Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Monday Morning Accounting News Brief: Missing KPMG Partner’s Vehicle Found; A Speaker Makes Deloitters Uncomfortable | 10.23.23

silver alarm clock with cat on it sitting on rocks

Hey, it’s Monday. So here’s a few things going on in our corner of the world.

Kelly and Marshall Goldsmith lie about why the best performers leave accounting firms in a Chief Executive article about the right way to lay people off:

Go out of your way to communicate to your top performers that you value their work and want to keep them. A few years ago, we reviewed research from one of the world’s leading accounting firms. They conducted interviews with top performers who were leaving the firm. What did they discover? Over half of the best people who left had no idea that the company thought they were important or even that the company wanted them to keep working there! They did not leave because they wanted more money; they just wanted to know that the company cared about them.

A KPMG partner in Australia has been missing since early Saturday morning, his 2015 Porsche Cayenne was found on Sunday:

43-year-old David Ibels, missing KPMG Australia partner

A KPMG spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia that some of his colleagues are taking part in the search.’We are in close contact with and are providing support for his family during this difficult time of uncertainty,’ they said.

‘Many of our people are participating in the police search.

‘We are all hopeful that David is located shortly and is safe and well, and we especially send our thoughts to his family.’

Over the past three years, Mr Ibels was a key figure in the development of KPMG Australia’s $800million Brisbane headquarters at Heritage Lanes, in the city’s CBD.

The building, developed by property giant Mirvac, is powered by renewable electricity and has net zero carbon emissions.

Just one month ago, Mr Ibels was proudly posting about the achievement on LinkedIn.


Sad update (10.24.23): it was reported later Monday that Mr. Ibels’ body was found in a Queensland national park.

A controversial author and professor is scheduled to give a talk to Deloitters across the pond on Halloween and people aren’t happy. The Telegraph:

Deloitte staff have expressed concern after the company invited a professor who described Winston Churchill as a white supremacist to give a talk about identity to employees.

Professor Kehinde Andrews, whose latest book is entitled The Psychosis of Whiteness, is set to give a talk to Deloitte staff on 31 October about “identity and authenticity and black excellence” as a part of a series of lectures the City consultancy firm hosted for black history month.

Mr Andrews, a professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University, described Winston Churchill as the “perfect embodiment of white supremacy” and the British Empire as “far worse than the Nazis” at an event in Cambridge in 2021. In the same year, discussing Queen Elizabeth II, he said on Good Morning Britain: “The Queen is probably the number one symbol of white supremacy in the entire world.”

A Deloitte source told The Telegraph: “My colleagues and I find Deloitte’s association with Andrews, a prolific anti-white race activist, highly concerning and uncomfortable.”

“He recently published a book called ‘The Psychosis of Whiteness’, in which he implies that whiteness, and therefore white people, are mentally ill by nature.”

“His views are unpleasant and divisive, and he should not be anywhere near an important British company like Deloitte.”

Reaction to the Telegraph article:

Deloitte also makes an appearance in this FT piece: Business in a bind over Israel-Gaza messaging:

Meanwhile, global accounting firm Deloitte posted a LinkedIn message, signed by the leaders of its Israeli business, expressing “support for our fellow citizens on the home front and those on the front lines”. Dozens of employees from elsewhere in the region sought to disassociate themselves. Mutasem Dajani, chief executive of Deloitte Middle East, then condemned “needless human suffering” and highlighted support of humanitarian efforts for Palestinians.

Some commentators stressed that companies needed to be consistent — if they have made a statement on Ukraine, they should do so for Israel and Palestine, for example.

[DEI vet Bo Young] Lee disagrees. “The unfortunate thing about our world now is that something is happening every single day. This idea of consistency is fundamentally flawed . . . a company would be making a statement every single day. Make a statement when it impacts your business, you have something to say about it and you can have a meaningful impact.”

Checking in on what EY’s up to in the Philippines:

A member unit of the global network of multinational professional services firm Ernst and Young (EY) has opened a new office in the Philippines, expanding its footprint here with a second branch located in Cebu City.

Global Delivery Services (EY-GDS) said the opening of its Cebu center last Oct. 11 represented a significant scaling up of operations in the Philippines, starting with 25 individuals in 2015 and which has since grown to over 5,000 this year.

“The Philippines is a vital component of our growth strategy, and we are delighted to broaden our footprint in the country by building teams (of) extraordinary talents in and around Cebu,” EY-GDS global operations leader Mukul Pachisia said in a statement.

KPMG gets a mention in this article about Ireland’s national lottery hitting a snag on Saturday:

The live feed was suspended mid-broadcast due to the fact that the Lotto Plus 1 draw machine began selecting balls earlier than the sequence should have started.

The operator said that the recording of the draw continued but the live TV broadcast was halted as a result. In a statement, the National Lottery that the issue did not affect the integrity of the draw.

“The National Lottery would like to inform its players that there was a minor technical issue with tonight’s Lotto draw. However, there is no issue with either the integrity of the draw or the numbers drawn,” the statement reads.

As is standard procedure, when a technical event occurs, the recording of the draw continues but the live tv broadcast is halted.

“This is in order to protect the integrity of the draw and is in line with our approved game rules and processes, all of which are and were independently observed by KPMG.”

PwC Australia’s Kristin Stubbins, who has had to say “I’m sorry” nonstop since she became acting CEO in May, is leaving the firm. No one can blame her.

Ms Stubbins held the acting CEO position for three months, and in that time she had to repeatedly apologise for the scandal, move on a number of partners, commission reports into what went wrong and organise the fire sale of the firm’s public sector consulting arm.

In June, it was announced that she would be replaced by UK partner Kevin Burrowes, who was parachuted into the CEO role after PwC global took effective control of the local firm in response to the scandal.

Ms Stubbins will leave at the end of January. She is the firm’s most senior auditor, a former managing partner of its all-important assurance division and the signing partner of the flagship Macquarie Bank audit.

Marco Perez, who used to be accounting manager at a storage and modular space company and read other people’s emails as a fun hobby, is pleading guilty to SEC charges of insider trading. Current article from Pasadena Now, September 27 SEC complaint.

He also performed assignments for the company’s chairman, including printing out the chairman’s emails.

As a result, Perez had access to material information belonging to General Finance, including offers to buy the company, before the information was released to the investing public, the DOJ said.

In violation of his fiduciary duties to General Finance and its shareholders, and in violation of company policy against insider trading, in March and April of 2021, Perez purchased a total of 66,585 shares of General Finance stock that he was later able to sell for a total of $1.26 million, according to prosecutors.

Perez purchased the General Finance stock after reading confidential emails sent to the company’s chairman in early 2021 that concerned the pending sale of General Finance for a price in the range of $19 to $20 per share. Perez paid prices between $10 and $12 for the 66,585 shares he bought, the DOJ stated.

Gibson Dunn covers the following topics in their Q3 update for accounting firms. Swing on over to peruse the PDF if any of them are of interest.

  • PCAOB Continues Aggressive Standard-Setting Activity
  • PCAOB Staff Report Finds 40 Percent of Audits Have Part I.A Deficiencies
  • SEC Chief Accountant Issues Statements on Crypto Assurance Work and Risk Assessment
  • Second Circuit Decertifies Investor Class in Long-Running Dispute
  • UK Supreme Court Strikes Down Litigation Funding
  • NYSE and Nasdaq Listing Standards on Clawbacks Take Effect
  • New York DFS Proposes Second Amendment to Cybersecurity Regulation
  • California Broadens Restrictions on Employee Non-Competes
  • California Passes Legislation Establishing Climate-Related Reporting Requirements

Alright that’s enough of that. Be well and give me a shout if you see anything interesting (“interesting” is open to interpretation given our niche, feel free to take generous liberties with the definition).