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Charlie Munger: ‘Getting accounting integrity right has huge implications for future of mankind’

December 21st, 2010 In this remarkable interview, Stanford University’s professor Joseph A. Grundfest talks Charlie T. Munger, vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. It might be an old interview (I think it dates from early 2009) but it remains a truly remarkable piece and, in my view, it is a must watch. Munger puts his finger on […]

December 21st, 2010 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

The FSA wanted someone to whitewash RBS and, sure enough, PWC obliged

December 2nd, 2010 The Financial Services Authority this morning declared that, after a 17-month “investigation”, it has concluded that none of the RBS directors who led the bank to the biggest banking failure in history, costing the British taxpayer a total of £1.3 trillion to bail out, did anything wrong. In an article called The […]

December 2nd, 2010 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Scottish Revolution – Alyson Stafford interview

By Ian Fraser Published: Accountancy Magazine Date: December 1st, 2010 One aspect of her job that Alyson Stafford relishes is her interactions with Scottish politicians, including first minister Alex Salmond and finance minister John Swinney. ‘What makes this role really interesting are the strategic aspects of the work,’ says Stafford, the finance director to the […]

December 1st, 2010 | Posted in Article Library,Latest Articles | Read More »

What’s in a name? Beavis and FRP by other names would smell as stale

July 16th, 2010 A couple of new names have risen in the accountancy and insolvency practitioner firmament — Beavis Morgan and FRP Advisory. But appearances can be deceptive and the new businesses are, perhaps, not quite what they seem. The Beavis Morgan name — given to the limited liability partnership (LLP) formed in June 22nd […]

July 16th, 2010 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

‘Big Four’ auditors admit they misrepresented bank solvency pre-crisis

November 27th, 2010 (updated March 27th, 2011) I was shocked by the testimony given by the heads of the “Big Four” accountancy firms — PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Deloitte, KPMG and Ernst & Young — to the House of Lords economic affairs committee on Tuesday, November 23rd 2010 (full video above and transcript of evidence). One of the […]

March 27th, 2010 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Are ‘Big Four’ accountants a waste of space?

Updated April 5th 2009 From the evidence submitted to the Treasury Select Committee’s inquiry into the banking crisis, one might conclude that the profession of accountancy as practiced in the UK is past its sell-by date, clinging to the vestiges of power and influence by its fingernails and in urgent need of reform. This tallies […]

April 5th, 2009 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

PFI: £47bn ‘Enron-style’ debt

By Ian Fraser and Torcuil Crichton Published: The Sunday Herald Date: July 7th, 2002 The Treasury has hidden a £47 billion debt mountain caused by Britain’s PFI schemes using “Enron-style accounting” to keep payments off the government’s balance sheets, according to to the head of one of the UK’s largest accountancy firms. Maurice Fitzpatrick, the head of economics at Tenon, […]

July 7th, 2002 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

Self-regulation puts UK at greater risk

By Ian Fraser, Financial Editor Sunday Herald June 30th, 2002 TOOTHLESS regulation of the accountancy profession, together with its increasing commercialisation in the UK, leaves Britain more at risk of major auditing scandals than the US, according to Prem Sikka, professor of accountancy at Essex University. Sikka, who publishes a critical book on the accountancy profession […]

June 30th, 2002 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

Royal gets its audit duke in Hazard

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: December 3rd, 2000 THE current round of banking shake-ups and merger speculation in the UK market has close parallels with the US of five years ago, according to a leading American auditor. It is not unlike what has been going on in the US market since the mid-1990s, […]

December 3rd, 2000 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »