We received a tip about a situation over at Grant Thornton that may or may not have any basis in reality but since the only time Grant Thornton ever gets mentioned here is to get made fun of over being so bad at auditing (it’s getting better OK!) we thought hey, let’s have a discussion […]
The big hurdle in EY’s plan to split audit and consulting lies in whether or not its partners want to take the risk per earlier Wall Street Journal coverage in which people familiar with the matter told WSJ its roughly 12,000 partners will need to vote to approve the spinoff. Well according to this it […]
The rumor mill got fired up a mere 14 days ago when the Wall Street Journal reported EY was considering splitting its audit and advisory arms (pesky regulators and conflicts of interest and whatnot). As interns and accounting students who aren’t even going to Meet the Firms yet blew up social media asking what this […]
[UPDATE on May 3] The news we broke last week (scroll down) came to fruition today, as the merger between Friedman and Marcum is now official. Here is the press release from Marcum: Leading national accounting and advisory firms Marcum LLP (“Marcum”) and Friedman LLP (“Friedman”) today announced that they are in advanced discussions related to a […]
[Updated below with information about BKD and DHG merger.] This came through the tipline a little bit ago: To be announced later today, two top 20 firms will merge and create a new top 10 firm. Our tipster proceeded to give us a hint that narrowed the field down a bit: It’s two praxity alliance […]
[Updated with additional information.] While I was on staycation last week, this came through the tipline: BDO audit will be giving raises of 2% on average on 11/1. Some employees will receive nothing, some less than 2%, and some more than 2%. We haven’t heard anything yet about possible raises at Bravo Delta Oscar for […]
[Updated with additional information about job cuts at BKD CPAs & Advisors.] So since we posted this article on Thursday afternoon, we’ve received a lot of information about what’s been happening at BKD CPAs & Advisors, the 13th largest U.S. accounting firm in INSIDE Public Accounting’s 2019 ranking. Yes, some people have been let go, […]
[Updated with additional information about the layoffs at Weaver.] The other night while I was trying to get some more information about the layoffs at Crowe and Baker Tilly, we got a tip saying that another top accounting firm had just laid off 60 employees. I hadn’t seen these layoffs discussed on Reddit or Fishbowl, […]
[Updated with additional information.] We got a couple of tips late on Tuesday night about layoffs and pay cuts that occurred at two more accounting firms earlier this week: one is a global accounting firm with U.S. headquarters in New York City, and the second is a prominent firm in the Southeast. Because the tipsters […]
UPDATE: Nice work, tipsters. Grant Thornton released the following press release today confirming the story we broke yesterday (see below line break): The Partnership Board at Grant Thornton LLP announced that Bradley J. Preber will serve as the firm’s CEO. The board appointed Preber to the role following a comprehensive search process, and the firm’s partners and […]
Fresh from the rumor mill (and by the rumor mill we mean Fishbowl) comes word that 90 people got the chop at Deloitte Digital. We haven’t gotten any official confirmation on this so if anyone would care to confirm, feel free to give us a shout using the contact information at the bottom of this […]
By now, everyone has heard the news we broke Monday afternoon that Mark Weinberger is noping on up out of his role as EY global chairman and CEO, effective June 30, 2019. We were able to secure an interview with him that we’ll share with y’all soon, but in the meantime, let’s speculate wildly on […]
Office gossip, it’s the worst, amirite? You know what else is the worst? Jason Bramwell’s secret Louboutin collection. I heard from Liz in marketing that he rocks those size 13 stilettos like no one’s business when his wife isn’t watching. True story. OK, that isn’t true and Liz never said that. But that’s how easy […]
The benefits to working for a Big 4 firm can be embarrassing sometimes. It’s just not things like weeks of PTO that you’ll never use or pet insurance, but also the day-to-day perks that come along with carrying the water for a behemoth professional services firm.
Here's some not-so-fun news that popped up on Reddit earlier with regard to Deloitte telling some tax people that their services are no longer needed: Couple dozen in Chicago, and many more in the local practice offices. Staff to Senior Manager, no-one is insulated. The OP states further, "Hearing rumors that it will be a […]
Here's one from the mailbag: Big 4 in Houston and Dallas have been laying staff off due to "performance reasons." I wonder if this is going to trickle down to other regions as well given the declining oil market. Good question! Here in Colorado, big names like Anadarko and Encana have shed jobs but there […]
It was bound to happen at some point. I thought we'd be able to take the high road on this Ashley Madison data dump mess, but NOOOOOOO, here we are digging around in people's private lives. It is the internet, after all. Really all we have for you is an anonymous tipster who dropped us […]
It had been a while since we've heard a good M&A rumor so we were excited to get a tip last week about BDO acquiring UHY. Just this week, we've received another tip from a reliable source that BDO would be announcing its acquisition of UHY "very soon." Then, unexpectedly, this morning we learned that […]
Have you ever trash talked in IM at work? Have you ever been paranoid enough about it that you asked Reddit if they have ever trash talked in IM and gotten in trouble for it? This guy did. "I feel like I have no filter when I get on sametime," he said. Surely you all […]
As we found out recently, the engagement partner at EY was (probably, allegedly) banging the (now former) Chief Accounting Officer and Controller at the client (Ventas). Well, we don't know if they were necessarily getting it on at the client's but you get the idea. Due to that "inappropriate personal relationship," Ventas fired EY — […]
When we first started hearing rumors of a Rothstein Kass KPMG merger in February, one of the items we were sent along with tips that an acquisition would be forthcoming was a letter from RK CEO Steve Kass that went out to staff in July of 2013. A highlight:
From the first moment the Rothstein Kass KPMG rumors started circling the bowl, it was pretty clear that RK's golden child is its hedge fund practice. Surely KPMG wasn't interested in the deal just so they could acquire Rothstein Kass' novelty cell phone stand named Trusty. Well, Audit Analytics put things in handy chart form […]
Hedge Fund Alert is subscription only so we don't have much but we do have this: After months of rumors, big-four accounting firm KPMG has reached an agreement to acquire Rothstein Kass — a deal that will make KPMG one of the top three hedge fund auditors. The deal could be announced within a week […]
Well, this is an interesting twist to the Rothstein Kass KPMG merger drama. We're glad to see our friends at Accounting Today getting on this: For the last few weeks the accounting profession’s rumor mill has been buzzing with stories that Rothstein Kass is about to be acquired by KPMG. Is this all just a […]
Over the weekend, we began hearing rumors of a KPMG/Rothstein Kass merger. Rather, a somewhat upset individual sent us this:
This sounds unfortunate. From the always fun tip box: [Well-known CPA firm] is working hard to maintain top-10 firm status. One unfortunate office on the East coast is enjoying a Monday with no air and toilets that won't flush. Apparently the whole building smells like sewage, which is a slight improvement over the usual busy-season BO. We're unable […]
Note: this story came to us from "a friend" of a test taker but it came with a photo we're going to have to heavily censor and sorry in advance to the victim but we just had to given the ridiculousness of this claim. Is Prometric truly this heartless? Well, given past incidents, I guess […]
Over the weekend, we received quite the disturbing item in the ole tip box. Our tipster did not leave an email address so we cannot possibly verify this but wanted to share anyway: Something very interesting happened to me during busy season. An entry level threatened to kill me. He wrote a note saying he […]
UPDATE — A couple of reports out of the Milwaukee press have confirmed our tips from yesterday. We've also received the text of two emails, one from Ms. McMasters and one from CLA's other CEO, Gordy Viere that communicate the decision to the firm's employees. They appear on the following pages.
A couple of tips came in earlier today that CliftonLarsonAllen's co-CEO Krista McMasters is retiring. If she were to step down then it stands to reason that Gordy Viere, the CEO of CLA Holdings would be the head of the firm. We're still trying to confirm that this is in fact the case but if true, that would mean all of the CEOs (managing partners, or whatever else they might be called) of the 25 largest firms would be led by men.
Yesterday afternoon, right about the time I couldn't read another word about PwC's love of CAKE, this tip came through at approximately 7 pm ET: Tim Ryan just finished up an "emergency" call with all partners and managers about this. Call began at 5:30 EST. Mr. Ryan, as we noted this morning, was quoted in Floyd […]
The new space at the AON Center had cause some previously rumored krankiness and unfortunately that has yet to subside: The new office space layout at Chicago KPMG (AON Center) is leaving many without a work space and people have to work in the kitchen areas. We moved in August and the are still "working" on it. Obviously, anyone […]
Digging through the mailbag, I found this little gem: I'm not surprised broker dealer audits are bad. I used to be on a high profile one and let me tell you I spent so much time to trying to understand the business. At the end of the day, you get a general idea as to the operations BUT […]
We all know that when you're in the throes of busy season, a key to an effective team is having people spend as much time at their desks as possible. When the pressure is on, even spending a few minutes to take in some natural light or fresh air could mean the difference between a […]
In the past week, we have received several tips about an Ernst & Young OMP who was recently demoted to a less-BSD position. While that's the reality, we're certain that any internal messaging took quite a different tone with the partner in question ("PIQ") "transitioning to a client facing role" or some other euphemism for […]
Last week we heard some interesting news from a reliable source on a shakeup that will impact the regional and leadership structure of BDO. As you know, the next CEO of Bravo Delta Oscar will be Wayne Berson, the current head of assurance for the firm's Atlantic region. As the firm's CEO-elect, he is putting […]
The word on the street is that the pace of accounting firm mergers will increase in the coming year. That's pretty fun for all of us because we occasionally like to spoil the surprise for everyone. Plus, the new name game is everyone's favorite. In the past few years, there have been several notable mergers […]
Following the news that the IT Advisory group could possibly force some professionals into the underperforming category, I had the following text message exchange yesterday with a source at KPMG that I'll refer to here as Rudy. Rudy: Did you hear about the layoffs? Me: Nooooo. I just posted about the possible layoffs in ITA […]
A tipster informs us that attrition for the IT advisory group was not as high as expected, which poses a bit of a dilemma: I heard that some of the performance managers are being instructed to give their staff 4 and 5 ratings, as there weren't enough in those buckets. Keeping in mind that turnover […]
This just in: Just wanted to let you know that there will be a McGladrey webcast from Joe Adams tomorrow. Last time we checked in with McGladrey, they were experiencing technical difficulties that drew the concern of many employees. Luckily, it was all a mix-up and things have, as far as we know, returned to […]
From a tipster who is on his way out: A partner told me that raises for top performers will be in the 20% ballpark. Don't know if this is true. It was from a very Senior Partner in an Upper Midwest (not Chicago) office. He could just be talking. This is a Senior Associate 2 in the […]
Earlier today we were informed that Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria was a commencement speaker at the University of Miami, his alma mater, this morning. A quick search confirmed Joe E's gig, however, our tipster had this to add: Said he had just come from a meeting with SEC, didn't mention what it was about, lol. This could […]
From the mailbag: Heard that Patrick Kane, notorious party-animal winger for the Chicago Blackhawks, showed up at an end-of-busy-season party for one of the Big 4 this past Thursday. Can anyone confirm or deny? We do know that Kane was in fine form in Madison on Saturday, so he's definitely not on the wagon. Whether or not he […]
As readers of this website well know, occasionally we like to report on merger rumors that are floating around the accounting world. Most recently we reported that Eide Bailly and Wipfli were going to make a very handsome couple as EB Wipfli only to have the deal fall apart a little over a month later. […]
This just in: Rumor has it, GT is getting rid of the CPA exam requirement to be promoted to senior… GT is one of two firms (that we explicitly know of) that currently requires audit professionals to pass the CPA exam in order to be promoted. If this particular tidbit is true, then it would be […]
This is from earlier in the week and there's no official word about the pest in question but our tipster insists that it was edbugsbay: It was brought to our attention yesterday that there was a potential insect issue in a small location on the 24th floor of our 60 Broad Street Office. We took […]
Apparently a big shot audit partner has seen one too many of his tax brethren running for the door: Supposedly a high-ranking audit partner at [top ten firm] sent an email to the entire partnership in which he blasts the national tax leader for spending the firm's money on management retreats when he should […]
Last month we heard a rumor that Milwaukee-based Wipfli (I've been informed it's pronounced WIFF-lee) and Fargo-based Eide Bailly were in merger discussions. Supposedly, Wipfli partners voted on the merger right before Christmas but our source said that prior to the vote "[Wipfli] announced internally that they are merging with Eide Bailly," and that the […]
I hear from a trustworthy source that exiting Ernst & Young CEO Jim Turley was recently trolled by an eager member of Uncle Ernie's family looking to steal the throne in Canada. Someone else trolling him – asking how he can apply for his job. You know he's retiring in 2 years? So during the […]
This time of year, many a capital market servants look forward to blowing off a little steam at the annual holiday (aka Christmaskuh, Festivus, et al.) party. Last year, the festivities made a comeback after a couple of years of more restrained celebrations. Ernst & Young’s New York office even threw a party at Cipriani’s the week Andrew Cuomo handed down his civil fraud lawsuit. And in case you’re skeptical that the get-drunk-dance-like-an-idiot-go-home-with-a-co-worker party have made a comeback, this post from Socialite may be the latest proof:
Want to talk about “work hard, play harder“? The auditors, tax specialists and consultants at PwC have got that down to a science!
2000 people + Marriott Coply+ open bar + gambling + dancing = Ballin’ time
We’ve been to some corporate Holiday parties in our day, but this one definitely takes the cake. And why wouldn’t it… we’re guessing they threw down well over $500K to host that.
Since we’re not hip to the costs of corporate holiday ragers these days, it wouldn’t be fair to dismiss this guesstimate outright. And it’s not exactly clear how Socialite got all these details but it sounds pretty similar to the KPMG Christmaskuh party I attended in 2008 (sans gambling) which was the waning days of the big holiday blowout party.
ANYWAY, Socialite then outlines a number of reasons that you, local Bostonian, should be at this shindig next year, including some “Secret Grand Prize Giveaway” which they speculate is “a small yacht” but in reality, it’s more likely to be a pair of cool shoes.
For any mini BoMos in Boston, does this sound like the party you went to? Is $500k in the ballpark or would you put it in the seven figure range? Feel free to speculate at this time. And if your party tops this one, email us the details (or an invite).
Apparently a grip (a half dozen or so) of them have left the firm in the past two months, says a source familiar with the situation at BDO. At least three are supposedly now with PwC (none worthy of P. Dubs press releases) and another two are off to Deloitte in various markets. If you’ve recently jumped Captain Jack’s ship or know of more details for your office, get in touch.
From the mailbag:
Heard this from a Director in the firm: Deloitte layoffs coming. Lists are made…cuts coming soon. Said a lot of it has to do with thinning out the ranks (too many people jumping ship because their level is top heavy and promotion nowhere in sight) as well as letting go underperformers.
As you probably noticed, 2011 hasn’t had much in the way of layoff news with the exception of some support staff that were cut at McGladrey, Grant Thornton, and KPMG. That said, this seems like an opportune time to kick a few people to the curb. If you wait until November, well, that just looks bad.
Keep us updated with any news and if you’re in the know, get in touch.
Maybe we shouldn’t publish this, lest TPTB catch on and close this loophole but as it’s soon to be CPA exam score release season, we figured it might be helpful to share this little trick to get your score early.
Note, word is it only works if you are on your last section and testing in a NASBA state. It doesn’t work all the time and will really only give you your score a day or so earlier than you would have actually received it from your state.
So if you’re waiting for a score now, don’t bother, it doesn’t work until the AICPA releases scores to NASBA, which is supposed to be within a 7-10 day period beginning the third week of September for this quarter.
To try it, follow these simple steps:
1. Go to the CPA exam section of NASBA’s website and select Ohio regardless of which state you are testing in.
2. Choose Apply Now under the “Re-applying for the Uniform CPA Examination” tab.
3. You will be asked if you have an Ohio jurisdiction ID. Choose no and it will ask you if you have a Social Security number. Choose yes.
4. Follow the rest of the prompts, plug in the information it asks you for and if you get the following message, congratulations, the loophole worked and you passed:
We are sorry. Our system shows that you have already passed all parts of the Uniform CPA Examination. If you have questions, please call your Coordinator at the number given below. Please call the number below.
Some have stated that the loophole also works if you’ve failed. If you get in and see the exam section you are checking on not grayed out, that means it’s allowing you to get a new NTS which obviously means you did not pass.
Bottom line: maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. If you’re driving yourself insane refreshing your score page waiting for an answer, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to try at the end of the month but you’re really only getting the news a few hours earlier than you would have if you just waited.
Earlier this week, we were tipped off about a hiring freeze of Client Service Support (“CSS”) professionals at KPMG. Our tipster also indicated that a “major reorg” was happening but did not elaborate. For those not hip to the House of Klynveld vernacular, this is your HR, Marketing, Ops, IT, Admins, et al. Regardless of their overhead status, they make your lives infinitely better. But for now, it sounds like the doors to any newbies is closed.
This rumor was confirmed by another source who simply “heard there was [a freeze in place]” but had no details. If you’re in the know, please email us. Emails to KPMG’s communications team were not immediately returned, most likely because they were immediately deleted (that is speculation on my part).
SO! Since we don’t have much to go on, we’ll take this opportunity to present some theories:
1. The response to the Early Career Investment Bonus program has been better than anticipated and there is concern that there won’t be enough money to pay these all-of-a-sudden loyal employees. Accordingly, “the help” won’t be getting any additional resources.
2. Settlement negotiations have begun in the sex discrimination lawsuit and things are not looking good.
3. John Veihmeyer is just toying with everyone because “This is Notre Dame’s year,” and plans to lift the freeze after the Irish win their first game.
4. Two words: Omaha Steaks.
5. Your ideas.
Hot off the grill from Mickey G’s:
Some people let go at McGladrey. Heard it was like 15 [UPDATE: SEE BELOW] from the corporate marketing department and a few others. Some head scratchers going on. Moved people around including a few changes that have people baffled. People who have no business being promoted promoted.
Earlier in the summer, we heard a rumor about layoffs in the Northern Plains region and at the time our tipster said that the firm “spread[s] the terminations over months instead of doing them all at once,” which has more or less become the norm. ANYWAY, we’re trying to get some more info from tipsters and the firm but in the meantime, drop your knowledge below or get in touch.
UPDATE: A McGladrey spokesperson has informed us that the firm did recently “announce a restructuring of our marketing department to better align with the organizational structure and business objectives outlined by our firms more than a year ago,” adding, “This resulted in the elimination of 11 positions within the marketing organization.”
The head scratching was not specifically addressed. Carry on.
We’ve received several short, anxious emails (presumably all from Uncle Ernie’s nervous camp) tipping us off to the fact that E&Y comp discussions are going down this week, so it must be true. Of course, this post is useless without actual comp numbers, which we’re sure you’ll give us as soon as you have your sit-downs.
Hi Going Concern –
To give you heads up, E&Y comp and promotions dicussions [sic] are happening this week (they’re happening today in my office). Perhaps it’s a good time to open the new thread on the topic.
Great, so does this mean the Ohio and Michigan crews have already packed up and are ready to bail if they get anything less than whatever it was they are holding out for?
Rumors so far are that raises will be in line with last year’s, which were not at all disappointing considering that we are still (not technically) in a recession, not to mention all that Lehman drama the E&Y lawyers are still hashing out. Too soon? Anyway, as usual, you’re welcome to entertain each other with disparaging comments about the size of your, er, comp packages until we hear news on actual numbers.
Update: Looks like some pretty good numbers are rolling in but please, for the sake of your fellow EY brethren, if you want to share your comp info, be sure to at a minimum include where you are (general metro or region is fine), what service line you are in, your rating (hint: this is a number) and, of course, the actual new pay and bonus number (if any).
This just in:
I have been talking to a variety of people at E&Y from several offices in Ohio and Michigan. The word from them is that there is going to be a significant movement of people once compensation info is passed out. It’s kinda conflicting since the rumor is that raises should be around what they were last year. Not sure what to make about it.
As you recall, last year’s raises and bonuses at Ernst & Young were competitive with PwC, which came as a pleasant surprise to everyone at Black and Yellow but understandably this rumor has our tipster in a flummox. Of course, this could be limited to the Ohio/Michigan area but it’s worth seeing what the Turley’s Troops in other areas are hearing. Share below.
This just in:
I’m hearing rumblings that Deloitte might be the next in line to adopt a PwC-esque transparent raise structure. I don’t have the exact information, but I’ve heard something about making 1.5x your current salary in 3 years.
As you may remember, PwC announced “exciting changes” to their compensation structure back in May that involved three major parts: 1) Transparency 2) Earning Potential and 3) Milestone Awards. The multiple of 1.5x increase in three years is included in the roughly what PwC laid out in their “Total Rewards” document.
This seems to be a pretty typical move from Deloitte, who is notoriously conservative relative to its autumnally-hued rival. I’m sure if this plan is carried out, they’ll attempt to add in their own quirks to differentiate themselves but I’d be surprised if amounted to anything significant. If you hear any more rumors, contrary or supporting of this latest news, get in touch.
From the mailbag:
I am considering becoming an experienced hire at PwC, however I have heard some strange things and can’t seem to get a solid angle on them. I have heard that PwC (still) doesn’t let you expense lunches when traveling. I’ve also heard that PwC is still on Windows XP with Office 2003, Lotus Notes email and using Lenovo ThinkPads. Can you please help me confirm or deny these rumors and add some color around them? Also, are there other things at PwC that I should be wary of? Is PwC the new KPMG?
Concerned Potential Recruit
To the best my knowledge, Concerned, I’ll address these one at at time:
1. I have heard that PwC (still) doesn’t let you expense lunches when traveling. – True. PwC does not allow you to expense lunches when traveling, although it’s my understanding that a “business lunch” is reimbursable.
2. I’ve also heard that PwC is still on Windows XP with Office 2003 – Partially true. P. Dubs is on XP but is running Office 2007.
3. Lotus Notes email – True. There were some layoffs of LN developers way back in the fall of ’09 but it’s our understanding that they still run it.
4. Lenovo ThinkPads – True. You were maybe expecting iPads? Those are for bonuses only.
5. Are there other things at PwC that I should be wary of? – I’d start here.
6. Is PwC the new KPMG? – Um, no. Unless you’re consider all the KPMG partners they’ve picked up makes it the “new KPMG.”
This just in:
Here’s a spicy meatball for you guys. My buddy works over at [Chicago Firm] and he was so upset when he got his $700 raise and $250 bonus as a Senior 1. Not sure if it’s performance based, but a lot of [Chicago Firm] peeps aren’t thrilled right now.
Will that even cover the rent?
Adrienne, who is hidden away in an undisclosed location (read: Boston) was tipped off last night with the following and forwarded it on to me:
Rumor has it that PWC rescinded offers for September 2011 hires. I went to GC to read the inside scoop but didn’t see anything. Maybe this is a totally false rumor or a lead….
Answer: Totally false rumor.
Yes, believe it or not, we happily debunk rumors around here when possible. Of course this can only occur when people with the means to help us discredit the rumors are cooperative. We spoke to someone in the know at PwC who informed us that not only is this rumor false, P. Dubs is asking some of their new advisory hires to start in July because there is so much work. Now, it’s possible that there are a few isolated incidents where someone’s name shows up in the police blotter and an offer may get pulled but our source says there haven’t been any reports of those and definitely nothing “systemic.”
Of course if you’ve got evidence to the contrary, we’d welcome you to get in touch with us and good luck to those who choose to end their summers/lives two months early.
From the mailbag:
The last few years KPMG announced manager promotions by this time, but I haven’t heard a peep from anyone so far. Have they changed the timing?
Digging through the archives, it’s true that around this time last year, chatter around the announcements of promotions at KPMG had begun but as our tipster said, so far it’s been strict Radio Station silence. Last year, details were rolling out through early June, so it could be that they’re dragging it out for effect.
Anyway, one rumor that we just heard is that in some KPMG offices, SAs up for manager are being asked to interview for their promotions. Personally, I’ve never heard of this but considering the need at SA, it would be a strategic way to hold some people back, chalking it up to “he/she didn’t interview well” versus the cryptic “he/she isn’t ready.”
If you’ve recently gotten word on promotions in your office, heard anything about these interviews or are simply in the know, email us the details and discuss below.
UPDATE:This just in:
PA leadership told us manager promotions would be approved on 5/20/11, with announcements in the following weeks after the approvals. haven’t heard anything about the ‘interviewing’ but i’m not up for Manager promotion so i guess i wouldn’t know.
Nice. Just in time for the end of the world.
UPDATE, May 26th, circa 12:35 pm:
According to a Klynveldian close to the situation in New York, “they seem to be making calls to those up for manager.”
That’s because a source close to GT has told us “the deal with Moss Adams is dead.”
As for the why, our source told us, “The feedback from the Moss Adams board was that the MA partnership would not adequately support the merger.” Whether or not that’s true doesn’t take away from the fact that MA squeezed by GT in the GC Coolest Accounting Firm bracket and, thus, no MA partner worth their salt would want to join forces with GT and have to decipher hand-written notes from Stephen Chipman.
Despite this setback, that doesn’t mean GT isn’t on the prowl but we’ve got no idea who they might have their eye on, so we’d invite you to speculate on who that might be and get in touch if you know anything.
If you followed last week’s “Role of the Accounting Profession in Preventing Another Financial Crisis” hearing before the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment, you may have noticed that “Ernst & Young” was never uttered by anyone on the panel, although Lehman Brothers was mentioned a number of times throughout the hearing. Anton Valukas, the bankruptcy examiner for the Lehman, was there after all and “Ernst & Young” appears in his report probably thousands of times. So why wouldn’t Ernst & Young be mentioned? This is a hearing about the accounting profession preventing, after all and Mr Valukas has stated in his report and elsewhere that “colorable claims” could be filed against E&Y. Stands to reason that perhaps the firm would come up at some point.
Also, if you followed the hearing with us on our live-blog, you definitely heard Francine McKenna and I complaining about the sorry turnout by the members of the subcommittee. The majority of questions coming from the subcommittee chairman, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), with a few from Senators Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR). The eight GOP members were nowhere to be found. Now maybe accounting isn’t the sexiest of topics but it’s hard to argue that this wasn’t an important hearing where many questions could have been asked of an industry that witnessed excrement coming into contact with an old Century. However, after a tip from a person familiar with situation, we may have an idea why there was such a pathetic turnout:
[T]he auditing firms did not like it they were holding the hearing and E&Y really was complaining to Reed that Valukas had been invited. As a result, the Republicans agreed that none of them would attend the hearing which in fact, none did.
Gotta love spiteful absence! Obviously we had to call around on this one and Ernst & Young spokesman Charlie Perkins declined to comment. As for the Republican members of the subcommittee, we have…well, nothing else to share at this point. But we’re hopeful! It’s entirely possible that all eight GOP members had something better to do than ask questions of industry experts that had a front row seat to the financial crisis, but then again the hearing was pretty early in the morning.
UPDATE: A spokeswoman for Senator Mike Crapo, the ranking member on the subcommittee, informed us that Mr Crapo was sick last Wednesday and canceled all his appointments for that day.
Remember those GT/Moss Adams rumors from back in January? At the time, our post sent both firms calling for plumbers but we still mangaged to get a copy of an email from Moss Adams CEO Rick Anderson that denied the rumor in an email to the firm’s partners. Everything has been quiet since then mostly because…well, it’s busy season. Granted, firm leaders like Stephen Chipman and Rick Anderson aren’t thigh-deep in spreadsheets like most of you so the fact it’s entirely plausible that while you’re all distracted, TPTB have been courting each other.
We received this brief note from a tipster yesterday:
Rumor is [Grant Thornton] [is] about to announce big west coast deal.
Our source originally speculated that a tax/valuation/consulting boutique was the target because of an old Andersen connection but then told us that the latest word from the west coast is that Moss Adams is back in the picture. In our original post, we went over the reasons for and against the GranMoss merger and frankly it still could go either way (we’re leaning “no” at this point). That said, Grant Thornton has been on a buying spree, most recently picking up some attest services from the LECG Corp. fire sale, so a merger of some kind wouldn’t be a surprise but WHO?? We’re listening to any and all well-founded or crackpot theories.
Moss Adams has declined to comment on the rumor thus far and Grant Thornton did not return an email requesting comment.
UPDATE: This just in from a Grant Thornton tipster:
While I have no actual basis for substantiating this, we have a Moss Adams wireless signal in our office in the central region. There is no Moss Adams office in our building, or even out state, its been there since about January when the rumors first popped up. I just thought it was interesting. I have no insight into any of this, I’m just a lowly peon staff…
Perhaps there’s an explanation for this but I’m no expert on the wireless signals and whatnot so I’ll leave it to you to reason this out.
Welcome to the first Friday in February edition of Accounting Career Emergencies. In today’s edition a future Big 4 soldier isn’t sure what to make of all the myths and rumors swirling around the quad about said four firms. He’s asked me to debunk.