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Are All Big Four Partners Evil Or Just Leadership? Pondering The Problem of Evil

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

How do professionals forget what’s right and wrong? Adolf Eichmann was a “new type of criminal, who is actually hostis generic humani . . . [and] commits his crimes under circumstances that make it well-nigh impossible for him to know or to feel that he is doing wrong.”

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PwC Faces A Trial For SemGroup Audit And Its Defense Is Predictably Slick

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

PwC is scheduled to go to trial for malpractice related to the bankruptcy of SemGroup in August, almost six years later. The SemGroup Litigation Trust, pursuing claims on behalf of the company and its creditors, alleges PwC did a terrible audit. But it’s worse than just lousy auditing, especially if a trial exposes the truth of PwC’s disingenuous defenses.

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VC Horowitz Implicates Auditor PwC In Story About Dodging Backdating Bullet

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Imagine my surprise when Ben Horowitz, one half of the venture capital team of Andreessen Horowitz, wrote a blog post about dodging a stock option backdating jail term that also implicates PwC.

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Not That Satisfying: SEC Slams KPMG For Independence Violations

Tuesday, January 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.

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Speaking

Monday, January 27th, 2014

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
IT Audit
The intersection [...]

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One Way Or Another: The SEC Versus The Chinese Big Four Firms

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

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.

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Madoff, MLK, Buddha And Elusive Nature of Self-Interest

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Your first obligation as a professional is to your client, not your firm, your partners, or even your family.

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GlaxoSmithKline Keeps Name of PwC Lead Engagement Partner Under Wraps

Monday, December 30th, 2013

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.

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Winning! PwC Argues Both Sides Of The Partner Naming Debate

Thursday, December 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.

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Niblets

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Stories that get stuck in your teeth.

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