“This is rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. To regulators, they have always been giving […]
Congratulations, unlicensed U.S. expats in Europe, beginning October 1 you no longer have to head […]
In case you avoid the financial news like I avoid Colin before I've had my […]
Yeah, there are doubters, but that doesn't mean Black and Yellow isn't going to try […]
The foot-dragging by the SEC over IFRS is a sight to behold. At some point […]
Proposed audit reforms in Europe, which include mandatory firm rotation and a ban on advisory […]
Former Andersen CEO Joe Berardino Admits That We’re All Just As Stupid Now As We Were When Enron Went Bankrupt
Of course CNBC would put this guy on TV today.
Asked whether lessons had been learned since Enron filed for bankruptcy, Berardino said, “we’re still learning” and pointed to the sovereign debt crisis currently engulfing the euro zone. “(Enron) ran out of time in terms of its liquidity and a lot of the same elements — leverage, the need for liquidity, crisis when you lose confidence — are repeated in all those examples. And I would argue we’re now living through it with the sovereign crisis in Europe,” he said. “There are a lot of the same elements.”
Michel Barnier delayed things for a week – not his choice – but your anxiety should subside tomorrow:
Internal markets commissioner Barnier will present his audit reform proposals to European Parliament tomorrow, one week later than planned. […] Headline proposals include pure audit firms, mandatory joint audit and mandatory rotation, but critics claim the measures would not address Barnier’s proclaimed objectives.
Barnier’s audit reform unveiled tomorrow [Accountancy Age]
Did You Blow Off the CPA Exam to Have an Epic Summer? Here’s How to Start Your New Job and Study Smart
If you have a CPA exam question for me or (even better), our audience as a whole using me as a pawn in your game to get better information, please get in touch. I’ll try to Google any answers I don’t know and will not berate you for your choices. Unless your choices are stupid.
I appreciate you offering to give CPA advice to readers of GC.
I am starting with GT next week, but due to summer school, summer work, and an awesome trip to Europe I opted to not even look at CPA exam material until now. I went against better advice saying I should study with the free time I had, and instead opted to genuinely enjoy my last Summer before life officially ends.
As you probably remember, Countrywide Financial once owned a lot of shitty mortgages. This wasn’t clear to many of the company’s investors so when the things turned sour, lots of those investors lost boatloads of money and then Bank of America came in to pick up the scraps. KPMG was the auditor of Countrywide and the shareholders sued both companies because, gosh, that’s basically what happens when a bunch of money is lost for no good reason and you had a front row seat for the action. Accordingly, the two firms settled with CTW shareholders last year for $624 million. KPMG, for its part, chipped in $24 million. That’s rumored to be in the ballpark of what John Veihmeyer spends every year on Notre Dame gear, so the firm was probably thinking it got off pretty easy. Unfortunately, things are just getting started since other countries hadn’t had a chance to jump into the mix.
From Zero Hedge:
Norway’s Government Pension Fund, which is another name for its Sovereign Wealth Fund, has just announced it is suing Bank of America for mortgage fraud. Not only that but it is also going after Countrywide, obviously, but far more importantly, is also suing KPGM [sic], the auditor on the Countrywide transaction, and, drumroll, ole’ Agent Orange himself [That’s former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo for those of you not up to speed].
So what, you say? Norway is just some Scandinavian wasteland with a lot of blondes and the occasional psychopath? Not the point!
[J]ust like the US lawsuit spigot opened ever so slowly at first, it is now gushing, and is absolutely certain that every company (ahem insolvent German banks) that ever bought a mortgage from Countrywide, Merrill and Bank of America will serve the local branch of the bank with a summons over the next month.
In other words, this little breakout may turn into a full-fledged epidemic.
Bank Of America’s Legal Woes Go Global After Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Sues For Mortgage Fraud [ZH]
The Fund suing large bank in the U.S. for fraud [DN.NO (Beware, the translation is brutal)]
Ed. note: Are you in the middle of a career conundrum that could use some third-rate advice? Email us at [email protected] and we just surprise you with some sensibility.
I work in audit at a Big Four firm in Europe. I’m starting my second senior year and I’ve received good evaluations so far (B+ on my first year,
and then A’s on my second and third years). I love the job, but I know I won’t stay forever (too many long nights, plus I just don’t think
I’d like to be manager). I’m 25, I’ve been married for 2 years and I want kids. I want to start trying, keep working through pregnancy, take the usual time off after birth (paid by government), and return to work part-time. Then after some time I’d probably look for a job elsewhere to work full time (but not Big Four hours).
I haven’t heard of anyone being pregnant during their senior years. How crazy is my plan? Will my senior manager have a heart attack when
I tell him I’m pregnant? Should I wait to try to get pregnant and look for another job with more normal hours?
Greetings from across the pond. I’ll do my best to help with your questions, but seeing that I am neither a) pregnant nor b) part of the busy season cycle, I hope the GC.com community can pitch in their own advice. My advice is based on a combination of what I’ve seen here in New York, my general knowledge of Big 4 firms, and what I think (or hope) is common sense.
EU: I haven’t heard of anyone being pregnant during their senior years. How crazy is my plan? Will my senior manager have a heart attack when I tell him I’m pregnant?
DWB: The timing of your pregnancy and pending childbirth will determine how your senior manager takes the news. Generally speaking (again, from what I see here in the States), it’s better from a career move perspective to be pregnant during busy season than to give birth and be out of the office during final reviews, sign-off’s, etc. So, conceiving in the next few months shouldn’t pose too much of an issue.
Let’s say your nine month clock kicks off in October; you’re looking at a July baby. Like the rest of your life, working through busy season will require an adjustment on your part and open communication with your team will be essential. Summer babies are a very common and oftentimes planned with busy season in mind.
EU: Should I wait to try to get pregnant and look for another job with more normal hours?
This question contradicts with what you said earlier in your email, so I’m going to say stay where you are for now. You’re doing well at your firm, and your job there might even act as a rock as you transition into parenthood. I suggest taking advantage of the support groups your firm has in place, and seek out the advice of senior employees who balance work and parenting already.
Good luck with starting your family! GC’ers – what kind of advice can you provide to our hopeful accountant-and-mother-to-be?