Brave New World Or How I Know What You’re Thinking

Sundays are for introspection and reflection. But since I am a lapsed member of organized religion, I’ll meditate on the blogger god today – Statcounter. This is the tool which allows bloggers with an ego and a purpose to analyse and monitor all the visitors to their website in real-time. I found out about this tool from a very successful blogger with a book coming out this fall. He writes about being a nightclub bouncer in New York.

I know all kinds of people…

I can see, via Statcounter, the reader’s ISP address and host name, in most cases. Some know how to block any identifying information (maybe that’s the CIA…) but most don’t. This information tells me for sure that I have new and repeat readers from all over the world, from major corporations (especially the ones I’ve written about,) all the audit firms, law firms, the PCAOB, SEC and US Department of Justice and other regulatory and government bodies everywhere. I also have academics who reach me via their searches and the odd person who searches for one thing and finds me instead. I can see if someone has come to me via a Google or Yahoo search, a Google or other alert process or has set me up on a regular feed.

Most of my readers are very shy, never contacting me or leaving a comment, just silently lurking, reading and devouring everything new I put up. Others are more friendly, especially the other writers and academics (has something to do with freedom, I suppose…) It’s been a blast to meet new people, make connections with like-minded individuals and see that my writing is interesting to someone or hitting a nerve.

The statistics that Statcounter provides can tell me what site you came from, so in that way I can see when someone else has mentioned Re: The Auditors and linked to me. Sometimes I look at the Google searches and see what else comes up when my site was the result of a search, and in that way I have found others writing about similar topics. By looking at the search results, I’ve also developed ideas for new things to write about, given that my site doesn’t always answer the search request the way the searcher probably expected. Since I can’t contact the searchers, I can only hope they eventually found what they’re looking for. I can also see how long someone stays on the site, what pages they’ve read and how often they return.

Some interesting recent searches that have brought readers to this site:,GGLJ:2006-37,GGLJ:en&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=auditors%20%2B%20blogs%20%2B%20job%20satisfaction&spell it ok to disclose material weaknessin SOX 404 without restating financial statements&meta= doj audit mike ??? %26 young%22 %22dead%22 %22manager%22 after promotion to %22big 4 partner%22 (From someone at PwC!) mckinsey layoff (Same person at PwC!) mckenna car sales&btnG=Search&meta= (Strange confluence of data points brought them to my post on the Big 3 automakers.)


The most searched and read topic is still Auditing Standard 5. You’ll hear more about that after Compliance Week 2007. It promises to be the main topic of the conference and, given that the PCAOB plans to vote on proposal on the 24th, we should hear all the opinions and comments, pro and con, straight from the sources.

The top 15 most read posts on Re: The Auditors are:

1. Auditing Standard 5 – Repealing the AA/Enron Rule
2. Re: The Auditors (This means people are going directly to the blog, they know the address and are interested in whatever new I’ve written.)
3. KPMG at the Center of the Siemens Storm
4. Too Few to Fail or Something More?
5. Barclays/ABNAmro – I’m PwC and It’s All About Me
6. Auditing Standard 5 – Oh the Ennui!
7. Hey Ernst & Young – You’re Killing Me!
8. PwC’s Two Card Monte Game in Japan Fails
9. Is Deloitte Sufficiently Independent of Siemens?
10. PwC US Layoffs
11. New Century Financial – Its KPMG Again
12. KPMG – What Did They Know About Siemens?
13. Auditor Liability Reform – Same Old Same Old
14. No More Excuses or Straw Men
15. Auditor Independence and Management Consulting

Some of my former colleagues think I am being extra tough on PwC. Well, my experience there has given me my most recent first hand information. However, when you look at the posts, I think I have written about each firm as much as the other. For a while I thought I was not writing enough about E&Y. It’s a firm I have strong insight into but only via a source which I can’t use. In the end, it’s a sign of the times that you can’t really decide which firm is worse off, because they all have an equal amount of issues to contend with and many issues in common, (although I personally think KPMG is the one closet to living the last of their nine lives…)

We shall see. In the meantime, thanks for reading.