Grant Thornton is the most dynamic accounting firm known to man. Now, some of you might doubt this based on past revelations such as temp tatts, unoriginal taglines, and questionable advertising campaigns, but the following report out of the Belfast office will make you believe. We all know accounting firm offices can be, er, less […]
Craig Haber, who, after being a partner at Grant Thornton for 11 years, started helping himself to client fees, admitted today that what he did was wrong and he's sure sorry about the whole thing: Craig Haber, who prosecutors said diverted money to his own bank accounts between 2004 and 2012, pleaded guilty to […]
Stephen Chipman has bestowed 30 purple roses, saying, "Our partners and principals have demonstrated great value to our dynamic clients and to our firm through their technical expertise and passionate leadership." There's also 20 new managing director,s however they merely, "[help] our partners execute the firm's strategy." Sounds like a slap in the face. I […]
If Bravo Delta Oscar's announcement of its 2013 fiscal year revenues are any indication, we're going to see big revenue numbers from accounting firms this year: BDO USA, LLP, one of the nation's leading professional service organizations, today announced revenue for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013 was $683 million, a 10.5 percent increase […]
Call this is a GT service announcement (or something). A tipster informed us a little while ago that there were a couple of Purple Rose of Chicago audit opinions floating around that have an unfortunate typo. Titan International and Gentherm, Inc. filed 10-Ks in 2013 with Grant Thornton's name spelled wrong on the opinion – spelling it […]
I can't help but think of this: Anyway, here are the canned quotes from the principals: "We are thrilled to serve as the exclusive accounting firm of The Washington Redskins," said Wayne Berson, CEO of BDO USA, LLP. "The team's focus on providing a winning experience for fans and business partners complements BDO's commitment to […]
For one reason or another, Bravo Delta Oscar announced their new partnership class late on Wednesday, so virtually everyone missed that news. Now that everyone has returned from their epic four day BBQ-beer-blowing off digits bender, we will present to you the 16 new BDO partners: Brandy Arbuthnot (Dallas – Tax) Matthew Cromwell (Bethesda – […]
This is quite the impressive move by Bravo Delta Oscar. The firm issued this press release earlier today: BDO USA, LLP, one of the nation’s leading professional service organizations, today announced an expansion of its financial institutions practice through the addition of 12 partners and as many as 97 employees formerly with the banking practice […]
On Monday, compensation kvetching season officially kicked off with PwC. Papa Whisk(e)y Charlie generally sets the tone for the rest of the summer and we see some firms adjust their plans accordingly. Of course there are plenty of firms that don't adjust their plans, but probably do so at their own peril. ANYWAY. The PwC […]
Joe DiStefano has nice scoop over at PhillyDeals about twelve ParenteBeard partners packing it in — sounds like it was unexpected — and taking their services over to Bravo Delta Oscar: According to industry sources, Richard T. Farrell from the firm's Philadelphia office, Alan Molin from its Clark, New Jersey office, and other audit partners […]
We appreciate the fact that the firm is enthusiastic about their growth, but this is getting ridiculous: Grant Thornton LLP has relocated its Minneapolis office within the north tower of the US Bank Plaza at 200 S. 6th St. to floors 14 and 15. The total space leased is 31,484 square feet. Today is the first […]
Bravo Delta Oscar has come to Skechers' rescue and will re-audit the two years worth of financial statements that KPMG abandoned after we learned that Scott London spent some of his billable hours counting cards. From henceforth, gaining a client due to a scandal of a notable degree shall be known as "picking up a London." […]
Today, there are a lot of dazed tax interns walking around, wondering what happened to the last three months of their lives. However! They aren't so out of it that they can't help but wonder what their full-time offers look like compared to their peers around the country. We've had a couple of requests this […]
Last Friday while I was poorly navigating North Carolina, a tipster passed along an enthusiastic message that he received from a Grant Thornton National Talent Acquisition bounty hunter. And from the sounds of it, GT wants some fresh faces in their forensics group:
Oh, how we love a good poaching expedition. Especially when a firm feels so good about their prize that they get the PR team involved. BDO USA, LLP, one of the nation’s leading professional services organizations, announced the expansion of the firm’s Healthcare Industry consulting capabilities with the addition of Patrick D. Pilch as a Managing […]
What a fine thing for the Manhattan U.S. Attorney to announce on a Friday afternoon that it had reached at settlement with Ernst & Young over its tax sheltering activities: Ernst & Young LLP will pay $123 million to settle a U.S. tax-fraud probe as part of a non- prosecution agreement, according to a statement […]
Here's an interesting story about a fella by the name of Craig Haber. Craig became a partner at Grant Thornton in 1993. Around 2004, Craig decided to start helping himself to client fees that rightfully belonged to GT. This went on for a while. Approximately $4 million in fees from 2004 to 2012, to be […]
Remember how Deloitte's AICPA Peer Review finding of "pass with deficiency" was one of the lowliest of low points for the year in auditing? Sure you do. At the time, we learned from the AICPA's James Brackens that from 2008 to 2010, only 8% of the audit firms that participated in the peer review had […]
For whatever reason, BDO was excluded in the last-minute lump of coal the PCAOB delivered to Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and Grant Thornton right before Christmas, but that doesn't mean their inspection report wasn't in the same class of quality. The Board inspected audits at 16 of BDO's 35 offices, inspecting 23 audits with 9 […]
Eddie Nusbaum & Co. put up a good number, $4.2 billion to be precise. That's 10.4% (USD) greater than last time around. That's pretty good. So good, the firm reports in its press release that "Grant Thornton led the six largest global accounting organizations in reported revenue growth rate for 2012." And that appears to be true. […]
GT partners have elected Dave Wedding as the next Chairman of the firm's board. He was also recently appointed OMP of the Purple Rose of Chicago: Carolinas practice. As a native of Charlotte, part of his appeal, undoubtedly, was his charming North Carolina accent.* This should match Stephen Chipman's charming English accent quite nicely. Leadership […]
The Purple Rose of Chicago: Cleveland Edition officially opened the doors at One Cleveland Center today and OMP Dan Zittnan says that's exciting for all kinds of reasons including "enhance[d] productivity and development," as well as, "more efficient layout, access to natural light, increased multipurpose space and more effective collaboration rooms." So not only will […]
The SEC's move against the Big 4's Chinese affiliates on Monday has people all worked up. On the one hand, yes, if the SEC were to delist a lot of Chinese companies that would make a lot of people sad. Also, if fewer Chinese companies were to consider accessing U.S. markets because they aren't so […]
China has been a thorny issue with the SEC and the PCAOB over the last couple of years. You see, there's been some concern that some Chinese companies have accessed U.S. markets through dubious means and then provided financial reporting and disclosures that weren't accurate in material respects. Audit firms charged with providing an opinion […]
Starting in 2015, Grant Thornton will be moving into the Chicago Title & Trust Co. building but more importantly will get naming rights meaning that 161. N. Clark St. will be known as the Grant Thornton something. But what? GTower? The Chipman Center? Big GT? Presumably all of these plus whatever else you can come up […]
With a business name like "99¢ Only Stores," no one would blame you if you assumed the company and would try to pinch some pennies on their auditor. It's a commodity service that is just asking to be squeezed, after all. However, sometimes as a public company, you'd like a big name brand on your […]
For some time now, observers have voiced concern about the relative lack of choice when it comes to large audit firms. Yes, they are all fine organizations with plenty of smart and capable people but some companies prefer to have a few more options. They're not asking for a Vegas buffet or anything, but, you […]
Welcome to Rock the Recruitment Season. We'll be winding up the 2012 series very soon so if you still have a question about recruiting season, email us at email@example.com with "Recruiting Season Questions" in the subject line. The recruitment season questions have slowed to a trickle, so you best get them in while you can, […]
Two weeks after Argy, Wiltse & Robinson climbed aboard Captain Jack's ship, BDO has found a new firm to satisfy its insatiable appetite for small firms. The latest addition is Philadelphia's Asher & Co. and the firm's 100+ partners and employees will join up with Berson & Co. on November 1. Hopefully AWR won't mind that […]
Welcome to Tuesdays with More Anxious Accounting Recruits. Have a question about recruiting season? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with "Recruiting Season Questions" in the subject line. Just a friendly reminder – if you have received an offer from a public accounting firm, by all means, share your excitement with us. We've received a fair amount so far, […]
As BDO prepares for a Jack Weisbaum-less existence, there are some final pieces that need put in place. With Wayne Berson becoming CEO, his position as "presiding board member" was up for grabs and Matthew Becker grabbed. In addition to Mr. Becker, Scott Guertin (Boston/Tax) and Joe Johnson (Orange County/Assurance) will join the board for […]
Everyone's favorite tattoo parlor, Grant Thornton, has announced its revenues for the fiscal year ended, July 31, 2012 and things went pret-tay, pret-tay, pret-tay good. The $1.212 billion was so good, in fact, that it was a record for the firm and CEO Stephen Chipman says everything is going to plan: Grant Thornton’s strategy is […]
Effective November 1, AWR will succumb to the charms of the BDO after 20 years of blissful solitude. The DC-area firm has three locations in McLean, Virginia ,Bethesda, Maryland and Fort Lauderdale, Florida and BDO CEO Wayne Berson will let 26 more partners squeeze in. [BDO via WBJ]
As we've mentioned on several occasions here, when the media profiles Big 4 bigwigs, the revelations are far less interesting than, say, a movie star-governor. If touchy subjects are addressed, they are glossed over fairly quickly to move on to charity work, perseverance, or family life. It's like a heart-warming after-school special. Grant Thornton CEO […]
After dominating much of 2011, the past year has been bit of a downer for the Purple Rose of Chicago. Last September, Grant Thornton reached its apex when the firm was crowned king of the hill in Vault's 50. Unfortunately, they were shoved off the pile by Ernst & Young less than a year later and things […]
U.S. Plans $18 Billion Sale of AIG Stock [WSJ]The Treasury Department said it would sell $18 billion of American International Group Inc. stock in a public offering, slashing its stake by more than half and making the government a minority shareholder for the first time since the financial crisis was roaring in September 2008. The sale […]
Most of your offers are signed and many of you are ready to start at your new firms this fall but surely you've got some horrible recruiting brochures lying around that you'd love to show off. You know the ones I'm talking about; the smiling auditor hanging out in the jungles of Costa Rica, the […]
Jack Weisbaum's final year as the most interesting accounting CEO in the world will go down in the book as a good one. The firm announced $618 million in revenues for fiscal year 2012. That's an increase of 8%. Each line of business saw increases with consulting coming in 36% higher than last year, tax […]
Almost three weeks ago, we started the discussion for the Purple Rose of Chicago to help all the Grant Thornton dynamos gird their loins for this compensation season. We've received a number of requests for a follow-up since the discussions start this week and, finally, late last night someone shared their numbers with us: Grant […]
Now that everyone's time has been entered and accounted for, the TPTB at BDO figured it was appropriate to recognize the men (13) and women (2) who make up the final new partner class under Jack Weisbaum: “I am very proud to welcome each of these very deserving individuals to our partnership,” said Jack Weisbaum, CEO […]
A simple request from someone out of the Purple Rose of Chicago: I know its not Big 4, but would you mind starting a thread on GT comp adjustments coming up this year? Mind? Apparently you're one of those people that think these pages devoted to the kvetching of Big 4 employees. Not so! When it […]
According to a press release, GT's Canadian arm has found a new place to find dynamic clients – TV! Grant Thornton LLP has just published Foundation for Growth, a white paper that presents the results of research and analysis into how professional services firms view their performance and people, their planning and profitability. It contains […]
Let no one say nothing good ever comes out of BDO. From the tip box: Hey Going Concern, It's almost June 30, and you know what that means! Yep, BDO YE! That also means being bombarded with a million emails to enter all of our time. As a BDO lifer I don't know, but […]
Last week we heard some interesting news from a reliable source on a shakeup that will impact the regional and leadership structure of BDO. As you know, the next CEO of Bravo Delta Oscar will be Wayne Berson, the current head of assurance for the firm's Atlantic region. As the firm's CEO-elect, he is putting […]
Kevin Hudson is not quite the bounder that Reznick Group's Joe Mudd is, but he has seen a few firms in his day: [Prior to Grant Thornton], Hudson served as a National Director with McGladrey’s Private Equity Services Group and was their Regional Private Equity Leader for the Northeast and Southeast regions. He has more than 19 years of […]
Former BDO CEO and wolfpack leader Denis Field has won a new trial on charges of tax fraud thanks to a juror in his trial who lied about her alcoholism and, oh…pretty much everything: U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan today overturned the convictions, ruling that the presence of Catherine Conrad, who was Juror No. 1, […]
Question for the auditors in the crowd – have you ever come across a nefarious situation in your career and thought, "You know, if doing the right thing were to pay better than doing the wrong thing, I'd walk away from this client in a second."? Of course you have. That's pretty much the […]
SGOCO Group, Ltd. issued a press release this morning to let everyone know that Grant Thornton's Chinese affiliate decided to take a walk on May 14th. They disclosed this with the SEC around 10 am on Friday, but with the Facebook circus going on, no one noticed. What's interesting is that the company filed Form […]
The firm has had about all the fun it can handle trying to audit Chaoda Modern Agriculture. In a statement Thursday, Chaoda said that in a letter on Apr. 26, BDO said that despite continuing with the audit for a prolonged period, it was not in a position to conclude. It said the move was […]
The Board inspected 41 audits at 21 of Grant Thornton's 51 offices. Fifteen issuers were cited in the report that included various failures, primarily related to "obtain[ing] sufficient appropriate audit evidence to support its opinions on the financial statements and on the effectiveness of [internal controls over financial reporting]." There was everything from failure to […]
The Grant Thornton CEO tells Accounting Today he doesn't have any "inside information"; you're just going to have to trust him. “My sense is that the SEC is getting closer to a position,” he said during an interview with the Accounting Today staff on Tuesday. “I don’t have any inside information. This isn’t based on […]
Grant Thornton is officially picking up BDO's Victoria and New South Wales offices in Australia for $50 million, according to reports. [This] comes after BDO announced last month it had decided to terminate the BDO Victoria and New South Wales offices, citing “unreasonable risks”, following a strategic review of the business taken over the previous […]
Finally today, another bullseye out of the Purple Rose of Chicago: Our tipster writes: Can’t tell you how excited I am that the new laptop “wraps” came in at my office yesterday! See attached picture showing my company laptop sporting the new look. The handout […]
This just in: Rumor has it, GT is getting rid of the CPA exam requirement to be promoted to senior… GT is one of two firms (that we explicitly know of) that currently requires audit professionals to pass the CPA exam in order to be promoted. If this particular tidbit is true, then it would be […]
Ed Novak has been appointed Head of National Sales and he'll be tasked with bringing home the dynamo bacon. “Hiring Ed is a key pillar in our strategy to establish Grant Thornton as the leading accounting and consulting firm serving dynamic organizations,” said Tricia Conahan, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer. That's great and all, but […]
It was a very quick turn around from the time we learned that the most interesting accounting firm CEO was retiring, to learning the slate of candidates to the announcement of the successor but here we are. Wayne Berson, BDO's Atlantic Assurance leader will be the new CEO effective November 1. “I am honored and […]
Today marks the day that you're pulling out brackets again that just serves as a reminder of how horrible you are at picking winners. Accordingly, we'll dive right into round two of Going Concern March Madness 2012: The Coolest Accounting Firm. Again this year we saw a bunch of upsets in round one with all […]
Last month we learned that Jack Weisbaum would be retiring at the end of his current term as BDO's CEO. It's been quite the run for Captain Jack, but eventually you knew that things wouldn't stay interesting forever. A tipster tells us that the process to replace J. Dubs will soon be under way: The […]
A deckhand on Captain Jack's ship sent us a copy of an email that will either be heeded begrudgingly or completely ignored: From: [BDO Chief Technology Officer] To: [Everyone] Subject: March Madness… March Madness means many things to many people. Basketball, spring and snow in Michigan and APT & taxes here at BDO. With that […]
A bookly tipster sent us the following: Grant Thornton ads and tattoos aren't the issue — Has anyone else noticed that Grant Thornton's new slogan– An instinct for growth — is totally lifted from Nietzsche's The Anti-Christ: "Life itself appears to me as an instinct for growth, for survival, for the accumulation of forces, for power; whenever the will […]
Because of recent events, you may have thought that not much was in the works at Grant Thornton. Well, you'd be wrong. Stephen Chipman runs a tight fish and chip house so while you've all been distracted by pests, tattoos, and buttering up the POTUS, SC and his team have been planning your next dynamic […]
This is from earlier in the week and there's no official word about the pest in question but our tipster insists that it was edbugsbay: It was brought to our attention yesterday that there was a potential insect issue in a small location on the 24th floor of our 60 Broad Street Office. We took […]
Accounting News Report, using data from Audit Analytics, puts out an Auditor Change Analysis every year and it usually finds its way into our inbox, however, because the analysis is a subscription-based publication (and a pricey one at that), reproducing the whole thing is usually not an option. This year we asked pretty please, and we got […]
One last thing before you're off to make bad decisions this weekend…Oh, right! You're probably working this weekend and you probably don't get to make any decisions about that. ANYWAY, Captain Jack Weisbaum, the most interesting accounting firm CEO in the world will not seek reelection, and will retire effective October 31, 2012 when his current […]
Look, you guys. I know the stress of busy season can be a lot to deal with but I beg you, don't let it cloud your judgment. Think about your loved ones. Think about the American people. Think about the children. Whatever helps you recenter your perspective, keep that thing in mind so that you don't […]
The last twelve months or so have been very good for the Purple Rose of Chicago. Let's recount a few highlights. They've been chasing dynamic clients around like fat kids chase ice cream trucks. Their solid work has been recognized by these dynamic clients. They were dismissed from a major shareholder lawsuit. At the behest […]
Oh, Grant Thornton flacks. Could you put out a more ridiculously transparent, vapid, self-serving, bullshit press release? Grant Thornton LLP applauds President Obama for recognizing the importance of access to capital to start-ups and small business during his State of the Union Address last night. The Small Company Capital Formation Act, introduced by Rep. David […]
Bryan N. Polozola simply misremembered that he took that exact amount of money from a old employer. Problem is, he misremembered with the SEC: Polozola was the subject of a 2005 NASD (now FINRA) proceeding alleging that he took $49,350 in funds from a former employer for his personal use. Polozola neither admitted nor denied […]
Today in partners ditching their firm for PwC news, Gary Wilson, a 20-year Grant Thornton veteran and managing partner of the Irvine, California office will take the exact same job at join PwC on January 5th. It appears this news was first reported by the OC Business Journal and not by a press release, which proves […]
Back in August, we learned that 1040 factory H&R Block was putting RSM McGladrey (aka McGladrey) out to pasture. By all accounts, H&RB was pretty excited to get rid of RSM (aka McGladrey), as the business was a bit of a drag on the rest of the company.
Crain’s reports that the deal finally closed today and at least one McGladrey (aka McGladrey) partner is equally excited to have their old RSM (aka McGladrey) back:
The move means the reunited McGladery, which has 6,500 employees—600 of them in New York—should be better positioned to compete against such industry-leading firms as PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte. “We are a great alternative to the Big Four,” said Tom Ferreira, who heads McGladrey’s Northeast practice. […] “We’re happy to be independent again, all together under one roof,” he said.
Your loss, H&RB (not aka McGladrey).
Apparently a grip (a half dozen or so) of them have left the firm in the past two months, says a source familiar with the situation at BDO. At least three are supposedly now with PwC (none worthy of P. Dubs press releases) and another two are off to Deloitte in various markets. If you’ve recently jumped Captain Jack’s ship or know of more details for your office, get in touch.
Much like E&Y, GT’s Chicago office is looking to get more asses in the seats because business is swell:
Grant Thornton LLP said it intends to add 140 jobs in its Chicago office next year, 80 of them entry level and 60 internships, most of them paid. Similar hiring this year was less than 100. According to a press release and a spokeswoman, the new hires are needed because the firm’s business is growing. The hires will work in “nearly every area” of the firm, including audit, tax and consulting.
Unlike E&Y, Hizzoner was not attendance:
[T]his announcement was not made by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has unveiled several somewhat similar moves by other companies in recent months.
Always a bridesmaid, GT. Always a bridesmaid.
As we all know, Grant Thornton has upped its game in the past few months. It rolled out a new fancy schmancy ad campaign that explains how not to be a loser and was the surprise top dog in this year’s Vault rankings.
Yesterday, the Purple Rose of Chicago announced that more good times are coming via its new “Growth Platform” that will give all those dynamo clients a spurt. Hey! there’s even a website for the whole thing.
So in case things aren’t clear, growth is winning. And it’s not just for the lucky clients who count GT as their professional services provider. The firm itself is a weed of dynamism, says Stephen Chipman:
Grant Thornton has growth plans of its own. “We want to grow ourselves,” said Chipman. “We’re dynamic and we’re on the move. We want to, over time, raise the bar on the growth agenda and be committed to it for the long haul.” The firm plans to continue with its global expansion plans, especially in emerging markets. “We’ve been very vocal about how the global organization has an ambitious five-year strategy to double our market share, and that’s consistent with our plans here in the United States,” said Chipman. “There will be organic growth, it will be strategic growth. We will invest in new talent and expertise, and it will be M&A growth through mergers and acquisitions.”
Right! Connecticut! What’s more exciting than the Constitution State? Wait, don’t answer that. You’re probably wondering if all this excitement means that GT will go for a sexy new makeover. You know, something less Northwestern and maybe something more…Ohio State, perhaps? Well, as of now, that won’t be necessary:
The new brand positioning will not extend as far as changing the firm’s logo or slogan, at least not yet. “We are not changing our logo,” said Chipman. “You will see the same Grant Thornton logo, but you will see a lot of branded material focused on supporting the growth agenda.” However, Grant Thornton may eventually evolve its strategy to incorporate new taglines or slogans. “As we move forward with this over the next several months, we will certainly be looking for different ways to innovate to present our messaging,” said Chipman.
So it sounds like the team colors will stay the same but could a message focused on “growth” actually involve something that tangibly “grows” like say, “roses”? And by extension, could this mean tangos will make a comeback? God, please make it so.
The most interesting accounting firm CEO would like to welcome the gang at Carneiro, Chumney & Co. to the club. “The addition of the partners and other professionals formerly with Carneiro, Chumney & Co. provides BDO with a fantastic presence in the important San Antonio market. Combined with our existing practices in Austin, Dallas and Houston, Captain Jack said. With this move, all San Antonioa-area professional recruiters are officially on notice that your leads at Carneiro now have incentive to rat you out. [BDO]
As we trudge towards busy season, there are certain things that everyone gets a little anxious about. Like not seeing the sun for three months. Like putting on an extra 15-20 pounds because you’re stuffing your face with takeout three nights (minimum) a week. Oh! and then there’s the hours. Right, the hours.
For those of you t awhile, you know how the game works. Do you really spend 14 hours a day staring at a spreadsheets, slapping together financial puzzles without nary a drop in your production? Obviously not. Some of you take smoke breaks. Some of you have the audacity to take a lunch hour. Some of you drop by this fine publication to keep yourself abreast of the latest haps in accounting world (and leave the page open all day). Some of you, on average, spend 15-30 minutes watching your your cubicle crush from afar thinking that you’ll just mosey over and say “What’s up? Numbers, huh?” only to snap out of your daydream.
All this non-billable time accumulates into a decent portion of your day. Accordingly, you work a little later to make up for your lack of productivity, charge the appropriate hours (based on your increasingly tighter budget) and you call it a day.
For those newer to the game, you may look up at the clock, note that it’s 6 pm and you think to yourself, “What did I accomplish today?” The answer: not much. But since there’s not charge code for “Fucking Around – General” and slamming it all to an administration code isn’t such a good move, you slip it into a code for a client that you’re supposedly working on. No problem, right?
Well, your managers and partners might have a problem. They look at the billed hours and then try to gauge what your progress is. If there are hundreds of hours and you have jack squat to show for it, people are going to be pissed.
With all that in mind, I’ll share a query from a reader out of Grant Thornton’s New York office:
I would like to know how wide-spread “Eating Hours” is at GT (NYC).
You are put on a project, its a lot of work, and as time progress more and more work piles on you. You end up putting a lot of hours. The manager/partner says that hours will not be a problem, and that you should bill all hours worked.
When the project is just about over, after you had worked tons of hours, when you are least expect it, they pull you into a meeting and admonishing you that there was no way that you worked those hours. (Basically calling you a thief to your face).
After that meeting, you are told to adjust all hours over and above the budgeted 35-40 hours work week.
Even though I am not an hourly employee, I do feel robbed in two ways. First, I can’t really enjoy the accomplishment of the project because I feel so cheated, unappreciated and disrespected by this unethical behavior. Additionally, I feel stress because how can I be expected to meet the already unrealistic utilization goals when those scumbags make me eat hours?
Okay, let me say first that I do not doubt this person’s account of being jerked around by a manager or partner with regard to hours. However, it’s a little bit unbelievable if this meeting where the de-pantsing occured came without any warning. Most of your superiors – whether they are partners, managers, SAs, whatever – are not completely unreasonable people. They don’t all of sudden turn on a dime and say, “Everything I told you was a lie. You should have known that you shouldn’t have been billing all those hours.” If that is the case, then you work for assholes.
Hopefully, if eating hours is expected of you, they tell you up front. I had former colleagues that were on engagements like this where a Senior Manager simply let them know exactly how many hours they were expected to bill but it was pretty obvious that they were going to be working far more than that to get the job done. It’s a fucked up equation to be sure, but at least you know what you’re up against. This has nothing to do with firms or offices but rather the people running the engagement.
As for GTNYC, it’s pretty tough to know how widespread the practice of eating hours is. How widespread is the alcoholism? Or doucebaggery? It’s not quantitative. But our tipster is still concerned:
I have spoken to many of my friends at other Big 4, at regional firms, and at smaller firms and no one had experienced it as bad as some of us here in GT (NYC).
Fine. But you’re very small cross-section of a huge population. Maybe you were just on a couple of bad engagements with bad partners/managers. It happens. Believe it.
For the Purple People Eaters out there, is eating hours at GT a problem? Does Vault have it all wrong? Eating hours definitely doesn’t win, but does it pay? Discuss below.
As you’ve probably noticed, a lot of videos come through these parts that are of various production quality with the legendary “In a JIT” widely accepted as the best effort to date. While TPTB probably don’t appreciate the creativity, it always seems worthwhile for us to promote the talents (or complete lack thereof) of those willing to put the time into a such an extensive project.
Today in CPA-inspired video is from none other than the most interesting firm in the world, BDO. The mission of this particular video was to serenade recruits from Florida International University. And seeing how it’s a firm-sponsored production, it’s clear the firm is behind it.
1. How did the casting director consciously go with the two guys in the office that are completely tone deaf?
2. Will FIU recruits even attend an office visit after this display?
3. “Running through FASBs like Drano.”
4. At 2:35 they are clearly reading the lyrics off the screen. Poor form, gents.
5. Couldn’t they get Captain Jack to throw them out of the office instead?
We will give them an ‘A’ for effort since BDO is typically pretty quiet but they’ve got a long way to go. Feel free to share your own critique below.
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.
Yes my friends, the Purple Rose of Chicago’s focus on all things dynamic and pinstripe hating was enough to catapult the firm to the #1 spot on Vault’s Accounting 50. Va rnton’s rise “an upset of sorts” but I’ll go ahead and say this is more worthy of “shocker” status. This is like “Dewey Defeats Truman.” It’s the Miracle on Ice. Hell, it’s like when Brad Pitt finds Gwenyth Paltrow’s head at the end of Se7en (what do you MEAN you haven’t seen it?).
Don’t get me wrong, Grant Thornton is a fine firm. Sure, purple isn’t my favorite but the people there seem nice and very capable but HONESTLY this was not expected. When he hears the news, Stephen Chipman will probably start running through halls of the Chicago office sans
pants trousers rallying everyone down to the nearest pub (pictures, please). Anyway, let’s get to the Top 25 (previous year in parenthesis), shall we?
1 (23) Grant Thornton
2 (2) PwC
3 (1) Deloitte
4 (3) Rothstein Kass
5 (5) Dixon Hughes Goodman
6 (6) Moss Adams
7 (11) WithumSmith + Brown
8 (8) Friedman
9 (4) Marcum
10 (28) EisnerAmper
11 (14) Eide Bailly
12 (18) SS&G Financial Services
13 (12) Berdon
14 (7) Elliott Davis
15 (NR) Rehmann
16 (33) Baker Tilly Virchow Krause
17 (17) Armanino McKenna
18 (16) CBIZ/Mayer Hoffman McCann
19 (41) Marks Paneth & Shron
20 (20) Schenck
21 (10) Cherry, Bekaert & Holland
22 (21) Ernst & Young
23 (22) KPMG
24 (25) McGladrey
25 (24) BDO
As for how GT orchestrated this epic upset, here’s Vault’s Derek Loosvelt:
Although the Big Four firms PwC and Deloitte both significantly outscored Grant Thornton (the perennial fifth largest accounting firm in the country) in terms of prestige, Grant Thornton handily beat PwC and Deloitte in nearly every quality of life category. In other words, while the two Big Four firms’ names still carry much more weight than Grant Thornton’s in the marketplace, insiders are much more pleased with their day to day work lives at the non-Big Four GT than their peers are at PwC and Deloitte. In fact, non-Big Four firms ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in all but three quality of life categories (these rankings will be released over the next couple of days). Although Grant Thornton did not top any single category, it consistently placed ahead of PwC and Deloitte. Particular tough categories for the Big Four firms were hours and overall satisfaction.
So there are a couple of stories here: 1) Holy shit – Grant Thornton?! and 2) prestige seems to carry less and less weight in favor of quality of life for those looking to choose a public accounting firm as their employer. We’ll be covering the Vault list and the firms therein with more posts but until then, feel free to comment on the Top 25 and what you make of GT as the new #1.
Layoffs occurring at director levels in the support staff and maybe other areas.
This included a director in communications, another in Knowledge Management and “others are forthcoming.” Email us updated with the latest details if you’re in the know.
From the mailbag:
Comp adjustments are coming out this week/ next week can you start a thread?
As we’ve pointed out in the past, BDO is probably the quietest of the top tier firms. Rarely do we get news of hookers, out-of-control happy hours or milestone awards. Sure, we got under the skin of Jeremy Newman once but he has a blog. He was asking for it.
This omertà of sorts by the rank and file has been discussed amongst the GC team and we’ve come up with this: we’vegotnofuckingidea. Not that we haven’t had the opportunity to report on the consolidation of regions or $5 Starbucks cards but the tips are so few and far between that whenever something about BDO come in, it gets us all sort of excited.
But enough about us. If you’re at BDO and you’ve had your sit-down or you’re waiting and are hearing rumors of raise percentages OR you’re simply doubtful as to Jack Weisbaum’s status as most interesting accounting firm CEO in the world, please tell us below.
Pack up your white pants and seersucker suits – Labor Day has come and gone which means only one (actually important) thing: college football is back. You NFL loving freaks can have your Sundays of Hollywood-produced sport; I believe the good Lord created Sundays solely as a recovery day for college football fans. Well, for that and drunk brunches, of course.
It is no secret that good ol’ Caleb is a vehement Husker fan, he only reason he’s given me the green light to churn out a post comparing your respective accounting firms to the likes of fried-butter-eating college football fanatics.
I can only pray that my effort will inspire the semi-regular infusion of sport, accounting, and bantering commenters around here, so I give you the “Accounting Firms If They Were A College Football Program” top nine rankings. Grab your body paint and come along for the tailgate.
Team: Oklahoma Sooners
First Take: Both are always in title contention but seem to shit the bed come Pay Day. Deloitte raises are on par with the Sooners’ BCS bowl record under Coach Bob Stoops (2-8).
Keep it in the Family: During Hurricane Irene, Deloitte encouraged employees to bunk up together, obviously a practice long in use in Oklahoma.
Sputter, Sputter: Sooner alum Blake Griffin jumped over a KIA at last year’s NBA slam dunk contest. A certain Deloitte consultant also prefers a certain overused and washed out mode of transportation…
Team: Oregon Ducks
First Take: They’re in the news for legit (raises, hurry-up offense) and controversial (fireside chats, BCS infractions) more often than you’d like. Also, their team colors are atrocious.
Hotties Everywhere: PDubs has Ireland. The Ducks have these ladies.
Just Pick One Already: PwC doesn’t churn out new logo/uniform re-designs as often as the Ducks but both cause a stir when they do. Whether the changes for either team result in better winnings has yet to be seen.
Firm: Ernst & Young
Team: Ohio State Buckeyes
First Take: You hate going up against them, but even if they do win, you’re thankful you’re not affiliated with their alumni.
Compliance? What Compliance? Former coach Jim Tressell thought it best to let a tattoos-for-autographs program run its course. E&Y is apparently doing the same with this minor Sino-Forest sitch.
Questionable Mascots: The poisonous nuts of the Midwest are no match for the Black & Yellow guy.
Team: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
First Take: Still talking about that big win in 1983. An exodus of leadership. The general public has gone from loathing them to just feeling bad for them. Give it up, you’re no longer the powerhouse you (thought you) once were.
Johnny Be Good. The Chairman is also a proud ND alum. Need we say more?
Empty Promises: We’re going to win it all! We’re going to hire thousands!
Firm: Grant Thornton
Team: Northwestern Wildcats
First Take: As hard you they try to be tough, they’re still nerds dressed in purple.
Off-the-Mark Advertising: GT – the lack of aligned teeth took some bite out of your full-page WSJ ad. And Dan Persa for Heisman – really? Your mom for Heisman.
Firm: Rothstein Kass
Team: Boise State Broncos
First Take: First it was a feel-good story but their continued rise through the ranks is pissing off the traditionalists.
The-Anybody-But-The-Other-Guy- Vote: Whether it was Boise’s ridiculously fantastic win over Oklahoma years ago in the Fiesta Bowl or RK’s dominance in the Going Concern March Madness pool, oftentimes their fan support stemmed from us just hating their competition more.
Team: Missouri Tigers
Only Take: You’re supposed to be on this list; we know you belong on this list; we don’t know what you’ve done to deserve being on this list.
Team: Penn State Nittany Lions
First Take: Your parents would have been pleased if you went there but better options awaited you.
Race to the Retirement Home: JoePa is 84 and coaching from the press box. Rumor has it Jack Weisbaum calls the shots from his personal tanning bed.
Firm: CBIZ/Mayer Hoffman McCann
Team: University Buffalo Bulls
Only Take: You think you’re a big deal, but really everyone uses you as an exhibition punching bag.
How’d we do? What team best parodies your firm? Share it in the comments below.
If you’re a fan of pinstripes, you won’t be pleased.
As a commenter noted yesterday, this obviously isn’t applicable to the Yankees. The Cubs on the other hand…well, I think we all know that story.
In Northern Ireland, anyway. Yes, if you’re moseying around Belfast and catch your spouse in an intimate embrace with someone who isn’t you, your heart may be broken but that doesn’t mean you’re going to divorce their cheating ass. Why, you ask? Well, you see, celebrities, being the model global citizens that they are, seem understand that marriage doesn’t really mean that you can’t have sex with other people, even if you haven’t expressed a desire to do so and regular Joes and Janes are starting to think that should be their attitude as well.
The UK Press Association reports, “one of the reasons for the shift may be the growing number of high profile celebrities that have publicly accepted their partner being unfaithful, according to consultancy and accountancy firm Grant Thornton, which carried out the matrimonial survey.” Yes Grant Thornton, fresh off their new ad campaign, is finding time to weigh in on marriage trends, although they readily admit they’re really just taking a stab at this:
Sally Longworth, partner at Grant Thornton’s Forensic and Investigations services practice, said: “The shift in the reasons for divorce is difficult to explain, although one potential influence could be the rise in the number of celebrities that are very publicly accepting their spouse’s infidelities.
Seems that GT is hard up for work in N.I.
U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman has dismissed Grant Thornton as a defendant in a class-action shareholder lawsuit against GT, Koss Corp. and CEO Michael J. Koss, filed in January 2010 on behalf of plaintiff David Puskala and other Koss shareholders.
In his ruling, Adelman stated that the plaintiffs failed to make a case for GT’s epic failure to detect former Koss executive Sue Sachdeva’s $34 million embezzlement/hoarding scheme. Reasonable, considering GT auditors scared the crap out of old Sue, even though they were sticking newbies on the gig. “Fear was one thing. I thought it was imminent,” she said in a court deposition last year. “Their auditors, every time they walked in, I’d say, ‘This is it. They’re going to catch me.’” Shareholders’ issue – we assume – is that they didn’t. Year after year after year after year until 2009 rolled around and the whole house of cards came tumbling down.
The judge also dismissed claims of willful or reckless behavior against Michael Koss, saying “I conclude that the innocent explanations are more compelling than the inference of recklessness.” Meaning Mike couldn’t possibly have known Sue had been siphoning off millions in company money over a six year period, absent hanging out at her house and noticing all the fancy new shit she had strewn everywhere. And stashed in closets. And bursting out of her garage.
As for Grant Thornton, the judge wrote that the occurrence of fraud and failure to detect it doesn’t imply recklessness on the part of the accounting firm, but rather that the firm was negligent. While it is clear that Sachdeva used her position with Koss to bypass the company’s not-rock-solid internal controls, it is also believed that the controls were sufficient so as not to be obviously unreliable to a reasonable person (or auditor fresh out of accounting school). We’re looking forward to hearing how audit professors use this decision to emphasize the cavernous depth between “negligence” and “recklessness” on the part of auditors.
Sachdeva is still a defendant in the Puskala lawsuit and is currently serving 11 years for the fraud.
Grant Thornton dismissed from Koss shareholder lawsuit [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel]
From the mailbag, a tipster quotes his OMP:
“Compensation and bonuses have been approved. Final letters will be received from national HR by end of day tomorrow [i.e. today] and will be communicated by your practice leader before August 1.”
Fill us in if you have gotten the news or email us the details.
Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the six global audit, tax and advisory organizations, admitted 26 new partners and principals to the firm, effective August 1. These partners and principals are based throughout the firm’s offices across the country.
Partners and principals admitted to the firm are thought leaders upon whom the firm relies to provide personalized attention in serving clients. These professionals have demonstrated consistently their extraordinary ability to understand and meet the needs of client companies and industries. They have also demonstrated long-term leadership in the accounting profession and the community.
“These professionals have demonstrated extraordinary client service, driving value for the dynamic firms we serve,” said Stephen Chipman, Grant Thornton’s CEO. “These leaders exemplify Grant Thornton’s mission of making a difference – to our colleagues, our clients, our profession and our communities.”
It’s also strange that no one from GT has dropped any news regarding compensation discussions as this is about the time we should start hearing it or sayeth comments from the last post on the subject. Anyway, give the new partners a slap on the back or at least a nice note.
Related: he’s also stepping down as BDO International’s CEO on September 30:
[After] 33 years in total with BDO UK and BDO International, I will be stepping down on 30 September 2011.
I have had a fantastic career and have been privileged to lead BDO UK for 7 years and BDO International for the last 3 years. I have had some great colleagues, worked with some brilliant people and, in my earlier career, been involved with some terrific clients.
Martin van Roekel, the firm’s Managing Partner in the Netherlands, will officially be the new International Chief on October 1.
Newman says “it is time for a change,” but he “[doesn’t] know what I will do but after 33 years in this business, I am looking forward to seeking new opportunities outside the accounting profession.” He is promising to keep blogging through September, so hopefully he’s still working on his delicate sensibilities.
Moving On [CEO Insights]
It’s not entirely clear why Jonathon P. Reuben’s services are no longer needed but you could easily conclude that the GCO wasn’t appreciated.
On June 20, 2011, the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of Glen Rose Petroleum Corporation (the “Company”) approved the termination of services of Jonathon P. Reuben CPA, An Accountancy Corporation (“JPR”), effective immediately.
JPR was the independent registered public accounting firm for the Company for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2010 and 2009. The reports of JPR on the Company’s financial statements for the years ended March 31, 2010 and 2009 did not contain an adverse opinion or disclaimer of opinion, and such reports were not qualified or modified as to uncertainty, audit scope, or accounting principle, except that the reports of JPR on the Company’s consolidated financial statements as of and for the years ended March 31, 2010 and 2009 contained an explanatory paragraph which noted that there was substantial doubt as to the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern due to a deficit in working capital and incurring significant losses.
BDO will take it from here. Perhaps a nice welcome to the partnership gift for one of the newbies?
Jack Weisbaum is letting a baker’s dozen join the club, although with the new national heads recently announced, there’s an new extra layer between the newbies and the most interesting accounting CEO in the world.
Here are the lucky 13:
John Barkmeyer (Orange County – Assurance), Doug Bekker (Grand Rapids – Tax), Elliott Binder (San Jose – Tax), Sofia Blair (New York – – Assurance) and Mike Campbell (San Francisco – Tax), Demetrio Frangiskatos (New York – Assurance), Nania Gopal (Orange County – National Assurance Office), Mike Hottel (Washington, DC – Assurance), Joel Mitchell (Chicago – Tax), Stathis Poulos (Raleigh – Assurance), Jennifer Quaglino (Woodbridge – Tax), Chris Tylka (Chicago – Assurance) and Andy Zaleski (Detroit – Tax).
Congratulations and stay thirsty, new partners.
The latest from the
Can we get a thread opened about Grant Thornton raises and promotions. We started finding out promotions yesterday and the raise info came along with it. Thanks,
Not much news out of Grant Thornton lately so thanks for reaching out. The last we heard from Purple Rose of Chicago was that auditors were wanting their raises and bonuses to rival the Big 4 after a hellish busy season. I’d still be willing to be that Michelle Bachmann has a better chance of becoming President than GT’s raises keeping pace with the Big 4 but I do like a good longshot.
So if you’re in the House of Chipman and got news about a promotion, let us know and share the details of your newfound riches.
As we know, your information technology teams can be what holds things together at your firm in times of strife. If you’re good to these people, they’re good to you. And if you treat them poorly, well…good luck to you.
Grant Thornton has been recognized as one of Computerworld’s best places for IT professionals to work, the only accounting firm on the list. It’s a typical ranking with the general buzzword descriptions along with examples of why you should be hella-jealous that you don’t work there. For the IT gang at GT, not only do they get to show off their culinary talents at “annual chili cook-offs and dessert competitions” but when they go above and beyond the call of duty, there seems to be a Hallmark system in place.
To encourage employees to thank their co-workers and recognize a job well done, the IT department developed a way to voluntarily track the sending and receiving of thank-you notes. The names of both senders and recipients are submitted for drawings in which the winners receive a gift cards.
What’s not entirely clear is if these “thank-yous” are inspired by Stephen Chipman’s past communications or if was simply another way that the IT team was able to avoid human contact. Either way, it sounds like they enjoy a decent gig at the Purple Rose of Cairo and that will keep anything catastrophic from happening.
Jay Duke will head up the assurance practice while Doug Sirotta will lead tax. They’ll both report to the most interesting CEO in the world.
The business line regional heads (chart below), who formerly reported to Jack Weisbaum, will now report report to Duke and Sirotta. Speaking of those regions, the Southeast Region (Florida, Georgia) will merge into the Atlantic and the Southwest (Texas and Tennessee) will join the Central. It all goes down on July 1. Messrs. Duke and Sirotta will give up their seats on the BDO Board of Directors to take their new national roles (demotion?).
|Region||Assurance RBLL||Tax RBLL|
|Northeast||Alan Selitti||Robert Pedersen|
|Atlantic||Wayne Berson||Wayne Corini|
|Central||Steve Ferrara||Paul Heiselmann|
|West||Christopher Tower||Rocky Cummings|
Chinese companies certainly have had their share of problems with financial reporting in the U.S. but I had no idea that it would come to this.
The Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of Weikang Bio-Technology Group Co., Inc. (OTC Markets: WKBT.PK – News) (“WKBT,” “Weikang” or the “Company”), a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Western prescription and OTC pharmaceuticals and other health and nutritional products in the People’s Republic of China, today announced that Grant Thornton (“GT”), one of the world’s leading organizations of independently owned and managed accounting and consulting firms, has verified that the cash amounts listed on the Company’s SEC filings for 2010 and the first quarter of 2011 are consistent with account statements obtained from WKBT’s banks directly by GT.
“Given the recent change in auditors and my new chairmanship of the WKBT Audit Committee, we authorized the Grant Thornton review to take place last week, and are now releasing the results,” said Jeffery Chuang, independent director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of WKBT. “Weikang continues to advance as a U.S. publicly-traded company and we are committed to high standards in the thoroughness of our financial information,” said Mr. Chuang, a U.S. CPA who is based in Southern California.
Obviously this is completely harmless compared to, say, threatening to take auditors hostage but as far as giant wastes of time go, it’s right near the top.
For whatever reason, we don’t hear a lot of gossip out of BDO. Perhaps it’s because the entire firm is too captivated by the most interesting accounting firm CEO in the world, Jack Weisbaum, and are rendered loyal to a fault, thus choosing not to share the more sordid details of what happens inside B to the D to rtunate because we hear rumors that there are slew of partners who are not pleased with how things are going at firm but no one seems to want to talk. I’d encourage someone to speak up by emailing us.
But for now, we’ll take the opportunity to tell you about the efforts put forth by some inside the firm that were sensitive to the post-busy season onslaught of professional recruiters. As we all know, after people have worked their asses off for three to four months, some might feel unappreciated and opt to look for a new job. Recruiters are acutely aware of this and since it’s their job to fill positions for their clients, it only makes sense that they chase people that are looking for a change. And because professional recruiting is a competitive business, sometimes the emails can clog your inbox like offers for ED drugs. Some partners at BDO thought that in order to help people stave off this bumrush, they would invite employees to simply forward the emails and voicemails received and voilà! $5 of Starbucks burning in your pocket. Oh, and did I mention that there’s no limit for how many you submit? So if you’re a hot piece of public accounting talent, getting tons of calls, you can really clean up. Not only that, the person that submitted the most unique names of headhunters and agencies would receive a $250 AMEX gift card. Yes. Sound petty? Sound pathetic? Sound desperate? Read for yourself and decide.
I split up original screenshot sent to me so that it would be easier to read, hence the narrow break.
So you might expect such an attempt to bribe employees with corporate caffeination would fall flat. That tipping off firm leadership about PEOPLE THAT ARE SIMPLY DOING THEIR JOBS (and maybe change a few professional careers for the positive) would fall on deaf ears. Well, you would be wrong. DEAD WRONG. A follow-up on the firm’s internal website (next page) stated that over 200 submissions were made and one SA in Spokane submitted 15 alone.
That’s right, the effort was so successful that they are extending it through July 8th. Not really knowing what the protocols are, I don’t know what to tell the recruiters to expect in terms of retaliation from the TPTB at BDO but at least you’ll know that if you receive some kind of nasty correspondence, the person who gave you up was baited with the siren’s call that is the white and green coffee cup.
Nearly two years after Texas financier Allen Stanford was indicted in an alleged massive Ponzi scheme, investors have just filed a $10 billion proposed class action suit against his auditor—the giant accounting firm BDO.
The suit—filed Thursday in federal court in Dallas—says BDO did not only aid and abet the $7 billion dollar fraud…it was a “co-conspirator.” “BDO’s cozy relationship with the Stanford Financial Group was steeped in conflicts of interest and required ongoing deceptive and duplicitous manipulation of the facts to allow the Ponzi scheme’s exponential growth for over a decade,” the complaint says. “The result of this deception is the loss of thousands of investors’ life savings.” [CNBC]
Usually Adrienne handles these things but I seem to have started a beef, so here goes. Last Friday, I poked fun at BDO Global CEO Jeremy Newman, after he admitted that regulatory intervention in the UK would b up the audit market,” even though that’s the last thing he wants. “It is a shame it has taken so long and that it will require regulatory intervention,” he writes but then immediately qualifies the statement, “though it is not too late for my colleagues in the Big Four, and others, to act on a voluntary basis to create the environment necessary to allow real competition.”
This overt doublespeak caused me to open my post with this:
Perpetual fusspot and BDO Global CEO Jeremy Newman has not been shy about how unfair he thinks the dominance of the Big 4 is. The majority of his blog posts are tagged “Global Accounting” and several consist of bellyaching about Big 4 this and the Big 4 that. Of course, since the mainstream media has finally picked up on the idea that the concentration of auditors could be a bit of a problem […]
Newman wrote another blog post today starting with “I have never understood Twitter” but then did a Twitter search on himself, “not expecting to find anything” but he eventually landed on my blog post. He blockquoted the excerpt above (and linked!) and then wrote this:
Now call me sensitive, but I do not see myself as a “perpetual fusspot” or “bellyaching”- just someone raising a valid concern and one that has now been recognised by others, including the OFT but also the European Commission, MEPs, the UK’s House of Lords and many others, as being a potential issue. I also don’t think the dominance of the Big 4 is “unfair” – I think it is a risk and not in the public interest. And again this view is shared by others – including those who represent the public interest.
Clearly, Mr Sensitive had never graced this fine publication before but I read most of his blog posts and as I pointed out, lots of posts are tagged “Global Accounting” with titles such as “Big 4 bias – can we ever overcome it?,” “Financial Reporting and Auditing: A time for change?,” “There is a Credible Alternative,” and “Restrictive bank covenants keep the Big Four on top….”
Now maybe I’m way off base here but having so many posts (there are more) attributed to this topic, strikes me as someone who is excessively worried about something (i.e. “fussing“). I’m not suggesting he should start doing Mad Men recaps but there is consistent narrative. Plus, the word “fusspot” is funny. Furthermore, evoking “bias,” “can we overcome” and “credible alternative[s]” inherently speak to an unlevel playing field (i.e. “unfair“). Perhaps I’m too wrapped up in semantics but I think my point has been made.
On the bright side, I’m flattered that Mr Newman was offended enough to write a response of sorts (without naming names, unfortunately) and hopefully he finds some things on GC that are to his liking. Unfortunately he still doesn’t appear to be on Twitter, the catalyst to this whole exchange. I encourage JN to join the fun. Then he’ll be able to keep up on himself.