Monday Morning Mail

While I’m writing a nice juicy post for later this morning, I thought I would pass along this interesting reader mail. The correspondent is a KPMG partner from outside the US.

Dear Francine,
You are always so cynical of the Big 4, and sometimes rightly so, but do you currently have a better solution? Do you think firms are out there doing it better than the Big 4? 

Like all corporate entities, the Big 4 are made up of individuals, and from time to time mistakes are made, yet I believe after working in several Big 4 locations around the globe, individuals within the audit practice of the respective firms are generally doing the “right thing”.


Dear CHÄS,
Even though I have a lot of opinions, I am not responsible for finding a solution. I will propose my solution in my book, but the purpose of the blog is to get people talking. I think the audit industry is an unexamined industry, with a unique business model, and a special place in the capital markets structure. Very few people, even business people, understand the firms’ full influence, role, and responsibilities. I had a debate a few weeks back with someone who blamed McKinsey for Enron’s issues. Blame Enron management, for sure. But don’t blame a paid consultant. He could not understand, comprehend AA’s role/responsibility beyond being a paid consultant. It’s a shame.

So, I found a niche that needed coverage and that happily coincides with my interests and aptitude. I get thousands of page views a month from all the Big 4 firms, their clients, regulators, other consulting firms, law firms, etc. from all over the world. It’s pretty neat. My criticism is usually focused on the Big 4’s senior management and it’s across the board. 

I still have a very warm feeling for KPMG since that’s where I started in the industry, after ten years in finance/accounting/internal audit in a bank and an industrial distributor.  I have friends at all the Big 4 firms, most of whom still talk to me. LOL   

Many of my friends, like you, do great work within a broken model. It’s a model that no longer, in my opinion, serves its intended client, the shareholders.

Be glad to talk anytime live. 

Thanks for reading.
Best regards,