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Accounting News Roundup: KPMG and FIFA Kick Each Other and AICPA Members Approve Merger | 06.20.16


Last week we learned that KPMG was dropping FIFA as an audit client. New reports from both the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times shed some light on the inner strife between the firm and its client prior to KPMG's announcement. Here are some enjoyable details from the FT:

Correspondence sent in May between Gianni Infantino, Fifa president, and senior executives from KPMG Switzerland, shows the firm expressed concern that his management team would not do enough to “fully implement” the big reforms Fifa had agreed in response to a bribery scandal.

A person familiar with KPMG’s thinking said that after subsequent meetings with Fifa, the firm decided it “did not have trust that the new management would do what they said they were going to do to improve governance”. The person added that without “trust and transparency” KPMG’s role as auditor “was therefore not tenable”.

Fifa declined to comment but a person close to the body’s leadership accused KPMG of seeking reasons to ditch an account that had caused reputational damage, saying: “Where were they for the past 12 years when money was being misused and Gianni wasn’t part of Fifa?”  

Good question! If you're FIFA, it has to be pretty annoying to have your audit firm, who's been looking the other way all these years, express these concerns now. But if you're KPMG, indictments and unrelenting coverage change the circumstances a bit. A Big 4 firm simply can't endure endless questions into its integrity when that integrity is supposed to be the bedrock of the firm's reputation. And since they can't go down with the ship, they jump it. They just needed the right opening.   

AICPA-CIMA merger vote

It appears that the AICPA's relentless campaigning worked:

The results are in and the AICPA ballot passed 86.5 percent to 13.5 percent, according to independent tabulator Survey and Ballot Systems. CIMA members also endorsed the proposal 89.7 percent to 10.3 percent, according to their independent tabulator Electoral Reform Services.

As a result of that overwhelming support by both organizations, we will join forces to create a new association focused on strengthening the entire accounting profession — both public and management accounting — through stronger advocacy, enhanced member resources and a broader platform to reach the next generation. The AICPA and CIMA membership bodies will continue in place and provide all existing benefits. You, our members, will remain at the core of everything we do. And the AICPA will continue its strong commitment to promoting, protecting and growing the CPA.

So now that that's settled, uh, what's the point?

Today marks the start of a journey as we begin working to integrate operations and deliver additional value to you. The new association will launch in 2017, and over the coming months we will share more details.

I still don't think anyone understands what's actually happening.

Uber for accounting

I don't know when people will stop talking about "Uber for accounting"; probably around the time we start hearing about "Trusted Snapchat advisor for accounting." In any case, whenever you see a trend piece that mentions "Uber" and "accounting" go read Blake Oliver's post on why there won't be an Uber for accounting. I'm sure I'll have to make this suggestion again.

Previously, on Going Concern…

I wrote about space accountants. And in Open Items: someone wants to know about the Big 4 in Houston.

In other news:

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