Knowing you guys as well as I do, I realize it's pointless to bore you with details from Council; like how Tom Hood got snapped at by a very frustrated Maryland senator in her office or what people wore to last night's black tie gala. However, I will share with you an interesting panel yesterday […]
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 […]
Since we've sufficiently gave attention to the top 25 firms in this year's Vault Accounting 50, as well as those firms whom you all think are the bee knees, we know will present the firms that are a merger or two or three away (or the endorsement of another golfer that will pose in body […]
The PCAOB continues tearing through audit firms like a Texas twister on a random Tuesday during tax season, as it unleashed its fury on McGladrey yesterday. How bad was it? Well, Deloitte can certainly feel better about itself. The Board reported deficiencies in nine of the nineteen (~47%) audits inspected. Deloitte, if you remember, had […]
If you have absolutely nothing to do this afternoon and were unable to book a flight to DC in time to sit in on the fantastic PCAOB independence and auditor rotation meeting happening NOW, Colin is live-tweeting from @going_concern all afternoon. If you are looking for snarky, possibly unnecessary criticism of Big 4 (+ GT) […]
Yesterday, Monday Morning Auditor that everyone loves to hate, the PCAOB, announced that they would be having an open meeting on March 21-22 that will focus on auditor independence and rotation. Sorry! I meant auditor term limits. Anyway, there are going to be several big names on various panels including Paul Volcker, Harvey Pitt, Arthur Levitt, […]
I believe this particular PCAOB-hostile grunt has spoken: Dear Mr. G – I hate to break this to you, but accountants do not respect the PCAOB. We HATE the PCAOB. This organization does nothing but bring misery to our lives, for no matter how good our work product is, this group comes along and finds […]
Today, Bloomberg's Jonathan Weil wrote his fourth column exposing clients of a Big 4 audit firm whose PCAOB inspection report reveals that the audit performed was less than stellar. This time around, JW exposes two clients of PwC's Japanese Affiliate Kyoto Audit Corp.: The report [in full, below] said the board’s staff reviewed the firm’s audits for […]
Back in October, the PCAOB officially proposed that audit partners be required to slap their name on the audit report of clients that register with the SEC. For those inside the profession, this proposal isn't exactly popular, as that would put a specific name and a specific face with audit failures. In other words, no […]
PCAOB Chairman James Doty shot the breeze with the SEC for awhile today, speaking about, among other things, how the Board would handle this boatload of Chinese filers who don't seem to know their asses from their elbows when it comes to accounting and their auditors who are similarly clueless. Doty assured the Commission that […]
Back in August, the PCAOB issued a concept release on audit firm rotation and invited anyone who had the time and/or energy to comment on it (as did we). In the wonky little corners of the accounting blogosphere, there was strong opposition to rotation from Jim Peterson and Francine McKenna (although their reasons differ from your […]
Yesterday, we discussed Deloitte stinking up the joint with its PCAOB inspection report. While the firm, at large, probably puts out hundreds of quality audits, the PCAOB gumshoes found that 45% of audits stamped with a green dot had deficiencies. Today, the Board stuffed our stocking with Ernst & Young's inspection report and while it's not […]
Yesterday, the regulatory love child of Paul Sarbanes and Michael Oxley, the PCAOB, issued its 2010 inspection report for Deloitte. Deloitte was the third Big 4 firm to have their report issued this year with PwC and KPMG being issued just before Thanksgiving. While the reports for both PwC and KPMG were of the "we're […]
Another Festivus miracle! The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) – an organization providing thought leadership and guidance on internal control, enterprise risk management, and fraud deterrence – has released, for public comment, an updated Internal Control – Integrated Framework (Framework) intended to help organizations improve performance with greater agility, confidence and […]
Just when you thought the economy was looking up, out peeks the PCAOB with a friendly reminder to the auditors out there that current economic conditions warrant a tad more due care than usual.
Kids, allow us to introduce you to Staff Audit Practice Alert No. 9.
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board today published a Staff Audit Practice Alert to assist auditors in identifying matters related to the current economic environment that might affect the risk of material misstatement in financial statements and, therefore, require additional audit attention.
“Today’s volatile economic environment may affect companies’ operations and financial reporting, which has implications for audits,” said PCAOB Chairman James R. Doty. “The alert reminds auditors of their responsibilities under these conditions.”
Staff Audit Practice Alert No. 9: Assessing and Responding to Risk in the Current Economic Environment, updates Staff Audit Practice Alert No. 3, which was issued in December 2008, in light of current global economic conditions and recent enhancements to PCAOB standards.
Many of the matters discussed in Practice Alert No. 3, Audit Considerations in the Current Economic Environment — including fair value measurements, accounting estimates, going concern, and financial statement disclosures — continue to be critical in audits of 2011 financial statements. Certain of the PCAOB standards referenced in that alert regarding assessment of, and response to, risk, however, were superseded in 2010 with the Board’s adoption of eight new risk assessment standards (Auditing Standard Nos. 8-15).
“This practice alert discusses issues posed by the current economic situation and highlights certain requirements in the new risk assessment standards. Auditors should be alert to the new requirements contained in the risk assessment standards and how those requirements relate to audits performed in the current economic climate,” said Martin F. Baumann, PCAOB Chief Auditor and Director of Professional Standards.
We know you guys cannot wait to read this one, so by all means, knock yourselves out.
If you’re too busy to take the three minutes to read it, I’ll sum it up thusly: we’re doomed, so maybe SALY isn’t such a good idea after all.
So glad we’re all clear on that. Now, back to the JIT for all of you…
Actually, if you’re in to this sort of thing, it could make for some pretty interesting reading.
We pointed to a couple of reports this morning (and there are more) out there on the Board’s criticisms of the two firms, so we won’t repeat them here. The most notable thing seems to be each firm’s response to the report. KPMG went with the standard three-paragr��������������������er that promises that they’ll suck less at auditing in the future.
But as Floyd Norris pointed out, PwC’s Chairman and Senior Partner Bob Moritz as well as Assurance Leader Tim Ryan put their names on the firm’s response to the Board’s inspection that outlined what steps were being taken to improve the audit quality, which is a first. The firm also released this statement from BoMo, acknowledging the slight uptick in deficiencies:
PwC is built on our reputation for delivering quality. We also recognize that the role we play in the capital markets requires consistent, high-quality audit performance. We therefore are focused on the increase in the number of deficiencies in our audit performance reported in the 2010 PCAOB inspection over prior years. We are working to strengthen and sharpen the firm’s audit quality, including making investments designed to improve our performance over both the short- and long-term.
So you can all this – signatures, action plans, etc. – for what it’s worth but the messaging has certainly changed and it differentiates PwC from KPMG. Will have to wait and see if Deloitte or E&Y follow suit.
For some time now, quite a few people have been asking for PCAOB disciplinary proceedings to be made public. Since your beloved Board came into existence, the process of slapping around sketchy auditors has been secret much to the chagrin of those people that would like audit firms to take just a little bit [pointer and thumb about an inch apart] of responsibility when they royally screw things up. It’s all for the investors, you see. After some rib jabbing by Board Member Dan Goelzer and Chairman Jim Doty, Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Jack Reed (D-RI) have picked up the flag by introducing a bill that would make the proceedings public:
The bill would change a provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that requires the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to keep disciplinary proceedings against auditing firms confidential.
Undoubtedly, this will rankle auditors who would prefer that all the skeletons stay firmly stuffed in closets. Of course what many people forget is that the secretive nature of the PCAOB disciplinary proceedings are the exception rather than the rule:
[Grassley and Reed] argued that the PCAOB’s closed proceedings run counter to the public enforcement proceedings of other regulators. Not only the SEC, but also the Labor Department, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and other government agencies use public proceedings, as does the self-regulating Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Nearly all administrative proceedings brought by the SEC against public companies, brokers, dealers, investment advisers and others are open, public proceedings.
The Reed-Grassley bill would make PCAOB hearings and all related notices, orders and motions, open and available to the public unless otherwise ordered by the board. The PCAOB procedure would then be similar to SEC Rules of Practice for similar matters, where hearings and related notices, orders, and motions are open and available to the public.
This all seems like a pretty good idea. I mean, what makes auditors so special? Exactly. They’re not. They just happened to go from self-regulated to regulated in a flash and had a few K Street types twist in some features to Sarbanes-Oxley that kept things under wraps.
The problem, as a few people have pointed out, is that the Board still isn’t really that tough on auditors. Sure, a few more people might suffer some public embarrassment (which we’re happy to point out), but will investors really be better off? That remains to be seen but at least we’ll all be able to revel in the good fun of mocking the offenders.
The dynamics at both the PCAOB and the Big Four are horrible. The incentive at the Big Four is to keep prices down to the point at which it’s impossible for a new entrant to break into their charmed group; after all, if it means they end up cutting corners, the worst that happens is that they get gummed by the toothless PCAOB. [Felix Salmon/Reuters]
Last week the bane of Big 4 auditors existence, the PCAOB, broke their cherry on releasing Part II of an inspection report for a Big 4 firm. The honor went to Deloitte, who sufficiently blew off the Board’s recommendations for 12 months, which led to the release of Part II.
Bloomberg‘s Jonathan Weil, who usually sits back with popcorn while these things go down before chiming in, got to it today but with a twist that you probably weren’t expecting: