Eyebrows Go Up as Auditors Branch Out

SharonBerman Cropped lo res

I read an article in The Wall Street Journal with despair, resignation and  disgust.  It discusses the recent resurgence in consulting and other non-audit work by the Big Four accounting firms a decade after conflict of interest concerns and corporate scandal sharply limited such work.

The subject came up because of Deloitte’s involvement in auditing and plenty of non-audit work for Autonomy – HP’s debacle acquisition.

Do we never learn? What was all the screaming and shouting about Enron and the years of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance?

The Big Four claim that their non-audit business operates within legal boundaries and the growth isn’t a cause for concern.  John Ferraro, Ernst & Young’s global chief operating officer says, ”We believe the (non-audit) services we’re in actually help us on the front of audit quality.”

Based on this article, we are destined to repeat history.


-By Berbay Principal Sharon Berman

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