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Friday Footnotes: EY Takes a Break; KPMG’s Cootie Problem; A New King In Town | 3.27.20

EY Israel puts staff on unpaid leave [Globes] With the spread of the [coronavirus] and the new orders in the matter issued by the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Health, management has decided on a number of additional steps, including a substantial cut in compensation for all of the firm’s partners and putting some of the firm’s employees on unpaid leave until the end of April and perhaps beyond that date. Employees not on unpaid leave will begin their Passover vacations in the coming days, lasting until April 19 and possibly longer, if necessary. The vacation will be deducted from the employees’ vacation days, but will not affect their salaries.

PCAOB grants auditors 45-day relief period from inspections [Compliance Week] KPMG audit partners were probably giving each other virtual high-fives after seeing this.

Inside KPMG’s ‘genuine dilemma’ over COVID-19 [Australian Financial Review] A KPMG staffer in the firm’s Sydney office has tested positive to COVID-19, with partners quickly informing staff but electing not to evacuate the workplace based on health advice from the NSW and federal governments. A number of staff working on the floor were unhappy at the firm’s response, comparing it unfavourably with companies that have sent employees home at the first sign of any potential exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.

PwC donates $2.85M to coronavirus-related efforts [Accounting Today] Big Four firm PwC announced on Monday [March 23] that its PwC Charitable Foundation will donate new grants totaling $2.85 million to organizations supporting communities impacted by COVID-19.

Congress Poised to Derail Biggest Bank Accounting Change in Decades [Bloomberg Tax] The provision is tucked inside the sweeping measure (H.R. 748) passed by the Senate late Wednesday. The House is expected to vote on the [coronavirus relief] package Friday. The provision would allow banks and credit unions temporary relief from the current expected credit losses (CECL) accounting standard. It would give them until Dec. 31—or when public health officials declare the pandemic over, whichever comes first—to overhaul how they tally losses on souring loans. Large publicly traded banks were supposed to adopt the new accounting standard on Jan. 1.

KPMG Canada leads Big Four in audit client gains, loses [Canadian Accountant] KPMG Canada was the only accounting firm among the Big Four to post a net gain in audit clients during 2019, according to SEDAR analysis provided to Canadian Accountant by Audit Analytics, an independent research provider based in the United States. With 24 new client gains and 16 client departures, KPMG Canada posted a net total of eight gains, while its competitors (Deloitte Canada, EY Canada, and PwC Canada) all posted net losses.

One of Chicago’s largest accounting firms gets a new CEO [Crain’s Chicago Business] Mark Baer has been named the new CEO of Crowe, a Chicago-based accounting firm that’s one of the largest in the nation. Baer, who has been a partner in the firm based in Ohio, will take over in April 2021, succeeding James Powers, who has had the position since 2014.