A judge denied PwC’s motion for summary judgement. The case goes to trial in October. Mauro Botta brought an action in district court in California against PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP alleging that PwC wrongfully terminated him in retaliation for a whistleblower complaint he made to the Securities and Exchange Commission about PwC’s auditing practices. There’s been a lot written about the case, which is ongoing.
My piece on the SEC’s new Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee, spanning several online pages, is now out at MarketWatch.
I’m quoted extensively in an October 2014 The Bottom Line piece on the Big Four expansion into full-fledged legal services.
The news that a tax consulting firm made up of ex-Andersen partners would take the Andersen name garnered much media attention, as you might expect. It says something—but maybe not what the firm’s partners think— that so many years after the destruction of Arthur Andersen by criminal indictment—thirteen years—so many people care.
The NYDFS PwC investigation discovered several emails that Benjamin Lawsky, the Superintendent of Financial Services for New York, characterized Monday as examples of a consultant going along with a “whitewash”.
This Monadnock Research Note offers an in-depth analysis of organic growth and strategic M&A in non-audit services for the Big Four audit firms, highlighting the growing risks associated with an increasing proportion of advisory relative to audit services at Big Four firms – and the conflict risk that this unique mix of services presents.
PwC says it will acquire Booz. Don’t count on the SEC or the PCAOB to stop PwC and its audit firm competitors from “slipping back” into the old conflicts between audit and consulting. Is anyone guarding the guardians?
Deloitte has been caught thumbing its nose at regulators again. Deloitte is the best example in the Big Four of how a large consulting business corrupts an audit firm.
Crain’s Chicago Business and journalist Steve Strahler have produced a series on the reemergence of the consulting arms of the Big Four audit firms with a particular focus on the Midwest and Chicago firm leadership. I’m quoted and there’s a nice photo.
Lofty goals like EY’s Vision 2020 serve a promotional purpose to attract top talent, and create the rationalization for promises of vast internal opportunities to keep top performers engaged. But unintended consequences would likely foreclose any real possibility that the $50 billion aspect of EY’s 2020 strategic plan could be executed as currently conceived.
PwC has an ongoing independence conflict in performing the Ally/ResCap independent foreclosure review. This conflict is disturbing on two fronts.
This post about Ernst & Young’s aggressive tax advice to audit client Wal-Mart was originally posted October 29, 2007. It’s worth everyone – I’m talking to you SEC and PCAOB – taking another look at this given Wal-Mart’s new Mexican bribery problems and the SEC investigation of Ernst & Young for tax lobbying to audit clients. (Ernst & Young has been silent and left out of most media discussion about Wal-Mart’s FCPA problems in Mexico and elsewhere.)