Once again, our hat goes off to Tracy Coenen for her coverage over at The Fraud Files Blog. Way back in November of 2008, Brightfly Researcher Mark Adams wrote a short piece on IFRS as the new Cash Cow for the Big 4. This was a follow-on piece to his insights into the Grant Thornton survey which indicated broad disapproval among CFO’s with IFRS and a reluctance to change. You see, even back then we were debating internally as to why the big push for IFRS seemed to get so much press, despite widespread community support. Mark indicated how the push to this new standard would prop up revenues that were were slipping for SOX work as those efforts matured in Big 4 clients. We all nodded and thought it was plausible and a highly likely Astroturf campaign, then moved on.
Thankfully, via The Fraud Files Blog, Tracy has pointed us to a recent piece by Professor David Albrecht on how the push to IFRS is being driven by the Big 4 (and the lesser firms as well). His hypothesis is that since the only organizations embracing the move seem to be the large audit firms, and that they stand in the best position to profit from the move, that it their greed that propels this change. He goes on to quote Arthur R. Wyatt’s analysis of Arthur Andersen’s implosion as one fueled by greed, and as a canary in the coal mine perhaps, for the future for this industry. A great read, and one that lays many of pieces out in the open for deeper inspection.
Thanks Tracy! Keep up the good work.