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October 2, 2023

Accounting News Roundup: CEOs and Trump; PCAOB Fines EY Indonesia | 02.10.17

CEOs and Trump

Here’s a Washington Post article that looks into how CEOs like Elon Musk are stuck between a rock and a Trump place:

Musk has maintained on social media that his role as an adviser should not suggest he supports all of Trump’s policies. Instead, he says, his presence offers an opportunity to challenge the White House on issues such as immigration and climate change and raise more moderate points of view that might otherwise be left out of the conversation.

“People should push to have as many moderates advising the President as possible. Blind hate is never the right answer,” Musk tweeted Sunday after a Twitter user said his friends were “disavowing” Musk because of his Trump connection.

I feel like EY’s Mark Weinberger is in the same boat. If the president asks you, a man, to advise him on women in the workplace, that has to feel super awkward and you’re going in knowing that the optics are bad. But the alternative is allowing someone else — probably a different man — to fill that role instead and not present a more challenging view.

But for EY as a business, even more so than Tesla, there’s little downside to working with Trump. They get the access, they get the influence and they have an inside track for winning new business with the federal government. And there’s still no #boycottEY campaign, last I checked.

PCAOB fines EY

Speaking of EY, the PCAOB fined the firm’s Indonesia affiliate $1 million for an audit failure of a telecommunications company. This included “noncooperation, and violations of the Board’s quality control standards.”

Big 4-ish

It’s kinda fun sometimes to see how competitive non-Big 4 firms are in various cities. For example, the third largest firm in Phoenix (by headcount) is Henry+Horne. Here in Denver, the last count had Ehrhardt Keefe Steiner & Hottman PC as #1.

I feel like you hear some smaller firms say, “We can’t compete,” with Big 4 and in some ways, they can’t — resources, global reach, service offerings, brand recognition. But there’s nothing to stop any firm from becoming competitive in its local market as long as they have a compelling story to contrast what the Big 4 is offering. It does mean getting in front of people, though, especially students on campus.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Megan Lewczyk wrote about the SEC’s love affair with XBRL.

In other news:

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