Could the audit industry, which thrives on a government mandate that subsidizes an oligopolistic business model, survive if we went, catastrophically, from four to three global firms?
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.
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.
PwC says it will acquire Booz. Don’t count on the SEC or the PCAOB to stop PwC and its audit firm competitors from “slipping back” into the old conflicts between audit and consulting. Is anyone guarding the guardians?
I’m very proud to have been included in the Crain’s Chicago Business list of top local finance bloggers.
Deloitte has been caught thumbing its nose at regulators again. Deloitte is the best example in the Big Four of how a large consulting business corrupts an audit firm.
Last defendant standing. Not an enviable place for EY in the case, In re Lehman Brothers Securities and Erisa Litigation. Holding out until the end has now cost EY $99 million, more than Lehman officers and directors.
Crain’s Chicago Business and journalist Steve Strahler have produced a series on the reemergence of the consulting arms of the Big Four audit firms with a particular focus on the Midwest and Chicago firm leadership. I’m quoted and there’s a nice photo.
I was the luncheon speaker on October 10, 2013 at the annual meeting of the Professional Liability Defense Federation (PLDF). Here is the text of my remarks.
On September 11 Bill Ackman went beyond his ongoing accusation that Herbalife is pyramid scheme and sent a 52-page letter to PwC warning the firm it is exposed to enormous liability if it signs off on Herbalife audit opinions and Qs without a full investigation of several accounting, tax and bribery allegations. Ackman used my work to bolster his case to PwC.