Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Friday Footnotes: Deloitte Pays Up; KPMG Sells An Arm; FASB Doesn’t Bow to Big 4 | 3.5.21

Deloitte to pay Malaysia $80 million to settle claims linked to 1MDB [Reuters] Audit firm Deloitte PLT will pay Malaysia’s government $80 million to resolve all claims related to its auditing of accounts of scandal-linked state fund 1MDB and its unit SRC International from 2011 to 2014, the finance ministry said on Wednesday.

‘There Is a Bigger Role’: A C.E.O. Pushes Diversity [New York Times] Not many accountants moonlight as activists. But Tim Ryan, the senior partner at PwC, has spent the past five years trying to make his company a model inclusive workplace, and advocating for more diversity in the rest of corporate America.

Deloitte ‘diversity and inclusion’ chief Dimple Agarwal resigns over bullying allegations [The Telegraph] In other news on the Big 4 diversity front: “Ms Agarwal, 49, was the subject of complaints from distressed staff over allegations she was aggressive towards them on calls and in emails and that she demanded they work long hours, with calls before dawn and late at night. Since taking up the role as head of people and purpose in Europe, Ms Agarwal has led the firm’s drive on diversity and inclusion, including campaigns on parental leave, mental wellbeing and ethnic and gender equality.”

KPMG Sells Its U.K. Restructuring Unit to HIG Europe, Partners [Bloomberg] KPMG is the latest among the U.K. Big Four accountancy firms to cede part of its consulting operations, following pressure from the regulator to split them from auditing within three years. Last month, Deloitte U.K. sold its restructuring services business to Teneo, a company owned by CVC Capital.

PwC and EY: Our restructuring arms are not for sale [City A.M.] Big Four firms PwC and EY have insisted they have no plans to follow in the footsteps of rivals KPMG and Deloitte and sell the restructuring units of their businesses.

GameStop Isn’t the Only Urgent Issue Facing the SEC [Project On Government Oversight] As Gary Gensler appears before the Senate on Tuesday for his confirmation hearing to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, senators may be tempted to zero in on the hot news topics of the day, like GameStop, Robinhood, and short selling, but they should not ignore the other urgent issues facing the SEC right now. In particular, the Senate should ask Gensler about his plans for oversight of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).

KPMG, PwC Rebuffed on Requests to Fix Narrow Accounting Issues [Bloomberg Tax] U.S. accounting rulemakers on Wednesday rejected requests from KPMG LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to clarify two separate, narrow areas of accounting. Members of the Financial Accounting Standards Board said the questions from the Big Four firms weren’t pervasive enough in practice to warrant changes to the accounting standards. One of the requests, from KPMG, may cause some accounting headaches, but regulators told FASB that the confusion didn’t ultimately slow down business transactions, said FASB Vice Chairman James Kroeker.

House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump’s accounting firm [The Hill] The House Oversight and Reform Committee has reissued a subpoena for former President Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, according to a court filing released Tuesday. House counsel Doug Letter said in the filing that the subpoena was issued Thursday. The subpoena is the latest effort by congressional investigators to get their hands on Trump’s financial records.

Charlotte enters $46,500 contract to help build teamwork among council [WBTV] EY is leading a kumbaya circle in Charlotte: “A contract, obtained through a public record request, reveals the city entered into an agreement with a consulting company to provide advice on how councilmembers could operate more efficiently together. In November the city signed a contract with Ernst and Young, known as EY, titled ‘High-Performing Charlotte City Council.’ The contract specifies EY was to conduct interviews with councilmembers and ultimately help council communicate more effectively and embrace each other’s perspectives.”

IRS paid $3 billion in interest to taxpayers because of late refunds [CBS News] The Internal Revenue Service expects taxpayers to pay their taxes on time — and it also holds itself accountable for sending out late tax refunds. Last year, the agency sent out $3 billion in interest to taxpayers whose refunds were delayed, up 50% from the prior year.