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Monday Morning Accounting News Brief: PwC Picks a Global Chair; Guy Cusses Out KPMG | 10.30.23

dog Halloween ghost costume

Happy spoooooky Monday, here’s some news.

Hot off the presses (figuratively). FT reports PwC has chosen a global chair to replace Bob Moritz.

PwC has picked the head of its international advisory business, Mohamed Kande, to be its next chair, putting the Big Four accounting firm in the hands of a consulting partner.

Kande’s selection by PwC’s global board was revealed to the firm’s partners on Monday, according to people familiar with the internal message. It will need to be ratified by member firms in individual countries in the coming weeks, after which Kande would take over from current chair Bob Moritz next June.

Current PwC US CEO and notorious overworker Tim Ryan was considered a favorite to step into BoMo’s shoes however he decided instead to dip out next June instead.

Here’s a headline from Daily Mail that sounds like fun: Warren Mundine: I’m a proud Aboriginal man who asked a Big Four accounting firm to pay me to give a speech. Instead, KPMG leaked my private texts – but I stand by every furious word I said

Nyunggai Warren Mundine has doubled down after his foul-mouthed text messages to a top accounting firm were leaked.

The anti-Voice advocate on Monday told Daily Mail Australia he had been approached by KPMG to present the No case to the board and executive team in late 2022.

Mr Mundine asked the multibillion-dollar firm for a $10,000 speaking fee, which was rejected.

Eventually, the former MP’s fee was negotiated down to $5,000 after he asked a staff member involved in the negotiations: ‘Don’t you believe in paying blackfellas?’

But as the day approached, KPMG abruptly cancelled the speech – prompting a flurry of angry texts by Mr Mundine.

‘I’m a proud Aboriginal man,’ he wrote.

‘I have [had] a gutful of KPMG. I’m going to treat you c***s like you treated me!’

‘And for me to talk like this tells you how angry I am.’

screenshot of expletive-filled messages to KPMG from Warren Mundine

It’s my understanding that “cunt” is less offensive in Australia than it is here but who can say.

EY’s doing something creepy with AI:

The EY organization (EY) today announces the launch of a new and fully integrated marketing campaign entitled “The Face of the Future.” Through this campaign, EY promotes its recently launched unifying artificial intelligence (AI) platform,, highlighting the need to put humans at the center of the AI transformation to help deliver on the exponential value the technology provides.

To produce “The Face of the Future” the global organization enlisted more than 200 EY people from across the world. Each was photographed to create static images that were then animated against a moving face and speaking to a script using a proprietary AI model.

To highlight every individual’s facial architecture, a specially adapted one-shot StyleGAN was created. From there, a single professional voice recording was transformed using voice AI to develop an unlimited number of new voices that matched the film’s moving faces precisely. This process yielded an asset that would previously have been near impossible to deliver and saved hundreds of filming and editing hours.

Bloomberg Tax profiled CLA. A few things came up, like CEO Jen Leary talking PE:

With no new acquisitions on the horizon, Leary said she is focused on improving the value of the enterprise for the next generation of CLA owners. Partnering with private equity, as other firms have done, isn’t in the cards. “We don’t need outside capital,” she said.

And the talent shortage:

The firm is also committed to widening its recruitment pool to fill hard-to-staff accounting jobs along with back-office roles like payroll and human resources. A certification program to reskill workers with at least some college education to take on those roles is set to launch next year.

And the 150 hour rule:

Leary, who is based out of the firm’s Charlotte office, has been a major proponent of expanding pathways to accounting careers, and backs Minnesota legislation that would grant licenses to accountants who earn 120 college credit hours with an extra year of work experience—less than the currently required 150 hours.

She questioned the value of those extra college courses compared to time that could be spent on the job, working with clients alongside more experienced accountants.

“We’re going to do all we can to support people to become accountants,” she said. “To increase diversity in accounting should be a priority of every firm, of every leader. And if you look back at our progress over the last 20, 30 years, it’s pretty easy to say we haven’t done what we needed to do.”

Jen came out in support of an alternate pathway to CPA licensure in April.

Here’s a touching tribute to “epitome of integrity” Akintola Williams, Nigeria’s first chartered accountant. He passed away on September 11.

In the first few weeks at the firm of Akintola Williams & Co, I learnt the rubrics of the Accountancy profession, such as ‘casting’, ‘vouching’, ‘call over’, ‘verifying’, with the appropriate symbols to mark and show what you have done. Erasers must never be used: doing so would mean alteration of an accounting document. Mr Akintola Williams gave me a loan to pursue overseas correspondence course with the School of Accountancy in London, in preparation for the Association of Corporate and Certified Accountants examinations, and he would personally check the mock questions and answers returned by the school (I presume, this is partly to ensure that I kept up with my studies at the weekends)!

Mr Akintola Williams was compassionate and caring and he adopted a holistic approach to my apprenticeship (and other trainees), my professional development (learning and practice), the dress code for trainees – no court shoe allowed, put on only properly laced and well polished black shoes, always wear neat shirt and tie to work (thankfully a jacket was not required – because the new trainees could not afford it); when going to a client’s office, you must be punctual, polite and courteous to the staff.

After expressing a going concern doubt in Tupperware’s 2022 audit report, PwC has declined reappointment as auditor for this year. Tupperware noted there is not dispute between it and the firm.

Jackson City, MS auditors at the itty bitty Tann, Brown, & Russ Co. are getting really sick of chasing down invoices so now the council is going to withhold paychecks if they have to:

The Jackson City Council voted Tuesday to threaten to withhold the salaries of department heads if they didn’t produce the documents within 24 hours. Council President Aaron Banks said they got the documents during the council meeting.

Tann Brown & Russ handles the city’s internal auditing. Banks said the company has been asking for the invoices for months.

It’s more than $1.8 million they owe businesses who’ve performed services for the city.

India’s accounting regulator is investigating the EY member firm that audited five companies in billionaire Gautam Adani’s conglomerate. An investigation into S.R. Batliboi began a few weeks ago, said a source who wasn’t supposed to be talking to the media.

S.R. Batliboi currently audits three listed Adani group firms — Adani Power, Adani Green Energy, and Adani Wilmar — as well as recently acquired cement companies ACC and Ambuja Cements.

“The inquiry is a part of the investigation going on regarding Adani companies and all auditors who have audited Adani companies will go through the same process,” the source said, without sharing further details.

Earlier Adani Group coverage:

If You Let 23-Year-Olds Sign Off on Audits, You’re Gonna Have a Bad Time

That’s enough news for now, there’s not a ton going on. An early Happy Halloween to all who celebrate, may your week be all treats, no tricks. If you see something interesting you think we should cover, do reach out. You are also encouraged to submit a letter to the editor if you feel compelled to opine on a subject you’ve seen discussed here or any issue impacting the accounting profession really. Lastly, we do accept guest posts, please review Going Concern guest post guidelines prior to submission.

Be good.