Politicians are again trotting out the same old ideas and suggestions for audit industry reform. Does the UK also pop in new politicians every four years as we do here in the United States such that we get a fresh crop of potato heads every term, fresh from the field, with nary a clue about the history, legacy, machinations and pervasive influence of the largest global accounting firms?
There’s quite a bit of bad news coming out of Russia about PricewaterhouseCoopers and their client Yukos. Former Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev stand co-accused in a new trial brought by prosecutors intent on preventing their scheduled release from prison in 2011. Khodorkovsky and Lebedev have decided to target PwC in their defense.
The SEC did not issue a press release for this rule. Chairman Shapiro did not mention it in her July 27 speech that discussed actions the SEC was taking in response to the passage of the financial regulatory reform bill. It was not an explicit requirement of the Supreme Court decision regarding the PCAOB.
So where did it come from? Why is it necessary?
If any doubts remained that PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited, the international global network “coordinating” firm, does the bidding of its largest and most powerful member firms – primarily PwC US and PwC UK – the latest “restructuring” in India should dispel them. PwC US and PwC UK want to be closer to their money.
The Supreme Court will hand down their decision on Free Enterprise Fund v. PCAOB before on June 28th. Congressional action may be necessary to reestablish the PCAOB or a comparable regulatory authority within the SEC, if we want to continue independent regulation of the audit firms. I have some recommendations for a new PCOAB law.
There are so many corks popping in the UK, hitting them in the eyes, audit firm leadership is actually trying to preempt. They’re shaking in their £1000 bespoke leather slip-ons. Well, not really.
Maybe their bottom lips are quivering a bit in quiet indignation.
Taking care of family and close friends first is universal. Whether Irish, Italian, Kenyan, Mexican, or Tunisian… Legal, regulatory, ethical and moral lines are often crossed in service to family and those who are “like a brother to me…” There are obvious similarities between the Satyam and Glitnir frauds, not the least of which is they share an auditor – PwC.
This was my first blog post. It was originally published on October 12 of 2006. Financial Times, “Merger moves see firms boost their global credentials,” October 11, 2006 The big four firms such as KPMG and Deloitte never miss an opportunity to plug their global business credentials and their commitment to serving clients across borders […]
The leadership of the Big 4 audit firms – Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers – are scared witless.
Most of what’s been written about the financial crisis and firms that were forcibly acquired, bailed out, or that failed tends to focus on “fair value” as the feckless culprit.What are the auditors’ obligations with regard to clients’ fair value measurements and disclosures? Auditors do not determine fair values. Instead, their role is to, “test management’s fair value measurements and disclosures.” But that obligation is broader than just taking the word of the “masters of the universe.”
“If not, why not…” We’re talking about the auditors’ failure to be a force either before, during, or after the financial crisis…Only legally required compliance keeps us walking like dizzy children through in this hall of mirrors, never reaching the exit and sunshine.
When I ask, “Where were the auditors?” and decry the fact that “they weren’t there,” it’s not due to some unreasonable, unfair focus on the most milquetoast of potential culprits. I bang this drum because the auditors should have been there, as a last stop, where the buck should have stopped, as gatekeepers, watchdogs, advocates, and the last bastion of standards and expected values shareholders can look to.
But they weren’t.