Deloitte

Accounting News Roundup: Lehman Unsecured Creditors Want Ernst & Young Docs; Court Doesn’t Allow “Geithner Defense” for Non-Geithner Taxpayer; Contenders for the Head of Deloitte UK Shape Up | 04.20.10

Lehman unsecured creditors seek probe Ernst & Young [Reuters]
The unsecured creditors of Lehman are justifiably nervous about getting anything bank in the wake of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. The next best plan of attack, as you might of expect is poke around E&Y to see what they’ve got laying around. Of course Ernst & Young won’t just turn over “certain documents” and make “its employees and partners submit to an oral examination” so the creditors are asking the bankruptcy court to order them to do so.


Tax Court Rejects “Geithner Defense,” Says Reliance on TurboTax Does Not Excuse Taxpayer From Penalty for Errors on Tax Return [TaxProf]
Please note for any of you that will try to pull that excuse:

“Although the Court concludes the errors in petitioners’ tax preparation were made in good faith, petitioners have not established that they behaved in a manner consistent with that of a prudent person. Before the trial petitioners stipulated that they did not consult a tax professional or visit the IRS’ Web site for instructions on filing the Schedule C.

We do not accept petitioners’ misuse of TurboTax, even if unintentional or accidental, as a defense to the penalties on the basis of the facts presented.”

Contenders shape up to replace John Connolly – Deloitte’s big hitter [Times Online]
The head spot for Deloitte in the UK will be up for grabs next year as John Connolly will step down after ten years at the helm. The Times Online reports that even though two candidates have been identified by sources, no campaigning will be allowed, “Mr Connolly conceded that the issue of succession was “in the air” but said that the firm wanted to avoid open competition between potential successors. “We don’t allow people to go around the country calling meetings and giving presentations about why they will be a great leader,” he said.”

Deloitte Offers Insight on How It Plans to Retain Its Workforce

Continuing with Wednesday’s attempt to provide insight on some KPMG H.R. banter, I will try to do the same with a recent Deloitte press release.

What seems to be their attempt to provide the private sector advice on how to prevent an exodus of talent actually sounds like a fluffy internal HR memo. Perhaps the Big 4 should review Deloitte’s top ten list of ways to not get slaughtered by the ever-improving job market:

1. Take advantage of the continuing globalization of talent and leadership markets.

DWB – Raid your competitors of their best talent, downplayed earlier this week.


2. Know your critical leaders and most critical talent. Keep your talent pipeline robust enough to deliver those critical skills.

DWB – Pay your top performers in order to keep them happy. If they receive an offer elsewhere, counter-offer their asses. Because the only inevitable outcome is the loss of some talent, see #1.

3. Prepare for a workforce that is more mobile and quicker to pursue new career opportunities.

DWB – Keep tabs on your people. Job loyalty has gone the way of the dinosaurs Baby Boomers. The “what’s in it for me” mentality is keeping job markets saturated with talented individuals looking for a better deal.

4. Tailor your strategies to address the generational and geographic diversity of your workforce.

DWB – Old people and young people don’t get along. They’ve never gotten along. They never will get along. Accept it and move on.

5. Show your employees both the money and the love. Communicate your employer brand as clearly to employees as you communicate your product brand to customers.

DWB – One part water plus two parts HR spin, stirred. Pour over ice. Serve.

6. Know what it takes to stay ahead of your competitors in retaining critical talent, developing new leaders, implementing workforce planning and driving innovation.

DWB – I don’t have a clue what you’re supposed to learn from this. Money is the main driving force. Money makes people dance for joy or jump ship. If your retained talent is net positive, suhhhweeet.

7. Create clear career paths for employees at all levels.

DWB – I like this one if implemented correctly. The traditional career trajectories are well known; communicate practice-to-practice and geographic rotations. Change – even short term – can refresh one’s career and create a greater sense of loyalty to the firm.

8. Align your leadership development programs with your long-term business goals.

DWB – Every firm has ‘the chosen ones” and invests in additional training, retreats, and leader cultivation courses. This should come as no surprise.

9. Know the real impact of talent retention and voluntary turnover on your bottom line.

DWB – Newsflash: it is not cheap to replace talent. Considering most hires begin their careers as interns, we’re talking years of financial investment in every staff member. From pen giveaways to amusement park tickets, there’s a steep price for every staff member lost!

10. Be a beneficiary — not a victim — of the resume tsunami.

DWB – Perhaps you should revisit point #1.

Accounting News Roundup: Deloitte ‘Encyclopedia’ to Join IASB; South Carolina’s $60 Million Accounting Snafu; CFO Job Market No Longer ‘Totally Dead’ | 04.16.10

Deloitte’s Paul Pacter Appointed to IASB [Web CPA]
Paul “Financial Reporting Encyclopedia” Pacter will resign his part-time position at Deloitte to take a seat on the IASB. Since 2000, he has been on Deloitte’s IFRS leadership team and has worked as the Director for small and medium sized entities for the IASB.

Sir David Tweedie said in a statement that “Paul is a walking encyclopedia on global financial reporting. He served as the determined leader of the development of the IFRS for SMEs, is an expert in both IFRS and U.S. GAAP, and in his spare time has run one of the most popular financial reporting Web sites on the Internet. He will bring a global perspective and immense energy to the board.”


Nearly $60 million accounting error means state budget cut [Charleston Business Journal]
Relative to other states that shall remain nameless, South Carolina’s problems aren’t really a BFD but somehow $60 million being “erroneously…counted as part of the state’s general fund,” as opposed to being earmarked for specific appropriations is still not good.

As a result of this little booboo, $60 million in budget cuts must be found with less than three months until the end of the state’s fiscal year. Such a short time frame could presumably lead to some desperate slash and burn methods. And here we thought the subversive organization legislation would have been a huge revenue stream for the Palmetto State.

Is There a Pulse in the CFO Market? [CFO]
Apparently the CFO job market is no longer ‘totally dead’ as it was from December 2008 to October 2009 and since some are feeling ‘overworked and under appreciated’ (just like you!) there promises to be a bit of a CFO exodus.

Accounting News Roundup: More Dodgy Accounting from Lehman Brothers; Deloitte Announces $100 Million Investment in China; Less Than 100% of Tea Partiers Believe They are Overtaxed | 04.13.10

Lehman Channeled Risks Through ‘Alter Ego’ Firm [NYT]
That alter-ego firm is Hudson Capital and the Times reports that while HC “appeared to be an independent business, it was deeply entwined with Lehman,” citing a Board of Directors controlled by the bank, Lehman’s 25% ownership, and many former LEH employees working at HC. Hudson reportedly provided LEH with financing “while preventing ‘headline risk’,” but the relationship was designed specifically to maximize the utility of Hudson “without jeopardizing the off-balance sheet accounting treatment,” according to memo cited by the Times.


Deloitte To Spend More Money In China For Business Expansion [Dow Jones]
Deloitte is investing $100 million in China over the next three to five years, hiring 1,000 to 2,000 new employees per year, per Global CEO Jim Quigley and Deloitte China CEO Christopher Lu. This follows a five-year, $150 million investment by the firm announced in 2004.

Quigely told Dow Jones, “When I have made my investment decisions as the CEO of Deloitte, the market where we are investing the most is in China. We’ve now expanded. So another $100 million is coming this direction as we continue to want to grow our business here, and take advantage of the opportunities available to serve China companies and to serve companies outside of China who want to invest here.”

66% Say America Is Overtaxed [Rasmussen via TaxProf]
If you needed a poll that shows that Americans hate taxes in order to convince you, Rasumussen is all over it. 66% of people surveyed believe Amecians are overtaxed, as opposed to 25% who disagree. The issue is severely divided politically with 81% of Republicans believing they are overtaxed as opposed to Democrats who were split on the issue. 73% of those surveyed that did not affiliate with either party believe they are overtaxed while 96% of the Tea Party movement believe they are overtaxed.

Jim Quigley Takes Exception with the Notion That Deloitte Isn’t the Biggest Firm in India

You don’t need to tell Jim Quigley that it’s only a matter of time before Deloitte is the largest accounting firm ON EARTH.

In a Q&A with India’s Business Standard, Quigs was asked about the shrinking gap and you better believe the man is all over it like a hard-hitting interview at Davos:


After five years, we have eliminated the gap. They were once $2 billion larger than us.

At $26.1 billion for FY ’09, Deloitte is all over PwC ($26.2 billion in FY ’09) for the Biggest of the Big 4 in terms of revenue. However, JQ was a little more defensive when asked about the firm’s presence in India.

But if one looks at India, the perception is that you are the smallest amongst the Big Four.
I think we are the largest in India when you look at the number of people. We have 12,000 Deloitte people in India and we are on our way to 20,000 people.

In other words, “Thanks for bringing that up but since India revenue isn’t known, head count is how we’ll measure this. And in that particular case, we’re the largest. Next question.”

But a lot of them are your [Business Process Outsourcing] employees at Hyderabad.
Yes, we have about 8,000 people there. And we are growing that towards 15,000. They are focused on serving the global market place.

We have the number one audit share in India. Our audit share of the listed companies is larger than any of the competitors. My goal is to go for balanced growth in India. I want to be one-third audit, one-third tax and one-third consulting. Growing the tax and consulting businesses is easier than it is to move the audit share because companies don’t change auditors often. The fact that we start with the largest audit share is a terrific foundation for us. My aspiration is that I want to be the absolute leader in professional services, especially in important emerging markets like India.

Translation: “Are BPO people not employees? Why wouldn’t we count them? And since we are counting them we’re going to double that number, FYI. Oh, and we have the biggest audit share in India and it we’ll eventually be biggest in everything so then they’re won’t be room for ‘debate’ (making the air quotes).”

In how many years?
In three to five years, I want to be the absolute leader here. I have more people here than anyone else today.

That is, “Deloitte numero uno by 2015! Did I mention that we have the most people here?”

Then the best part, comes a little later when Quigs gets the Satyam question:

How has Deloitte strengthened its internal controls after the Satyam scandal?
I don’t think you can say that if one firm has had an issue with Satyam, therefore all professional services firms have a problem.n the aftermath of that fraud, and it was a management fraud first, to make sure that we did not have comparable circumstances, we went back and reviewed our 50 largest audits. We challenged our partners and thinking. We were satisfied that we have completed procedures that will reduce to a relatively low level the risk that an undetected error could occur. Our commitment to quality is tireless. And that is what you want the market leader to be.

So it sounds as though Satyam will be NBD for Deloitte, unlike some firms. We know India is a fraud paradise so it wasn’t was their fault; they were duped. Deloitte is undupable.

‘Deloitte wants to be the absolute leader here’ [Business Standard]

Promotion Watch ’10: Deloitte Slowly Lengthens the Corporate Ladder

Yesterday we told you about the unofficial “our bad” from Deloitte on the layoffs that happened last spring. While that doesn’t necessarily address any of the subsequent layoffs, it’s a start.

And we have a little update from our previous query about Deloitte compensation increases as well as some promotion time-frame news:


A Green Dot familiar with the situation told us the following:

– There will be raises this year
– People shouldn’t expect raises like the ones back in the SOX days
– As always, there will be an effort to reward strong performers

At the same time, promotions may be a different story, at least for the R-space, where they want to move away from the “3 years to senior” mentality, towards a “ready to be a senior” mentality. Promotion time-frames are expected to be lengthened, although comp will remain competitive.

We should note that the raises in this case refer to the NE AERS, so if you’re hearing different in your region, let us know. The “won’t be like the SOx years” message also reiterates what DWB said on Tuesday about curbing your enthusiasm, so at least try to be realistic.

Regarding the promotion news, the effect on “R-space” which for you non-Deloittes means the “Advisory Practice,” our source indicated that this has been in the works for some time but has been poorly enforced in the past, with most eligible promotees getting the bump after three years in the trenches.

Further, it sounds as though the extended promotion time-frame (i.e. replacing “ready” with a given number of years) will occur at all levels, especially from senior manager to partner. Our source then mused, “Since Partners own their [senior managers]… it’ll be interesting to see how turn-over ends up.” That will certainly resonate with those that already consider senior manager to be a parking lot on the road to partner.

Deloitte isn’t the only firm that has given serious consideration to the lengthening of the corporate ladder. Last December we discussed KPMG’s always-being-discussed plans to move away from the six-year manager track in their audit practice. Back then we said:

The rumor that the KPMG bigwigs have been considering a six year timeline to make manager in the audit practice has been kicked around for at least a couple years. Naturally, there were two schools of thought:

• Managers thought it was good idea

• SAs thought it was a terrible idea

Deloitte insisting that salaries will remain competitive should quell some concerns although there are some out there that do get hung up on titles. So while it seems that Deloitte will be getting back to merit increases for FY ’10, they’re being much quieter about it and may be getting serious about adding some rungs to the ladder. Climb with patience.

Deloitte Admits to Handling Layoffs ‘Poorly’

That “All-Hands” meeting we told you about on Monday sounds like it was a real snoozer, however, a source who was there did share two interesting details:

The guys in charge basically told us the following:

– They handled the [May 2009] “headcount adjustment” poorly. It was a necessary action; but more communication was necessary to keep people informed.
– Deloitte is better poised to grow over the next few years as compared to their competitors (we saw projections, but no comparisons…)

That took about 1.5 hours.

Since this was an “all-hands” we’re assuming tax people were there? If so, the ones still trudging towards the 15th (one week!) had to be suffering borderline panic attacks. Or maybe it was a brief oasis? Either way it’s unfortunate that nothing came up about increase in comp. Maybe Deloitte is the one firm that is saving it as a big surprise. If the cat gets let out of the bag on comp, get in touch with us.

Former Deloitte Intern Not So Good at Gambling on Corporate Card, Lying About It

In blatant-misuse-of-the-corporate-credit-card news, a former Deloitte “trainee/student” (let’s assume an intern, shall we?) has admitted to racking up over £8,800 in gambling debt on his Deloitte issued credit card.


Umar Qureshi, using his Deloitte laptop no less, managed to lose the money in just a couple of months, October and November of 2008. At that point, Qureshi, rather than admit to being a horrendous gambler, lied about the charges, telling Deloitte that they were fraudulent. Depending on when this particular lie took place, he only managed to keep a straight face, at the most, for two months, as Deloitte terminated his contract in January of ’09.

Which is understandable. Gambling can be nerve-racking on its own but losing your ass on the Corporate Card has got to be a real pant-crapper. This makes for the second Big 4 degenerate loser to make headlines this year in the UK. Back in February, a ex-KPMGer really was rolling, slamming over £25,000 on his expense report.

Accountancy Age reports that the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (“ICAEW”), “ordered that the defendant cease to be a provisional member and be ineligible for re-registration for six months, and that he be severely reprimanded.” As we mentioned in the KPMG case, we’re not sure what a “reprimand” entails but a weeklong diversity training with Barry Salzberg could be a possibility.

Luckily, for Qureshi a relative was kind enough to pay the debt owed to Deloitte, who must have really wanted the money back. It’s just principle.

Former Deloitte student admits £8k bill from online gambling [Accountancy Age]

Compensation Watch ’10: Is Deloitte Joining the Party?

In the past week or so, merit increases have been communicated or reiterated by three of the Big 4. While the news of the resurrected raises is widespread, most people we’ve talked to (and commenters) are not believers. Most see it as a preventive measure to delay the exodus (or at least keep it within expected ranges).


Since the rest of the Big 4 have already been covered (KPMG, E&Y, PwC) we decided to get proactive on finding out the scoop on Deloitte. We contacted a reliable source and it turns out there may be some communication very soon:

[S]o far nothing. I’m going to an all-hands meeting tomorrow in NYC, so maybe they’ll mention something there. For now, all that I can really say is that there’s whole big bunch of people waiting to jump ship, pending the results of this year’s comp, so they better put some serious increases in…

So it’s safe to presume that if the Deloitte brass doesn’t communicate a satisfactory message, the streets may be flooded with Green Dots. If you’ve gotten guarantees, denials, or anything that remotely resembles an official word on this year’s Deloitte comp, get in touch.

Maybe Deloitte Should Give Up Doing Business in Italy

Deloitte has managed to get itself into more trouble in Italy. After settling the lawsuit with freakishly long-life milk company Parmalat, the firm may be facing charges of “market manipulation, false accounting and obstruction of justice, as well as fraud,” according to Bloomberg.


In this particular Italian job, Deloitte is lumped in with a couple of Deutsche Bank employees, who were allegedly complicit in losses at Banca Italease SpA, “Milan prosecutors are probing Italease after potential losses accumulated by clients on interest-rate swaps swelled in 2007 and the bank’s unprofitable positions ballooned. The Bank of Italy fired the company’s board in July 2007 for lack of internal controls.”

While zee Germans are standing behind their two boys, Francesco Giuliani and Dario Schiraldi, Deloitte didn’t comment for the article but the firm is certainly familiar with the tenacity of the Italians are not be trifled with. The Parmalat case dragged on for over six years before investors finally received a settlement from the firm so you can expect that the screwed investors of Italease will be equally as determined.

Deutsche Bank Employees, Deloitte Said to Face Charges in Milan [Bloomberg BusinessWeek]

Accounting News Roundup: Treasurer Is Not a Disclosure-Worthy Position at Overstock.com; SEC Investigating Repurchase Accounting; Deloitte Considers Camping at World Financial Center | 03.30.10

Another Key Departure at Overstock.com: It Went Unreported, Too [White Collar Fraud]
Criminal-turned-forensic sleuth Sam Antar is reporting on his blog that SEC problem child Overstock.com had another key employee depart the company but this time, the Company failed to report it publicly. Gary Weiss was tipped off about the departure of Richard Paongo, the former Treasurer at OSTK, in an anonymous post that was confirmed on Mr Paongo’s LinkedIn profile.

It appears that Mr Paongo’s departure occurred around the same time as ex-CFO David Chidester’s which was reported to the SEC.


Sam notes the requirements of an 8-K disclosure:

If the registrant’s principal executive officer, president, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer, principal operating officer, or any person performing similar functions, or any named executive officer, retires, resigns or is terminated from that position, or if a director retires, resigns, is removed, or refuses to stand for re-election (except in circumstances described in paragraph (a) of this Item 5.02), disclose the fact that the event has occurred and the date of the event.

So maybe OSTK figured that Paongo’s was worth sharing with investors? Sam says, “Apparently, it’s Overstock.com’s position that none of the above applies to Rich Paongo. However, Paongo’s departure from Overstock.con [sic or maybe not?] can be viewed as a material event requiring disclosure amid an expanding SEC investigation and given Paongo’s role at the company.”

Whether or not Paongo’s departure qualifies as a disclosable event might be arguable but the timing of his departure is certainly noted. In semi-related news, Overstock still has a couple of days before the 10-K extension runs out, so we’re likely to hear more out of SLC.

S.E.C. Looks at Wall St. Accounting [NYT]
With Repo 105 on everyone’s brain, the SEC figured it should snoop around and see who else is using the repurchase agreements. Bank of America and JP Morgan have already admitted that they use repurchase agreements but Mary Schapiro remains coy about what companies are getting the crook-eye.

Deloitte eyes sticking with World Financial Center [Crain’s New York]
Deloitte is in the market for about 600,000 square feet to house some its New York employees and one possibility is that the firm will set up camp at World Financial Center where it is currently the largest tenant. The firm is also reportedly considering 825 Eighth Ave.

Crain’s reports that Casa de Salzberg was looking for 1 million square feet last year, considering possible locales at 11 Times Square and 277 Park Ave. Deloitte insists that it was never looking for 1 million square feet and will be perfectly happy to cram the employees from the current two non-WFC locations into one place.

Jefferies Follows Select Comfort’s Lead, Dumps KPMG for Deloitte

So this makes two SEC clients lost for KPMG in as many days. Again, Jefferies had no disagreements with KPMG yada yada yada. Jefferies didn’t even receive a GCO like Sleep Number. However, KPMG did include this language for this year’s (i.e. December 31, 2009) audit opinion:

“As discussed in Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements, in 2009 the Company retrospectively changed its method of accounting for noncontrolling interests in subsidiaries and earnings per share due to the adoption of new accounting requirements issued by the FASB.”


BFD, right? Could Jefferies really be so bent of shape over that to make the auditor switcheroo?

The other point is — and maybe we’re making a mountain out of a molehill here — this is the second example of a non-standard auditor opinion from the House of Klynveld followed by clients kicking them to the curb for the clean scalped, mustachioed comfort of Deloitte.

One thing is for sure and that is that Deloitte is clearly on the offensive here after losing so many SEC clients last year. Still, we’re curious about a few things: 1) Is Big D going after KPMG clients specifically? 2) Is there a secret weapon being employed to woo these clients (e.g. Barry does a dead-ringer Dr. Phil impression during the presentation)? 3) Are KPMG clients upset about Tim Flynn stepping down as chairman? OR are they upset that the Radio Station is still camping out in Iran?

If you’ve got concrete knowledge, crackpot theories or just want to take a shot in the dark (since most of you are probably drinking by now) on this new and emerging (?) trend, fire away.

8-K [Jefferies]
10-K [Jefferies]
Jefferies Announces the Engagement of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the Company’s Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm [Business Wire]

Tax and SEC Deadline Watch: Are You About to Get Your Life Back?

Doubtful!

But it is March 15th and corporate return extensions are being submitted en masse. Tomorrow is also the deadline for accelerated filers to submit their 10-Ks so auditors that are borderline delirious (and probably feeling frumpy) might get more than four hours of sleep this week.

For you tax jockeys, today could mean a couple of things: 1) this is a bump in the road and your life will be even more hectic as your deadbeat clients who are now realizing that April 15th is coming up fast or 2) you don’t touch anything that isn’t an 1120 and you’re in the clear for awhile.


And for you auditors, hopefully you haven’t forgotten our little teaching lesson from the previous deadline? Try and catch all the embedded “f*cks.” And hey! E&Y is still having Canadian Tuxedo Fridays for a couple more weeks so that’s something to look forward to, amiright?

Yes, there are some of you out there that are still billing monster hours with no end in sight. But look at this way, if you haven’t quit by now, you’re in it to the end, so you better just read this reminder from Deloitte and get back to it. It’ll be over soon enough.

Are the Edgy Efforts Really Necessary for Recruiting Accountants?

PwC’s Branding Week taught us nothing we didn’t already know.

So as you may recall, PwC launched its massive PR campaign two weeks ago, wrapped up in super-PR spin in this clip from ABC news:


Even if you sat earnestly with pen in hand, I doubt you had any significant takeaways from the video. “Networking starts with the people you know.” “Students should be aware of what they post online.” “Careers are a marathon, not a spring.” Really? For a moment I thought networking was accomplished by connecting with complete strangers on LinkedIn. Please.

Don’t forget about Deloitte’s push to join the 21st century, albeit it a few years late. Talk of Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and YouTube channels, oh my! Come ON. Walk into a campus lecture hall of 100 students and you’ll find 97 of them tapping away on their cell phones. Are they tweeting? Hell no. This generation finds Twitter boring. They need more (as in pictures, tagging, communication channels) than Twitter can offer. Blah.

At the core of it all, are these efforts really necessary? The fundamentals of supply and demand will always make accounting majors one of the top recruiting prizes on college campuses. The major consistently has a top-five placement rate after graduation. Both the accounting firms and the private sector will continue to flourish as hiring grounds.

Then why bother? We all know the profession is sugar coated with promises of worldly travel or volunteer release time; the need for the best and brightest is no secret. That is, in itself, the answer.

Anyone can recruit an accountant, but the best and brightest are chased. Hounded. Stalked. All in the name of tweets.

Barry Salzberg Is Going To Talk About Diversity Again

But this time it is called, “Diversifying Business Standards” and he’ll be touching on a number of issues that don’t have anything to do with with the “218 reprimands for failure to meet mandatory training requirements” (which may or may not include mandatory diversity training).

And we’re guessing he won’t make reference to the Chief Diversity Officer because if you don’t happen to have one, it’s simply impossible to be a diverse company.

Oh, and never mind the whole H-1B controversy at Deloitte Consulting. That will blow over.


This particular chat will be going on at the DiversityInc’s “How Global Diversity Impacts the Domestic Diversity” event that is going on Washington, DC next week. The agenda indicates that the speech will address the following issues:

What are global values? What are emerging global standards for accountancy? What standards should companies meet in every country? How can you get your top leadership to understand that diversity efforts must be global?

Now if you are able to understand these questions, please inform us of their meaning because we’re a little lost.

Will the speech be about global values for accounting firms? Are global diversity standards the next thing that will be converged? If so, we’ll remind you that the whole accounting convergence thing hasn’t gone so well. How do you think global diversity rules will work out?

Will the top leaders in companies need to attend training about global diversity first before they understand that world is diverse? Apparently some men at Deloitte don’t understand women yet, how the hell are they going understand someone in another country that might be across an ocean?

Deloitte CEO to Speak at DiversityInc Event [DiversityInc]

Is Deloitte Trying to Ruin Spring Break?

We kid, we kid. Deloitte would never want to ruin spring break but they are giving a few students an alternative to drinking themselves blind for a week and possibly getting a bad case of crabs.

The firm is teaming up with the United Way and Teach for America for the third consecutive year to offer “Maximum Impact: Deloitte Alternative Spring Break”.


We’ve got no idea if all the slots are filled up but since one of them starts this Saturday you best get on this if your Cancun plans have fallen through:

• March 6 – 12 — Deloitte and United Way will co-host 50 students from approximately 30 colleges and universities along with 20 Deloitte professionals during a week of hands-on and skills-based volunteerism in Atlanta, Georgia. Students will work to enhance childcare centers, refurbish playgrounds for low-income youth, guide students in college exploration and promote literacy in children.

• March 14 – 18 — Deloitte and Teach For America will co-host 25 students from six colleges and universities along with 20 professionals from Deloitte and Teach For America for a week of education-centered volunteerism in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Volunteers will spend time working with schools and local students who face the challenges of educational inequity through projects that include improving campuses, developing classroom lessons and helping with class preparation work.

You better get on this ASAP if you’re interested since only 75 students and 40 professionals get to participate. The problem for current Deloittians is most of you are eyeballs deep in busy season anyway so this isn’t an option. So does this mean that non-busy season types like Jim Quigely, Barry Salberg, and Punit Renjen will be in attendance? And if so will they be sporting new board shorts for the pool time they are able to squeeze in?

Deloitte Offers Students Chance to Give Back, Explore Careers on Spring Break [Press Release]

Crowe Horwath Was the Big Audit Client Winner in 2009; E&Y, Deloitte Big Losers

We might be a little late to the party on this but it just recently came across our desk and since trying to get a post up today is akin to turning water into wine, we’re running with it. And, frankly, if a large portion of you regularly read the “Public Accounting Report” we’ll be blown (BLOWN!) away.

The determination of the ranking isn’t entirely clear to us so we’ll just go for some superficial analysis on Crowe Horwath (#1 on the list) and the Big 4:

Crowe Horwath #1 – Net gain of 24 clients; net gain in audited revenue of approximately $4 billion; net gain in assets audited of $18.4 billion; net revenue to the firm of $11 million.

PwC #2 – Net loss of 8 clients; net gain in audited revenue of $34.9 billion; net gain in assets audited of $2.68 billion; net revenue to the firm of $8.4 million.

KPMG #5 – Net loss of 1 client; net gain in audited revenue of over $12.9 billion; net loss in assets audited of $61.4 billion; net loss in revenue to the firm of $19.5 million.

Ernst & Young #9 – Net loss of 30 clients; net gain in audited revenue of $5.3 billion; net loss in assets audited of $53.8 billion; net loss in revenue to the firm of $36.7 million.

Deloitte #10 – Net loss of 7 clients; net loss in audited revenue of over $90.5 billion; net loss in assets audited of $718 billion; net loss in revenue to the firm of $74.7 million.


Crowe Horwath’s net gain of 24 clients is easily the highest of the firms presented and they’re the only firm that has increases in all the categories presented. Kinda makes you wonder why they had such a steady stream of layoffs in 2009. We’re open to suggestions and wild-ass theories on this topic.

On the losing end, Deloitte’s loss of huge clients due to the financial apocalypse has been noted by our contributor Francine McKenna and is noted by the PAR:

The firm landed the most wins of any of the Big Four firms for 2009, 46, garnering 3.5% of the overall SEC audit wins for the year. Overall, the Big Four won 7.5% of the auditor changes reported during the first three months of 2005. What relegated the firm to last place in the standings was two huge loses: UAL, to E&Y, and Merril Lynch’s acquisition by Bank of America.

All that added up to nearly $75 million in lost audit fee revenue for Deloitte. In terms of the number clients lost, E&Y managed to cruise to that title with net loss of 30 clients:

E&Y captured some sizable wins for the year, notably UAL/Chicago (Revenue: $20.19 billion) from Deloitte and Apple/Cupertino, Calif. (Revenue $32.48 billion) from KPMG. But its gains couldn’t offset losses for the year of Tyson, Sovereign Bancorp and Nalco Holding, to name a few notable losses.

The end result of this client musical chairs doesn’t really add up to much in terms of revenue for any of the firms. Even the $75 million lost by Deloitte is a drop in the bucket compared to their fiscal year ’09 revenue of $26.1 billion.

Peruse as you numbers see fit and feel free to wave the flag.

Deloitte Polishes Its Online Recruiting Presence but Who’s Listening?

A few weeks back I talked about the flashy websites the Big 4 have invested in for recruitment purposes. For those of you DT’ers still wondering where your raises went, the answer is now clear.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and a brand new (interactive!) recruitment website. DT is completely revamping their online presence.

Seemingly launched the same week as PricewaterhouseCoopers’ personal branding campaign, DT’s overhaul is much more comprehensive. The Twitter page already boasts 1,500 followers; its unique twist is that employees take turns tweeting about their daily work. Interesting approach, only if you remember to log in to the Twitter page and read the biography of the weekly tweeter.


Deloitte’s YouTube approach is similar to that of KPMG’s established page; clean and consistent website hosting professional videos. One of the videos, entitled “What if your work mattered to the world,” delves, umm, deeply into the importance of cow manure on the job. Taking the term “shitty job” quite literally, I suppose.

Finally, everything is nicely tied together with a flashy site showcasing – shockingly – its youngest and brightest employees. Stories, videos, and links to various DT pages make working for the dot seem downright enjoyable and fun.

The question remains, though – who is this targeting?

From my brief experience on the sites, there’s still no direct way to contact the recruiter responsible for a particular school (PwC boasts the only clear option). There’s no way to ask questions, request feedback, contact the recruiter who’s business card just went through the wash.

This maneuver of hiding behind a flashy website is a running theme for corporate recruiting websites. Why? Why not? The employers hold the cards. The recruiters mailboxes are already overflowing. And if you’re a top student on campus, trust me, the recruiters will find you. So why the website?

See the Joneses out there in front? Yup, better go catch them.

We’re still at a point in the social media world where no one really knows what works best. Facebook has been all the rage for teenagers and young adults, but now that older generations are joining in swarms (i.e. creepy overprotective parents) , there has been a shift of concern among younger users. Twitter is a cluster of a mystery, but the it’s a cluster that everyone (including me) is going along with.

The Big 4 marketing gurus are no different. They know that the recruiters will do the legwork to find the best candidates. They know students will talk to their professors for advice, and listen to their older friends who interned elsewhere.

Perhaps in the end the websites, tweets and cow videos are for the helicopter parents. Seriously. Recruit the parent, recruit the student.

Accounting News Roundup: Earnings Management and ‘Quadrophobia’; Deloitte vs. PwC on Loan Losses; Joe Francis’ Tax Lien Dropped | 02.15.10

Happy President’s Day! As we mentioned on Friday, we’ll keep you company throughout the day but it will be a little lighter schedule than normal. Most of you are suffering from a Valentine’s Day/Chinese New Year/Olympic Fever hangover anyway.

For Some Firms, a Case of ‘Quadrophobia’ [WSJ]
Shout if you’ve heard this before: a study profiled by the Journal states that “many companies tweak quarterly earnings to meet investor expectations, and the “companies that adjust most often are more likely to restate earnings or be charged with accounting violations.”

So here’s another study on restatements and the companies that you . BFD right? Earnings management is rampant. What makes this particular study unique is the authors looked at the frequency of companies rounding their numbers up to meet expectations and discovered that the number 4 appears less frequently in general and especially in the earnings of companies that restate their financial statements. Naturally, they call it “quadrophobia”:

When they ran the earnings-per-share numbers down to a 10th of a cent, they found that the number “4” appeared less often in the 10ths place than any other digit, and significantly less often than would be expected by chance…

In theory, each digit should appear in the 10ths place 10% of the time. After reviewing nearly 489,000 quarterly results for 22,000 companies from 1980 to 2006, however, the authors found that “4” appeared in the 10ths place only 8.5% of the time. Both “2” and “3” also are underrepresented in the 10ths place; all other digits show up more frequently than expected by chance…

In their most intriguing finding, the authors found that companies that later restate earnings or are charged with accounting violations report significantly fewer 4s. The pattern “appears to be a leading indicator of a company that’s going to have an accounting issue,” Mr. Grundfest said.

So it’s safe to say that you can add Quadrophobic to Patrick Byrne’s list of potential ailments.

Deloitte chief reignites accounting debate [FT]
Deloitte CEO Jim Quigley told the Financial Times that banks should “account for losses in two radically different ways to meet the opposing demands of politicians and accountants.” We’re not crazy about trying to please everyone but Quigs might have a good point here.

This would require banks to report two separate line items on their income statements, one for “incurred losses” and one for “expected losses”. Incurred losses report loan losses as they occur while “expected losses” would require banks to calculate an estimated loss provision over the lives of the loans.

PwC hates this idea saying it would ‘muddy the waters’. Richard Murphy thinks PwC is still living in fantasy land, “PWC is arguing against is anti-cyclical provisioning to ensure capital retention. To put it anothjer [sic] way, PWC wants pro-cyclical accounting that encoruages recklessness.”

Since the waters are already pretty f—ing muddy we’re not sure that it would do much harm. Users of financial statements already have a mind-numbing amount of information to dig through, one additional piece of information — a crucial piece in the case of bank financial statements, we might add — shouldn’t cause too much headache.

Joe Francis Off the Hook for $33 Million Tax Bill [TMZ]
Joe Francis’ IRS troubles seem to have magically disappeared, as TMZ reports that the IRS has dropped its $30+ million lien against the Douche of the Decade.

That eliminates one possible motive for the IRS shotgun shopping spree.

Technology SNAFU of the Day: DeloitteNet 2.0 Has a Case of the Mondays

We were notified last week about some exciting news for the capital market servants at Deloitte. DeloitteNet 2.0, the D’s new and improved internal intranet debuted today and the message was, because of this upgrade, your busy season, hell, your LIVES we’re going to be infinitely better:

Scheduled to launch Monday, January 25, DeloitteNet 2.0 is the result of an organization-wide effort to upgrade and redesign our intranet. It will include a new content structure and navigation, a new search engine, your very own “My DeloitteNet” site, and much more…
DeloitteNet will still be your go-to resource for the latest news and information. It will still provide access to essential tools and resources to get your job done, as well as offer access to the applications you need to manage your life here at Deloitte.

Not only that but Deloitte’s very own social networking phenomenon, D Street, would be fully integrated into the new intranet including a “My status” feature in case you want to tell everyone about the weather or how much you hate Mondays.


All this excitement was scheduled to kick off today with much fanfare. Many of you raced into work this morning, not being able to sleep last night in anticipation of this occasion were devastated to be greeted by this:
Thumbnail image for DeloitteNet2.0.jpg
Maybe too many people were distracted by the diversity debate or caught up thinking of new ideas for Project JARED.
Regardless of the cause, we’re sure everything is hunky-dory by now (?) and you’re all enjoying the plunders of DeloitteNet 2.0.
Earlier:
Big 4 Technology: Open Thread

Deloitte, KPMG Will Make Out Okay on This Whole Dubai Thing

dubai-the-world.jpgIf you spent the last four days in a tryptophan-induced coma, you may have missed the news that there’s a bit of a problem in Dubai. A $59 billion problem.

Long/short: Dubai World, the state sponsored investment company, asked for a six month extension on repaying principal and interest maturities to its lenders.

While this spooked a lot of people, the latest reports indicate that Dubai is of the opinion that it’s NBD.


Despite the claims by DW that nothing is fucked, it’s being reported that at least two Big 4 firms will get to bill the hell out of the parties privy to this latest debt-related SNAFU.
Dubai World has hired Deloitte to help them restructure their house of cards debt while KPMG is representing banks that hold $30 billion of the Dubai World debt in the negotiations. Now while we’d like to imagine tense, smoked-filled rooms with fists being slammed on conferences tables and screaming into speaker phones, it’s likely that it will be a much more cordial affair but we remain hopeful.

As for the other two usual suspects, why E&Y has been left out of the proceedings altogether is a mystery but the PwC/Becks/Dubai World connection seems like a good enough reason to us to keep P. Dubs on the sidelines. Call it a hunch.

We’ll keep you updated on the Big 4 angle of this story as it continues long into 2010.

KPMG lined up in $30bn Dubai rescue mission [The Independent]
Also see: Duh, Dubai! [JDA]
Deloitte Versus KPMG in Dubai World Saga [The Big Four Blog]

Deloitte, Grant Thornton Settle with Parmalat Investors

check.jpgU.S. Investors in Paramalat — the disturbingly long-life milk producer — have settled their lawsuit with Deloitte and Grant Thornton for $8.5 million and $6.5 million respectively.

Personally, if you make the decision to be associated with a company that consciously screws with the natural dairy production of a bovine, we’d say you’re on your own. However, this is America, where if you lose an asston of money on an investment (despite the morally ambiguous nature of said investment, not to mention the shiesty management), you sue.

The case was brought by several funds on behalf of thousands of investors who said they lost money from Parmalat’s multi-billion-dollar fraud.

“It is very rare that worldwide coordinating audit networks enter into settlements like what we have,” said James Sabella, a lawyer at Grant & Eisenhofer PA in New York representing the investors, in an interview.

Lead plaintiffs include Hermes Focus Asset Management Europe Ltd, Cattolica Partecipazioni SpA, Capital & Finance Asset Management, Societe Moderne des Terrassements Parisiens and Solotrat, court documents show.

We don’t know about the statement that settlements are “very rare”. The Big 4 has paid out nearly $6 billion in settlements since 1999 and settlements this year have included Deloitte/American Homes and E&Y/Akai.

Regardless, the good news for the investors is at least they got something. The bad news is that it was far less than the amount they claimed to have lost:

The U.S. equity investors believed they suffered $138.2 million of damages, but Sabella said their claims might have been reduced by earlier settlements. He also said taking their case to a jury could have been “full of difficulties.”

A Deloitte spokesperson declined to comment pending the approval of the settlement by Judge Lewis Kaplan. Grant Thornton did not immediately return our email requesting comment.

This latest development in the story that never ends Parmalat case is the first that we’ve reported that doesn’t involve the persistence of the company trying and failing and trying again to chase down banks and auditors for money related to the company’s bankruptcy in 2003. From the looks of it, we’ll be following these developments long into the next decade.

Ex-Parmalat auditors settle US investor lawsuit [Reuters]

Deloitte Is Super Proud of Their 100% Free Preventive Healthcare

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Reno.jpgA source at Deloitte let us know that at least one partner thought it was pretty kick ass that Uncle Dangle was providing healthcare coverage that basically amounts to an HMO:

I got off a call where a partner seemed pretty pleased w/ himself (read: the partnership). “100% Free Preventative Healthcare” was how it was termed. I’m not sure how it affects others, but frankly under my plan, there wasn’t a difference. Just thought it was funny that a big-deal was made of it when the difference was non-existent.

More, after the jump


Text from Deloittenet:

Deloitte’s Total Rewards team worked with our national medical plans to offer 100 percent coverage of in-network preventive care to all of our program participants as of January 1, 2009. This care applies to well-man, woman, and child visits, including lab tests and other preventive screenings. With such a generous preventive care benefit in place, there is no longer a need for the Physical Exam Reimbursement Policies (Administrative Policy Release 465 for partners, principals and directors and Administrative Policy Release 266 for senior managers and managers).
By using an in-network provider through one of Deloitte’s national medical plans, you are able to receive important preventive health care benefits at no cost. A detailed description of the preventive care benefits available through each of the plans is available on DeloitteNet.

Thanks for the notification D. Save us all the trouble and just call it an HMO. It’s certainly arguable that HMOs have been shown to increase wellness but why the hell didn’t they just claim to have invented the Internet?

Deloitte Closes Reno Office, Employees Not Totally Munsoned*

Thumbnail image for Reno.jpgDeloitte is closing its Reno office, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. The firm isn’t letting any of the eighteen employees go, rather they will either work from home or at client locations.

Bad news is that we wouldn’t expect the community colleges in the Reno area to get any attention any time soon and if you’re looking to get in on some free donuts, law enforcement is probably your best option.

Deloitte firm closing Reno office [Reno Gazette-Journal]

*We’re not sure this is necessary but whatevs.

Deloitte Study Says That Half of You Aren’t Scared of Swine Flu. Tell That to a Backstreet Boy

brian littrell.jpgDammit people, this is serious. Deloitte is doing studies for crying out loud. Yet, over half of you still aren’t completely freaking the hell out over swine flu.
Ordinarily, we’d let this slide by but it doesn’t seem to be a typical Tuesday, so we’ll ask that you bear with us.
How about one of the finest entertainers on the planet getting the H to 1 to the N to the 1? Will this convince you that this needs to be taken seriously?
When a member of a heartthrob boy band that, for all intents and purposes, has been annihilated from popular culture altogether is affected, doesn’t that cause you to stop and think?
Deloitte studies, fine, those are totally meaningless. We’re talking a step below D-List celebrities getting sick. Please reconsider your indifference.
Swine Flu Preparedness: Consumer Pulse Study Fact Sheet [Deloitte Center for Health Solutions]

Apparently $2 Mil Is Enough to Keep Deloitte in Dallas

DTa.jpgEarlier this year, the Deloitte Dallas and Irving offices were ready to copulate and move the combined digs to Irving. Apparently this was going to save the two offices bookoo dollars.
Problem for the City of Dallas is that if a big shot spendy tenant like Deloitte bolts, Dallas’s Central Business District would not be good, especially since the vacancy rate is already high. The City pondered this and came to the conclusion that offering Deloitte a $2 Million “economic development grant” should convince them that moving to Irving is the WORST IDEA EVER.
More, after the jump


Not quite sure what Deloitte will do with that money (our suggestion is for more donut giveaways) but here’s the back scratching they’ll do for the City, according to the Dallas Observer:

Subject to City Council approval of the proposed economic development grant, Deloitte LLP has agreed to execute a 10-year lease extension at 2200 Ross Avenue (Chase Tower) beginning 2011 and will:
•Commit to maintain a minimum of 1,111 jobs at this location
•Ensure approximately $19.9 million is invested for tenant improvements

So it looks like Deloitte is down for this but we’re not exactly sure how they came up with 1,111 for the minimum number of jobs. At the very least, it’s kind of a cool looking number.
Regardless of the figures, we doubt that Deloitte would be taking the $2 mil if wasn’t going to be a good deal for them. So greasing Deloitte to keep them in Dallas seems to be a good deal since, “[the City of Dallas] believes the $2 million investment will yield $31 million in ‘net city fiscal impact.'”. So, yeah. Not too shabby.
However, we’re guessing that more than a few people in Irving that might be a little bent out of shape about this, so if you’ve got any more information on this deal, let us know.
When Deloitte Did the Math, It Needed $2 Mil From Dallas, Or Else It Was Going to Irving [Dallas Observer]

Will Deloitte’s Diversity Push Work?

Thumbnail image for small salzberg.jpgAwhile back we told you about Salz’s dissatisfaction of the diversity at Deloitte, regardless of their long-standing commitment to it.
After the Web CPA piece, Dr. Phil is steppincussing Deloitte’s recruitment of students on community college campuses in last Friday’s Business Week. The article points out up front that, “Deloitte CEO Barry Salzberg likes to talk about the value of diversity. But of the 4,500 partners and other top executives at his firm, 92% are white.” We did the math, that’s less than 500 non-white partners.
So this is obviously a public relations problem that the firms would rather not have, since as we’ve noted, they love, love, love to point out how diverse they are, regardless of what others are saying. The facts simply seem to be that accounting, as an industry, doesn’t seem to be that diverse:
Continued, after the jump

For Deloitte, the hope is to reach high-potential people of color at community colleges, interest them in accounting, and then shepherd them through a university to a job upon graduation. If it works, it could turn around a troubling trend. In 2004, African Americans represented 1% of all CPAs, Latinos 3%, and Asians 4%, according to a U.S. Treasury Dept. report on the profession. By 2007 the figures were unchanged, if not down slightly.

Okay, so those numbers aren’t good for anyone. They’re especially not good for the image of the firms or the profession. Deloitte’s plan is to recruit on six community college campuses to try and convince the students that accounting is a kick ass career. Obviously that’s easier said than done:

Deloitte will have to do a fair amount of myth-busting. Many students believe accountants don green eyeshades and plunk away at calculators all day. So Deloitte is sending a brigade of up to eight staffers, including at least one senior partner, to enlighten, mentor, and ultimately guide potential recruits toward an accounting career. In visits to the campus classrooms, the partners plan to share workplace perspectives and explanations of how the industry has broadened to include financial, management, technology, and human capital consulting. “I don’t think students realize the vastness of what you can do in accounting,” says Gregory Brookins, a CPA and associate professor at Santa Monica Community College. “They feel like it’s a boring bean-counting job.”

‘They feel like it’s a boring bean-counting job’? GASP. How’d they get that impression?
Not everyone is on board with this plan, specifically, E&Y, “…it recruits from four-year universities where students get credits toward the CPA exam. That’s something “a two-year program doesn’t offer,” says Ken Bouyer, Americas Director of Inclusiveness Recruiting for Ernst & Young.”
Plus, since accounting firms like to pitch their professionals’ merits when courting new clients, there is a worry that community college grads are jumping up and down to brag about their less-prestigious education regardless of the accomplishments they’ve made professionally.
So accounting firms and the accounting industry appear to have an old white boy’s club problem. Is Deloitte taking the right approach? Is E&Y’s attitude short-sighted? Discuss your thoughts in the comments.
Deloitte’s Diversity Push [BW]

(UPDATE) Deloitte Still Stalling on Global Revenue Numbers

DTa.jpgThe U.S. numbers are out, $10.7 billion, according to Deloitte’s U.S. website but the global page still only has the fiscal year ’08 numbers. The U.S. numbers are essentially flat from fiscal year ’08 revenue of approximately $11 billion.
We don’t really know what the problem is but we understand that math is hard sometimes so we’ll just wait patiently until the global numbers come out. God knows we’d have pandemonium if Deloitte was a SEC registrant filing the 10-K but hey, that’s one big advantage to a private company: We’ll report our revenue when we’re damn good and ready so you can all piss off.
Fine. We can wait.
In the meantime, some interesting data that is presented on the U.S. page so far includes:
• “Staff” dropping 1,490 while “Partners” went up 14 from FY ’08 to FY ’09
• Two offices were either closed or consolidated as the number went from 92 to 90
• Total number of CPA’s went up over 3200 from approximately 8,700 to just under 8,900
So at first glance, it appears that Big D had a similar ho-hum year to E&Y but we’ll withhold final judgment until the global numbers come out. Feel free to speculate on the delay of the global numbers or if you dare to eat donuts that look like a Smurf/Braveheart reenactment occurred on them.

Attention: Deloitte Is Handing Out Donuts On Thursday

For crying out loud, this is what we’re talking about people. If you’re in the DC area, get your hungry hippo ass over to Kogan Plaza at The GWU on Thursday from 10 am to 12 pm. Accounting firms don’t skimp on this stuff so consider doing a jay before going and update us on how many you put away.

Any other firms feeding your faces with fried goodness on campus? Better get in on it while you can.

Deloitte Passes on the Opportunity to Admit Mistakes

DTa.jpgObviously we were too busy promoting democracy and creativity to notice Deloitte getting named in Private Capital Management co-founder Bruce Sherman’s lawsuit against Bear Stearns.
Continued, after the jump


WSJ:

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, alleges that [Jimmy “Don’t Call Me Cheech”] Cayne and others at Bear made material misrepresentations about the company’s financial health and its risk management, causing Sherman to hold shares of Bear stock he “would otherwise have sold months before Bear ultimately collapsed.”
“Defendants knew that the market and the financial press would view Sherman’s sale of his Bear stock as a loss of confidence in Bear by a well-known and long-standing investor,” the lawsuit said. “This, in turn, would have undermined confidence in Bear’s management at a critical time when Bear’s liquidity and Bear’s valuation of its assets were open to question following the implosion of two Bear-sponsored hedge funds in the summer of 2007.”
Cayne; Warren Spector, Bear Stearns’ former co-president and chief operating officer; Bear Stearns; and its outside auditor Deloitte & Touche are defendants in the case.

Regardless of what Deloitte ‘knew’, the firm did not jump at the chance to start a trend of Big 4 firms issuing mea culpas. Big D issued the following statement, which we plan on to memorize for future reference, per the Journal, ‘Deloitte believes the complaint to be totally without merit and we will defend against it vigorously.’ We’ll continue to update you on the vigorous defense as it progresses.
PCM Co-Founder Sues Bear Stearns For Misstatements [WSJ]

Some at Deloitte Aren’t Too Concerned About Accountant Stereotypes

world-of-warcraft-noob.jpgLook. We’re not saying that World of Warcraft is geeky. We’re sure that it’s a very challenging game and some very talented people put it together and continue to work on it. There just seems to be a particular segment of the population that is repeatedly associated with the game. So for the purposes of this discussion, World of Warcraft qualifies as geeky.
We’re all familiar with the reputation of accountants and people that work for the Big 4, so there’s not much to discuss there.
Continued, after the jump


Considering these two factors, why in the name of everything that is good and holy would Deloitte decide to put out an in-depth analysis on “performance improvement” that incorporates said game?
For all impractical purposes, we’re going to ignore any valid conclusions that the authors came to. That’s not what this is about. This about the authors cementing the stereotype of bean counters being not just geeks, but now super-geeks.
Don’t you recognize what we’re trying to accomplish here? There is serious cause for concern. Get someone on this before we get all Glenn Beck on your ass.

The collaboration curve: Exponential performance improvement in World of Warcraft
[Deloitte]

Somehow Deloitte Gets Roped Into a Chicago Political Scandal

Rod Blagojevich.jpgBig D is probably just a pawn in the whole game but it serves as a nice example of how Illinois political tomfoolery touches just about anyone and everyone.
And Rod Blagojevich is just ridiculous and not relevant for this story but his picture seems to work here, so deal with it.
A criminal investigation into Cook County Board President Todd Stroger that started with questions surrounding the hiring, promotion, and firing of a busboy. Stroger then fired his own cousin, “the county’s chief financial officer amid questions about her dealings with [Tony] Cole.”
Cole is said busboy who must have made a move on Stroger’s cousin but enough speculation. The investigation has now grown wider as prosecutors have now subpoenaed Deloitte.
More, after the jump


Chicago Tribune:

Prosecutors have ordered Deloitte & Touche LLP, the county’s auditors, to turn over “certain documents” pertaining to the 2008 audit of county finances, according to a memo from County Board Finance Committee Chairman John Daley (D-Chicago), who also heads the Audit Committee. Deloitte personnel “may serve as witnesses to a current grand jury investigation,” according to an attached letter sent to Stroger from Deloitte’s Tracey Guidry.

It should be noted that John is the brother of Richard, the Mayor who was elected around the time when the Cubs last won the World Series.
The only word on the documents are that they were used in the ‘customary preparation’ of the audit, according to the Sun-Times.
Safe money is on at least one resignation/removal from office and a small fortune being discovered to have passed through various channels of the City Hall.
Todd Stroger: Probe expands into Cook County Board president’s hiring of ex-busboy [Chicago Tribune]

Deloitte Will Not Hold Your Hair Back While You’re Worshipping the Porcelain God

Overheard today at the Business Development Institute’s B2B Social Communications Roundtable via the Twitterverse:
“[Deloitte] is a potential employer, not a BFF”
We’re a little shocked. We really thought mega-bureaucratic professional service companies had genuine feelings. Guess we were wrong.

Deloitte Wants to Help You Find a Job. In Another Country

DTa.jpgIf you recently find yourself unemployed and either you were here on a visa or you’ve had enough of the old US of A, Deloitte is here to help you this week. On Wednesday, the big D is providing a 90 minute webcast for its alumni who are looking for work internationally.
Since Deloitte is a big shot accounting firm that is always on top of this whole economic sitch, they’re providing a webcast for you former Green-dots to figure out how to go to another country ’cause your chances of getting a job States-side are pretty much zilch.
Get details, after the jump

As colleagues for life, our alumni are an important part of the Deloitte culture. You have made significant contributions to Deloitte over the years, and in similar fashion we are committed to continually supporting your journey as you increase your personal market value.
Join us on Wednesday, September 16, 12:00 p.m. EDT for expert advice and tips from members of the Deloitte Global Talent Acquisition and Mobility team…Located in London and Amsterdam, our presenters have their thumb on the pulse of the international job search and will examine ways to navigate a marketplace job search outside of the U.S. Topics covered will include:
• What parts of the world are hiring right now
• How to market yourself for international jobs
• How to maximize your chances of getting a job outside the US
• How to prepare yourself for job interviews outside the US
• How to integrate if you do relocate
• How to negotiate an offer outside the US

Nevermind the tricky part about how the hell you get to Johannesburg once you’ve landed the new gig. That’s all on you.

A Muslim Working in Arkansas. You Know Where This Is Going

A former Deloitte Consulting employee has filed suit against the firm and Wal Mart claiming that, “his civil rights were violated when he was fired for exercising his religious right to pray and clean himself beforehand in a ritual known as [Wudu]”
After the jump, Hairballs (yes) has the story.

According to the lawsuit, Deloitte assigned Memon to a consulting project at Wal-Mart’s corporate office in Bentonville, Arkansas in November 2007. Memon claims he would wash up in the restroom before going to pray in an area designated by Wal-Mart, such as the parking lot or in a hallway. The whole process took about five minutes or so.
…the lawsuit states, Wal-Mart employees began to get upset with Memon for using the bathroom to sprinkle water on himself and Memon was told not to perform the “Wazu.”…Memon’s boss at Deloitte suggested that Memon pray at the hotel. However, this was not practical because it meant driving more than half an hour for each prayer instead of just taking a short five-minute break.
It didn’t take long until Memon was then taken off the Wal-Mart project. He claims that a Deloitte project manager told him that other colleagues would also be removed from the job, but in the end he was the only one.
According to the lawsuit, the project manager told Memon that, “Americans do not deal with Islamic practices and clients particularly in the South do not understand these religious practices.” The manager also allegedly said that Memon “is putting himself at risk” by practicing his religion. Deloitte then fired Memon, citing “poor performance,” the lawsuit states.

Having never been to Arkansas, we can’t really give any first hand account on the populace’s tolerance for, well, anything but we do know a few people that went to school in Arkansas and they are very nice, tolerant people.
Since Hairballs wasn’t interested in Deloitte’s statement, we went ahead and got it:

“The allegations in this case are false and we intend to defend ourselves vigorously. Deloitte is deeply committed to all aspects of workplace diversity and inclusion, including expression of religious beliefs, and is proud to be regularly recognized as a leader in this area.”

Based on the Green Dot’s statement, we’re assuming Mr. Memon was let go for performance reasons, which as you all know, are subject to change at any time.
Wal-Mart And An Accounting Firm Fire A Muslim For Praying, Suit Says [Hairballs]

Now That the #1 Spot Is Secure, Deloitte Is Making Some Changes

We’re not sure when Deloitte dropped the hammer on Pandora but the timing of us hearing about it is dubious since the coveted #1 spot on BW’s list is safely in print.
Much like E&Y, we’re curious as to the motivation here. Bandwidth sucking notwithstanding, your morale doesn’t seem to be much of a concern here. Green dots, kindly discuss in comments your theories behind the latest buzz kill. The rest of you (minus E&Y, natch) can share what you’re listening to currently as pure schadenfreude.

In a Pinch, Deloitte Lets Anyone Sign Off on Audit Reports

DTa.jpgAudit partners are busy people. Regrettably, things get overlooked from time to time. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Pants. There’s just too much to think about sometimes.
One thing that you wouldn’t expect an audit partner to forget is to sign an audit report. Sadly, it appears that this crucial piece of the engagement sneaks by too:
More, after the jump

Deloitte has agreed to pay a £10,000 fine after allowing three members of staff to sign audit reports who were not designated as “responsible individuals”, contrary to audit regulations. Between March 2003 and November 2007 the three employees signed 95 audit reports.

Personally, we’re hoping that interns signed off on these because that would amount to a level of irresponsibility of the utmost hilarity. Speculation aside, Deloitte took this matter very seriously:

“Deloitte prides itself on its rigorous quality procedures and is disappointed that the individuals concerned failed to comply with the explicit policy that only those authorised to sign audit opinions may do so. None of the individuals concerned now work for Deloitte and the firm has implemented further improvements to its processes and controls.”

Rigorous quality procedures that let 95 audit reports sneak by? Short of the partner being on their deathbed, what could have come up that would make it a good idea to have someone else sign the reports? As for “rigorous quality procedures”, these must be on a sliding scale dependent on the number of pints that everyone has at lunch.
Deloitte fined £10,000 over mis-signed audits [Accountancy Age]

Deloitte is Handing Out Giant Foam Fingers Today

green#1.jpgBusinessWeek’s “Best Places to Launch a Career” hits the newsstands today and Deloitte stuffed the ballot box best.

E&Y is the first loser, PwC gets the bronze and KPMG jumped one spot to #4, up from #5 last year. Grant Thornton dropped in at #51.

A few stats that probably help Deloitte land on top include:

• Average pay range being $5k higher than all the other firms

• Highest average signing bonus and 90% of new hires received them

• Highest three year retention rate of 56%

• Lowest drop in entry level hiring

Regardless of who comes out on top in this list, all the firms will be hyping their inclusion while on campus this fall.

We’ll revisit this next week when more of you are actually at work, not hungover, or haven’t already left.
For the rest of you, feel free to discuss the list in the comments, as we’re sure there are opinions out there on this.

Best Places to Launch a Career [BusinessWeek]

Where are Deloitte’s Revenue Results?

small salzberg.jpgAccountancy Age reports that P. Dubs still retains the most FTSE 100 clients in the UK while KPMG retains the largest amount of clients overall.
BFD, right? Stateside it’s all about the scratch. This begs the question of why the hell we haven’t seen any revenue results out of Deloitte yet. KPMG is too far out and P. Dubs and E&Y will be reporting next month.
But the Big Four Blog points out that Dr. Phil and Co. reported revenue in July last year but here we are approaching Labor Day (or for some, just the weekend) and not a peep.
We’ve contacted Deloitte about this and will update you with their response just as soon as we hear back. In the meantime, feel free to wildly speculate about the delay in the comments and what the fiscal year ’09 number will be. Last year global revenue was $27.4B so we’ll put over/under at $28.6B. Takers?

Chrysler Auditor Switcheroo Follow-up (UPDATE)

We’ve confirmed with a Chrysler Spokesperson that the new entity emerging from bankruptcy has appointed Deloitte as the external auditors, a role that KPMG held for the entity that remains in bankruptcy:
More, after the jump

[We] can confirm that, as a new company, Chrysler Group LLC has appointed Deloitte as its external auditors. KPMG had previously served this role for the old Chrysler, which remains in bankruptcy. The new company, Chrysler Group LLC became operational on June 10, 2009.

Basically, as some have speculated, this may be a chance for Deloitte to poach the entire KPMG team, which, we have to admit, might not be a bad idea.
KPMG did not immediately respond to our requests for comment. Deloitte got back to us with no comment.
UPDATE: Chrysler got back to us with some additional information including
Why the change in auditors – “Chrysler Group LLC is a new company and, as such, the company has decided to appoint Deloitte as its new external auditors.”
If Deloitte was in the field – “Deloitte has begun initial planning work for the 2009 audit.”
KPMG’s remaining responsibilities – “We cannot address any services KPMG may be performing for OldCarco (the official name of the company that remains in bankruptcy).”
Nothing too surprising here except for the hilarious awesomeness of “OldCarco”.

Rumor of the Day: Deloitte Snagging Chrysler Audit from KPMG?

chrysler1.jpgMaybe figuring that bankruptcy means a fresh start with everything, we received a tip that Chrysler is dumping KPMG for Deloitte as their external auditors:
“it was announced to KPMG Detroit employees late yesterday…via voicemail or conference call”
Could be the reason the Green-dots in Detroit were rumored to be getting raises but WTFK.
Right now we’ve reached out to all three members of this love triangle and only Deloitte has gotten back to us and could not confirm or comment.
If you’re at Radio Station or the D in Detriot and have details on this, let us know. We keep all sources anonymous.

Barry Salzberg Has Found Someone That Wants His Job

small salzberg.jpgA ghostwriter Dr. Phil has gone and granted our request for Big 4 CEOs to tread into the blogosphere. He’s managed to find time away from making awkward remarks about diversity and giving faux-advice to the President on healthcare to do a puff piece over at Fortune called “The value of volunteerism”. Basically, he’s talking up Deloitte doing skill-based volunteerism, which we think might involve auditing for free but we’re not exactly sure.
We’ve presented the opening paragraph for your enjoyment:
After the jump

Recently, I was sitting with several dozen inner-city teens, talking with them about college and careers. It was a free-wheeling conversation. I was peppered with questions-including, “How can I get your job?”

Dr. Phil is out there. He’s free-wheeling with inner-city teens. He’s blogging about it. He’s talking up the Big D:

Our company, Deloitte, recently conducted a survey on corporate volunteering…only 16% of companies offer skills-based volunteering as an option for employees. Only one out of six…Given the obvious need out there and also given President Obama’s impassioned call for national service, we’ve gone way beyond surveying about volunteerism. We’ve pledged $50 million in services-that’s right, $50 million worth of our employees’ time

So the message here appears to be, “We’re Deloitte. We’re out here kicking ass at volunteering because the President impassionately called us to. $50 mil worth. THAT’S RIGHT. Why aren’t you?”
Not sure what part Salz has played in all this other than faux-writing about it but if you’ve got some thoughts on his stab at taking credit for other people’s volunteering, in the blogosphere, we’d invite you to share.
Guest Post: The value of volunteerism [Fortune]

Rumor: Deloitte Motor City Edition

mustache-ted-nugent.jpgThe last place we would ever expect to get good news from is Detroit. Not that we don’t love Motown (Eminem, The Nuge) but let’s face it, things are not good up there.
So when we got a tip that raises for Deloitte audit were happening in Detroit, we just couldn’t believe it. Especially after all the talk last week that nothing but disappointment was being handed out.
Maybe it’s just certain audit prodigies getting the love, which was speculated, but that’s why we’re checking with you all. Any specifics, fire away or discuss in the comments.

Gold Star of the Day: Deloitte

DTa.jpgBrace yourselves, we’ve got a positive story about accountants, specifically auditors. Taylor, Bean, & Whitaker, filed bankruptcy on Monday after some strange goings on in the past month between the lender and the purchaser of its loans, Colonial Bank.
More, after the jump


The collapse came, at least partially, due to some very pesky Deloitte auditors who were calling TBW on their shenanigans. Per the WSJ:

Edward Corristan, the Deloitte & Touche LLP partner who headed the audit, was uncomfortable with the way Taylor Bean was accounting for foreclosed properties, according to a court filing and people familiar with the matter…Deloitte believed that employees of Taylor Bean and Colonial “had engaged in potentially inappropriate communications” about accounting for the foreclosed homes, according to a filing by Taylor Bean in connection with its bankruptcy case. With Ginnie Mae’s deadline for filing an audited financial statement approaching, Taylor Bean agreed to hire the law firm Troutman Sanders LLP to investigate Deloitte’s concerns. Meanwhile, Deloitte suspended its audit.

When TBW missed their deadline for filing with Ginnie, they had some explaining to do:

That task fell to Paul R. Allen, a former Fannie Mae executive who had served as chief executive of Taylor Bean since 2003…On July 6, Mr. Allen wrote a letter to Ginnie stating that there were no unresolved issues between Taylor Bean and Deloitte, according to the court filing. The letter hadn’t been reviewed by Mr. Farkas, Deloitte or Taylor Bean’s legal counsel, the filing said…Ginnie then met with Deloitte, learned of its concerns and decided that Mr. Allen’s letter was misleading. On Aug. 4, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees Ginnie and the FHA, suspended Taylor Bean’s authority to make or service FHA-insured loans. HUD said Deloitte had found “certain irregular transactions that raised concerns of fraud.”

Deloitte declined to comment, as it is their policy not to, on client matters. Okay but we’ll say, pret-tay, pret-tay, prety-tay good job Deloitte. Our faith has been restored. For now.
For Lender, a Fast Fall From Audit to Collapse [WSJ]

Barry Salzberg isn’t Satisified with Deloitte’s Diversity

small salzberg.jpgAccounting firms get lots of recognition for their diversity, but Barry Salzberg isn’t satisified:
More, after the jump

Deloitte still plans to do aggressive hiring of Asian employees, including in Asia, where Salzberg said the firm was doing more offshore outsourcing of accounting work, especially at a center in Hyderabad, India. The firm also plans to ramp up its recruitment of African American and Latino employees.

What he can’t figure out is why 30% of annual recruits are Asian, but only 20% of the Deloitte workforce is Asian, and only 6% are partners or directors.
He has some ideas though:

“We think there is a cultural issue there with Asians typically being less aggressive, a little bit more reticent to speak up, and when they move to the manager and senior manager ranks, which happen very clearly within the organization, it then appears that their leadership skills are not being demonstrated in the minds of those that are evaluating them,” he said.

We’re not exactly sure if B. Salz is saying that Asians don’t make partner because they are reticent to speak up or if it’s because the people evaluating them have unattainable standards of performance.
One thing is for certain. The trend of bald men in leadership roles remains strong to very strong.
We’re sure you’ve got opinions on this. Like we mentioned, the firms aren’t shy about promoting how diverse they are. So what are you thoughts on diversity at Deloitte? In the Big 4? Discuss in the comments.

Deloitte’s Magic Potion

In our continuing effort to lift everyone’s spirits this week, we’ll present a few a videos today for your viewing pleasure. We’re attempting to find something for every firm but if you know of something that you feel that is imperative to share with everyone, shoot us the link, [email protected]. Feel free to get all Roger Ebert on these videos in the comments. Oh, and as we’ve mentioned before, just charge the time to an administrative code.
We’ll start with Deloitte:
Video, after the jump

Deloitte Disappointment is Officially Starting

DTa.jpgWe’re starting to receive confirmations of last week’s rumors of the less-than-exciting details re: Deloitte-period raises:
More, after the jump

I’m a senior in Chicago moving into my fifth year, and I’m one of those 2s who got bumped to a 3, got a zero raise and a $1000 bonus. I’m apparently a “3 -plus” as they had “3-minuses” also and those folks did not get bonuses.

Also got a tip that compensation discussions are set to begin in the Northeast for the ERS and Tax practices soon so we recommend watching Leaving Las Vegas or The Reader immediately prior to your meetings to cushion the blow.

Deloitte Settles American Homes Lawsuit

Barry Salzberg.jpgDeloitte becomes the first accounting firm, to our knowledge, to settle a sub-prime lawsuit by burying the hatchet with American Home Mortgage Corporation.
The total settlement was for $37.5 million of which Deloitte’s share was $4.75 million. We’re guessing that Barry Salzberg wasted more money on Rogaine last year.
We should mention that Deloitte and their fellow defendants decided to settle prior to the judge hearing their motions to dismiss the case. We thought this was a little strange so we decided to consult with some experts.
Their take was that the settlement seemed a little premature but made the points that 1) It’s often cheaper to settle early and B) if your company’s name is associated anything “sub-prime” you’re more or less responsible for the whole damn financial crisis.
Another Significant Subprime-Related Securities Lawsuit Settlement [The D&O Diary]

Follow up Rumor: Green-dotter Merit Increase Edition

DTa.jpgAfter hearing speculation last week that Green-dotters were getting froze out, we got some potential details on the lucky few of you in the Northeast:
Get the scoop, after the jump

I’ve been told by a reliable source that merit increases will be available for 1s and 2s, but not for the majority of 3s and def not for 4s or 5s. On the AIP (bonus) side of the house, >50% of 3s and all 1s and 2s will get them. Of course, the actual amount will be smaller, I’ve also heard ~2% pool.

So, if you find yourself lucky enough to be on the good side of a particularly well connected senior partner, you might see a bump for all your trouble. Since performance rating cuts are all the rage these days, sources tell us the number of 1 and 2 will be scarce. We’d advise serious ass kissing but at this point you’re probably just getting the jump on next year (if you’re around).

Deloitte is Baiting the New Hires

iphone.jpgOn a day like today, we never thought we’d be telling you about a firm actually spending money but color us surprised.
Deloitte will start issuing iPhones to partners, principals, and directors starting Monday, according to a tip we received and will be available to “eligible personnel on Monday, September 14.”
So the obvious question is who the hell is eligible? The trend seems that senior associates haven’t been getting squat so our money would be on the new hires getting the new toys gadgets business tools in order to write down everyone’s order for take out but we’ll keep our fingers crossed for you SA’s.

Do You See What Happens?

accountant.jpgThe PCAOB was kind enough to issue a couple of examples this week of what happens when you don’t take your role as auditor seriously.
We wouldn’t dream of putting them both in one post so we’ll give you one in the morning to ponder and save the second for later right about the time you’re ready to flip out, so hang in there.
We’ve also done you the courtesy of reading (sort of) both of the orders so that you can remain fully chargeable (not counting the time you take to read this post of course):
Thomas Linden was a partner in the Chicago office of Deloitte and lead engagement partner on Navistar Financial Corporation (NFC). At the 11th hour, prior to filing the fiscal year 2003 10-K, the engagement team realized that assets, revenues, and net profits were overstated by $19.7 million.
Check out the rest, after the jump


Having a typical over-confident management team, NFC had already taken the liberty of announcing the fourth quarter earnings prior to filing the 10-K.
Because Tom Linden was a Big 4 Partner and thus impervious to any challenge he encounterd, he took the following action (all our emphasis):

• Initiated an increase of approximately 50 percent in Deloitte’s planned tolerance for misstatements in NFC’s reported financial results
• Authored, with the assistance of a member of the NFC engagement team, an NFC auditwork paper that inaccurately characterized the reasons for and circumstances surrounding the increase
• Failed to evaluate adequately the risk that NIC’s financial statements were materially misstated due to error or fraud
• Otherwise failed to act with the requisite due professional care and professional skepticism

Okay, so the last two are boring but the first two kinda, sorta give us this impression of what happened:
Dude finds out the numbers are bunk, client isn’t cool with telling their analysts (who NFC told that they had a kick ass quarter) that said numbers are bunk, so Dude up and decides to ABBACADABRA make the tolerance for misstatement 50% higher than it was for the entire audit (read: that’s a lot).
Then, after probably putting the proverbial (or possibly literal) gun to head of the “member of the NFC engagement team”, they wrote a workpaper that supposedly explained why the tolerance was all of sudden 50% higher but the rationale was something to the effect of “because we said so”.
So for all that tomfoolery (snap!), Linden gets fined $75,000 and can’t be associated with a registered accounting firm for two years and which point he can petition to be to be reinstated. Yow-za. To better times, Tom.
ORDER MAKING FINDINGS AND IMPOSING SANCTIONS In the Matter of Thomas J. Linden, CPA, Respondent. [PCAOB]

Rumor of the Morning: No raises for SA’s at Deloitte

Big D is the now officially in the toilet frozen pay camp, as we have received a tip that senior associates in the Northeast region will not receive raises this year. On the less-bleak side, B. Salz and his fellow partners are doling out bonuses out of 2.2% pool which will probably amount to barely enough to pay for one night of your now three day drinking binge.
Rumor is that the disappointing word for associates should come down tomorrow but if you’ve got the scoop for us early or have more details on the cold news let us know at [email protected].

Firm Watch: Deloitte

DTa.jpgThe last of the Big 4 Horsemen of the Bean Counter Apocalypse is Big D-period. Catch up on the rest of the usual suspects: Radio Station, P. Dubya, and E&Y to get the gist of this little exercise.
Deloitte’s got a pretty similar list as the rest of the firms but with a couple twists so let’s get down to brass tacks:
Get the details, after the jump


Losing Clients – We’ve heard that firms are low-balling their RFP’s so it’s no surprise that some clients are switching but Deloitte seems to have had worse luck than others. UAL, Heelys (for the kids), Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, and Washington Mutual have all disappeared from D-period.
Lawsuits – Believe it or not, the Parmalat debacle is not a done deal, as some lawsuits against the US and Internationalfirms are still out there as a judge ruled in January that the agent/agency issue was worth a closer look.
Madoff Exposure – All week we’ve been referring you to the list of Feeder Fund Lawsuits over at D&O Diary. In a small water into wine moment, Deloitte does not appear on the list once. Nice bullet dodge Big D.
Overtime Lawsuits in California – Deloitte is listed as the defendant in three of the cases.
Layoffs, performance reviews, etc. – So, as we saw yesterday, this is where Deloitte’s sitch gets, pret-tay, pret-tay, pret-tay ugly. Layoffs were reported in both December and March nationwide. The performance stealth cuts are common here too and more may occur. All this is going on while an out-going CEO is talking to the press about how bad things have been in the last five years and the UK CEO is having Scrooge McDuck pool parties.
Miscellaneous – The worst drug dealers in the world used to work for Big D.
So that does it for Deloitte, God bless ’em. And that does it for the Final Big 4. We’ll throw in GT and BDO in for good measure but if you want to throw some more jabs at the big boys, email us at [email protected]. You’ve got until around high noon tomorrow before we’ll start coming up with our completely unfair and unscientific ranking.

Deloitte UK CEO Does All Right For Himself

john connolly.jpgApparently Deloitte was feeling a little left out of the populist outrage because after the news that Big D UK reported shrinking revenues yesterday, today we learn out that John Connolly, Big D CEO across the pond, earned £5.22 million this past year.
Not too shabby even though that’s a little less than his earnings last year of £5.69 million, according to the London Evening Standard.
Big John should probably send some biscuits over to the Royal Bank of Scotland for the payday as RBS paid Deloitte nearly £59 million this past year, up from the £31 million in the year prior. RBS has received billions of bailout funds from the UK government, so some crazy taxpayer wrath headed in the direction of Big D would not be outside the realm of possibility.
Deloitte boss rakes in £5.2m after the bailout of RBS [London Evening Standard]

Deloitte UK Reports Shrinking Revenues

DTa.jpgBig D’s UK revenue was down 2% to £1.93 bil for the latest fiscal year, marking the first time a Big 4 firm has reported declining revenues in six years.
Partners are still doing okay though, as they will receive £601 million. That’s an average of £883,000 per partner. Not too shabby, even though that’s down over 7%.
Leaders within the firm are expecting another rough year ahead for the economy but are still planning for “growth not contraction”. We’re not sure how that fuzzy math will work but whatevs.
Oh, and little D’s, don’t worry, you got a shout-out from John Connolly the UK CEO: “our success will continue to be the product of our exceptionally talented people being relentlessly committed to our clients, to market leading, innovative service and to an obsession with quality”.
Relentlessly committed. Obsession with quality. Sounds like they must have re-instituted the tradition of shipping the criminals lesser performers down under.
Deloitte revenue drops in `extremely tough’ market [Accountancy Age]
Deloitte’s UK revenues shrink 2% [FT.com]

Subtlety Not a Strong Suit for Some Deloitte Aussies

DTa.jpgRumor out of Deloitte down-under, where, supposedly, some associates got canned because of organizing drug deals on Big D’s premises. Details are pretty scarce but this got us thinking:
More, after the jump


1. They were probably tax associates. They’re an unassuming bunch.
2. Is the pay so bad in Australia that Big D associates are resorting to illegal means of earning supplemental income? Wouldn’t turning tricks be easier?
3. How in God’s holy name did these f’n amateurs get busted? We’re they walking around soliciting potential customers like they were at a Phish concert?
We reached out to a Deloitte spokesperson who said they won’t comment on rumors. If you hear of other extracurricular activities going on at any of the firms, shoot us the scoop at [email protected]

Deloitte to Squash Ratings?

Following up on yesterday’s post on KPMG’s slashing of ratings, we checked with a source that gave us the lowdown on the rating system at Deloitte:
“From what I heard, all of the 4s and 5s have already been shown the door. D&T is known to suppress ratings, so I doubt that there will be a lot of 1s or even 2s this year.”
So we asked them to elaborate on “suppress ratings”:
Get the details, after the jump

Your Senior and your manager will give you a rating. Lets say that you are good and they give you a 2. They will need to justify this rating to the entire firm when they have the review meeting (I forget the exact name). Since every Senior thinks that their staff is the shit, a lot of the 2s tend to get pushed down to 3s because if everyone is performing at a higher level, then that is the average. Then, they have a limited number of 2s to fight over…2s get paid more and I think that they get some kind of performance bonus. So they have an incentive to limit the number of 2s given out every year.

Sound familiar to anyone? Discuss.
We’re smack in the middle of performance review time so email us any shady changes, adjustments, throwing people under the bus, etc. going down to [email protected]

Deloitte Study: Your Boss Wants to Know About Your Trite Status Updates

facebook at work.jpgA study put out by Big D states that 60% of business executives believe that they have every right to know how you portray yourself and the organization you work for.
And while they’re checking that out, they’ll probably go ahead and sneak a peek at your photos from your friend’s bachelorette party where phallic hats and straws were passed out to anyone who would accept them.
Not surprisingly, the study also states that the majority of 18-34 year old employees want The Man to BTFO of their online social networking. While this demand for privacy may exist, apparently you’re still aware that the power of rumor mill known as the Internet can still take your employer down like Nixon Dick Fuld Arthur Andersen.
While less than 20 percent of the overlords out there actually have Big Brother in place, almost half of employees say that they will still flagrantly update their status as “I hate Mondays” or “The weather is way too nice to be working!”
Deloitte’s 2009 Ethics & Workplace Survey Examines the Reputational Risk Implications of Social Networks [Deloitte Press Release]

UAL Dumps Deloitte for Ernst & Young

DTa.jpgDeloitte has gotten dumped by UAL, the parent company of United Airlines, for E&Y. The change will be effective after D-Period finishes the 2009 fiscal year-end audit engagement. This continues the trend of heartbreak for Deloitte, who was kicked to the curb by Heelys over fees.
UAL claims that it doesn’t have any disagreements with Deloitte which we don’t really believe. They have to disagree on something. White Sox vs. Cubs fans at the very least.
More after the jump


Also, changing your auditor isn’t like changing your underwear (well, it might be hard for some). We’ve got the feeling some top brass at UAL were sick of shacking up with Deloitte. However, the article also states that UAL cited the mandatory rotation of the lead partner, “firms often choose to seek bids for audit work in anticipation of that rotation.” Okay, going out to bid to tease the other firms is one thing but actually opting for a change is quite another.
We’re guessing there’s more to this story, so if you’ve got some inside dirt on this latest break up, let us know at [email protected].
UAL hires E&Y to replace Deloitte as accountant [Reuters]

Our Speculation About the Motivation Behind Deloitte’s Most Recent Survey

heelys.jpgBig accounting firms like doing surveys. We’ve often thought about the motivation behind the constant surveys and further wonder if firms ever josh the numbers around out of a personal vendetta against its rivals, enemies, former clients, etc.
Deloitte’s survey that states that American consumers are planning on spending less this back-to-school season causes us to speculate as to why the Big D would do such a survey? It’s a nice little press release we suppose. Shows that the firm is plugged into the current state of the economy, etc., etc. But then we got to thinking about how Heelys, the obnoxious shoes with wheels, recently dumped Deloitte because their fees were too high in favor of Grant Thornton.
Far be it from us to speculate about the temperament of a Big 4 accounting firm when it has business swiped away by a second-tier firm but isn’t it possible that Deloitte is bitter about the whole sitch? Isn’t it possible that Deloitte is merely putting out this survey as a way to scare consumers out of spending money on back-to-school junk like Heelys?
Back-to-School Shoppers Plan to Spend Less, Save More [Bloomberg]

Heelys Dumped Deloitte for that Slut, Grant Thornton

heelys.jpgWe told you earlier about wheeled shoes company Heelys dumping Deloitte. It was reported that Heelys left because fees were too high but we speculated that the Big D probably wasn’t down with Heelys request to have the entire audit team don the juvenile wheeled shoes.
Heelys has now announced they will be retaining the younger, sexier, less Big 4-ier, firm Grant Thornton as its independent accounting firm.
We find this very similar to the all-too-common situation where the old wife/husband is left behind for the newer, younger, partner who’s young, racy, and willing to experiment a little.
As you might expect, for accounting firms, letting the engagement teams wear shoes with wheels on them definitely qualifies as racy and risque and other firms only wish they had the balls to do something like that.

Heelys hires new accounting firm
[WFAA.com]

Deloitte Throws Up its Hands Regarding Missing Gold

deloitte.jpgThe Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) had a discrepancy between their book inventory of precious metals and the actual count, so natch, they called in a Big 4 accounting firm to do an audit and get to the bottom of this.
Deloitte got the honor of investigating and…wait for it…determined that there is gold missing. 17,500 ounces to be precise, worth about 15.3 million Canadian Dollars (approximately $13.2 USD). Oh, and there’s probably some silver missing too.
In classic auditor fashion, Big D issued a recommendation to the RCM to review its security.

Audit fails to find missing gold
[BBC]

Deloitte May Be the #1 Firm of No Fun

heelys.jpgRegardless of who a client is or what their business is, accounting firms don’t like to lose them. Lost revenue, a little bit of a slap in the face, a promise that wasn’t delivered (which, let’s be honest, really isn’t all that rare).
For whatever reason, we find the story that Heelys, the skate shoe company, having fired Deloitte as their auditor, has to be an especially tough pill to swallow for the Big D.
Why, you may ask? How about the fact that Heelys MAKES SHOES THAT HAVE WHEELS ON THEM which might be something fun.
According to Reuters, Heelys gave Deloitte-period the heave-ho primarily because of cost considerations. That may be true but something tells us that the real reason might have been Deloitte putting the kibosh on Heelys request of the audit team to wear the skate shoes while working at the client’s HQ.
Deloitte, like all Big 4 firms, being the fun killer, likely argued that skate shoes did fall under acceptable attire in its dress code.
It was probably only a matter of time until the Heelys audit committee concluded that they had to find another audit firm with smaller sticks up their asses. Partners on the engagement are now quietly stewing with their decision that may have put their firm solidly in the #1 slot for hating all things fun.

Heelys dismisses accounting firm
[Reuters]

Deloitte: Folding Like a Cheap Lawn Chair?

deloitte.jpgIs it possible that the spinelessness of the FASB is spreading some of the firms?
Motely Foley is reporting that MGM Mirage got the Big D to drop the going concern language from its “financial assessment” which we confirmed with the author, Bob Steyer, that indeed meant the audit opinion.
Doing a little digging on this whole sitch, we found that MGM has done some duct tape repairs to its balance sheet in order to convince its banks and Big D that nothing is fucked.
Deloitte, wanting to be troopers and all, probably just had to step back from the whole thing to get perspective. “Yeah, when you look at it from back here, $14.4 Billion in debt doesn’t really look that bad.”

MGM Back From the Brink — for Now
[Motley Fool]