One last piece of background on brutality of ancient wars before diving into Viking history – part 4
One last post on the harsh brutality of warfare in ancient days before diving into what few financial tidbits are visible from the Viking Age.
The Sea Wolves: A History of the Vikings, by Lars Brownsworth, points out there was plenty of brutality to go around.
In footnote 57 on page 273 he tells us there are reports that several churches in southeastern England that used the flayed skin of Vikings to upholster the doors to their building.
I thought IFRS in the US was dead. In case you didn’t know, I have a fairly strong opinion on the issue.
A presenter at the CalCPA’s Accounting and Auditing Conference on April 25, 2017 had the following comment on IFRS at the end of the presentation:
Death, taxes, cockroaches, and IFRS aren’t going away.
My immediate thought:
Unfortunately, that now seems to be true.
IFRS is baaaack
He perceives the pendulum of discussion on IFRS is swinging back to the topic being on the table.
His comments consistently contained the inference that IFRS is one body of knowledge, consistent in its application in every country across the planet that has adopted the rules.
I’m expecting to hear a lot more, most likely after PCAOB and SEC finish their investigation. If I read this situation correctly, and if public reports are correct, there will be sanctions from SEC against some of the KPMG staff. At that point, the SEC public documents will tell us a lot more.
While we wait, here are two articles that give some general background.
4/17/17 – Francine McKenna at re:The Auditors – KPMG takes its turn with a Big 4-sized scandal – If you’ve been looking for an article with a long time horizon to survey the assorted scandals in the Big 4 world, this post will give you the deep background you want.
Leak from PCAOB to KPMG
Post describes the current information that is public on the leak of inspection engagements from someone at PCAOB to someone at KPMG. Article illustrates there still is not a lot visible in the public realm to answer all the questions that come to mind.
Ms. McKenna quotes my comment earlier on the PCAOB-KPMG leak feeling to me like a red flag of something deeper. She agrees with me.
Each firm has their own round of fiascos
All the firms have had their turn of embarrassing publicity, often with fines or undisclosed settlements.
The following is a repost of my comment four years ago on Easter morning. (Update: A few additions for more of the traditional hymns describing the blessings to us of the resurrection.)
He is risen! He is risen indeed!
This morning my wife and I attended a sunrise service. Haven’t done that for many years. A wonderful way to celebrate this day. On our way to celebrate with our church family momentarily.
Here’s a selection of videos to help your celebration:
Jesus Christ is risen today!
I know that my Redeemer lives:
Up from the grave He arose.
A minor update on the leak from a now-former PCAOB staffer to a now-former KPMG staffer giving advance notice of audits selected for inspection. Also, many questions come to my mind after thinking about this situation.
Previously mentioned this fiasco yesterday.
CFO.com provides some clarifying info from KPMG’s executive director of media relations and corporate communications: KPMG Replaces Audit Chair in Wake of PCAOB leaks.
The KPMG representative says that KPMG discovered the issue and notified the SEC and PCAOB.
Most significant piece of new information is that the six people who left the firm were fired.
They did not resign.
Why is this significant, at least to me? In the initial reports, I saw verbs used indicating all of the following possibilities for the partner’s departure. They may have:
- resigned (which means sorta’ kinda’ voluntary terminations), or
- were fired (which means the firm unilaterally terminated them), or
- departed (which doesn’t addressed which party made the termination decision; in other words could have been a summary firing, or truly voluntary, or under the proverbial threat of you-can-either-resign-or-I’ll-personally-throw-you-out-the-window).
At first read, I did not analyze which of the above options actually was in play. I put together all the reports I read and assumed (you know what that means) these were all forced resignations, as in “I think it’s time for you to resign.”
Other comments by the PR person confusing me are statements that the fireable offenses were possessing the leaked information or knowing others knew about it.
There is as much missing from reporting on this story as has already been made public.
Here is what I can figure out:
An employee of PCAOB leaked to someone at KPMG a list of audit engagements that were going to be inspected. Recipient of the leaked info was previously an employee at PCAOB.
Lots of stuff we don’t know happened next.
When someone told senior leadership at KPMG about this back in February, KPMG took several steps. They hired external legal staff to investigate, notified the PCAOB of the leaked info, and then fired 6 people.
Amongst the fired staff are
- two named partners, including the Vice Chair of Audit (who was in charge of all audit work in the US firm) and the national managing partner for audit quality and professional practice
- three other unnamed partners
- one other person, whose job level and responsibilities were not identified.
The leaker at PCAOB has resigned.
What is missing from the reporting?
What happened inside KPMG between the leak and the firings is not visible in the few articles I’ve found on the incident.
One more post to provide context on the reputation of barbarity that is owned by the Vikings.
A wonderful book, The Vikings, from the British Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art, is a catalog of a fabulous exhibit assembled by the two museums in 1980. The major exhibit showcased the artifacts and cultures of the Viking era.
I’m reading my dad’s copy of the book. The text is still available on Amazon in the used market.
The goal of the exhibit was to introduce some balance to the competing visions of raw brutality and “strange glamour” that surrounds the Vikings.
Consider these two comments in the preface:
“In a brutal age the Vikings were brutal, but their brutality was no worse than their contemporaries. “
“The Vikings were administrators as well as pirates, merchants as well as robbers. “
Before you get worked up about blood eagles…
Oh, and if you get all worked up about the brutal cold-blooded barbarity of a ‘blood eagle’ execution, try looking up what the oh so very civilized English did when they hung, drew, and quartered someone.