Archive for the ‘Regulators, Laws, Standards, Regulations’ Category

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.



“Tax Avoidance On An Industrial Scale” Says British MP About PwC’s Luxembourg Work For AIG And Others

By • Dec 10th, 2014

British MP Margaret Hodge grilled Kevin Nicholson, of PwC’s UK tax practice, in a Parliament Public Accounts Committee hearing on Monday. You know you’re on your “back foot” when the first thing out of your mouth has to be a denial that you lied under oath. More details about PwC’s tax avoidance scheme for audit client and US government owned AIG.



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…



Auditor Independence: Another Case of Misplaced Loyalty

By • Sep 2nd, 2014

Ryan Adams testified on behalf of PwC in an important court case. How can PwC be independent of Adam’s employer Marin Software, and Adams, the Financial Reporting Director at this newly public PwC-audited client company, if he’s testifying on PwC’s behalf in litigation that could impact PwC’s business model in California and, perhaps, nationally?



US Department of Justice v KPMG: Document Shows “Too Few To Fail” Was Opening Premise

By • Apr 19th, 2014

A new KPMG tax shelter era document surfaced, in original format, that had not yet been cited or quoted from in any media reports. The document tells us that late in the negotiations, June 27, 2005 the DOJ still would not agree to all of KPMG’s terms, including promising not to criminally charge the firm. But the decision to make sure the firm did not “go under” had already been made. KPMG and its Skadden attorneys only had to make sure the DOJ didn’t, in a misguided show of sheer aggressiveness, cause another Arthur Andersen.



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.



Winning! PwC Argues Both Sides Of The Partner Naming Debate

By • Dec 19th, 2013

How do the audit firms keep winning the war while losing battles left and right? They use the law and the courts to delay, deter and distract from transparency by settling, and sealing what they can, before the public can find out what silly arguments they often make in their defense.



Naming Them: Why Markets Deserve To Know Audit Partner Names And More

By • Nov 24th, 2013

We now know more about what the firms have been hiding. The global capital markets, not just current shareholders, need full disclosure of the engagement teams on all public issuers over time, and in a way that is easily accessible.



On Herbalife And The Slow Death Of Value Investing

By • Aug 3rd, 2013

Big egos making shares move by waving their wands. That makes picking stocks based on fundamental analysis more than slightly anachronistic. A bit about Herbalife…



In Pari Delicto: Can A Law Make It Go Away?

By • Jul 27th, 2013

Pete Brush at Law.com did a story last week about a story about in pari delicto, the adverse interest exception, and holding third-parties like auditors liable for fraud in bankruptcy cases. I was quoted.