The big news in the accounting profession yesterday afternoon from Dave Michaels of the Wall Street Journal was that the SEC is investigating the Big 4 and other public accounting firms on whether the consulting and non-audit services they sell to clients is conflicting with their independence as the auditors of said clients. Michaels reported […]
About a month ago, we chided RSM US for being fined $950,000 by the SEC for getting caught providing non-audit services to audit clients, saying that a firm like RSM should’ve known better. But PwC got busted today by the SEC for also doing non-audit work for audit clients, which pretty much reinforces how shady […]
I was kinda wondering about this myself, but I figured the answer would be no. From Tammy Whitehouse of Compliance Week: KPMG is under fire in the U.K. for diminishing audit performance, particularly in connection with the collapse of British construction firm Carillion. The firm has reportedly advised its partners internally that it would halt all […]
The partner track is a challenge, as we’ve discussed. The competition in the UK is fierce enough that some directors and manager in the UK have taken it upon themselves to ignore their firm’s policies regarding cross-selling:
Authorities frown upon cross-selling, which involves an auditor selling non-audit services to their audit client. The practice is a potential threat to auditor independence and the Big Four explicitly prohibit the practice from being considered in staff appraisals.
But that didn’t stop Big Four firm Deloitte’s audit directors and managers referring to cross selling when trying to secure a promotion, according to the [Audit Inspection Unit].
“A number of audit directors and managers referred in their performance evaluations to cross selling non audit services to their audit clients,” the report stated.
Maybe this isn’t as much of a problem Stateside, since the SEC has addressed services that are definitely off-limits, and a company’s audit committee has to approve all non-audit work performed by the auditors. If there was a perceived independence issue, one would hope the committee would say no dice and that would be the end of it.
However, if a potential service doesn’t fall into the SEC banned list and the audit committee gives the non-audit service the thumbs up, should a manager be allowed to point to the business that he/she introduced to the firm?
After all that hoop jumping, it would be hard for any manager to resist pointing to business that the firm eventually won. Since the Big 4 have policies against cross-selling coming up in appraisals, it might all be moot but any potential partner still wants to be able to show that they can drum up the business.
If you’ve got feelings or experiences on the matter, discuss in the comments.
Big Four partners seek promotions for cross selling [Accountancy Age]