Archive for the ‘Writing for Others’ Category

@ Accountancy Age: An Opinion Piece On The US Audit Reform Debate

By Francine • Mar 16th, 2011

I’ve written an opinion piece for Accountancy Age comparing the auditor reform debate in the US – what there is – to the active debate in the UK.
Here’s an excerpt:
In the US, the Big Four leadership is noticeably absent from any public conversation of audit or audit industry reform. It’s hard enough for reporters to [...]


Birds On A Wire: How Do The Firms Get The Word Out?

By Francine • Mar 9th, 2011

This article was originally published on October 7, 2009.
It’s been a while since an update on the PwC/Satyam fraud for re: The Auditors. Rest assured, it’s all still a big problem for PwC. Their partners are still in jail but the wheels of Indian justice turn slowly. I did receive reports that India’s accounting [...]


It’s Only Money: How PwC Got Jammed Up On The AHIP Report

By Francine • Feb 27th, 2011

This post was originally published in on October 14, 2009.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.  Analyze a few numbers for an insurance industry lobby and write a report.  I suspect this was, at most, a $150k engagement. Small change.  But that’s what trusted advisors do.  Come, panting, when called.  Help clients [...]


Nowhere To Hide: Ernst & Young Looking At More Civil Liability For Lehman Failure

By Francine • Jan 9th, 2011

The mainstream media (MSM) is now paying attention to the Big 4 – Deloitte, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Ernst & Young.

The financial crisis is now about accounting fraud.

Every two-bit journalist and blogger on the business beat is spitting out stories to keep up and one-up each other. It’s not every day that the accounting firms provide so much gossip about spectacular criminal and civil penalties. Well, actually, it is every day.


Let Me Tell You A Funny Story: Lehman’s Repo 105 Accounting

By Francine • Jan 9th, 2011

When a new batch of Ernst & Young auditors arrived at Lehman Brothers each year, Repo 105 transactions must have caused debate. After all, a transaction that’s called a “Repo,” short for “repurchase”, but that’s actually recorded on the books as a sale, is a little odd. It may have even quacked.


@Forbes: Forget Everyone Else – Why Aren’t Auditors Answering For Financial Crisis?

By Francine • Dec 11th, 2010

Some may say that tweaking New York Times reporters to make a point about auditor liability, especially one so prominent such as Andrew Ross Sorkin, may not be a great career move.  But then you’re assuming my idea of a “career” is yours.
I call them as I see them, and the two blog posts in the [...]


@Forbes: More GM IPO and Less Litigation Disclosure

By Francine • Nov 19th, 2010

My Forbes column appears on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Go here to read, Accounting Watchdog.
Columns for the week ending November 19, 2010:
GM’s Gigantic IPO: Investors Bet An Old Dog Can Do New Tricks
FT Alphaville reports this morning that, “President Barack Obama said the IPO marked a ‘milestone in the turnaround of not just an iconic company but [...]


@Forbes: Immigration and the Big 4, Fannie and Freddie Must Go

By Francine • Nov 12th, 2010

My Forbes column appears on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Go here to read, Accounting Watchdog.

Columns for the week ending November 12, 2010:


@Forbes: Bankruptcy Examiners and The GM IPO

By Francine • Nov 5th, 2010

I’m writing a new column at  It’s called, “Accounting Watchdog” because traditional media is so innovative! Actually, I wanted to broaden my scope a little –  if going from Big 4 auditors to accounting, in general, can really be considered expanding my horizons.
But I do have, more or less, carte blanche to comment on whatever [...]


Treasury Votes To Reappoint KPMG As Auditor of Citigroup

By Francine • 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…