I was in New Orleans this past long Martin Luther King Day weekend to speak at the American Accounting Association Auditing Section Midyear Conference. Here are my slides and text of my remarks.
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.
It’s sexier for the media to focus on audit failures by inscrutable China-based Big Four audit firms than the general failure of auditors all over the world to protect investors from fraud.
Deutsche Bank may have avoided a bailout by the German government but borrowed billions from the US Federal Reserve and various programs during this period. So much for avoiding a bailout by pretending there was no risk of catastrophic losses during the financial crisis.
I’ve been watching the developments for a while now between the global audit firms, their clients, the regulators on both sides, and investors – especially the shorts – who have been raising the issues of Chinese frauds. I’ve written quite a bit about these issue. If you’re playing catch up, this list of posts is a good place to start.
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.
I taped an episode of the Keiser Report last week while in New York. The focus was Jamie Dimon with a bit of MF Global thrown in for heat. Max Keiser, the host, asked me this question: Why does Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase still have a job?
Something is still missing today, the one year anniversary of the bankruptcy of MF Global.
What’s still missing from this sordid affair is an accounting of the whereabouts of the financial auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The blog is meant to highlight, for you the reader, the broad-based influence the Big 4 have in business, politics and social policy. Their reach is only exceeded by their constant grasp.