BDO Poaches a Prominent Healthcare Consultant From PwC and Issues a Press Release, Part I
Oh, how we love a good poaching expedition. Especially when a firm feels so good about their prize that they get the PR team involved. BDO USA, LLP, one of the nation’s leading professional services organizations, announced the expansion of the firm’s Healthcare Industry consulting capabilities with the addition of Patrick D. Pilch as a Managing […]
Ernst & Young Admits That Some of Its Partners Were Running a Tax Shelter Factory
What a fine thing for the Manhattan U.S. Attorney to announce on a Friday afternoon that it had reached at settlement with Ernst & Young over its tax sheltering activities: Ernst & Young LLP will pay $123 million to settle a U.S. tax-fraud probe as part of a non- prosecution agreement, according to a statement […]
ICYMI: PwC and BDO Both Passed Their AICPA Peer Reviews Just Fine
Remember how Deloitte's AICPA Peer Review finding of "pass with deficiency" was one of the lowliest of low points for the year in auditing? Sure you do. At the time, we learned from the AICPA's James Brackens that from 2008 to 2010, only 8% of the audit firms that participated in the peer review had […]
BDO Keeps Pace with Rival Audit Firms in Terrible PCAOB Inspection Reports
For whatever reason, BDO was excluded in the last-minute lump of coal the PCAOB delivered to Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and Grant Thornton right before Christmas, but that doesn't mean their inspection report wasn't in the same class of quality. The Board inspected audits at 16 of BDO's 35 offices, inspecting 23 audits with 9 […]
SEC, China Will Probably Compromise Over Big 4 Chinese Affiliates Someday, Says Guy
The SEC's move against the Big 4's Chinese affiliates on Monday has people all worked up. On the one hand, yes, if the SEC were to delist a lot of Chinese companies that would make a lot of people sad. Also, if fewer Chinese companies were to consider accessing U.S. markets because they aren't so […]
SEC Finally Gets Around to Losing Patience with the Big 4’s Chinese Firms
China has been a thorny issue with the SEC and the PCAOB over the last couple of years. You see, there's been some concern that some Chinese companies have accessed U.S. markets through dubious means and then provided financial reporting and disclosures that weren't accurate in material respects. Audit firms charged with providing an opinion […]
Auditor Musical Chairs: 99¢ Only Stores Splurges on Ernst & Young, Dumps BDO
With a business name like "99¢ Only Stores," no one would blame you if you assumed the company and would try to pinch some pennies on their auditor. It's a commodity service that is just asking to be squeezed, after all. However, sometimes as a public company, you'd like a big name brand on your […]
Maybe If Non-Big 4 Firms Just Worked a Little Harder…
For some time now, observers have voiced concern about the relative lack of choice when it comes to large audit firms. Yes, they are all fine organizations with plenty of smart and capable people but some companies prefer to have a few more options. They're not asking for a Vegas buffet or anything, but, you […]
Recruiting Season: Looking for a Firm with “Longevity”; The Big 4 Toss-up; Opportunities Missed
Welcome to Rock the Recruitment Season. We'll be winding up the 2012 series very soon so if you still have a question about recruiting season, email us at [email protected] with "Recruiting Season Questions" in the subject line. The recruitment season questions have slowed to a trickle, so you best get them in while you can, […]
Another Small Accounting Firm Gets to Know BDO
Two weeks after Argy, Wiltse & Robinson climbed aboard Captain Jack's ship, BDO has found a new firm to satisfy its insatiable appetite for small firms. The latest addition is Philadelphia's Asher & Co. and the firm's 100+ partners and employees will join up with Berson & Co. on November 1. Hopefully AWR won't mind that […]
Recruiting Season: Going Concern’s Guide to the Cultures of the Big 4 and Other Public Accounting Firms
Welcome to Tuesdays with More Anxious Accounting Recruits. Have a question about recruiting season? Email [email protected] with "Recruiting Season Questions" in the subject line. Just a friendly reminder – if you have received an offer from a public accounting firm, by all means, share your excitement with us. We've received a fair amount so far, […]
A Little More Shakin’ Goin’ On at BDO
As BDO prepares for a Jack Weisbaum-less existence, there are some final pieces that need put in place. With Wayne Berson becoming CEO, his position as "presiding board member" was up for grabs and Matthew Becker grabbed. In addition to Mr. Becker, Scott Guertin (Boston/Tax) and Joe Johnson (Orange County/Assurance) will join the board for […]
BDO and Argy, Wiltse & Robinson Are Now in a Relationship
Effective November 1, AWR will succumb to the charms of the BDO after 20 years of blissful solitude. The DC-area firm has three locations in McLean, Virginia ,Bethesda, Maryland and Fort Lauderdale, Florida and BDO CEO Wayne Berson will let 26 more partners squeeze in. [BDO via WBJ]
Call for Submissions: Send Us The Worst Accounting Firm Recruiting Brochures You’ve Seen
Most of your offers are signed and many of you are ready to start at your new firms this fall but surely you've got some horrible recruiting brochures lying around that you'd love to show off. You know the ones I'm talking about; the smiling auditor hanging out in the jungles of Costa Rica, the […]
Hey Look, BDO Had a Pretty Decent Year
Jack Weisbaum's final year as the most interesting accounting CEO in the world will go down in the book as a good one. The firm announced $618 million in revenues for fiscal year 2012. That's an increase of 8%. Each line of business saw increases with consulting coming in 36% higher than last year, tax […]
Promotion Watch ’12: BDO Admits 15 New Partners
Now that everyone's time has been entered and accounted for, the TPTB at BDO figured it was appropriate to recognize the men (13) and women (2) who make up the final new partner class under Jack Weisbaum: “I am very proud to welcome each of these very deserving individuals to our partnership,” said Jack Weisbaum, CEO […]
Fiscal New Year’s Eve Fun: How To Handle Last Minute Time Entry Requests
Let no one say nothing good ever comes out of BDO. From the tip box: Hey Going Concern, It's almost June 30, and you know what that means! Yep, BDO YE! That also means being bombarded with a million emails to enter all of our time. As a BDO lifer I don't know, but […]
There’s a Bit of Shake-up in the Works at BDO
Last week we heard some interesting news from a reliable source on a shakeup that will impact the regional and leadership structure of BDO. As you know, the next CEO of Bravo Delta Oscar will be Wayne Berson, the current head of assurance for the firm's Atlantic region. As the firm's CEO-elect, he is putting […]
Ex-BDO CEO Wins New Trial Because One of the Jurors Lied About Being a Drunk, Shoplifting Shellfish, Everything
Former BDO CEO and wolfpack leader Denis Field has won a new trial on charges of tax fraud thanks to a juror in his trial who lied about her alcoholism and, oh…pretty much everything: U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan today overturned the convictions, ruling that the presence of Catherine Conrad, who was Juror No. 1, […]
BDO Joins the Auditor Resignation Party
The firm has had about all the fun it can handle trying to audit Chaoda Modern Agriculture. In a statement Thursday, Chaoda said that in a letter on Apr. 26, BDO said that despite continuing with the audit for a prolonged period, it was not in a position to conclude. It said the move was […]
Grant Thornton Bailing Out BDO Down Under
Grant Thornton is officially picking up BDO's Victoria and New South Wales offices in Australia for $50 million, according to reports. [This] comes after BDO announced last month it had decided to terminate the BDO Victoria and New South Wales offices, citing “unreasonable risks”, following a strategic review of the business taken over the previous […]
Wayne Berson Will Be the Next CEO of BDO
It was a very quick turn around from the time we learned that the most interesting accounting firm CEO was retiring, to learning the slate of candidates to the announcement of the successor but here we are. Wayne Berson, BDO's Atlantic Assurance leader will be the new CEO effective November 1. “I am honored and […]
Going Concern March Madness 2012 Enters Round 2: No More Big 4
Today marks the day that you're pulling out brackets again that just serves as a reminder of how horrible you are at picking winners. Accordingly, we'll dive right into round two of Going Concern March Madness 2012: The Coolest Accounting Firm. Again this year we saw a bunch of upsets in round one with all […]
Who Will Be the Next CEO of BDO?
Last month we learned that Jack Weisbaum would be retiring at the end of his current term as BDO's CEO. It's been quite the run for Captain Jack, but eventually you knew that things wouldn't stay interesting forever. A tipster tells us that the process to replace J. Dubs will soon be under way: The […]
BDO Chief Technology Officer Asks Everyone To Give Up Their God-given Right to Stream NCAA Basketball Tournament Games at Work
A deckhand on Captain Jack's ship sent us a copy of an email that will either be heeded begrudgingly or completely ignored: From: [BDO Chief Technology Officer] To: [Everyone] Subject: March Madness… March Madness means many things to many people. Basketball, spring and snow in Michigan and APT & taxes here at BDO. With that […]
KPMG Sorta Making Up for Losing All Those Partners to PwC By Taking Some of Their Audit Clients
Accounting News Report, using data from Audit Analytics, puts out an Auditor Change Analysis every year and it usually finds its way into our inbox, however, because the analysis is a subscription-based publication (and a pricey one at that), reproducing the whole thing is usually not an option. This year we asked pretty please, and we got […]
Jack Weisbaum to Step Down as BDO CEO
One last thing before you're off to make bad decisions this weekend…Oh, right! You're probably working this weekend and you probably don't get to make any decisions about that. ANYWAY, Captain Jack Weisbaum, the most interesting accounting firm CEO in the world will not seek reelection, and will retire effective October 31, 2012 when his current […]
Ex-BDO Partner Didn’t Realize You Were Asking About *That* $49,350
Bryan N. Polozola simply misremembered that he took that exact amount of money from a old employer. Problem is, he misremembered with the SEC: Polozola was the subject of a 2005 NASD (now FINRA) proceeding alleging that he took $49,350 in funds from a former employer for his personal use. Polozola neither admitted nor denied […]
Exodus Watch ’11: BDO Tax Partners
Apparently a grip (a half dozen or so) of them have left the firm in the past two months, says a source familiar with the situation at BDO. At least three are supposedly now with PwC (none worthy of P. Dubs press releases) and another two are off to Deloitte in various markets. If you’ve recently jumped Captain Jack’s ship or know of more details for your office, get in touch.
BDO Knows the Alamo
The most interesting accounting firm CEO would like to welcome the gang at Carneiro, Chumney & Co. to the club. “The addition of the partners and other professionals formerly with Carneiro, Chumney & Co. provides BDO with a fantastic presence in the important San Antonio market. Combined with our existing practices in Austin, Dallas and Houston, Captain Jack said. With this move, all San Antonioa-area professional recruiters are officially on notice that your leads at Carneiro now have incentive to rat you out. [BDO]
BDO Anthem to FIU Includes Tone Deaf MCs, Bad Wigs
As you’ve probably noticed, a lot of videos come through these parts that are of various production quality with the legendary “In a JIT” widely accepted as the best effort to date. While TPTB probably don’t appreciate the creativity, it always seems worthwhile for us to promote the talents (or complete lack thereof) of those willing to put the time into a such an extensive project.
Today in CPA-inspired video is from none other than the most interesting firm in the world, BDO. The mission of this particular video was to serenade recruits from Florida International University. And seeing how it’s a firm-sponsored production, it’s clear the firm is behind it.
1. How did the casting director consciously go with the two guys in the office that are completely tone deaf?
2. Will FIU recruits even attend an office visit after this display?
3. “Running through FASBs like Drano.”
4. At 2:35 they are clearly reading the lyrics off the screen. Poor form, gents.
5. Couldn’t they get Captain Jack to throw them out of the office instead?
We will give them an ‘A’ for effort since BDO is typically pretty quiet but they’ve got a long way to go. Feel free to share your own critique below.
Comp Watch ’11: What Do You Know, BDO?
From the mailbag:
Comp adjustments are coming out this week/ next week can you start a thread?
As we’ve pointed out in the past, BDO is probably the quietest of the top tier firms. Rarely do we get news of hookers, out-of-control happy hours or milestone awards. Sure, we got under the skin of Jeremy Newman once but he has a blog. He was asking for it.
This omertà of sorts by the rank and file has been discussed amongst the GC team and we’ve come up with this: we’vegotnofuckingidea. Not that we haven’t had the opportunity to report on the consolidation of regions or $5 Starbucks cards but the tips are so few and far between that whenever something about BDO come in, it gets us all sort of excited.
But enough about us. If you’re at BDO and you’ve had your sit-down or you’re waiting and are hearing rumors of raise percentages OR you’re simply doubtful as to Jack Weisbaum’s status as most interesting accounting firm CEO in the world, please tell us below.
Analysis: If Your Accounting Firm Was a College Football Team
Pack up your white pants and seersucker suits – Labor Day has come and gone which means only one (actually important) thing: college football is back. You NFL loving freaks can have your Sundays of Hollywood-produced sport; I believe the good Lord created Sundays solely as a recovery day for college football fans. Well, for that and drunk brunches, of course.
It is no secret that good ol’ Caleb is a vehement Husker fan, he only reason he’s given me the green light to churn out a post comparing your respective accounting firms to the likes of fried-butter-eating college football fanatics.
I can only pray that my effort will inspire the semi-regular infusion of sport, accounting, and bantering commenters around here, so I give you the “Accounting Firms If They Were A College Football Program” top nine rankings. Grab your body paint and come along for the tailgate.
Team: Oklahoma Sooners
First Take: Both are always in title contention but seem to shit the bed come Pay Day. Deloitte raises are on par with the Sooners’ BCS bowl record under Coach Bob Stoops (2-8).
Keep it in the Family: During Hurricane Irene, Deloitte encouraged employees to bunk up together, obviously a practice long in use in Oklahoma.
Sputter, Sputter: Sooner alum Blake Griffin jumped over a KIA at last year’s NBA slam dunk contest. A certain Deloitte consultant also prefers a certain overused and washed out mode of transportation…
Team: Oregon Ducks
First Take: They’re in the news for legit (raises, hurry-up offense) and controversial (fireside chats, BCS infractions) more often than you’d like. Also, their team colors are atrocious.
Hotties Everywhere: PDubs has Ireland. The Ducks have these ladies.
Just Pick One Already: PwC doesn’t churn out new logo/uniform re-designs as often as the Ducks but both cause a stir when they do. Whether the changes for either team result in better winnings has yet to be seen.
Firm: Ernst & Young
Team: Ohio State Buckeyes
First Take: You hate going up against them, but even if they do win, you’re thankful you’re not affiliated with their alumni.
Compliance? What Compliance? Former coach Jim Tressell thought it best to let a tattoos-for-autographs program run its course. E&Y is apparently doing the same with this minor Sino-Forest sitch.
Questionable Mascots: The poisonous nuts of the Midwest are no match for the Black & Yellow guy.
Team: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
First Take: Still talking about that big win in 1983. An exodus of leadership. The general public has gone from loathing them to just feeling bad for them. Give it up, you’re no longer the powerhouse you (thought you) once were.
Johnny Be Good. The Chairman is also a proud ND alum. Need we say more?
Empty Promises: We’re going to win it all! We’re going to hire thousands!
Firm: Grant Thornton
Team: Northwestern Wildcats
First Take: As hard you they try to be tough, they’re still nerds dressed in purple.
Off-the-Mark Advertising: GT – the lack of aligned teeth took some bite out of your full-page WSJ ad. And Dan Persa for Heisman – really? Your mom for Heisman.
Firm: Rothstein Kass
Team: Boise State Broncos
First Take: First it was a feel-good story but their continued rise through the ranks is pissing off the traditionalists.
The-Anybody-But-The-Other-Guy- Vote: Whether it was Boise’s ridiculously fantastic win over Oklahoma years ago in the Fiesta Bowl or RK’s dominance in the Going Concern March Madness pool, oftentimes their fan support stemmed from us just hating their competition more.
Team: Missouri Tigers
Only Take: You’re supposed to be on this list; we know you belong on this list; we don’t know what you’ve done to deserve being on this list.
Team: Penn State Nittany Lions
First Take: Your parents would have been pleased if you went there but better options awaited you.
Race to the Retirement Home: JoePa is 84 and coaching from the press box. Rumor has it Jack Weisbaum calls the shots from his personal tanning bed.
Firm: CBIZ/Mayer Hoffman McCann
Team: University Buffalo Bulls
Only Take: You think you’re a big deal, but really everyone uses you as an exhibition punching bag.
How’d we do? What team best parodies your firm? Share it in the comments below.
Jeremy Newman’s Blogging Career Is Coming to End
Related: he’s also stepping down as BDO International’s CEO on September 30:
[After] 33 years in total with BDO UK and BDO International, I will be stepping down on 30 September 2011.
I have had a fantastic career and have been privileged to lead BDO UK for 7 years and BDO International for the last 3 years. I have had some great colleagues, worked with some brilliant people and, in my earlier career, been involved with some terrific clients.
Martin van Roekel, the firm’s Managing Partner in the Netherlands, will officially be the new International Chief on October 1.
Newman says “it is time for a change,” but he “[doesn’t] know what I will do but after 33 years in this business, I am looking forward to seeking new opportunities outside the accounting profession.” He is promising to keep blogging through September, so hopefully he’s still working on his delicate sensibilities.
Moving On [CEO Insights]
One Might Get the Idea That Glen Rose Petroleum Corp. Fired Its Auditor in Favor of a Firm That’s Less Likely to Issue a Going Concern Opinion
It’s not entirely clear why Jonathon P. Reuben’s services are no longer needed but you could easily conclude that the GCO wasn’t appreciated.
On June 20, 2011, the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of Glen Rose Petroleum Corporation (the “Company”) approved the termination of services of Jonathon P. Reuben CPA, An Accountancy Corporation (“JPR”), effective immediately.
JPR was the independent registered public accounting firm for the Company for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2010 and 2009. The reports of JPR on the Company’s financial statements for the years ended March 31, 2010 and 2009 did not contain an adverse opinion or disclaimer of opinion, and such reports were not qualified or modified as to uncertainty, audit scope, or accounting principle, except that the reports of JPR on the Company’s consolidated financial statements as of and for the years ended March 31, 2010 and 2009 contained an explanatory paragraph which noted that there was substantial doubt as to the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern due to a deficit in working capital and incurring significant losses.
BDO will take it from here. Perhaps a nice welcome to the partnership gift for one of the newbies?
8-K [SEC via Citybizlist]
Promotion Watch ’11: BDO Admits 13 New Partners
Jack Weisbaum is letting a baker’s dozen join the club, although with the new national heads recently announced, there’s an new extra layer between the newbies and the most interesting accounting CEO in the world.
Here are the lucky 13:
John Barkmeyer (Orange County – Assurance), Doug Bekker (Grand Rapids – Tax), Elliott Binder (San Jose – Tax), Sofia Blair (New York – – Assurance) and Mike Campbell (San Francisco – Tax), Demetrio Frangiskatos (New York – Assurance), Nania Gopal (Orange County – National Assurance Office), Mike Hottel (Washington, DC – Assurance), Joel Mitchell (Chicago – Tax), Stathis Poulos (Raleigh – Assurance), Jennifer Quaglino (Woodbridge – Tax), Chris Tylka (Chicago – Assurance) and Andy Zaleski (Detroit – Tax).
Congratulations and stay thirsty, new partners.
BDO Slims Down to Four Regions, Names New National Heads of Assurance and Tax
Jay Duke will head up the assurance practice while Doug Sirotta will lead tax. They’ll both report to the most interesting CEO in the world.
The business line regional heads (chart below), who formerly reported to Jack Weisbaum, will now report report to Duke and Sirotta. Speaking of those regions, the Southeast Region (Florida, Georgia) will merge into the Atlantic and the Southwest (Texas and Tennessee) will join the Central. It all goes down on July 1. Messrs. Duke and Sirotta will give up their seats on the BDO Board of Directors to take their new national roles (demotion?).
SOMEWHAT RELATED: Christopher Tower, the head of assurance in the West, was one of the brainchildren behind the “Tattle on a Headhunter, Win a $5 Starbucks Card” idea. [BDO]
|Region||Assurance RBLL||Tax RBLL|
|Northeast||Alan Selitti||Robert Pedersen|
|Atlantic||Wayne Berson||Wayne Corini|
|Central||Steve Ferrara||Paul Heiselmann|
|West||Christopher Tower||Rocky Cummings|
BDO Rewarding Employees for Tattling on Headhunters with $5 Starbucks Cards
For whatever reason, we don’t hear a lot of gossip out of BDO. Perhaps it’s because the entire firm is too captivated by the most interesting accounting firm CEO in the world, Jack Weisbaum, and are rendered loyal to a fault, thus choosing not to share the more sordid details of what happens inside B to the D to rtunate because we hear rumors that there are slew of partners who are not pleased with how things are going at firm but no one seems to want to talk. I’d encourage someone to speak up by emailing us.
But for now, we’ll take the opportunity to tell you about the efforts put forth by some inside the firm that were sensitive to the post-busy season onslaught of professional recruiters. As we all know, after people have worked their asses off for three to four months, some might feel unappreciated and opt to look for a new job. Recruiters are acutely aware of this and since it’s their job to fill positions for their clients, it only makes sense that they chase people that are looking for a change. And because professional recruiting is a competitive business, sometimes the emails can clog your inbox like offers for ED drugs. Some partners at BDO thought that in order to help people stave off this bumrush, they would invite employees to simply forward the emails and voicemails received and voilà! $5 of Starbucks burning in your pocket. Oh, and did I mention that there’s no limit for how many you submit? So if you’re a hot piece of public accounting talent, getting tons of calls, you can really clean up. Not only that, the person that submitted the most unique names of headhunters and agencies would receive a $250 AMEX gift card. Yes. Sound petty? Sound pathetic? Sound desperate? Read for yourself and decide.
I split up original screenshot sent to me so that it would be easier to read, hence the narrow break.
So you might expect such an attempt to bribe employees with corporate caffeination would fall flat. That tipping off firm leadership about PEOPLE THAT ARE SIMPLY DOING THEIR JOBS (and maybe change a few professional careers for the positive) would fall on deaf ears. Well, you would be wrong. DEAD WRONG. A follow-up on the firm’s internal website (next page) stated that over 200 submissions were made and one SA in Spokane submitted 15 alone.
That’s right, the effort was so successful that they are extending it through July 8th. Not really knowing what the protocols are, I don’t know what to tell the recruiters to expect in terms of retaliation from the TPTB at BDO but at least you’ll know that if you receive some kind of nasty correspondence, the person who gave you up was baited with the siren’s call that is the white and green coffee cup.
Investors in Allen Stanford’s (Alleged) Ponzi Scheme Sue BDO
Nearly two years after Texas financier Allen Stanford was indicted in an alleged massive Ponzi scheme, investors have just filed a $10 billion proposed class action suit against his auditor—the giant accounting firm BDO.
The suit—filed Thursday in federal court in Dallas—says BDO did not only aid and abet the $7 billion dollar fraud…it was a “co-conspirator.” “BDO’s cozy relationship with the Stanford Financial Group was steeped in conflicts of interest and required ongoing deceptive and duplicitous manipulation of the facts to allow the Ponzi scheme’s exponential growth for over a decade,” the complaint says. “The result of this deception is the loss of thousands of investors’ life savings.” [CNBC]
Doing It Wrong Twitter Case Study: The Sensitive CEO
Usually Adrienne handles these things but I seem to have started a beef, so here goes. Last Friday, I poked fun at BDO Global CEO Jeremy Newman, after he admitted that regulatory intervention in the UK would b up the audit market,” even though that’s the last thing he wants. “It is a shame it has taken so long and that it will require regulatory intervention,” he writes but then immediately qualifies the statement, “though it is not too late for my colleagues in the Big Four, and others, to act on a voluntary basis to create the environment necessary to allow real competition.”
This overt doublespeak caused me to open my post with this:
Perpetual fusspot and BDO Global CEO Jeremy Newman has not been shy about how unfair he thinks the dominance of the Big 4 is. The majority of his blog posts are tagged “Global Accounting” and several consist of bellyaching about Big 4 this and the Big 4 that. Of course, since the mainstream media has finally picked up on the idea that the concentration of auditors could be a bit of a problem […]
Newman wrote another blog post today starting with “I have never understood Twitter” but then did a Twitter search on himself, “not expecting to find anything” but he eventually landed on my blog post. He blockquoted the excerpt above (and linked!) and then wrote this:
Now call me sensitive, but I do not see myself as a “perpetual fusspot” or “bellyaching”- just someone raising a valid concern and one that has now been recognised by others, including the OFT but also the European Commission, MEPs, the UK’s House of Lords and many others, as being a potential issue. I also don’t think the dominance of the Big 4 is “unfair” – I think it is a risk and not in the public interest. And again this view is shared by others – including those who represent the public interest.
Clearly, Mr Sensitive had never graced this fine publication before but I read most of his blog posts and as I pointed out, lots of posts are tagged “Global Accounting” with titles such as “Big 4 bias – can we ever overcome it?,” “Financial Reporting and Auditing: A time for change?,” “There is a Credible Alternative,” and “Restrictive bank covenants keep the Big Four on top….”
Now maybe I’m way off base here but having so many posts (there are more) attributed to this topic, strikes me as someone who is excessively worried about something (i.e. “fussing“). I’m not suggesting he should start doing Mad Men recaps but there is consistent narrative. Plus, the word “fusspot” is funny. Furthermore, evoking “bias,” “can we overcome” and “credible alternative[s]” inherently speak to an unlevel playing field (i.e. “unfair“). Perhaps I’m too wrapped up in semantics but I think my point has been made.
On the bright side, I’m flattered that Mr Newman was offended enough to write a response of sorts (without naming names, unfortunately) and hopefully he finds some things on GC that are to his liking. Unfortunately he still doesn’t appear to be on Twitter, the catalyst to this whole exchange. I encourage JN to join the fun. Then he’ll be able to keep up on himself.
Ex-BDO CEO Denis Field Convicted in Tax Shelter Case
Wolf pack leader and former BDO honcho Denis Field was convicted on a variety of charges related to tax shelters that he and others provided to wealthy clients, according to several reports. This seems to mark the end to this particular case, as Denis’s colleagues all pleaded guilty back in 2009. Others convicted alongside Field included former Jenkens & Gilchrist partners Paul Daugerdas and Donna Guerin and David Parse, formerly of Deutsche Bank Alex.Brown.
New York Law Journal reports that during opening remarks, the prosecution quoted Mr Field as telling his fellow wolf packers that they would be “”swimming in a river of green” if they aggressively sold the tax shelter plans. His defense claimed that he was merely the “head showman and marketer” which sounds like a pretty lousy excuse but his lawyers stated that they will still file post-trial motions to have the verdict set aside. [WSJ, NYLJ]
Jeremy Newman Would Prefer if the Big 4 Would Just ‘Allow Real Competition’ But Regulatory Action Will Do Just Fine, Thank You
Perpetual fusspot and BDO Global CEO Jeremy Newman has not been shy about how unfair he thinks the dominance of the Big 4 is. The majority of his blog posts are tagged “Global Accounting” and several consist of bellyaching about Big 4 this and the Big 4 that. Of course, since the mainstream media has finally picked up on the idea that the concentration of auditors could be a bit of a problem, Newman has lots of articles to jump from and since the UK’s Office of Fair Trade has said something needs to be done about this, he had another opportunity this week:
Under the headline “Antitrust watchdog urges reform to break audit grip of Big Four” the FT states:
“Regulatory action may be required to break the dominant grip of the Big Four accounting firms on UK audits of leading companies…”
The only word I would challenge is “may” – it should say “will”.
Presumably this article was in the print edition because Newman doesn’t link to it but suffice to say he’s concluded that the government needs to either break up the Fab 4 like Yoko Ono or put some laws in place that mandates non-Big 4 firm inclusion. Either way, Newman laments to the Big 4 that it doesn’t have to be this way:
At long last it seems that something might now be done to open up the audit market. It is a shame it has taken so long and that it will require regulatory intervention – though it is not too late for my colleagues in the Big Four, and others, to act on a voluntary basis to create the environment necessary to allow real competition.
Judging by the statements from the firms, they seem more or less going along with it but these firms aren’t conscientious objectors. Don’t expect them to play nice.
What’s Do We Make of BDO’s ‘Secret Settlement’ in the E.S. Bankest Dispute?
BDO is trying to put the E.S. Bankest/Banco Espirito mess behind it by submitting a “confidential agreement” to settle its litigation with the bankruptcy estate of E.S. Bankest, according to the South Florida Business Journal.
It sounds as though this could be put to rest as the bankruptcy trustee Barry Mukamal is quoted as saying, “I’m satisfied that this settlement is in the best interests of the estate,” although the creditors have to give the stamp approval as well. What’s not immediately clear from the article is to what extent Banco Espirito is involved in this settlement, the only mention being “”Lisbon-based Banco Espírito Santo and the estate of E.S. Bankest sued BDO Seidman regarding more than $140 million lost to a financial scheme run by former officers of E.S. Bankest.” I shot an email over to Steven Thomas who has represented Banco Espirito to sort this out and his spokesperson replied with the following statement, “BDO USA, LLP has entered into confidential settlement agreements with Banco Espirito Santo and Barry Mukamal, the bankruptcy trustee of E.S. Bankest, L.C., pursuant to which the lawsuits against BDO have been resolved.”
So when I asked if the re-trial was still on, I was simply referred back to the statement which kindasorta makes it sound as though this whole thing is over. But it still isn’t clear to me. Can anyone make sense of this? In the meantime, if I get to the bottom of this riddle, I’ll post an update.
BDO Seidman files secret settlement in malpractice case [SFBJ]
BDO Senior Manager Wants to Know How Best to Say ‘I Quit’
Welcome to the High Holiday edition of Accounting Career Emergencies. In today’s edition, a senior manager at BDO is ready to give notice but can’t decide if it’s best to keep things professional or to go out with a verbal assault the likes of which George Costanza has never seen.
Are you working in the Twilight Zone? Need some good ideas for celebrating the end of busy season? Feeling jealous about the sexy success<