Archive for the ‘The Big 4 And Consulting’ Category

Exclusive From Monadnock Research: Big Four Fiscal 2013 Advisory Practice Rankings and Conflict Risk Metrics

By Francine • Mar 18th, 2014

This Monadnock Research Note offers an in-depth analysis of organic growth and strategic M&A in non-audit services for the Big Four audit firms, highlighting the growing risks associated with an increasing proportion of advisory relative to audit services at Big Four firms – and the conflict risk that this unique mix of services presents.


Global Audit Firms Take “Pay To Play” From Sponsored Content to Conferences

By Francine • Nov 18th, 2013

If we can’t trust journalists to sort out who’s telling the truth and who’s just selling us, who can we trust?


Five Auditor Independence Issues PCAOB SAG Not Yet Addressing

By Francine • Nov 11th, 2013

There are five big auditor independence issues that space prevented a full discussion of yesterday and that are not on the agenda of the PCAOB SAG meeting this week. My hope is that regulators, policy makers and other interested parties will start talking about these issues, too, while I am in DC this week.


PwC To Acquire Booz But Broader Not Better For Integrity Of Global Capital Markets

By Francine • Nov 10th, 2013

PwC says it will acquire Booz. Don’t count on the SEC or the PCAOB to stop PwC and its audit firm competitors from “slipping back” into the old conflicts between audit and consulting. Is anyone guarding the guardians?


Crain’s Chicago Business Focuses On Big Four Auditors And Consulting

By Francine • Oct 13th, 2013

Crain’s Chicago Business and journalist Steve Strahler have produced a series on the reemergence of the consulting arms of the Big Four audit firms with a particular focus on the Midwest and Chicago firm leadership. I’m quoted and there’s a nice photo.


Canceled: Why I Won’t Be Speaking At Ethics And Compliance Officers Association Annual Conference

By Francine • Sep 17th, 2013

What are the ethics of an “ethics and compliance organization” canceling a speaker because sponsors complain? Welcome to the world of trade conference pay-to-play and “money talks, critical speakers walk”.


EY Bets The Farm On Advisory With Vision 2020: A Guest Post From Mark O’Connor

By Francine • Jun 30th, 2013

Lofty goals like EY’s Vision 2020 serve a promotional purpose to attract top talent, and create the rationalization for promises of vast internal opportunities to keep top performers engaged. But unintended consequences would likely foreclose any real possibility that the $50 billion aspect of EY’s 2020 strategic plan could be executed as currently conceived.


More Conflicts For The “Independent” Foreclosure Reviews

By Francine • Jun 30th, 2013

PwC has an ongoing independence conflict in performing the Ally/ResCap independent foreclosure review. This conflict is disturbing on two fronts.


A Summary of Writing on the “Independent” Foreclosure Reviews and the AG Mortgage Settlement

By Francine • Feb 1st, 2013

Here’s a compilation – updated – with links for the columns/posts I’ve written about the mortgage servicer foreclosure reviews mandated by the April 2011 SEC/Fed consent orders, the April 2012 Attorneys General mortgage settlement and the intersection of the two regulatory actions.


Foreclosure Settlement Shuts Down Reviews: Banks Will Continue Business As Usual

By Francine • Jan 13th, 2013

It’s easy to forget, with all the propaganda being published by major media, why these Fed/OCC consent decrees were issued in the first place. The fact that a borrower may be in default does not negate the overwhelming evidence that court cases have provided that banks proceeded fraudulently and illegally in some foreclosures and looted those borrowers and institutional investors in mortgage securities by charging fraudulent and illegal fees in the process.