MSNBC TV reported today that the international branches of Andersen and KPMG were discussing a merger. I've used KPMG Canada for audits of a non-profit society (being what is called a reporting society, there must be an independent audit each year with a copy going to the government registrar of societies). They made it clear to me as CEO that the audit would say pretty much what I wanted it to say, not that I had anything to hide.|
Most other auditing firms were no different, and any hint that we were considering changing auditors made them even more pliable and eager to please. Some auditors wanting the business even made such offers in advance of seeing any records (that didn't include KPMG, though they predated my involvement).
As we had nothing to hide, and in my neck of the woods you lose your non-profit society status very quickly if the government gets even a hint of financial impropriety, we dumped KPMG and went with a firm that promised to give us a truly independent audit. The alternative was to wait for such auditors to get into trouble with other accounts, calling all their work into question, as has now happened with Andersen. Just some personal observations, which along with discussions with others in analogous situations, leads me to believe that such practices are widespread. Government oversight also seems somewhat more lax in CA than in .ca. -g