About Francine McKenna

Francine McKenna

The Roman satirist Juvenal asked, “Sed, quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”

But who guards the guardians?

Unprecedented changes in the accounting profession, and professional services in general, mean the current approach to safeguarding shareholder interests, as well as the other stakeholders of the modern publicly traded global enterprise, is no longer efficient nor effective.

Francine McKenna (@retheauditors on Twitter) was the Transparency reporter at MarketWatch with credits in Forbes magazine, the Financial Times, Forbes.com, American Banker, Al Jazeera, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business Capital Ideas Magazine, Accountancy AgeAccountancy Magazine, The Columbia Journalism Review, Boston Review, the FEI Blog, and various financial,media, and technology blogs. She wrote regularly for Forbes magazine. She had a column at Forbes.com under the heading “Accounting Watchdog” and was a columnist at American Banker, “Accountable”, from October 2011 to October 2012. McKenna had a weekly column at GoingConcern.com from July 2009 to July 2010.

The Dig at Substack is her newsletter where digs into accounting, audit and corporate governance issues at public and pre-IPO companies.

re: The Auditors is her specialized news site about the business of the Big 4 audit firms. Stories explore the role, responsibility and regulation of the audit/accounting industry in the global capital markets in an independent, objective, and usually critical way.

Ms. McKenna was a finalist in 2013 for the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Financial Journalism in the magazine category for her writing in Forbes magazine in 2012. She was also a finalist for Gerald Loeb Award in 2010 in the online commentary and blogging category.

McKenna has been quoted by the New York Times, American Banker, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Forbes, Australian Broadcasting Company, Harvard Business Review, BusinessWeek, The Deal, The Times of London, the Guardian, the Sunday Times of Dublin, and the Financial Chronicle (India) amongst many others. She has been profiled by accounting and social marketing/media sites. Her public speaking credits include private training, university teaching, and speeches for the New York County Lawyers Association, the New York State Society of CPAS, Center For Financial Services Innovation, Columbia University, James Madison University, North Carolina State University, Marquette University, Villanova University, Texas Tech University, Texas A&M University, Georgia Southern University, New York University, the American Accounting Association, multiple chapters of the Institute of Internal Auditors and its annual internal conference, the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, and the Maryland Association of CPAs.

Ms. McKenna has more than twenty-five years of experience in a range of industries in the consulting and professional services environment. McKenna directed the Y2K PMO for JP Morgan in Latin America and was the first female Managing Director for BearingPoint in Latin America, responsible for the Industrial, Automotive and Transportation practice. She was a RVP for Jefferson Wells/Manpower and a Director for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC, auditing PwC the firm itself. She held various positions in accounting and financial management prior to her career in professional services and began her career as an internal auditor at Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust in Chicago. She passed the C.P.A. exam in Illinois in 1986 and is registered but not licensed.

She is fluent in Spanish, as well as her native English, and can provide services in either language. Her firm, McKenna Partners LLC, was a specialized consultancy that advised other professional services firms. These services included consulting on litigation involving the audit firms, in particular if there are complaints alleged related to member firms outside of the United States.

In the past McKenna provided specialized consulting to plaintiff’s attorneys in cases involving the audit firms, in particular when they have a global reach. Her knowledge of the internal operations of the firms especially on independence, legal and regulatory compliance, risk and quality management, internal systems/processes and global network legal and regulatory issues is unprecedented and rarely available outside the firms in an independent and objective form.