• Archive for the ‘KPMG’ Category

    An SEC Fine for KPMG in the PCAOB Data Theft Scandal and Another Horrible Revelation

    By • Jun 26th, 2019

    “Innovation demands risk-taking… which, in turn, entails redefining failure, stripping away its power to inhibit.” Chairman and CEO of KPMG Lynne Doughtie

    The Securities and Exchange Commission settled charges on Monday with KPMG LLP for the ongoing case of its partners altering past audit work after receiving stolen information about inspections of the firm that would be conducted by its regulator, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board or PCAOB. Five former KPMG officials were charged last year in the case that alleged they schemed to interfere with the PCAOB’s ability to detect audit deficiencies at KPMG. Two have pleaded guilty, two were found guilty and one is still pending trial.

    But in a new almost more egregious revelation, the SEC’s order also finds that KPMG audit professionals, including lead audit engagement partners sent exam answers related to mandatory continuing professional education, ethics and integrity, and training mandated by a prior SEC order finding audit failures to other partners, and also solicited answers from and sent answers to their subordinates to help them also attain passing scores. In addition to paying a $50 million penalty, KPMG is required to evaluate its quality controls relating to ethics and integrity, identify audit professionals that violated ethics and integrity requirements in connection with training examinations within the past three years, and comply with a cease-and-desist order. The SEC’s order requires KPMG to retain an independent consultant to review and assess the firm’s ethics and integrity controls and its investigation. I will be writing more soon.



    The Question of the KPMG Whistleblower

    By • Mar 10th, 2019

    The timeline of who told whom what and when, this time around for KPMG, is a bit more complicated than David Middendorf described in his testimony in the criminal case against him for allegedly conspiring to steal PCAOB inspection data.



    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…



    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.



    Big Four Auditors and Jury Trials: Not In The U.S.

    By • Jun 19th, 2012

    You have to go outside of the US to see a trial of a Big Four audit firm to know what I’m talking about. Australia’s Centro case against PwC or Canada’s Nortel case where Deloitte partners testified recently tell you everything you need to know about why the Big Four will settle every time. Rather than have a jury and the public hear and see the pathetic state of the audit profession, its inability to stop executives who want to cheat, and its unwillingness to acknowledge liability as a firm when it screws up, the firms will reach into their seemingly bottomless pockets and pay up.



    KPMG May Answer For GE Tax Work

    By • Sep 21st, 2011

    Going Concern reported yesterday that KPMG professionals have been ordered to preserve all correspondence and documentation related to the tax “loaned staff” assignment it has with long-time client GE. That means someone – the SEC or PCAOB – is investigating.



    Making Mortgage Fraudsters Pay…But Via Private Lawsuits (And Some Attorneys General) Not Law Enforcement

    By • Jul 5th, 2011

    Thank goodness for the plaintiffs’ bar and class action lawsuits. And state attorneys general. Without them, there’d be very little justice yet – or compensation – for any of the mortgage-related fraud perpetrated during the real estate bubble.



    Repurchase Risk (Put-Back) Getting Full Court Press At CNBC

    By • Nov 10th, 2010

    John Carney at CNBC NetNet is talking a lot about repurchase risk. He’s tied it all together in a bow for us, mentions Citigroup and Bank of America, and has given me credit for having been on KPMG’s case for a while.



    Treasury Votes To Reappoint KPMG As Auditor of Citigroup

    By • Oct 31st, 2010

    The US Treasury recently affirmed reappointment of KPMG as Citi’s auditor for the 41st consecutive year. Maybe Treasury married KPMG all over again because they’re cheap compared to what Goldman and AIG are paying PwC. Or maybe Treasury feels like the mother who puts up with a gold digging daughter-in-law because said daughter-in-law saw mom kissing the tennis pro and mom knows her son has slept with the baby-sitter…



    Auditor Independence: Will “Crisis” Cause Compromise?

    By • Aug 13th, 2009

    Given the pressures on costs and the longstanding ties some finance, audit, and accounting executives have with the accounting firms, it is not surprising that the weakening of the independence commitment may come from the companies themselves. What’s the downside for them? The potential for scrutiny by corporate governance experts and journalists? You can’t argue with a recession. And in the event of an accounting scandal or restatement, plaintiff’s lawyers will have an uphill battle to penetrate the impenetrable auditor liability shields and caps.

    What’s lost in all of this discussion of efficiency and cost cutting?

    Independence protects shareholder’s interests.