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December 1, 2022

KPMG Was Never Out of the Consulting Business, FYI

As we all know, the period of time circa 2001-2002 were not the best of times for the ol' auditing firms. Accounting scandals were aplenty, Arthur Andersen went down for the dirt nap and Heineken even got a holiday commercial out of it.

And of course, we got Sarbanes-Oxley. A big sticking point from those heady times was that the auditing firms were compromising their independence by virtue of all the money they raked in from consulting gigs. SOx was supposed to end all that…or, well, at least most of it. And most of the data reflects that. 

But more anecdotally, KPMG's Philly Office Managing Partner Jerry Maginnis told the Philadelphia Business Journal that, really, his firm didn't waste any time getting back into consulting:

[Maginnis] said the firm never really got out of the consulting business. It spun out its consulting practice in 2001 as part of an IPO and that group was rebranded BearingPoint. But he said KPMG almost immediately began to get back into the consulting world, though he said it has grown significantly over the past three or four years.

Oh, sure. Social unrest aimed at auditing firms may have been at an all time high and new regulations may have slowed them down a bit, but things weren't so dire that they couldn't spin off a division worth billions, circumvent the law and pick right up where they left off. 

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