September 25, 2020

Friday Footnotes: EY Gets Fired, Maybe Sued; Partners Will Work For … Work; A Ronatunity | 9.4.20

Commerz, Deutsche Money Management Arm Fire Auditor In Case They Decide To Sue It [Dealbreaker] Commerzbank is on the lookout for a new auditor. Deutsche Bank’s asset management business, having already chosen one, has changed its mind. The loser in both cases is Ernst & Young, which has found itself with a bit of egg on its face thanks to its role auditing Wirecard, the German fintech with the missing/invented $2 billion, missing executives, arrested executives and potential money laundering scandal—something Commerz is already plenty familiar with.

Deloitte’s son-of-myGov platform build price jumps another $5 million [iTnews] The Digital Transformation Agency’s contract with Deloitte for the beta build of the government’s new Facebook-inspired digital service platform has climbed for the third time in six months. The value of the six-month deal for ‘horizon one’ of the government’s new digital experience platform (GOVDXP) jumped for the first time since June on Thursday, increasing from $23 million to $28.1 million.

Botham Jean Business Scholarship recipients announced [KAIT] PwC started the scholarship fund with a $50,000 gift with personal contributions from PwC partners and staff and the PwC Matching Gift Program has grown to more than $600,000, as of June 1.

Career options narrow for ex-partners of Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC [Financial Review] Partners considering the traditional post big-four career option of becoming a corporate director will find it tough going as boards seek younger and more diverse candidates, according to a veteran recruiter. The days when a retired accounting partner could quickly step into a corporate board role are long gone, said John Igoe, the founder of professional services executive search firm Wentworth Hill. “People want to keep working but many of the traditional paths don’t exist any more, or are highly competitive,” he said.

The SALT tax deduction is a handout to the rich. It should be eliminated not expanded [Brookings] The politics of tax policy can be as hard to understand as the tax system itself. The latest case in point is the current push from Democrats to lift the cap on the federal tax deduction for state and local taxes (SALT)—which would be a massive tax cut for the rich.

Finance leaders search for opportunities as outbreak drags on [Journal of Accountancy] Finance leaders grew somewhat more optimistic about the U.S. economy as they adapted to logistical challenges and tried to identify new opportunities amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the third-quarter Business & Industry Economic Outlook Survey released Thursday by the AICPA.

Justice Department Gets New Acting Fraud Section Chief [WSJ] Several top officials leading the Justice Department’s white-collar enforcement efforts are taking on new roles following the departure of a senior official in the department’s criminal division. Robert Zink, chief of the Justice Department’s fraud section, has been promoted to serve as acting deputy assistant attorney general of the department’s criminal division, where he will oversee its fraud and appellate sections, a spokesman confirmed Thursday.

Robinhood reportedly facing SEC probe for selling to high-speed traders [Engadget] It probably doesn’t help Robinhood’s case that it gets a huge part of its revenue from payments made by the high-speed trading firms it works with. Half of its total revenue in 2018 came from the practice. And when it finally disclosed the revenue source on its website that year, co-founder Vladimir Tenev published a post revealing that those payments help Robinhood “cover the costs of operating [its] business and [allow it] to offer commission-free trading.” The company continues to make big money from the practice and had already made (PDF) $271 million from it in the first half of 2020.

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