— Life at Deloitte (@lifeatdeloitte) May 11, 2015
- Caleb Newquist
- November 22, 2011
You don’t have to be Bob Woodward to recognize the formulaic nature of the CEO interview. Reporter goes to CEO’s office, asks loaded questions about the issues of the day, describes the view from the office, elaborates on the person’s exercise regimen, humble (or not so humble) beginnings, people they admire, yada yada yada. Cripes, reading these things makes you want to shave with broken glass but hey! editors get in ruts just li we’re stuck with the puff. By extension, interviews with Big 4 CEOs are worse because they typically occur with General Counsel sitting in the next room zapping their genitals every time a question is asked that necessitates “I can’t comment on that.”
Today’s example comes courtesy of Reuters who interviewed Deloitte’s Joe Echevarria. What prompted this little chat was the PCAOB’s release of Part II of the firm’s 2008 inspection report. It wasn’t exactly a flattering portrayal of a firm who, when asked to brush up on their audit skills, basically told the PCAOB to drop dead.
Accordingly, the firm is running damage control and that involves getting Joe E. in front of some friendly reporters (read: not Jon Weil or Francine McKenna).
Recently faulted by the main U.S. auditor watchdog, Deloitte has told its professionals that skepticism should be the No. 1 focus during the upcoming auditing season for annual financial reports, CEO Joe Echevarria said.
“I know there’s a heightened awareness about professional skepticism in the firm,” he said. “It’s going to take a while for heightened awareness to manifest itself in actions and documentation because humans are involved here.”
The natural follow-up question here would be, “But Mr. Echevarria, the PCAOB asked you to fix things in 2008-2009, are you saying that you’re now just ‘manifesting itself in actions’?” but that brings out the zapper. That’s okay, we’re all used to it. You know what else we’re used to? Talking about the “expectations gap”:
There is an “expectations gap” between what auditors do and what the public expects, but auditors do have an obligation to detect and report material fraud, Echevarria said.
Echevarria is also asked about auditor rotation, IFRS and (for some odd reason) its settlement over the Adelphia fraud in 2005. Why not ask about the swinging insider trading scandal? What about Taylor, Bean & Whitaker? What about associates sneaking bloggers into the downtown W? WHAT ABOUT THIS FAUX TARA REID MARRIAGE? People want these all-important questions on the record and yet it never happens. Sigh.
By the way since it’s obvious that some of you care about these details, Joe is from the Bronx and his office is in Midtown.
Deloitte pressing for more skeptical audits (God, the headline is even awful) [Reuters]
- Caleb Newquist
- January 21, 2011
Next up on Fortune’s “You wish you worked here” list, comes the newest future resident of 30 Rockefeller Center. A slight improvement for the Green Dot this year, as the firm jumped from 70 to 63. Let’s get right to it.
Stats of note:
• New Jobs (1 year): -552
• % Job Growth (1 year): -1%
• % Voluntary Turnover: 11%
• No. of Job Openings at 1/13/2010: 3,511
• Most common salaried job: Senior/Senior Consultant – $81,622
• % Minorities: 33%
• % Women: 43%
Compared to last year, new jobs, job growth, number of jobs (last year it was 11k), average salary and percentage of women are all down. Turnover ticked slightly up as did % of minorities. So while Deloitte manages to be the top Big 4 firm in the ranking, we’re guessing that the brass is a little miffed by the wide margin between themselves and P&M. Still no tweet from Jim Quigley on this but he seems a little distracted with Davos to be notice a seemingly permanent spot on the F100BCTWF, “Oh, gosh. That old thing? That’s great, just change the number and dates on the press release. And try to get Salzberg to say something a little less cliché.”
Too late, Jim.
- Caleb Newquist
- August 21, 2010
Joking, joking, joking. Actually it’s the American Accounting Association Robert M. Trueblood Seminars for Professors and it sounds as though it’s a pretty important little get-together.
Launched in 1966 and sponsored by the AAA, the Trueblood Seminars is a two and one-half day session where attendees share and examine complex accounting and auditing case studies. The program’s objective is to offer professors some perspective on present day accounting issues from the viewpoint of the auditors and preparers of financial statements. Each seminar features multiple case discussions led by Deloitte & Touche LLP partners, an open forum discussion on professional issues and developments in practice, as well as an update on the standard-setting activities of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). More than 2,000 professors have attended the Seminars since the program’s inception.
As long as Barry Salzberg isn’t having a free-wheeling discussion about diversity, then we’re all for it.