PCAOB Standing Advisory Group Meeting – Baby Steps, But Important Ones

Last Wednesday, I attended the PCAOB’s Standing Advisory Group”s live meeting in Washington DC. It was more fun, more interesting , than I was expecting. The room was full of professionals from the firms, including several next tier and next, next tier firms who sit on the board as well as representatives from the SEC, […]

Big 4 Starting Salaries – The Facts

I have noticed quite a few searches for “starting salaries” leading to this blog. It’s the season when you’re getting offers and you want to know if they’re true and fair and competitive. You need to start planning how to pay off those loans. You want to gloat over your fellow students who studied liberal […]

The Reality Of Working For The Big 4

I came to PwC as a Director, with my primary client as PwC itself. I didn’t get an office or a permanent desk, even though my work was internal and I traveled only infrequently to other PwC offices in New York and Atlanta. Having to reserve a space and be told nothing was available was […]

Is The Fix In On Starting Pay?

Picture Source The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog has become a go-to read for me. As some of you have seen, I have an interest in the intersection between law and accounting. I have found the blog to be written much more freewheelingly than its front page. That is, there’s a lot more latitude given […]

You Can Put Lipstick On A Pig, But…

Yesterday I mentioned in passing that Deloitte is considering a rebranding effort, ostensibly to solidify their position as a Consulting Firm rather than an Audit Firm. I can understand the desire to distance yourself from the train wreck that is the auditing business. It’s less a business model than government-sanctioned vehicle for organized crime against […]

Deloitte – Extraordinary Services In Unusual Places

Truth is, nowadays, often stranger than fiction. I am a skeptic by nature but also a realist. If it makes money for someone, it’s probably happening out there. Why would a mild mannered firm like Deloitte get mixed up in dirty business in Iraq? Well, as I have said before, “…that’s where the money is.” […]

GM and GE – Both Have Poor Internal Controls

“News” broke yesterday that GM reported, “ineffective internal controls over financial reporting might make it difficult for the company to execute on its business plan.” They are also still under investigation by the SEC on several matters, including financial reporting related to pension accounting, transactions with suppliers including GM’s former subsidiary Delphi Corp., and transactions […]

Auditor Independence and Management Consulting – Deja Vu All Over Again

To introduce this topic, let’s start with excerpts from a Frontline series, dated June 2002, Bigger Than Enron. In the segment entitled Congress and the Accounting Wars, the history and politics of independence legislation supported strongly by then SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt and eventually incorporated in the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation of 2002 is described. At the […]