You have to go outside of the US to see a trial of a Big Four audit firm to know what I’m talking about. Australia’s Centro case against PwC or Canada’s Nortel case where Deloitte partners testified recently tell you everything you need to know about why the Big Four will settle every time. Rather than have a jury and the public hear and see the pathetic state of the audit profession, its inability to stop executives who want to cheat, and its unwillingness to acknowledge liability as a firm when it screws up, the firms will reach into their seemingly bottomless pockets and pay up.
My objective in writing this story was to handily contradict the self-serving defense to the fraud at Koss that’s being served up by Grant Thornton and supported by some commentators. But punching holes in their Swiss-cheese defense is like shooting fish in a barrel.
Not so long ago, Dennis Howlett and I went public with a bet:
Which Big 4 audit firm is the next to fail?
Dennis believes that I’m betting on PwC as next to fail. I don’t honestly remember committing to that, but I’m willing to go with it for the sake of argument. This is in spite of the fact that the other Big 4 have plenty to worry about and the next tier firms are in no way ready for prime time.
I laughed out loud when a Google Alert pointed me to the FT article excerpted below. I find this solicitation by the US Internal Revenue Service quite ironic given that four of the six firms mentioned have had serious, and I mean serious, issues with the IRS related to their aiding and abetting the development […]
Deloitte is in the news for some significant litigation issues. First the winner. This ruling, I think, will have a big impact on the auditor subprime cases to come. Many of these cases, when it comes to the auditors liability, will be based on whether auditors should have been more diligent, thorough, and hard on […]
Picture Inspiration There are three firms in the US that I routinely refer to as the “next tier”. I pay them some respect by not using the term “2nd tier”. I think that sounds worse. But, it’s been well documented that the gulf between the Big 4 and this group, Grant Thornton, BDO Seidman, and […]