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Friday Footnotes: KPMG Gets a Reprieve; PwC’s Crypto Bet; Burned-Out CPA Chills Out | 1.10.20

A Houston CPA felt a slow-burning burnout, so she traded skyscrapers for sled dogs [Houston Chronicle] It was time for Anastasia Gill to leave Houston. As a certified public accountant for two major accounting firms since her late-20s, she felt that creeping, desperate feeling of burnout settling in. “Both were really stressful jobs. I would eat junk and had no time to exercise. I’d work from 8 a.m. to God knows when,” Gill, 33, said. “I was getting burned out anyway and thinking of taking six months off and doing something else.” So, she let her life go to the dogs — literally. Since Oct. 20, Gill has been in Cook County, Minn., working with sled dogs and mushers to prepare for the 2020 mushing season.

PwC Switzerland hires team behind smart contract auditing startup [Yahoo Finance] The team behind blockchain startup ChainSecurity has joined PwC Switzerland as the professional services firm looks to offer smart contract auditing. Based in Zurich, ChainSecurity was founded in 2017 as a spin-off of ETH Zurich, a research lab that focuses on blockchain security. The firm offers technical audits for smart contracts and helps clients identify weak points in their projects. According to PwC’s Jan. 5 press release, ChainSecurity has worked with over 75 blockchain companies, exchanges, and banks. Its partnership with PwC will likely allow the firm to scale its operation in Europe.

IRS agent sentenced to 7 to 8 years for raping intern in Boston in 2017 [Boston Globe] An Internal Revenue Service agent was sentenced to seven to eight years in prison Tuesday for raping a 21-year-old college intern after handcuffing her and shoving his gun in her mouth inside his government-issued car.

Ernst & Young Doubles Down On Its Bet With Ethereum [Forbes] Ernst & Young’s advocacy of public blockchain network infrastructure, as opposed to permissioned and private networks (referred to as private networks going forward, for brevity), is notable given that the firm’s industry peers have either remained neutral on the public vs. private network debate or have voiced skepticism on the viability of public networks. Whereas Ernst & Young, it seems, is in a league of its own by going all out on public blockchain technology.

Deloitte’s $137 Million Cybersecurity Award Withstands Challenge [Bloomberg Law] Deloitte Consulting LLP will provide information technology services under a $137 million blanket purchase agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor, the GAO said. Protester 22nd Century Technologies Inc., which submitted a $112 million bid, couldn’t show that the department conducted an unreasonable best-value tradeoff analysis before choosing Deloitte’s higher-rated, higher-priced bid, the Government Accountability Office said.

Decision on KPMG’s audit of Carillion delayed [Financial Times] The Financial Reporting Council said it would miss a self-imposed deadline to complete its probe into audit work carried out by KPMG, which was initially due this month. It will instead make a decision on whether to bring disciplinary proceedings against KPMG, which could include a hefty fine, this summer. “The scale and complexity of this case is exceptional, with a huge volume of documents and information that has had to be reviewed and analysed,” the FRC said in an update on Friday.

U.S. SEC proposes governance changes for stock market data feeds [Reuters] The SEC voted to issue for public comment a staff proposal to create new rules governing public data feeds that it said would also improve transparency and address inefficiencies in the collection and dissemination of the data. The proposal would update rules put in place in 2005 that put exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in charge of the governance and operation of three public data feeds showing current best prices and last trades for stocks.