September 21, 2020

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Unfounded Crackpot Theory of the Day: Did Joe Echevarria Want to Stick It To Deloitte?

We've clearly got an Above Top Secret member hanging around the tip box this afternoon: The real unanswered question regarding Echevarria at Deloitte – I can understand that he wanted to announce that he did not want to stand for re-election (possibly he heard from insiders that he wouldn't get re-elected) the real question that […]

Footnotes: Joe Echevarria Retiring; The Too Smart Staff Person; Email Is the Best | 08.15.14

Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria to Retire to Pursue Life in Public Service Mr. Echevarria has been at Deloitte for 34 years and has served as CEO since 2011. In a statement issued by the firm, he said he has "determined that this is the right time in my life to pursue my passion for public service." [WSJ] […]

Joe Echevarria Was a Hipster Before It Was Cool

Before he was CEO of Deloitte, talking about creating thousands of jobs, talking to both current and ex-Presidents, and having 1%er problems, Joe Echevarria admits that he had some "rough edges." He group grew up in the Bronx, attended the University of Miami (aka Suntan U.) and didn't have the personal hygiene and fashion sense […]

Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria Doesn’t Want to Hear About the Troubles You’ve Had Selling *Your* House

As you may recall, after Joe Echevarria became CEO of Deloitte in 2011, we learned that his house in Westchester was up for grabs with an asking price of $2.8 million. The 6,000 square-foot spread had hit the market in March of that year listed at $3 mil, so you can safely assume that Joe and his wife Ana were anxious to move the thing.

Joe Echevarria: Washington Needs to Get Its Act Together

Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria is confident in his firm's ability to create jobs. He told CNBC that the Green Dot will hire another 17,000 new employees next year (netting "about half of that"). The reason that other, lesser, CEOs aren't kicking ass and taking names is that they can't deal with all the uncertainty out […]

Let’s Speculate About: Joe Echevarria’s Rumored Meeting with the SEC

Earlier today we were informed that Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria was a commencement speaker at the University of Miami, his alma mater, this morning. A quick search confirmed Joe E's gig, however, our tipster had this to add:  Said he had just come from a meeting with SEC, didn't mention what it was about, lol. This could […]

We Read This Awful Interview with Deloitte’s Joe Echevarria So You Don’t Have To

You don’t have to be Bob Woodward to recognize the formulaic nature of the CEO interview. Reporter goes to CEO’s office, asks loaded questions about the issues of the day, describes the view from the office, elaborates on the person’s exercise regimen, humble (or not so humble) beginnings, people they admire, yada yada yada. Cripes, reading these things makes you want to shave with broken glass but hey! editors get in ruts just liwe’re stuck with the puff. By extension, interviews with Big 4 CEOs are worse because they typically occur with General Counsel sitting in the next room zapping their genitals every time a question is asked that necessitates “I can’t comment on that.”

Today’s example comes courtesy of Reuters who interviewed Deloitte’s Joe Echevarria. What prompted this little chat was the PCAOB’s release of Part II of the firm’s 2008 inspection report. It wasn’t exactly a flattering portrayal of a firm who, when asked to brush up on their audit skills, basically told the PCAOB to drop dead.

Accordingly, the firm is running damage control and that involves getting Joe E. in front of some friendly reporters (read: not Jon Weil or Francine McKenna).

Recently faulted by the main U.S. auditor watchdog, Deloitte has told its professionals that skepticism should be the No. 1 focus during the upcoming auditing season for annual financial reports, CEO Joe Echevarria said.

“I know there’s a heightened awareness about professional skepticism in the firm,” he said. “It’s going to take a while for heightened awareness to manifest itself in actions and documentation because humans are involved here.”

The natural follow-up question here would be, “But Mr. Echevarria, the PCAOB asked you to fix things in 2008-2009, are you saying that you’re now just ‘manifesting itself in actions’?” but that brings out the zapper. That’s okay, we’re all used to it. You know what else we’re used to? Talking about the “expectations gap”:

There is an “expectations gap” between what auditors do and what the public expects, but auditors do have an obligation to detect and report material fraud, Echevarria said.

Echevarria is also asked about auditor rotation, IFRS and (for some odd reason) its settlement over the Adelphia fraud in 2005. Why not ask about the swinging insider trading scandal? What about Taylor, Bean & Whitaker? What about associates sneaking bloggers into the downtown W? WHAT ABOUT THIS FAUX TARA REID MARRIAGE? People want these all-important questions on the record and yet it never happens. Sigh.

By the way since it’s obvious that some of you care about these details, Joe is from the Bronx and his office is in Midtown.

Deloitte pressing for more skeptical audits (God, the headline is even awful) [Reuters]

Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria Has Been Listening to a Lot of Bellyaching

The Wall St. Journal published a little Q&A with Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria today to get an idea of what’s been going on since he took the reins as the head of the U.S. firm. It’s been nearly 100 days since JoeE got the nod and the flaks at Deloitte probably felt as though it was as good of a time as ever to roll out their new man.

Oddly enough, it’s been about 30 days since we told you that JE’s Westchester home was up for sale and since none of you cheapskates have bothered to help him out, this gives us the opportunity to remind you that it’s still up for grabs.

Anyway, this Q&A. It’s about what you might expect – but we’ll try to jazz it up for you.

For starters, did you know Joe worked at gas station in the Bronx? Yes, he’s already tougher than you’ll ever be. But while he was washing windows and filling up the locals, he noticed that the accountant didn’t seem to do diddly squat and made WAY more money than he did:

What stood out to me was I worked all day and I was making whatever minimum wage was at the time. The accountant came into the gas station once a month, did something, and walked out with a lot more money than I made in a week.

Back when Joe started at the firm, things were a lot different. For example: email. What is this fancy crap?:

I started at Haskins & Sells, the predecessor to Deloitte. I started in the audit practice. All the tasks were hierarchical in those days, so you had to work your way up. We weren’t in an environment where everything is electronic. We had to get mail. It didn’t just come over some laptop.

In his first 100 days, what’s been Joe’s biggest accomplishment? Making important leadership appointments? Overseeing the consolidation of regions? Nope. Listening to partner complaints:

One of the goals we’re beginning to accomplish is having a conversation. We opened up a communication vehicle with our partners and our directors that I call Social CEO. It gets the partners to engage, open dialogue, ask survey questions and ask questions of me or others. I get every comment.

How about this economy? We might be looking at a double-dip which could have some Green Dotties a little worried. But have no fear, Joe & Co. are all over it:

Once upon a time there was a view that there would be a rebound. I would say now the probabilities of a rebound are diminishing and the probability of a double dip is increasing. We have a set of plans that we would undertake for any of those scenarios. This isn’t new for us.

And if those plans don’t go as they should, there won’t be too many sad faces:

The first thing is we look at the costs that we incur and how much ahead we’re hiring. Maybe 18,000 [new hires] becomes 17,000.

See? No cause for concern.

For Deloitte CEO, Hard Economic Times Are Nothing New [WSJ]

Deloitte Announces Joe Echevarria as New CEO, Punit Renjen Chairman

Deloitte has announced today that Joe Echevarria will become the new CEO and Punit Renjen (who is oddly well-coifed for a leader at Deloitte) the new Chairman Board of the firm effective June 1. None of this is really news to anyone that frequents this site since we reported who the candidates were back in February. Joe takes over for Barry Salzberg who will assume the global CEO position and Punit will assume the Chairman role from Sharon Allen who is retiring.


This officially marks the end of the Deloitte election process that we brought to light after a partner reached out to us over concerns that the process is seriously flawed (or in that partner’s words, “broken”). Whether or not the rumored poor turnout had any effect on the timing is not known but the results remain the same, much to the chagrin of many partners at the firm who share the frustration of a unrepresentative election process.

[caption id="attachment_29175" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Renjen"][/caption]

Both guys seem genuinely pleased with the result, “I am deeply honored to be elected by my partners and principals to be CEO of this great firm. As the largest professional services organization in the U.S., we have an obligation to lead,” said Echevarria. “Excellence in all of the professional services we provide constitutes the foundation of our success. As markets were shaken and major players disappeared overnight, we’ve made a clear choice to focus on superior performance, innovation and growth across all our practice areas. Great firms are growth firms.”

And Renjen, “This is a great privilege, and I deeply appreciate the partnership’s confidence in me,” he said. “I share Sharon Allen’s vision for Deloitte – to be the ‘Standard of Excellence.’ Setting this standard demands effective governance, transparency, accountability and uncompromised quality. I am committed to leading the board in providing valuable oversight and strategic guidance to management, and also to representing our exceptional organization and culture with external stakeholders.”

Congratulate your new leaders, green dots; these are the men you’ll be receiving a monstrous number of emails from for the next four years.

[via Deloitte]

Schwag Watch ’11: Deloitte May Be Implying That Recruits Have Poor Personal Hygiene

Earlier this month our resident big man on campus, DWB, put out a call for all the schwagtacular gear that recruits were snatching up this fall. We didn’t get much for submissions at first but luckily a friend from the north passed along photos that ranged from “a bunch of junk” to Dr. Seuss to a PwC cookie describe as “soft” and “amazing.”

Things have quieted down since then but thankfully, another enterprising young recruit who is right in the wheelhouse of recruiting passed along a couple more pics that include examples of loot from Deloitte and Grant Thornton.


First our tipster’s thoughts on GT’s offering: “The GT cup is ok but the straw is totally useless.” And for the gazillionth time, purple just sucks.


According to our tipster, the Deloitte sanitizer is really the most perplexing item: “I am not sure what to think of Deloitte’s hand sanitizer.”

So what do we make of this? It’s not a surprise that Deloitte isn’t a “If it’s brown flush it down; if it’s yellow keep it mellow” kinda place but what does this bottle of freshness really communicate? Do they simply think college students are unkempt? Is Deloitte making the assumption that all the recruits are applying there because the Occupy movement rejected their applications? Or, since there is fairly new leadership in place, does this speak more directly to the firm’s position on germs in general? Put simply: Are Joe Echevarria and Barry Salzgerg germophobes? I’m inclined to go with option 3 but would entertain other theories.

Caption Contest Thursday: Deloitte’s Shade of Blue Looks Very Familiar


Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria and former President Bill Clinton at the Middle Market Perspectives Event in New York.

PCAOB Publishes Part II of Deloitte’s 2008 Inspection Report, First Ever for a Big 4 Firm

They really, really, really don’t appreciate it when you blow off their recommendations. Here’s the statement from the Board:

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, in anticipation of questions about the publication of previously nonpublic portions of its May 19, 2008 inspection report on Deloitte & Touche LLP, issued the following statement today:

“The quality control remediation process is central to the Board’s efforts to cause firms to improve the quality of their audits and thereby better protect investors. The Board therefore takes very seriously the importance of firms making sufficient progress on quality control isn inspection report in the 12 months following the report. Particularly with the largest firms, which are inspected annually, the Board devotes considerable time and resources to critically evaluating whether the firm did in fact make sufficient progress in that period. The Board can and does make the relevant criticisms public when a firm has failed to do so.”

So to clarify, Deloitte had until May 19, 2009 to get their methods up to par but failed to do so. To put this into a little bit of context, Jim Doty was not yet the Chair of the PCAOB and Barry Salzberg was still the CEO of Deloitte’s U.S. firm. Does this mean that the PCAOB has been stepping up its game and this is the first instance of many to come? Hard to say but the audits that this inspection report cover are nearly five years old, so it’s debatable as to the value of Part II being made public now.

For Deloitte’s part, here’s current CEO Joe Echevarria’s statement:

“Deloitte is committed to the highest standards of audit quality and as newly elected CEO, it is my foremost priority. Our commitment extends from the top and cascades throughout our entire organization. We place great value on the PCAOB’s input and continue to work with the Board in support of our shared objectives. We recognize that audit quality is fundamental to protecting investors and ensuring the effective functioning of the capital markets.

“We have complete confidence in our professionals and the quality of our audits, and agree that there were and always will be areas where we can improve. In our drive for continuous improvement, we have been making a series of investments focused on strengthening and improving our practice, and will continue to do so to make Deloitte the standard for audit quality.”

In other words, a non-response response. However, it’s much more measured than Deloitte’s response to the initial release of the report. Their response letter spelled out their feelings quite clearly:

Professional judgments of reasonable and highly competent people may differ as to the nature and extent of necessary auditing procedures,conclusions reached and required documentation. We believe that reasonable judgments should not be second guessed and therefore disagree with a number of comments as indicated[.]

Deloitte’s letter is located Appendix C. You can read the full report, including all the details from Part II that were previously unpublished, on page 2.

PCAOB_2008_Deloitte

Who Are the Most Influential People in Accounting? (2011)

Accounting Today released its Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting (free registration required) late yesterday and it seems to be a tad more interesting than in years past. Sure, there are plenty of predictable names and faces in the list but any list that has Dave Albrecht, Paul Caron, and Grover Norquist is okay by me.

That said, it’s still in alphabetical order which may not appropriately present who the influenciest influencers are. I mean does sticking a man with a last name that starts with “N” and ends in “quist” somewhere in the middle of the pack (only a few spots in front of the POTUS) truly show how influential he is? It’s just a question.

ANYWAY, here are some notables that you’ll probably recognize:


Dave Albrecht – Associate Professor at Concordia College, The Summa
C.E. Andrews – President, RSM McGladrey
Paul Caron – TaxProf Blog
Stephen Chipman – CEO, Grant Thornton
James Doty – Chairman, PCAOB
Joe Echevarria – CEO, Deloitte
Michelle Golden – President, Golden Practices
Tom Hood – CEO, Executive Director Maryland Association of CPAs
Hans Hoogervorst – Chairman, IASB
Robert Moritz – Chairman and Senior Partner, PwC
Caleb Newquist – Founding Editor, Going Concern
Grover Norquist – President and Founder, Americans for Tax Reform
Barack Obama – President of the United States
Barry Salzberg – CEO, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
Mary Schapiro – Chair, SEC
Doug Shulman – IRS Commissioner
Jim Turley – Global Chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young
John Veihmeyer – Chairman and CEO, KPMG
Jack Weisbaum – CEO, BDO

I cherry-picked this list obviously because it’s a bit of a pain to re-type all of them, so don’t hold that against me. Still how two Swedes and two Barrys got mashed together is kind of odd. And on a more personal note, I’d really feel awful if I was the one who took Dennis Nally’s spot. Go check out the full list and discuss at your leisure.

Top 100 Influential People in Accounting [AT]

Let’s Congratulate the New Deloitte Partners and Directors

Perhaps it’s no accident that Joe Echevarria’s Q&A dropped in the Journal today because we also had the good fortune to have the list of new partners and directors forwarded to us earlier today. We still waiting for confirmation of the details from various Deloitte PR folks so we won’t give you names but we’re sharing a number of cities and practices after the jump.

Altogether there are 144 new partners and 190 new directors for fiscal year 2012. These numbers vary a little bit with our first report of the new partner numbers from a few weeks back. In that post, our tipster informed us that had there were 146 partners and 180 directors. These differences, for our purposes, are deemed immaterial, although we’re sure anyone directly affected would disagree.

Partners

AERS: 55 Total. Cities with the largest numbers of promotees: New York – 12; Chicago – 4; Wilton, CT – 4; Los Angeles – 3; Dallas – 3; San Francisco – 2; Orange County -2.

Consulting: 48 Total. Big winners: Atlanta – 5; Chicago 5; San Francisco – 5; Los Angeles – 4; New York – 3; Orange County – 3; Kansas City – 3; Boston – 3; Arlington – 3.

FAS: Six total: New York – 3; Dallas – 2; Los Angeles – 1.

Tax: 32 Total: New York – 6; Chicago – 5; Houston – 3; Washington – 3; Atlanta – 2.

USA: Three total: Atlanta, Washington and New York each had one.

Directors

AERS: 56 total. Show-off cities: New York – 14; San Francisco – 3; Cleveland – 3; Salt Lake City – 2; Princeton – 2; Philadelphia – 2; Parsippany – 2; McLean – 2; Chicago – 2.

Clients & Industries: Six total: New York – 3; Philadelphia, Charlotte and San Francisco all had one.

Consulting: 53 total. Notables: San Francisco – 6; Chicago – 6; New York – 5; Atlanta – 3; Boston – 3; Minneapolis – 3; McLean – 3; Washington – 3.

FAS: Four total – Washington 2; New York and Chicago – 1.

Field Operations: Two – Atlanta and Hyderbad

Finance: A pair in Hermitage, TN.

Markets & Offerings: Two in Chicago and nine cities with one each.

Other Shared Services: One lonely soul in Wilton, CT.

PR/Communications: One in New York and one in Wilton.

Research/Innovation: Hermitage and Wilton with one each.

Strategy, Brand and Innovation: One happy camper in Los Angeles.

Talent: One each for Chicago, Parsippany, Boston and Indianapolis.

Tax: 38 total: Chicago – 7; New York – 5; San Francisco – 4; Atlanta – 2; Boston – 2; Los Angeles – 2; Philadelphia – 2.

Tech: One each for New York, Camp Hill, PA and Hyderbad

USA: One soul in Stamford, Rosslyn, Arlington, Richmond and Wilton.

So congratulations to all the new partners and directors. Leave them some well wishes in the comments. The only question now is, which one of these rainmakers is buying Joe’s house?

Who Wants to Live Like a Deloitte CEO?

Newly minted Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria is upgrading his digs and he needs your help! His 6,000 square foot house in Westchester is on the block for $2.8 million and he dropped the price just last month, so now i


There are all kinds of nice amenities including: fireplace, high ceilings, patio, sprinkler system for the lawn, walk-in-closets [!], and a walkout basement and more. If that doesn’t sell you, read the broker’s description:

Spacious, striking residence in prestigious Matthiessen Park, built for gracious living & comfort. The home embodies spectacular craftsmanship with superior attention to detail. Beautiful stone entryway from local quarry, masonry fireplaces, soaring ceilings with dentil molding, red oak herringbone inlaid floors. Expansive family room, breakfast area & deluxe kitchen. Elegant library with exquisite mahogany millwork. Additional 2,000 [square feet] in finished lower level.Seasonal views of the magnificent Hudson River.

Sounds lovely, no? Anyway, take a peek over the next few pages and then hit up the team at Houlihan Lawrence to make an offer.

Naturally, you’ll want to look at a few photos

Deloitte Announces New Heads of Tax, Consulting

Rounding out the spring of leadership changes for Deloitte are Jim Moffatt who will be the new Chairman and CEO of Deloitte Consulting and Carl Allegretti who will serve in the same roles for Deloitte Tax.

U.S. CEO Elect Joe Echevarria is already finding his stride with the boilerplate praise, saying of Moffatt, “Jim is an excellent choice to build Deloitte Consulting’s market leadership. During his 23 years with Deloitte, Jim has served clients with distinction, and demonstrated his ability to drive the Deloitte Consulting strategy and seize market advantage.”

And he’s equally stoked for Allegretti, “In each of his leadership roles, Carl has made and maintained strong connections with both clients and people. This is a formula for success that has served him well.”

That should do it for announcing new Deloitte overlords since the new fiscal year starts next Wednesday but if someone else gets squeezed in between now and then, we’ll let you know. And since the new fiscal year means compensation speculation, drop us any rumors you’re hearing around merit increases and bonuses.

[via Deloitte and er…Deloitte]

Deloitte Consolidating Pacific, Central Regions

Deloitte CEO elect Joe Echevarria has informed the partners that a little bit of restructuring will be going down when he takes the big chair next week. The Pacific Southwest and Northern Pacific regions will create a new West region while the Midwest and North Central regions will form a new Central region. The three remaining – Northeast, Mid-America, and Southeast – will remain as is.

Optimizing our regional structure

To: The partners, principals, and directors of Deloitte

When I shared my overall organizational structure with you in February, I noted that I would make the development of the right management model for the regions a priority. Just last week, the Board ratified the decision to move from seven regions to five for FY12 onwards.

We will combine Pacific Southwest with Northern Pacific to create a new West region. By combining Midwest and North Central region we will create a new Central Region. Northeast, Mid-America, and Southeast regions are unchanged.

This decision is the outcome of a comprehensive, strategic review led by Chet Wood, leader of Markets and Offerings. The review was inclusive, with input from many perspectives, including LCSPs, line partners from each FSS, OMPs and RMPs, FSS CEOs and other members of the U.S. Executive. We looked at the regions through the strategic lens of our Lead from the Front framework, to determine how, at this time, we can best align our organization model to the external marketplace.

We carefully considered the different roles regions and offices play for each of our businesses; while many of our non-regulated services are increasingly delivered nationally, regions are critical to the service delivery of our Audit, Tax and DGES practices. Our review also considered factors such as the impact on spans of control, leadership and development opportunities, community-building and sense of partnership, infrastructure costs and speed of implementation. We defined the regional model that will best drive client and business growth, improve our strategic positioning, and strengthen our performance.

The new structure is effective from the start of FY12, although some tactical aspects of implementation may take longer to complete. I have asked Anne Taylor and Gary Tabach to lead the succession process for the West RMP, and Mark Edmunds to lead the process for the Central RMP.

With this improvement comes new opportunity. It’s up to us to realize it and turn our new regional structure to a business advantage. In every region and in every market where we operate, we must continue to widen the gap between us and our competitors, strengthen our position, and ensure that we stay out ahead of change. That is how we will continue to lead from the front.

Joe Echevarria
U.S. Chief Executive Officer Elect
Deloitte LLP

Since we’re not intimately familiar with the hierarchy at Deloitte (e.g. “Regional Partner Leader of M&A Advisory Services” or “Area OMP Chief Leader of Regional Assurance”) these changes will probably mean some jockeying for spots amongst partners effected by the consolidation. And since some regional leaders within the firm (i.e. Talyor, Tabach and Edmunds) will be watching over this process, maybe there will be potential for some interesting developments.

Former Deloitte CEO Will Squeeze in Pfizer Board Meetings in Addition to All That Public Service

Former Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria will join Pfizer's board of directors effective immediately, according to a company press release. That's a decent gig! The release also mentions that Joe E is on the board of Bank of New York Mellon. He landed that back in February and serves on the audit committee. Presumably, he'll serve […]

Ambitious Intern Totally Prepared to Make the Leap to Deloitte CEO Like Tomorrow

If you recall, we wondered out loud last week who might take up the esteemed chair that will soon be missing Joe Echevarria's ass. As we know, current CFO Frank Friedman will at least keep the chair warm until the formal election process is completed. Now, we have a self-nominated contender who has thrown his […]

Who Will Be the Next CEO of Deloitte?

Last Friday we learned that Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria had decided to call it a career after 34 years at the Green Dot. The news came as a bit of surprise, especially since Joe is only 57 and would be able to serve another four years in the big chair without reaching Deloitte's mandatory retirement […]

Accounting News Roundup: Former PwC Chairman Passes Away; Inversions — Not About Tax Rates?; Keeping It Together at Work When Your Life Sucks| 08.19.14

James J. Schiro, Lead Director at Goldman Sachs, Dies at 68 [NYT]He also spent some time at PwC: "In more than three decades at Price Waterhouse, he rose to chairman and senior partner. On its merger in 1998 with another big accounting firm, Coopers & Lybrand, he became chief executive of the combined company." New […]

Public Accounting Firms, Ranked by CEO Hotness

*ranked from the Accounting Today Top 100 #10: BDO Wayne Berson has done wonderful things for BDO but I definitely wouldn't do wonderful things to him. Nope. Sorry Wayne but… just no. The good news is you're one makeover away from being Eric Cantor, in which case, email me. #9: CliftonLarsonAllen It's a known fact […]

Deloitte CEO Prefers Traditional Photo Op Over Selfie

As we've established, Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria was setting trends in the realm of cool long ago. It's probably not surprising then that when a photo opportunity is presented to him, he prefers someone else hold the camera:  A standing ovation! And here we are with Joe E. In our midst. #EllenGabriel Fellows pic.twitter.com/bCmCoqIQs0 — […]

Here Are the Going Concern Editor’s Picks for 2013

Happy New Year's Eve, capital market helpers. To quote another, "Everyone sober? Close enough."  We figured it was about time we dug up some stories from the past year that we, the Going Concern staff, found enjoyable. We have been slaving over a hot blog the entire year just for you and now we're going to reacquaint you […]

Brisket, Blueberries Some of the Best Fare at Deloitte University: Sources

Back in 2011, Deloitte swung open the doors on a 107-acre, $300 million spectacle in Westlake, Texas known as Deloitte University; its centerpiece being a 700,000 square-foot building that has thirty-five classrooms, thirty-six "team" rooms, a  ballroom, an amphitheater that seats 176 people, 800 guest rooms, three restaurants, and a state-of-the art fitness center. It's perks like "The DU"1 that make […]

PwC and Deloitte Probably Don’t Care That They Lost So Many Audit Clients

One possible alternative title for Accounting Today's "scorecard for new SEC audit clients" would be "Jesus, PwC and Deloitte Lost a Lot of Audit Clients Last Year." I'll go out on a limb and say that it probably didn't even make the short list. AT went with "E&Y, KPMG Top 2012 for Audit Client Wins" which is […]

God, Deloitte Is Still Humblebragging About Its Hiring Numbers

We've grown accustomed to Big 4 people dropping huge hiring numbers in order to get oooohs and ahhhhhs out of media people and Joe Echevarria was on Bloomberg TV today doing more of the same: Sara Eisen: Are you picking up jobs from Wall Street as Wall Street sheds and shrinks? Joe E.: Absolutely. We're […]

Big 4 Firms Doing Their Part to Keep the World Economic Forum a Giant Sausage Fest

In case you weren't aware, the World Economic Forum is an annual ego-strokefest held in Davos, Switzerland. It brings together the leaders of business and a whole scrum of other people who are willing to plunk down a metric asston of money to hobnob with other people that are willing to plunk down a metric asston […]

Accounting News Roundup: Deloitte Sued; KPMG Sued; Ernst & Young Sued | 11.29.12

Audit firms sued in HP's Autonomy acquisition [Reuters]A new shareholder lawsuit over Hewlett-Packard's acquisition of British software firm Autonomy has named Big Four audit firms Deloitte and KPMG as defendants, alleging they missed numerous red flags about Autonomy's accounting. The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in federal court in San Jose, California, also named HP's board of […]

To Whom It May Going Concern: “So Why I Ask Were the GC Bloggers Enjoying a Long Weekend with the Bankers, Teachers, and Government Employees?”

To Whom It May Going Concern is a roundup of our favorite emails, tweets, and other messages. Gotta beef? Are your knickers in a twist? Feel the need to come at us, bro? Email us at tips@goingconcern.com, drop us a line in the tip box, or tweet @ us on Twitter. As a reminder, all messages […]

Compensation Watch ’12: Disappointment at Deloitte – UPDATE: Also, Offended!

After sending out a few fluffer posts in July to get everyone worked up, we've heard from a couple of people who had their compensation discussions today. So far the news has come from one audit and one advisory professional out of NYC. As is typical with many of you who send in tips, the […]

Accounting News Roundup: Deloitte CEO Reacts to StanChart; Ryan’s Stance for Small Business; Ballparking Apple’s Damages | 08.14.12

Deloitte CEO defends firm's Standard Chartered work [Reuters]Deloitte LLP Chief Executive Joe Echevarria on Monday fought back against allegations that his firm helped Standard Chartered hide transactions with Iran, saying charges by the top New York state banking regulator were "distortions of the facts." […] The regulator cited an email from a Deloitte partner saying he […]

Deloitte Recycles Greg Weaver as Chairman and CEO of Its Audit Subsidiary

Deloitte is appointing a new Chairman and CEO of its audit subsidiary, Deloitte & Touche, and the new man in charge is actually an old man in charge – Greg Weaver. He led D&T from 2001 to 2005 and with this triumphant return to big chair, this basically making him the Grover Cleveland of the […]

Here Are a Few Ridiculous Things Deloitte’s Punit Renjen Said in a Recent Interview

In the past, we've called attention to some of the brutally boring interviews that Deloitte bigwigs have done with various outlets. Joe Echevarria. Barry Salzberg. Deb DeHaas. We read these so you didn't have to. You're welcome. Today, however, we read an interview with Deloitte Chairman Punit Renjen that wasn't half bad. It was done […]

Deloitte Netherlands CEO Is Resigning After Stupidly Violating Independence Rules

Not exactly the best way to start a new job: Deloitte said the chief executive of its Dutch arm had stepped down with immediate effect after breaking internal rules on owning stakes in companies whose books are audited by the accountancy firm. Deloitte Netherlands CEO Piet Hein Meeter, who took up the job on Jan. 1, […]

PCAOB Is Giving You a Second Chance to Tell Them How Much You Love the Idea of Auditor Rotation

Yesterday, Monday Morning Auditor that everyone loves to hate, the PCAOB, announced that they would be having an open meeting on March 21-22 that will focus on auditor independence and rotation. Sorry! I meant auditor term limits. Anyway, there are going to be several big names on various panels including Paul Volcker, Harvey Pitt, Arthur Levitt, […]

We Read Another Vapid, Metaphor-riddled Interview with a Deloitte Bigwig So You Don’t Have To

Communications teams at accounting firms, particularly the Big 4, have a difficult job. And for the most part, they're nice people. I've talked to plenty of them. NO! I'm being serious. They work for private companies that are notoriously secretive, newly regulated, but still have come under heavy scrutiny as capital market servants, thus, leading nosy […]

Accounting News Roundup: Short Selling Bans in Europe; Zynga’s Material Weakness; Redefining ‘Tax Reform’ | 08.12.11

Short Selling of Stocks Banned in France, Spain [Bloomberg]
France, Spain, Italy and Belgium imposed bans on short-selling to stabilize markets after European banks including Societe Generale (GLE) SA hit their lowest level since the credit crisis. “While short-selling can be a valid trading strategy, when used in combination with spreading false market rumors this is clearly abusive,” the European Securities and Markets Authority, which coordinates the work of national regulators in the 27-nation European Union, said in a statement after talks ended late yesterday. National regulators will impose the bans

Accounting News Roundup: Monsanto’s Rebates; Deloitte Exec Capable of Decent Interview; Voluntary Job-Quitting | 02.10.16

Monsanto to Pay $80 Million to Settle Charge of Improper Accounting [NYT]Do you remember the matching principle? You know, one of the most basic guidelines in accounting that says that expenses should be recognized in the same period as revenues? It rings a bell, I'm sure. Monsanto seems to have had some trouble remembering it, […]

Now That Auditing Is Joining The 21st Century, What Will It Be Like?

Recently the Washington Post interviewed new Deloitte & Touche CEO Joe Ucuzoglu about how he has always liked numbers and stuff. We don't necessarily recommend that you read it, as that's one of the services we provide around here — reading horrible interviews with Big 4 bigwigs — but there's one topic of discussion mentioned that the opiners […]

Deloitte’s Ability to Recruit Talent Not Affected By New York Ban Because, You Know, These Things Happen

Deloitte plans to hire about a gajillion people this year. If you don't believe me, just ask them! Even if the humblebragging gets a little old, jobs = good, so we (the royal kind) should all be grateful that the likes of Deloitte, EY, et al. are trying to solve the unemployment problem all by themselves. […]

Ernst & Young’s Jim Turley Is the Justin Bieber of Accounting

Do you like your firm's CEO? It's really an odd question. When I worked at KPMG, Tim Flynn was at the helm and he seemed likable enough, but I only knew him through scripted emails and one very bizarre townhall meeting at the Javits Center when Stephen Colbert showed up.  I guess the more important question […]

Let’s Compare the Big Four Accounting Firms to the Four Houses in Harry Potter

Career conundrum got you down? Want someone to tell you how to spend your bonus? Need gift ideas for your secret workplace lover? Email us the questions that burn deep in your loins.  Do you think that the Big 4 are comparable to the 4 houses in Harry Potter?   Deloitte: Griffindor [sic] PWC: Slytherin […]

Technological Advances Inside Deloitte Have Some People All Excited

We here at GC received the following email in our inboxes this Moanday morning:

Finally!!! See below 🙂

Direct Pay makes managing your expenses easier
Published: 05-Dec-11

With the implementation of Direct Pay, managing your business expenses just got simpler. Direct Pay is the process where Deloitte pays American Express directly, on your behalf, for your business expenses that have been imported into DTE.

There is no change to billing dates, the point rewards program, or the way you enter your expenses.

Direct Pay will begin for U.S. professionals with expense reports dated December 17 (U.S. India professionals are not part of Direct Pay at this time.)

The process is simple:

• Use your American Express corporate card for business expenses
• Import your expenses into DTE
• Deloitte pays American Express for the imported expenses

Professionals will still be responsible for paying American Express directly for any minor non-business corporate card charges, or any American Express business charges that are manually entered into DTE. To help you with this process, there is a new tool in DTE that reconciles your monthly American Express charges to what you have imported.

Sweet Baby Jesus, it doesn’t take much to excite the Green Dots these days, does it? It’s impossible for us to tell whether or not our contributor is a traveling worker bee or the executive assistant of some traveling Big Wig (Joey E!), but it doesn’t really matter because they are SUPER PSYCHED. Is this what it’s come to for us? Forget about holiday bonuses or even some free schwag; filing expense reports just got only slightly marginally sorta kinda maybe better. No word yet on a charge code for the strip joint, errrr “Big Ben’s Steakhouse.” Continue to pay those charges with your excess per diem.

So this got us thinking. What other kinds of techy improvements would improve your lives at work? Some off-the-cuffers:

1. Partner calls sent straight to voicemail.
2. Starbucks, delivered.*
3. The ability to work from home and have a work/life bal…oh wait. Nevermind.

Who is else in a dizzy tizzy about Big D’s technological advancement? Spill your joys below.

*Interns do not count.

Does Being a Good Golfer Give You a Better Chance at Partner or CFO?

Welcome to the East Coast Earthquake edition of Help! My Accounting Career Is Doomed! In today’s edition, a young auditor is curious how much of an advantage a good golf game will give you on the road to partner/CFO. Not honed soft skills. Not a preternatural talent for Microsoft Excel. A laser-straight drive and wicked short game.

Are you one of those bounders? Looking to come up some ambitious career goals? Skeptical of your co-worker’s charm? Email us at advice@goingconcern.com and we’ll put together a quick psych profile.

Back to our young duffer:

Konnichiwa,

I am a first year audit employee for a large accounting firm. My question is this; how much does your golf game factor into your ascent to partner, or perhaps ascent to CFO after jumping ship to a private company? Thank you.

Sincerely,

Not Tiger Woods

Dear NTW,

I’ll try to articulate my thoughts on golf as succinctly as possible for you: IT’S STUPID. The clothes are stupid (it’s double stupid that people can wear an outfit to work that also functions as a golf outfit). The rules are stupid. The announcers are stupid. The fact that you even have to ask this question is stupid because it just goes to show how shallow the accounting industry can be. “You’re a scratch handicap? Great! We’ve got some WASPy clients that value someone who knows their way around a double-dog leg par 5.” STUPID.

But back to your question – how much does exceptional short game combined with dazzling iron play factor in putting you on the fast track to partner? Simply put: Zero. Zero times Zero. Zero cubed. ZERO FUCKING INFINITY. On the scale of importance, your golf game ranks far below your ability to actually do something productive and far, far below your personal hygiene. Will it function as a nice ice-breaker with your senior/manager/partner who is also interested in what Davis Love III shot over the weekend? Possibly but will they think, “Ol’ Joe has some game, let’s promote him!”? HELL NO. If that does happen at your firm, then you work for shallow assholes. I’ve seen above-average employees with exceptional golf games get passed over for promotion. I’ve seen above-average employees with exceptional golf games get laid off. IT. DOES. NOT. MATTER. if you can shoot in the 60s on a regular basis. Plus, what the hell are you doing at an accounting firm if you can shoot scores like that?

How golf became one of those things that “makes a difference” is beyond me but it has sure fooled a lot of people. In reality, golf is one of those things that accounting professionals think will give them a leg up on the guy who prefers to practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but in reality that guy is WAY SMARTER than you and, believe it or not, that still counts for something.

Comp Watch ’11: Happy New Year’s Eve Deloitte!

It’s the final day of fiscal 2011 in GreenDotville and it seems fitting that we have a little comp discussion:

Word is coming out of the senior manager meeting last week that raises and bonuses are going to be “very good” this year. Of course, those are just rumors, and that’s what the firm said in 2009 when comp increases averaged less than 1% across the board. Other than the mid-year salary bump last fall, there have been no raises, bonuses, or any other incentives to keep slaving away since last summer.

As you may know, Deloitte moved to a decentralized audit planning approach this year, causing hundreds (if not thousands) of additional hours to be added to each engagement. With a shortage of seniors and managers as it is, it’s been close to a breaking point for everyone in the audit function. And, of course, it’s an internal mandate, so unlike the glut of work that came as a result of SOX, Uncle-D is unable to recover any of those costs from clients. Senior management is aware of the problem (Steve VanArsdell said it was the worst busy season he’s ever seen in his 36-year career), but as yet no solutions have been offered other than to say that “year 2” of the new approach should be easier.

Interestingly, the Ivory Tower here at D&T has been suspiciously quiet regarding comp and other issues. Consensus among the employees is that they’re panicked and haven’t yet figured out how to dig out of the hole that they dug for themselves over the past few years. They’ve moved up the timetable on the compensation and rating process by a couple of weeks, which means that we’ll be getting our raise and bonus information in early August instead of mid-August this year (to which, most employees have responded with, “BFD”). To most of us working here, it feels like it’s all going to be too little, too late to win back the loyalty of the current workforce here at Uncle D.

But hey, I hear PwC is hiring!

Our tipster sounds pretty glum for a NYE celebration, so if you can cheer him up with contrary rumors, please do so. Of course, you can always corroborate his suspicions if that’s what you’re hearing as well. And don’t forget to drop all your new leaders a good luck email. Everyone deserves a little thumbs-up on the first day in a new job.

New Leadership Appointment Causes Unrest Inside Deloitte Advisory

As we’ve discussed, there has been a bit of controversy around the leadership election process at Deloitte. We first reported this news to you in January with a follow-up story on the candidates, the sorry turnout that was expected, and finally the news that the three candidates had been elected to their respective positions.

Today we have more controversy from inside the house of D but this time it is from a sub-group in the Enterprise Risk Services (aka Advisory or “ERS”) practice. There have been a number of recent leadership appointments within ERS but one in particular that caused a Deloitte partner to reach out to GC. This individual belongs to the Security and Privacy Practice (“S&P”) which consists of approximately 80-90 partners and has been recognized as one of the “12 leading global information security & risk consulting service providers” by Forrester Research Leader for their expertise in this area, according to the Deloitte website.

According to our source, the issue that has caused concern amongst many partners in the S&P group is that the new leader does not have extensive experience in the Security & Privacy area. Our source explained to us that a recent theme inside the firm has been “leading from the front” best encapsulated by leaders like Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and others who lead based on setting an example. The feeling of the S&P partners is the most recent appointment is based more on cronyism rather than qualifications and past performance.

The leader of the ERS group who makes the appointments is Owen Ryan, a Deloitte veteran who has held several leadership positions at the firm and has led ERS for the past 2-3 years. Our source told us Mr. Ryan has run the advisory practice creating an environment of cronyism and nepotism by appointing individuals, including family members, closest to him and that this appointment in S&P has partners saying this is the latest example of “the emperor having no clothes.” S&P supposedly has many qualified partners who have held leadership positions in the past who could lead the group but were passed over. This has many of them worried about what will become of their reputation as a top service provider in the area and how clients will perceive this appointment.

We spoke to a former Deloitte partner who worked in the Securitization and Structured Products Group (also part of ERS) who confirmed these allegations of nepotism and cronyism. “I wouldn’t go so far to extrapolate what occurred in our group to others,” the former partner said, “but that was certainly my experience.”

Despite this, one insider who is familiar with the leadership at Deloitte described Mr. Ryan as a “results-oriented businessman” who is cognizant of how “his decisions will reflect on him.” This source further told GC that “[Mr. Ryan] would not compromise the potential success of the ERS group by appointing someone to a leadership position who wasn’t qualified.”

Mr. Ryan’s no-nonsense style has manifested itself into some interesting behavior. Our original source told us that he takes attendance at ERS partner meetings and fines individuals $20 for using their BlackBerrys or speaking to neighbors during them. Our source said the money collected goes to charity.

Mr. Ryan did not respond to our voicemail requesting an interview.

The concern in S&P is understandable; an outsider leading a niche group would rankle the feathers of the most laid back partner. However, these decisions are rarely made in a vacuum and Mr. Ryan has his own superiors to report to. The other aspect to consider is the difference between technical leadership and what one source called “visual” leadership. There are many partners capable of leading a practice based on technical merits but the vision and flexibility needed to keep a group progressive in a fast-paced market does not always accompany technical expertise. Quite simply, if the leadership appointments that are made on Mr. Ryan’s watch do not prove successful, he will certainly be held responsible, but there is a lot of concern that the reputations of many of the firm’s best service lines may suffer in the process.