Big 4 Blind Item

Which Big 4 firm, trying to get back in the “consulting” business asked their “consulting” partners to take a haircut because they didn’t meet their numbers this past fiscal year?

It seems the lack of imagination evidenced by their overdependence on “consulting” to their external audit clients on Sarbanes-Oxley has triggered major withdrawal symptoms now that that the SOx gravy train has jumped the tracks. Those same audit clients are hiring their own staff and using other non-Big 4 firms to reduce the work and fees of their external audit firm, whether they agree to Auditing Standard 5 or not. Add to this the loss of a few big “consulting” clients due to mergers and some big litigation settlements and it’s not a rosy new year anyone is looking forward to.

Calling it “consulting ” when all it they’re doing is supporting their external audit teams’ SOx work is fooling no one but the lifers who don’t know any better. Too bad they lost anyone who knew how to sell a project over $1,000,000 when they sold whatever consulting business they did have a few years ago.

Looks like they’re going to have to work a little harder (and maybe figure out how to use all those experienced “catalyst” hires) to generate some new business, the kind of business that doesn’t walk in the door asking for you by name. Try doing business the old fashioned way – compete for it.