Here’s the thing…The perception of auditor independence is as important, or maybe even more important, than the fact of auditor independence. This is not new.
Archive for the ‘Regulators, Laws, Standards, Regulations’ Category
I was at New York University’s Vincent C. Ross Institute of Accounting Research to speak on a panel that included Paul Volcker, Bob Herz and a lawyer representing PwC and EY. The Ross Roundtable on the “Impact of Reemergence of Consulting Practices at Major Audit Firms” was well attended.
The SEC is busy chasing Ponzi schemers and foreign bribers. But bogus accounting remains a bigger danger to the markets. (More links.)
My column at American Banker last week focused on the latest PCAOB inspection report for KPMG. We’ve got three more “Big Four” inspections reports to come – Ernst & Young, Deloitte and PwC. Don’t be surprised if you see the same focus on loan loss and repurchase reserves and the same kinds of auditor deficiencies.
Jeff Connaughton’s new book, “The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins”, is a must read during the Presidential election season.
Reuters has a story out today entitled, “Regulators tighten up bank in-house checks.”
Unfortunately it does nothing, in fact it distorts, the role of internal audit, external audit and the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors in a bank.
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.
Yesterday’s column at American Banker digs into the accounting for JP Morgan’s reported “hedge”. I was shocked – OK, not really – that no main stream media outlet had explained the stunning announcement made by Jamie Dimon last Thursday.
Chesapeake Energy’s auditor is PricewaterhouseCoopers. The auditor is paid lass than $3 million to prepare an opinion on this challenging company. Sometimes you can be paid too little to be sufficiently skeptical…
There are still many unanswered questions about how and why the financial crisis frauds occurred. New frauds, such as the Chinese reverse merger frauds, took advantage of a public listing loophole that the SEC and auditors missed. All these investor losses occurred under the supposedly watchful eyes of auditors, who are paid dearly to protect shareholders but in many cases are either complicit, incompetent, or both.