KPMG

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: KPMG #88

Last, but definitely not least, on the F100BCTWR is the House of Klynveld. We figure that if you judged the HoK based solely on the fact that it sponsors a golfer who can manage to keeps his pants on for five minutes, they dominate this list. Unfortch, Fortune takes additional variables into account out of respect for the process.

KPMG – Previously ranked #56. It’s great because, “[The] firm introduced a sabbatical program allowing employees to take leaves of four to 12 weeks at 20% of pay. Some 450 employees immediately signed up for it. Employees average 25 paid days off.” Thoughts?


Other interesting stats per the snapshot:
New Jobs (1 year): -1,581
% Job Growth (1 year): -7%
% Voluntary Turnover: 12%
No. of Job Openings at 1/13/2010: 2,700
Most common salaried job: Senior Associate with average salary of $78,100

So the numbers aren’t so hot compared to others. Not to worry though! TF is out there rallying the troops even jumping across the Hudson every now and again just to check on everybody. What more could you ask for?

Earlier:
Ernst & Young #44
Plante & Moran #66
Deloitte #70
PwC #71

KPMG Advisory Has Another Potentially Awkward Meeting, Sans Dog

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for PomeranianSP1324.jpgIf you’ve been hanging around these parts long, you’ll remember back in the fall when Klynveldians were sitting down for their compensation discussions which gave birth to one of our favorite mascots. All professionals in the Southeast region of the advisory practice witnessed an awkward moment when the then partner-in-charge of advisory phoned in, along with his dog, to break the news to the troops that they weren’t getting squat for raises.
Well today, there’s another call down in the Southeast — the “SE Advisory Market Development Staff Update Call” to be precise — and apparently there’s more bad news. It seems that the SE advisory practice (the largest in the firm, according to one source) is a bit behind on its revenue targets for the first three months of the new fiscal year and January isn’t shaping up so well either. The actual revenues are trailing the planned targets by approximately 15%, according to slides from the presentation obtained by GC.


Sources have indicated that while there is significant pipeline revenues, as of January 11th, only ten percent have either verbally committed to an engagement or are currently being negotiated. More than one-third of the pipeline is classified as being in the “identification” stage which is largest group. Now perhaps that is a normal ratio but another slide indicated that the number of client wins are on pace to be down considerably (~50%) for the month of January as compared to the prior three months.
One of our sources indicated to us that a major problem is that “identification” of a potential client was enough to have it included in the pipeline. In other words, if your Pomeranian sniffs a Boston Terrier’s ass at the dog run and you talk shop with the owner of said Boston T, that person is more or less in the pipeline. The conversion of the BT apparently is not crucial and even if the Boston Terrier is converted to realized revenue, it was a far smaller percentage than initially estimated.
The problem, as it appears to us, is that business in the advisory practice in the Southeast could be drying up (or maybe just getting more competitive) and that conversion of potential business is slipping. It’s far too early in the fiscal year to speculate — but by all means go right ahead — about what this all will mean and if business picks up, then it will be moot. But after the shake-ups that went down in that part of the country, the pressure is most certainly on.
If you were on the call today or have more insight, discuss and get in touch.

Tim Flynn Speaking at the KPMG Town Hall Meeting Circa Now

Thumbnail image for TimMFFlynn.jpgOur understanding is that T Fly is rallying the New York troops this morning so if he says anything worth noting (e.g. “I’m leaving the firm to become the next Treasury Secretary“), be sure to get in touch with us or discuss below.
We’re not sure if he’ll be giving pep talks to other offices so if you’re in not in New York and you’ve got TF on the docket, keep us updated.

Is Tim Flynn Being Vetted as the Next Secretary of the Treasury?

Welcome back, servants of the capital markets. We’ll dispense with anything substantive this morning in order to help you combat the depression. We’ll start off by presenting you with the following:
obama-kpmg.jpg
As you can see, this is the POTUS on vacation working in Hawaii with the entourage in tow. One member of said entourage just happens to be donning a KPMG cap and since not just anyone can get their hands on these coveted lids — and since the gentleman’s face is mostly obscured — we’re curious about a few things: 1) Is Tim Flynn leaving the Radio Station for a cabinet position and if so, which one? 2) Was Phil Mickelson joining the Prez for some time on the links and had a overwhelming urge to represent? 3) If this is just some Obama yes-man, did he receive the cap from a Klynveldian representative and is this a bold move to get KPMG representation in the President’s inner circle?
If you’ve got thoughts, theories, or wild-ass guesses, dispense them in the comments and again, welcome back.

KPMG Rolls the Dice, Will be the Next Auditor of Overstock.com

Thumbnail image for 200px-KPMG.svg.pngBut you already knew that was going to be the case. Back when we asked you to vote on which firm would be the next firm fired engaged by Overstock, over 42% of you said it would be KPMG.

This news comes despite reservations expressed by at least one reader who, at the time, had this commenlockquote>I for one think it is sad that such a high percentage of survey responders think KPMG will pick up OSTK. I hope from a public opinion and liability standpoint that KPMG will resist the urge to add yet another high risk client to its listing and cause further damage its reputation.

Sorry, dear reader but apparently the high profile cat fight between the company and Grant Thornton wasn’t enough to scare KPMG off. Not even the very public revelation of Patsy’s creepy-ass stalking of Overstock critics in the financial media and blogosphere caused the KPMG partners in SLC to turn this client down.

Oh, and not to mention a management team who thought that filing unreviewed 10-Q was the best course of action. But as white-collar crime expert (and self-proclaimed crook) Sam Antar told us:

KPMG is taking a client with no management integrity and is well advised to study SAS No. 99 about “Consideration of Fraud in a Financial Statement Audit” regarding the unethical “tone at the top” set by Overstock.com’s unprincipled management team. Every single initial financial report for every reporting period issued by Overstock.com has failed to comply with GAAP and other SEC disclosure rules since the company’s inception. Overstock.com has restated its financial reports two times in the last three years and now is trying to avoid a third restatement of financial reports resulting from its improper use of “cookie jar” reserves to inflate its financial performance from Q4 2008 to Q3 2009.

In case you’re not convinced of management’s shadiness, Sam also pointed out that they intended to wait for the current SEC inquiry to be resolved prior to choosing a new auditor:

Patrick Byrne and Jonathan Johnson went back on their promise that they would not shop for an audit opinion. Both Byrne and Johnson previously told investors that Overstock.com would wait until after the SEC Division of Corporation Finance completed its review of the company’s financial disclosures.

We looked at the transcript of the conference call and here’s what we found (a link to the entire transcript is below):

Willis TaylorGagnon Securities – Analyst

Since you’ve dismissed your auditor for a very specific accounting choice, when you go to select a new auditor, how do you prevent yourself from being accused of opinion shopping?

Jonathan JohnsonOverstock.com – President
That’s a great question, Louis, and that’s part of the reason that we’ve decided not to select a new auditor until this — until we resolve this issue with the SEC. We do not want to be accused of opinion shopping. We’d like the SEC to help us figure out — we’d like them to say we’ve done it the right way or we’ve done it the wrong way. Once they say one of those two, we don’t need to opinion shop.

Patrick ByrneOverstock.com – Chairman and CEO
But, so, I would even say to the point that when people have contacted us, we have discouraged any communication on the grounds that we got — for just that reason — well, I have the — no matter who we talk to now, then whoever we ultimately pick, people are going to say, well, you did this because you opinion shop.
So we’re really not having discussions with anybody. It’s nice to get phone calls, but we’re not talking to anybody until we get through this just to prevent — just as a prophylactic measure.

From the sounds of it, Overstock was beating off firms with a stick, so the pressure must have gotten to company’s audit committee to pick a new firm prior to the SEC wrapping up its little inquiry. So can we assume that since the SEC hasn’t told them yay or nay on their accounting, they ARE opinion shopping?

And so the winner (read: next to be dismissed) is KPMG, who not only has to throw together an audit for 2009, they have to re-issue 10-Qs for the last three quarters. Who in SLC is giving up sleep for the next four months?

Here is the Overstock press release (we emphasized some good parts) which is not shy about slamming Grant Thornton or that the SEC isn’t finished with its inquiry:

Overstock.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: OSTK) today announced that its Audit Committee engaged KPMG as the company’s independent registered public accounting firm of record for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2009. KPMG will conduct an integrated audit of the company’s 2009 financial statements, including review of the company’s quarterly information for the periods ending March 31, 2009, June 30, 2009 and September 30, 2009.

It is nice to be back with a Big Four accounting firm,” said Jonathan Johnson, President of Overstock.com. “We are pleased to have the resources and professionalism that KPMG brings as our auditors. We will work closely with them to timely file our 2009 Form 10-K. In the meantime, we remain in discussions with the SEC to answer the staff’s questions on the accounting matters that lead to our filing an unreviewed Form 10-Q for Q3.”

Overstock.com’s Audit Committee dismissed Grant Thornton, its previous auditors, in November when Grant Thornton advised the company that they had revised their position on how the company should have recorded a $785,000 asset in 2008, and, that as a result of this revised accounting position, Grant Thornton would be unable to complete their review of the company’s Q3 2009 financial statements unless the company amended its previous 2009 quarterly filings and restated our 2008 financial results.

We wanted to get KPMG’s thoughts on this but our emails have gone unreturned at this time. If you’re in the know, definitely get in touch with us about anything related to the latest twist to this story.

OSTK_Transcript.pdf

The Day After: KPMG and E&Y Holiday Party Report

Thumbnail image for HolidayParty.jpgWe were reminded that not only was E&Y FSO raging at a tourist trap last night, KPMG’s Financial Services practice was also tying one on at Jim Brady’s in the FiDi. This particular fiesta is the first major get-down we’ve heard of KPMG hosting so it’s good to know that there’s a little bit holiday cheer at every firm.
The Jim Brady’s party has been a popular event in the past and it’s a partner-free party so it’s a perfect opportunity for Klynveldians to blow off some steam, pants optional.
One source told us that it was well attended again this year despite being beer and wine only. We’re confident that was supplemented by flasks and other treats as another told us that the party was a “blast”. Safe to say that there was plenty of ass-grabbing as well as being an all-around bitch-about-KPMG fest.
Considering we haven’t heard a peep about E&Y’s get-down at TOTG, we can only assume that it was also epic.
Hopefully your cocktail flues have subsided to the point that you can tell us about the great night. If you remember anything, share the highlights or get in touch.

KPMG Global Revenue Drops 11.4%

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for PomeranianSP1324.jpgThe wait is over Klynveldians. Your firm’s revenue results are out and — not to put fine a point on it — they’re disappointing.

The press release has the typical spin that we’ve come to expect from the Big 4 bigiwigs as Tim Flynn focuses on the, ‘high growth markets’ and the opportunities that arise out of ‘a markedly changed regulatory environment’ (code for: “Democrats are in power”).

These “opportunities” are noted but the numbers speak for themselves. As Big Four Blog notes, “A drop in revenue was expected, the surprise was the magnitude of the drop, which was higher than other Big4 firms.”


From the press release:

KPMG, the global network of professional service firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services, today announced member firm combined revenues totaling US$20.11 billion for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, versus US$22.69 billion for the prior fiscal year, representing an 11.4 percent decline in U.S. dollars.

“While overall revenue results for the 2009 fiscal year reflected the global economic downturn, we were pleased that our continued investments in high growth markets resulted in continued growth in those country member firms,” said Timothy P. Flynn, Chairman of KPMG International.

The drop in revenues breaks down like this:

Audit – $9.95 billion in FY09 versus $10.69 billion in FY08, a 6.9% decline in U.S. dollars.

Advisory – Revenues of $6.07 billion in FY09, versus $7.27 billion in FY08, a 16.6% decline in U.S. dollars.

Tax – $4.09 billion in FY09 compared with $4.73 billion in FY08, a 13.4% decline in U.S. dollars.

The numbers certainly speak to the tough year that KPMG professionals have witnessed through many rounds of layoffs and several shake-ups that appear to be part of major restructuring in the U.S.
So now that the 2009 earnings season has come to a close, all the firms can focus on making 2010 less crappy. That should be breeze. We shall see. If you’ve got thoughts on the Radio Station’s year, or want to talk about how psyched you are for 2010, discuss in the comments.

KPMG reports 2009 revenues of US$20.1 billion [Press Release]

See also: KPMG 2009 Revenues of $20 B Drop 11%, Most Among Big Four Firms [The Big Four Blog]

Rumor Mill: Tim Flynn Paying a Visit to Montvale Today?

TimMFFlynn.jpgThat’s what we’re hearing! A source has informed us that TF is in the Garden State today “announcing a significant amount of outsourcing within the IT practice of the firm.”
Our source also indicated that TF — currently running second in the Accountant of the Decade vote — is:

…making general statements about the firm as a whole in regards to outsourcing. We were told that if we were getting outsourced there would be “advanced warning” or that they would try to move people around without letting them go, etc.

“Advanced warning” like a flare gun? Church bells? A lighthouse? The people need something more specific, TF.
It sounds both internal IT and advisory IT professionals are getting the pleasure of the pep talk so if you were there (or going this afternoon, rumor is there’s two meetings), send us your thoughts and discuss.

KPMG Prolongs the Agony by Releasing Just UK Revenue Results

Thumbnail image for 200px-KPMG.svg.pngThose of you that are dancing on one leg for KPMG’s global revenue results are going to have suffer with the anxiety for awhile longer. We know, we know. We’d love for the whole reporting season to limp into history but we have yet to hear Tim Flynn put his positive spin on this year’s revenue results.
Oh sure, we’re getting teased today by the UK firm and its European parent but this just prolongs the agony:

The UK firm saw revenues fall by 1.6%, to £1.63bn for the 30 September year end.
Profits fell 1.3% to £382m from £387m.
KPMG Europe’s revenues were €3.5bn, a 0.4% decrease on the previous year.
Its joint chairmen said the results were a “creditable performance”.
“We might have hoped for better economic conditions in our second year as a merged firm but rather than put our expansion plans on hold we have continued to pursue a whole range of strategic initiatives that will shape our performance over future years,” said John Griffith-Jones and Rolf Nonnenmacher.

Despite the disappointment Even with this creditable performance, Europe wasn’t without its problems, seeing the tax revenues drop 12%. No worries though, they promise to pull their weight 2010:

After suffering a 12% fall in tax revenues, Griffith-Jones said the service line was set to hold firm with the rest of the business next year.
“We resized the practice, and are fine where we are, [it’s performance] should be much more in line with the rest of the firm – it’s taken the pain.”

That’s the spirit! Lemons into lemonade. Now make with the band-aid ripoff method on these global results. Nobody’s expecting the world. Dump the press release, get a pep talk from TF and get back out there Kylnveldians. Here’s to 2010!
KPMG UK chief lines up modest 2010 growth [Accountancy Age]

KPMG Has to Be Pretty Happy with the Golfer They Chose to Sponsor

Phil-Mickelson_Tim Flynn.jpgAs we mentioned yesterday, Accenture is on the hunt for a new poster boy. While we speculated that poaching Phil from the House of Klynveld as a possibility for Accenture it’s more likely that the spotlight will be falling on Mickelson and his KPMG cap (black or white, depending on the mood).
Although Phil won’t be dancing on Tiger’s grave, Tim Flynn may have been quietly making the rounds at 345 Park high fiving anyone and everyone at work on the Monday after Tiger’s crash.
If you’ve got any thoughts on how TF celebrated (sweater vests for everyone!) discuss in the comments.

Operation Bear Hugs Debrief

Thumbnail image for Tim_Bear_King_jpeg.jpgSeriously Kylnveldians, we were hoping for a stellar report on last Friday’s nationwide Bear Hugs but so far we’ve heard nothing (other than some people were bolting early to get their drink on).
We’ll take your radio silence as admission that you had an awesome time and that not having an open bar rager wasn’t so bad after all. Besides, it’s for the kids.
There’s video of the New York Office’s get-together over CBS2 where we learn that there was actual sewing involved and a dancing bear to keep everyone entertained.
Share your thoughts on the experience including if your bear’s head ended up on its ass, if you couldn’t resist spiking the punch, or if you were MIA and what your punishment is.

Rumor Mill: KPMG Debunking ‘Six Year Manager’ Rumors?

corp_ladder.jpgWhile many Klynveldians are getting amped to cobble together some bears for the kids this morning we’ll pass along a little rumor about a rumor.

The rumor that the KPMG bigwigs have been considering a six year timeline to make manager in the audit practice has been kicked around for at least a couple years. Naturally, there were two schools of thought:

• Managers thought it was good idea

• SAs thought it was a terrible idea

According to a tip we received, apparently there is an email floating around that says the rumors about a “six year program are not true and that the firm will continue with existing promotion timing.”

A friend of GC told us that while it’s entirely possible that such an email exists, it’s definitely not coming down from 345 Park and could be some local office trying to calm down those SAs that are considered flight risks.

Regardless of the rumored debunking, the path to partner is certainly becoming longer as we reported earlier this week, and early promotions will still happen based on need or political maneuvering.

If you’ve been notified that your promotion timing is still on track, by email or otherwise, pass the info along or discuss in the comments.

Are You Ready to Build Some Bears KPMG?

Tim_Bear_King_jpeg.jpg“Tim, you really shouldn’t have. Seriously. I’m a King, for crying out loud.”

In case you’ve forgotten, KPMG’s bear-building extravaganza is tomorrow and word around the campfire is that everyone is psyched.

At least one office is dedicating the better part of the morning to the “Town Hall” portion of festivities which sounds like it could be a real hoot. We’re guessing there might be a little session regarding stationery controls, given the whole Canopy sitch.

Since all the offices are having their get-downs tomorrow keep us updated throughout the day on anything interesting that comes up.

(UPDATE) KPMG’s Letterheadgate May Require the Firm to Revisit Stationery Controls or Get Rid of the Blue Squares

kpmg_pink.gifAll right Klynveldians, we don’t know which one of you was a little generous with the letterhead but you’ve really done it.
Jeremy Blackburn, COO and President of Canopy Financial was able to raise $75 million for Canopy Financial based on bogus audit reports he provided to investors and pocketed more than $2 million for himself, according to the SEC’s complaint against Blackburn and the Company.


We’ll give the man credew the script:

Blackburn sent [Canopy CEO, Vikram] Kashyap an email dated June 30, 2009, attaching the KPMG Audit Report and the audited Canopy financial statements, with an email subject heading of “Audit Finally Complete,” and email text stating “I never wanna [sic] go through this again!!”

Kashyap apparently wasn’t in on the little secret that KPMG was not engaged to audit squat for Canopy. Nice work staying on top of everything, Vik. Meanwhile, Canopy’s investment bank, Financial Technology Partners, didn’t need an email telling them the audit was hell. They just ran to VCs with the notion that everything was on the up and up.
The bank is all bent out of shape because they’re taking heat and claim ‘We clearly had no clue about any such wrongdoing.’ Who wants to bother with the auditors? As Michael Arrington of Tech Crunch notes, “A 10 second phone call could have cleared this up before investors plowed $85 million into the company.”
The whole thing finally went south when Canopy’s new general counsel contacted an acquaintance at KPMG to help him find a new CFO. Canopy’s general counsel then sent over the “audit report.”

KPMG quickly responded to Canopy and advised Canopy in a “Cease-and-Desist Demand” letter dated November 3, 2009, that Canopy used KPMG’s name without KPMG’s authorization and consent. Further, KPMG told Canopy that it: (1) had never been retained nor agreed to audit any of Canopy’s financial statements; and (2) did not issue the audit opinion dated June 29, 2009. KPMG demanded, among other things, that Canopy “immediately CEASE AND DESIST from using the subject report and/or the unauthorized use of the KPMG name….”

It’s seems obvious that KPMG did nothing wrong here but this is still a big bowl of awkward. The firm’s name is all over the complaint and who knows how many other companies are running around with the firm’s letterhead throwing their “audited” financials around.
As we’ve indicated, this may call for a completely new look for KPMG. That means no more blue squares. We realize that’s a horrifying thought but the whole firm may be compromised. If you’ve got suggestions for the look (other than pink) or any thoughts on this snafu, discuss in the comments.
UPDATE: A tiny clarification/correction here: The original post over at Tech Crunch states, “Multiple sources have told us that Canopy was absolutely making up their financial statements, even forging audited statements with fake KMPG [sic] letterhead.” One could get the impression from our post here that genuine KPMG letterhead was used. That does not seem to be the case. The SEC’s complaint states that the audit report was “falsified” or “forged” without mentioning the authenticity of letterhead.
Nevertheless, we still stand by our conclusion that the Firm has no choice to either revisit stationery controls (since it’s obvious you can’t just get the shit anywhere) or change the entire logo as a precautionary measure. Similarly, we will continue to address this particular scandal as “Letterheadgate” to best follow the tradition of any scandal happening in the post-Nixon era to be suffixed with “gate”. We’re done here.
Canopy Complaint.pdf
Canopy Financial Turns Into Sad, Comical Game Of Hot Potato [Tech Crunch]
Earlier: KPMG Will be Stingy with the Letterhead From Now On

(UPDATE) KPMG Will be Stingy with the Letterhead From Now On

Thumbnail image for 200px-KPMG.svg.pngHave you been craving a tech startup accounting scandal? Thought so. Enter Canopy Financial, Inc. who “provides technology-enabled electronic payment, account management, and investment technology platforms for health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts, and health reimbursement arrangements.”
The company was ranked #12 in the 2009 Inc. 500 List of fastest growing companies in America:

In 2008 CEO Vikram Kashyap said his company had 2007 revenues of $9 million. More recently, we’ve heard, the company was saying they’d hit $60 million in revenue and $9 million or so in EBITDA.
All of this may have been lies.
Until recently all the venture capitalists involved proudly placed Canopy Financial on their portfolio pages. Now all trace of the company have been erased from the portfolio pages of investors GGV Capital, Spectrum Equity and Foundation Capital. And their investment bank has erased them from their trophy page as well.
So what happened? Multiple sources have told us that Canopy was absolutely making up their financial statements, even forging audited statements with fake KMPG [sic] letterhead. And somehow the investment bank and all the investors never figured it out.

Jesus, this doesn’t even qualify as cooking the books. This is more along the lines of:

CFO: No, we cannot say $100 kajillion.
CEO: Why?
CFO: Because no one will believe it.
CEO: Why?
CFO: Do you know what a kajillion looks like?
CEO: Um, no.
CFO: It has to look like a real number. I’m saying $59,984,387.
CEO: What about…
CFO: Shut up, that’s the number.

Then all you have to do is get your hands on some KPMG letterhead and BAM your company is listed in a magazine.
We tried contacting KPMG about this but our emails have gone unreturned. We’ll let you know if we hear back from them. In the meantime, if you know anything more about this particular story, enlighten us in the comments.
UPDATE: See the clarification about the authenticity of the letterhead on our post from December 3rd.
Canopy Financial Accused Of Serious Financial Fraud, Investors Burned [Tech Crunch via FINS]

The KPMG Dress Code Now Accommodates Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Ugly Sweaters 130.jpgAt least for one day, anyway.

You’re all acutely aware that many firms are opting to forgo holiday parties this season in favor of charitable activities.

Regardless of your desire — and our sincerest hopes for you — to get cop-slugging drunk on your firm’s dime, the commitment of time to charity is admirable. KPMG is spending an entire day building bears and wrapping them with books. We’re not sure how that will work but whatever.

As an added bonus, we heard that at least one office is attempting to make things more festive:

Picture 4.png

If some of you aren’t able to get behind the celebration of hideous Clark Griswold-esque sweaters for the sake of sport, shame on you. In fact, since the charitable activities are mandatory (as we understand), we’d go so far to suggest that the donning of ugly sweaters should also be mandatory. Judging by many or your fashion proclivities, this will be as easy as opening your closet.

Caption Contest Monday: The King and I

TimFlynn_KingAbdullah.jpg
Background: Tim Flynn talking shop with King Abdullah of Jordan.

Same rules: Submit possible captions in the comments. We’ll choose our favorites — with preference given to those with an accounting/KPMG bent — and then let you vote for the best one.

Memo to TF: If you’ve got a transcript of the convo, feel free to post your favorite highlight as your submission(s).

Rumor Mill: KPMG L.A. Layoffs, Maybe Dallas?

We’ve received multiple reports of layoffs that occurred last week in the audit practice of the Los Angeles office.
The numbers have been described as “a few” and the news has been “hush hush” making us wonder if these cuts were some unfinished business from either the August and September rounds.
There also have been rumors about additional layoffs in Dallas tax but we don’t have any more details than that.
If you’ve got any details for these layoffs or details for other cities, get in touch and discuss in the comments.

More KPMG Leadership Changes

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for PomeranianSP1324.jpgJust a brief update on KPMG leadership moves that we’ve been following.

Late Friday we learned that the office managing partner (“OMP”) of the New York office has been promoted to serve as the Vice Chair of Market Development. Our understanding is that all the OMPs across the country will report to this position and it will focus on 21 key markets in the U.S.

The former head of the New York Financial Services will move up as the new New York OMP. No word on who will fill the leadership role in NYFS.

This appears to be the first instance where the OMP was promoted to a national position as opposed to a “client-facing role”.

Continue to keep us updated with the latest on the comings and goings of the grand poobahs and discuss your thoughts on the progress of the restructuring in the comments.

Earlier GC coverage of KPMG Leadership Changes and Restructuring:
Another KPMG Shake-Up
KPMG Shake-up Continues
Rumor Mill: KPMG Restructuring Plans
(UPDATE 2) KPMG Atlanta Shake-up Makes Us Wonder

Another KPMG Shake-Up

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for PomeranianSP1324.jpgFollowing up on our earlier reports of leadership changes in several cities, — as well as the Southeast region — the Charlotte Business Journal is reporting that John Switzer now sits in the big chair of KPMG’s Charlotte office.
Swizter ascended to the new gig after serving as the managing partner of the Cleveland, Louisville, and Lexington offices.
This appears to be another restructuring switcheroo as Switzer’s predecessor, Paul Chapman, will be “[taking] a new role, serving some of the firm’s largest audit clients.”
As prestigious as that sounds, we’re inclined to believe that the bigwigs decided some fresh blood was needed in Ken Lewis land.
If you’ve got any news on freshly minted grand poobahs in your office, kindly pass along the details and feel free to speculate on the progress of the restructuring in the comments.
KPMG names managing partner [Charlotte Business Journal]

KPMG Has Its Reasons for Banning Google Talk

Klynveldians have been warned about certain software that should not, under any circumstances, be downloaded by any of you:
Picture 3.png
In the firm’s defense — and since they didn’t mention it — many of these programs are used by you to waste precious billable hours complaining to each other about a myriad of things including why the Phil Mickelson hats only come in black and white and where Tim Flynn and John Veihmeyer buy their suits (we hear Marshall’s but that could be total bupkis).
Furthermore, we’re not going to sit here and say that none of these programs present a legitimate risk. That would be foolhardy and insensitive.
What we do wonder about is what “disciplinary action” involves. Feel free to wildly speculate on this in the comments.

Caption Contest Results: KPMG Scary Stories

Not a surprising choice but we thought it would be a closer race. The winner, garnering 45.5% of the vote, after the jump.
Thumbnail image for RL-Stine-and-kids_350.jpg

KPMG hires replacements for staff who were laid off.

What’s not known is what kind of offers they are getting. It’s an absolute certainly that it includes the standard CYA language: “Due to the volatility of the current economic conditions, your starting salary may be adjusted to market at the time you begin employment.”
Thanks to everyone for voting and we’ll have the results from our salary satisfaction poll later today.

Caption Contest Poll: KPMG Scary Stories

It’s election day after all. Vote for your favorite caption. You have until tomorrow night, 11:59 PDT to vote.
Thumbnail image for RL-Stine-and-kids_350.jpg
Finalists after the jump.

Caption Contest Reminder

Thumbnail image for RL-Stine-and-kids_350.jpg
Don’t forget to submit your captions for last Friday’s contest. We’ll take submissions through midnight tonight and run the poll tomorrow morning.

Caption Contest Friday: KPMG Scary Stories

Pictured below is R.L. Stine, often known as the “Stephen King of children’s literature”. Mr. Stine did some pre-Halloween scary story-telling yesterday while visiting students. The occasion celebrated KPMG’s Family for Literacy distributing its one-millionth book. “I think it would be a very scary world without books,” said Stine.
RL-Stine-and-kids_350.jpg
Rules: Submit possible captions in the comments. We’ll choose our favorites — with preference given to those with a Big 4/KPMG/accounting bent — and then let you vote for the best one.

Whatever You Do, Don’t Bring Up Tax Shelters

Thumbnail image for bowling.jpgWell you can if you want but somebody will probably flash a piece on the lanes and you’ll end up entering a world of pain.
If you’re in Beta Alpha Psi at the University of Illinois, KPMG is hosting a charity bowling event tonight at 6 pm. Hell, even if you’re not a member you should do a jay and head on over and get your roll on. What’s the worst they can do, throw you out?

KPMG Partner Named in $240 Million Tax Fraud

This is getting awkward, KPMG. Tax shelters continue to be a problem for some of your partners.


Fairfax Times:

Three local businessmen have been indicted on a charge of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service of more than $240 million.
According to the indictment filed in federal court on Oct. 22, two of the men allegedly attempted to defraud the IRS by making several “false and misleading statements” concerning a corporate tax shelter that was implemented by them.
Daryl J. Haynor, a partner in KPMG’s federal tax practice for the mid-Atlantic Area, based in Tysons Corner; and Jon Flask, a Vienna-based attorney, are both named in the suit.
“Mr. Haynor has been placed on administrative leave pending a review of the situation,” said George Ledwith, a spokesman for KPMG, on Monday.

Obviously our little warning concerning tax shelters was way too late.

According to the federal indictment, Flask, Haynor and Parker implemented and marketed a tax shelter named “Sale Leaseback of Tenant Improvements Strategy (SLOTS),” from 1998 through 2006.
The shelter enabled various U.S. corporations to claim tax deductions totaling more than $240 million on corporate income tax returns.
The indictment alleges that Flask, along with Haynor and Parker, misled and deceived the IRS by misrepresenting facts concerning the SLOTS tax shelter during IRS audits of companies claiming tax losses generated by the shelter in the years 2002 through 2004.

Mr. Haynor has been with KPMG for over 25 years. He and Mr. Flask face up to eight years in prison and $500,000 in fines. If you know any details, shoot us an email or discuss in the comments.

Someone Is Letting KPMG Employees Handle Firearms

Judging by everything that has gone on in the past few months, we can’t emphasize enough how dangerous this could have been. Video after the jump.



Some Atlantans Get to be a Cop for a Day [Fox 5 Atlanta]

Rumor Mill: KPMG Wants You To Stop Smothering Your Kids

Klynveldians, what are you doing today at 2 pm? Nothing? Here you go:

As we continue to observe National Work & Family Month during October,
KPMG will host a national MSO from Lifeworks entitled Being an Involved
Parent: How Much Is Too Much? on Thursday, October 22, from 2:00 p.m. –
3:00 p.m. ET.
This special session is designed to help parents:
§ Understand the traits of overly involved parents
§ Learn the long-term consequences of over-involvement
§ Identify strategies for raising self-reliant, resilient children
§ Find a balance of involvement that will help children ultimately become
independent adults.
If you’d like to join us for this session, be sure to sign up today!

Don’t have kids? No worries. This will load up your queue of excuses for why you’re working late after you enter parenthood.

The Moment You’ve All Been Waiting For

thumbs up2.jpgIf you work at KPMG anyway. We heard that the annual employee survey was sent out today so that’s exciting. The most thrilling news is that FIVE of you will win $200 AMEX gift cards for participating. If there are questions missing on the survey that are not addressed, feel free to bring those up in the comments.
The only other firm that we’ve heard about having their survey is E&Y so if yours is rolling out be sure to let us know.

(UPDATE) Madoff Investors Sue KPMG, JP Morgan, Bank of New York Mellon

By our last count KPMG had been named in ten lawsuits related to Madoff feeder funds. What’s one more?

KPMG, JP Morgan, Bank of New York Mellon, Oppenheimer Acquisition Corp. and Mass Mutual Life Insurance, along with the Tremont founders were all named in an amended lawsuit that was filed yesterday.

Cotchettt, Pitre, & McCarthy, the attorneys for the Plaintiffs, are not mincing words on KPMG’s part in the whole mess. From the firm’s website:

The sheer size and scope of the fraud make it impossible for Madoff to have acted alone. The complaint alleges JP Morgan and the Bank of New York as well as powerhouse accounting firm KPMG LLP and their international counterparts, KPMG UK and KPMG International were primary players responsible for the fraud.

The amended complaint further alleges that the phantom trades “should have been discovered by KPMG UK, the auditor for Madoff’s London based operation, Madoff Securities International Ltd. Instead, KMPG UK never raised any red flags that investors’ money was used by Madoff as his personal piggy bank.”

KPMG declined to comment for the Reuters article but we’ll assume that they don’t take kindly to the complaint.
Madoff investors sue KPMG and major banks [Reuters]

MADOFF_WEXLER_FIRST_AMENDED_COMPLAINT.pdf

UPDATE: The UK Firm issued the following, per Accountancy Age:

KPMG considers the allegations in the complaint to be wholly without merit and will defend them vigorously. The complaint cites KPMG in its capacity as statutory auditor of Madoff Securities International Limited (MSIL), a London based company directly owned by the Madoff family. KPMG acted in this capacity for several years and issued unqualified audit opinions on MSIL’s financial statements. We are not aware of any suggestion that the financial statements of MSIL contain errors.

KPMG Halloween Party: Don’t Expect Treats in the Form of Bonuses

With the cancellation of Christmaskah by most of the Big 4, one would think that a small Halloween fiesta would at least be possible (you know, for the kids).
Good news! At least one KPMG office is contemplating the idea, with the local staff’s help (italics are from the original email):

For $5 you may wear jeans. All donations will be used for the Family Halloween Party. If you would like to participate, please see [redacted] at the reception desk on the 27th floor.

Please note that if you are at a client site that does not subscribe to jeans day, you still need to dress to the client’s dress code.

Please remember you are still in a professional environment and wear professional clothing with your jeans. Additionally, please wear jeans that are in good condition to obtain a clean, professional appearance.

Got it? You want bite-sized 3 Musketeers, Snickers, and the like, you can pay for it. And btw, if you come in with frayed hems, your ass will be sent home.

KPMG Detroit MIA from Free Press’s ‘Top Workplaces’ List

Disappointment.jpgWhen we learned that KPMG had been left off the Detroit Free Press’s list of Top Workplaces 2009, we thought that it had to be a mistake.
We’re so used to accounting firms being found on “Top Place to/for [enter anything about yourself here]” lists that we almost called up the DFP to demand a recount. Then we got to wondering what HR/Marketing did with the boilerplate email to be sent to employees? Just save the draft and said, “We’ll get ’em next year”?


Well, this is all very awk. Especially since PwC (dropped from the top spot last year, btw), Deloitte, and E&Y find themselves in #2, #3, and #4 on the list for large employers.
So far we haven’t been able to determine if KPMG Detroit has been on the list in years past (which at least makes them consistent) so maybe Motown has decided to pack it in. The firm makes every national “Best of” list but is omitted from your own city’s list? How do the local bigwigs spin that one?
We realize that we didn’t make the Best Workplaces list here in Detroit but we have made many national lists. You can all take comfort in knowing that KPMG is a great place to work in every city but ours.
Regardless of how seriously the firms take the “local” lists, for the other three firms to be listed and the Radio Station to be MIA makes for a big bowl of “how the hell do we explain this one?”. Especially when you consider the methodology: “The rankings are solely based on employee feedback.”
Look, we could sit here and speculate on the reasons why KPMG was left off the list but we’re better off leaving that to you. Discuss the Radio Station’s omission in the comments.
Alphabetical listing of Top Workplaces 2009 [DFP]
Large employers survive by encouraging inclusion [DFP]
Earlier: Rumor of the Day: Deloitte Snagging Chrysler Audit from KPMG?
Earlier: Chrysler Auditor Switcheroo Follow-up

KPMG Shake-up Continues

Thumbnail image for pool boy.jpgMore pool boy shake-up news out of the Radio Station as both the Chicago and the DC offices are welcoming new office managing partners, according to our sources.
So by our count that makes four new OMPs along with two area managing partners being moved into the client-facing roles.
Discuss details on any of these moves in the comments and if you have restructuring details, pass them along.

Rumor Mill: KPMG Restructuring Plans

Thumbnail image for PomeranianSP1324.jpgWe’ve finally received some details on a possible restructuring at the House of Klynveld in the U.S.
According to our source, the plans were announced over the past week on a series of calls by Tim Flynn. The firm would be consolidated down to two regions, East and West and each would have a regional managing partner and one service line managing partner per region.
This would result in the elimination of one level of regional leadership and would transfer several partners into client-facing roles.
The restructuring would also include placing some partners on ‘profit improvement plans’ and some layoffs would occur over the next year. Additional staff layoffs would occur across all ranks over the next year as well.
The bad news is obvious. The silver lining, as some of our other sources have indicated, is that the Firm would be eliminating at least one level of bureaucracy that should allow partners to be more active in developing potential client relationships.
Messages left with KPMG were not immediately returned. We’ll update you with any response that the firm gives us.
If you can expand on of the details we mentioned on this restructuring, let us know, otherwise, discuss your thoughts in the comments.
Earlier: KPMG Atlanta Shake-up Makes Us Wonder
UPDATE, 4:45 pm: Regardless of this rumor, we learned a short time ago that KPMG admitted thirty-six new partners last month. Seventeen in Audit, twelve in Tax, and seven in Advisory. Congrats to the new partners! No, seriously. Good job.