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Accounting News Roundup: Auditors Sans Accounting Degrees and No CFO? No Rush. | 02.09.16

KPMG's new auditors don't have accounting degrees [AFR]
As technology takes a bigger role in the audit process, accounting firms are starting to hire a lot of people who don't have a traditional background. In Australia, "over a third" of KPMG's hiring class for 2016 didn't have an accounting background and ten percent of them "have no formal commerce, economics or business degree."

KPMG has deliberately sought out graduates with stronger mathematics and information technology skills, as data analytics becomes central to the audit process.

"The auditor of the future is going to need a lot more of that,"  [Duncan McLennan, KPMG head of audit] said.

The shake-up in graduate recruitment is the latest in a series of radical changes in KPMG's audit division in recent years driven by continued margin pressure.

"The way we conduct company audits today is completely different from five years ago," KPMG head of innovation Ken Reid said.

One thing I've noticed about global trends in the accounting profession is that Australia seems to be light years ahead of most other countries, most notably the US. Although we know the Big 4 are interested in recruits with more diverse backgrounds, all those new accounting students might not like the idea that they don't have the most desirable profile anymore. On the other hand, mid-market and smaller firms could benefit, if students keep pouring into accounting programs.

Uber Riding Solo With No CFO [CFOJ]
And they're not looking!

“We have not been looking for a CFO and we have not spoken to a single CFO candidate since Brent [Callinicos] left,” a company spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. “We have a deep bench and the team is managing things very effectively.”

The theory goes that Uber isn't planning to go public any time soon, so they're not in any rush to fill their CFO slot. "Our typical advice to clients is to have a CFO in place 12 to 18 months before filing an S-1 registration," says one person. Which is fine! It sounds like lots of companies aren't in any rush to name a CFO because they're getting choosy about who they want and "spend extra time pursuing a chief financial officer with more operational expertise." This last statement supports "the CFO is dying" theory, however the market is "crazy right now" with many CFO candidates working on multiple offers. So, who knows, there still may be hope for some of you.

In other CFO news, Yelp's is stepping down after "another quarterly loss."

Previously, on Going Concern…
I wrote about DHG's attempt to keep up in the accounting firm culture wars. And on Open Items: Should I accept an offer?

In other news: