self-regulated and mostly left alone, able to have as many conflicts of interest as their powerful public clients would allow.



    New research: Accounting students are not generally psychopaths but some slip through

    By • Jun 17th, 2016

    New academic research says accounting students are less likely to be psychopaths who will commit fraud but surprising admissions by some suggest a reason to be wary.



    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.



    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.



    Deloitte US First Female CEO; There’s More We Don’t Know

    By • Mar 2nd, 2015

    Wouldn’t it be nice if investors and other interested parties could look up new Deloitte US CEO Cathy Engelbert in a public and easily accessible registry and find out about all the audit clients where she has been a lead partner or a Quality Control partner? Has she ever been named in a lawsuit or been sanctioned? Let’s hope not.



    Deadline December 15: Support This University of Notre Dame Accounting Grad Salary Survey!

    By • Dec 10th, 2014

    The University of Notre Dame is conducting a large-scale study to explore accounting graduates’ first full-time employment positions and starting salaries following a degree in accounting. It doesn’t matter how long ago you graduated. All are welcome. Will you help?



    Piling Up For PwC

    By • Nov 18th, 2014

    Update: The PCAOB is investigating PwC for its tax avoidance advice to Caterpillar, the Wall Street Journal is reporting. One down, more than 100+ PwC audit clients advised via Luxembourg to go…



    Update: The Shoemaker’s Children… The Big Four And Their Own Broker-Dealers

    By • Oct 27th, 2014

    Did you know that each of the Big Four audit firms and some of the next tier also run SEC-registered broker-dealers? You’ll never guess who audits them.



    Not That Satisfying: SEC Slams KPMG For Independence Violations

    By • Jan 28th, 2014

    It’s been almost three years since I first broke the story of KPMG’s loaned tax staff arrangement with audit client GE. On January 24 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced an $8.2 million settlement with KPMG over violations of auditor-independence rules. The wheels of justice turn very slowly. But the GE case was not one of the three cited as the subject of the enforcement action.