Friday, October 28, 2005

You won't believe the phone call I received

I received an interesting phone call yesterday.

Over the past few weeks, I have learned to accept the fact that this blog has a small but growing readership. Let's face it - the information here is targeted at a relatively small population. Further, it's pretty clear that I am not one of the "celebrity" bloggers that gets featured in Time.

I learned yesterday that interest in my modest blog is much deeper than I realized. I received a call from KPMG.

I'm just surprised they found this blog! Seriously. If you do a Google search on KPMG, the Big Four Alumni Blog isn't exactly at the top of the results list. Somebody clearly keeps track of what is written about the firm.

Clearly.

I can't remember the gentleman's name. He told me, but I have to admit that I was not paying as much attention as I should have. He agreed to send his contact information, so I should "remember" his name soon. This gentleman was extremely professional, and of course polite. (Note: I still have not received his contact information.)

But, why the call?

KPMG, it seems, objects to my coverage of their recent challenges. Specifically, the gentleman on the phone referenced my post from September 30th (below). Overlooking my praise of the firm's talented practitioners, he zeroed in on my thoughts on the recent PCAOB examination in which a handful of KPMG's public company audits were questioned.

The PCAOB examination certainly is public knowledge. I read about it first in the Financial Times, simiply because that is the newspaper I read every morning. I also encountered this story in a number of other places. Of course, this is not what upset the gentlman at KPMG.

He was a bit concerned about my discussion of the "Big Three" - a possible outcome of KPMG's continued legal problems. Readers of BigFour.com know that I have been pondering this theme since the middle of the summer - even before we launched this blog. I wrote about it in a few newsletter articles. In fact, these articles were picked up by a number of web publications around the world.

I pondered whether this latest KPMG problem renews concerns about audit industry concentration. On its own, the thought would never have occurred to me. PwC was examined as well, adn they received criticism from the PCAOB.

So, why am I picking on KPMG?

It's really quite simple. With KPMG, there's a bit more going on. PwC, Deloitte, and E&Y did not write a half billion dollar check to the US government to avoid prosecution (as settlement). PwC, Deloitte, and E&Y are not subject to indepednent oversight as the result of a recent deal with the feds. KPMG, well, you know the story.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear. I like KPMG. It's a great firm, as I wrote in my "objectinoable" article on 9/30. They do great work, and I think the majority of partners and practitioners at KPMG are getting a raw deal. The many are punished for the sins fo a few. It's truly a shame.

I stand by my story - as I stand by every story, blog post, and everything else I have written. KPMG is in an unenviable position; I can't do anything about that. But, I will continue to cover and analyze stories pertaining to the Big Four - including KPMG - as I see fit.

To any Big Four marketing or PR professionals out there, please feel free to contact me if you would like to be offered the chance to comment for my blog. You have the option to comment or not, but ultimately the decision to publish is mine alone.

Please share your thoughts on this matter.

Tom Johansmeyer

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

why do you remove so many of the comments?

Big4 said...

I remove them because spammers try to use this blog for their own advertising purposes. I don't mind people sharing their ideas and promoting their own sites at the same time, but serious readers would not appreciate offers for sexual enhancements, free advertising through linking networks, and ebook delivery pitches. Any real, meaningful comments, even if they disagree with me (especially, in fact) will remain.

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