HBOS, KPMG and Their Problematic Whistleblower

KPMG, external auditors for HBOS, were front and center in the controversy over written testimony from Paul Moore, HBOS’ former head of regulatory risk and a former KPMG partner. A guest posting on February 19, 2009 over at The Financial Times’ FT Alphaville blog.

The Big 4 Pro-IFRS Campaign Has Flaws

“IFRS For Everyone” is not just another well-crafted campaign for a government-sanctioned “next big thing” to sustain the Big 4’s untenable, unsustainable, obsolete business model that produces a, purported by some, worthless product. The Big 4 are bringing their best and brightest minds, from all over the world, to the US to evangelize their colleagues and transform their clients. Deloitte has partner Nick Difazio on the job.

Marin County Dumping SAP. Still Suing Deloitte. Stay Tuned.

Marin County’s suit against Deloitte is a “game changer,” one “that has the potential to reshape important aspects of the systems integration business…” Now they’ve decided to dump SAP and ZDNet”s Michael Krigsman thinks that move may be motivated more by the lawsuit than by sound strategy.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Trying To Buy Consulting Revenue Again With Diamond Deal

When Mark O’Conner of Monadnock Research asked for my initial reaction to the deal I had to admit I hadn’t thought much about it. Diamond Technology, a true-blue Chicago born and bred company, is small potatoes. They never achieved the billion dollar revenue goals the founder had envisioned. PwC has potentially bought a pig in a poke.

Sarbanes-Oxley Insights: An Interview With Bob Hirth of Protiviti

Protiviti is currently soliciting feedback for its new Sarbanes-Oxley Insight Survey.

The results of this survey promise to provide valuable and important insight into the current state of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance for all types of organizations.

Roopen Roy, Deloitte India, On Audit Firm Mergers

My friend Roopen Roy’s most recent column for is entitled, “Why Mergers In FirmsFall Apart.” Roopen Roy is the Managing Director, Deloitte Consulting, India.

Sarbanes-Oxley For Everyone: To Be Or Not To Be? (With Postscript)

Sarbanes-Oxley (SOx) made law what is best practice for all public companies or companies that issue public debt. That includes “smaller” companies.

Live Our Values, Demonstrate Our Behaviors, Support Our Strategy…

I think about the “one-firm firm” concept frequently. It’s an ideal that I can safely say all the Big 4 audit firms aspire to. And David Maister was the guru when I started in consulting in 1993 at KPMG Consulting. Later my mentor gave me his book, Managing Professional Services Firms, and I was hooked on the theory of professional services as well as the practice. So much has changed even in my professional life, which only goes back to the early 80’s. Front and center are the threats to the global network of all the firms and the focus on aggressive growth while diluting the partnership culture of the firms by perverting their compensation structure. Partner performance assessment has become a short-term, self-serving tool to throw disproportionate wealth to a small group of senior leadership.

Veteran’s Day In PwC Advisory: Say Auf Wiedersehen

New US Advisory Leader, Dana McIlwain laid out the bad news: The time has come to cut. Average utilization is hovering at 69%. Cash collections are millions short. Campus recruiting for Advisory has been stopped cold. Business sucks and then there’s the 800+ BearingPoint folks to absorb. On November 11th the rank and file partners, fortified after training and coaching by HR via a webcast in the next few days, will chop 300+ professionals from PwC Advisory…

PwC’s “Bundler” Outlives His Usefulness

R. Carter Pate is no longer the US Advisory Leader at PwC. There was no announcement. I can’t even find an announcement of his replacement, Dana McIlwain, on the PwC US website.
It may have seemed “logical” at the time to put Mr. Pate in charge of not only reviving PwC’s Advisory (Consulting) practice and to expect him to turbocharge it with lots of government contracts once Mr. McCain, the Republican, was elected President. When Mr. McCain lost, Mr. Pate lost his ability to dial for Federal government engagement dollars.

Is A Big 4 Firm Buying BearingPoint?

Update: March 24, 2009
Looks like I was right. Twice. See new comments posted overnight for more details and a copy of the email that went out to PwC employees announcing the deal.
Today’s Washington Post:

Consulting firm BearingPointappears to be near its end.

The company, which filed for bankruptcy protection last month, said late last night that it had reached an agreement with several parties — including PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte — to sell “substantially all of its businesses.”

BearingPoint – An Era Ends, For Now

Many of you know I have a long and strong connection with BearingPoint. So it was with great regret that I Tweeted early this morning that they have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.