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.
Francine McKenna is an experienced speaker who can present on a variety of subjects.
Typical topics include:
The role of the external auditor and litigation issues pertaining to external audit
The external auditor’s obligation to detect fraud
Careers in the accounting industry and accounting education
Corporate governance and the role of Audit Committee
Internal audit – Roles and Responsibilities
The intersection [...]
SEC Administrative Judge Cameron Elliot issued a blistering decision last week in a long-running dispute over regulator access to auditor work papers in fraud investigations. The judge banned the Chinese Big Four firms from auditing US issuers for six months and lambasted them for voluntarily putting their firms “between a rock and a hard place.” The decision is not yet final but the enormous impact is already being felt worldwide.
Your first obligation as a professional is to your client, not your firm, your partners, or even your family.
Does the PCAOB’s proposal on naming lead audit partners for US listed issuer audits contemplate any exemptions? No, but they do exist in the jurisdictions that say they hold lead audit partners accountable.
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.
Stories that get stuck in your teeth.
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.
Are auditors too cozy with management and the Audit Committee? Unfortunately, that the way they all seem to like it. Investors and the capital markets suffer.
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.