Friday Footnotes: Deloitte Sued; RSM Sued; PwC Not Sued But Incompetent | 10.15.21

‘What do you actually do?’: Redditors scratch heads at consulting firms [Yahoo News] We’ve often wondered about this too.

Deloitte Workers Sue Over ‘Astronomical’ 401(k) Fees [Law360] Deloitte workers slapped the accounting giant with a proposed class action in New York federal court, claiming the company allowed two multibillion-dollar retirement plans to get saddled with “astronomical” fees. Current and former Deloitte employees Rupinder Singh, Jeffrey S. Popkin, Joni Walker and Jenny Mark, whose Wednesday complaint seeks to represent a class of 90,000 participants across two plans, said the company should have used those plans’ “jumbo” size to negotiate lower fees.

Deloitte, PwC issue vaccine mandates to employees [HRD] In Australia: “Deloitte and PwC have issued vaccine mandates to their employees, telling them that they’ll need to have had their jabs in order gain access to the workplace. Deloitte Australia made the announcement last week, with chief executive Adam Powick saying that full immunisation against COVID-19 is needed to gain entry to the company’s office and be a part of any events.”

Tweet of the Week:

Look at your keyboard.

Now look back at your screen.

Now look over at your second monitor.

Back to your screen again.

Congratulations, you’ve mastered being an #accountant.

— Drew Carrick (@TheRappingCPA) October 11, 2021

Ex-RSM employee sues firm after flagging disbursement order on dead client’s account [Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal] Melissa Garcia claims she was fired after she reported a supervisor for making an unauthorized disbursement from a deceased client’s account.

Accountant applied for 80 jobs, promotions and got zero. Was it racism? [San Diego Union-Tribune] A long-time employee is suing the City of San Diego alleging it failed to prevent supervisors from engaging in racially discriminatory hiring practices that have repeatedly robbed Black employees, including him, of well-deserved promotions, the lawsuit said.

Black accountants confront racism from co-workers and clients [Accounting Today] Black accounting professionals are facing indignities and disrespect from both their colleagues and clients, according to a study published by the American Accounting Association. For the study, a group of university researchers conducted in-depth interviews with 11 auditors and four former auditors who are Black. The study found the participants shared similar experiences with stereotyping, insensitivity and disrespect. The research also explained what accounting firms can do if they are serious about recruiting, retaining and respecting Black professionals.

Hong Kong audit watchdog investigating Evergrande and PwC [Reuters] Hong Kong’s audit regulator said on Friday it was investigating China Evergrande Group’s 2020 accounts and their audit by PwC because it had concerns about the adequacy of reporting on whether it could continue operating as a going concern. Cash-strapped Evergrande has been scrambling to divest some assets to repay creditors knocking on its doors. With more than $300 billion in liabilities, it has already missed three rounds of interest payments on its international bonds.

Evergrande crisis puts PwC role in spotlight [Financial Times] More on the Evergrande situtation: “Evergrande’s auditors — which have earned Rmb271m ($42m) since 2009 — signed off on the figures presented to them by management for years. And just like its peers who audited those UK companies, PwC may well face criticism over the level of challenge applied against management over accounting policies that could have shown warning signs about the company’s financial health. PwC has declined to comment on its audits of Evergrande as it is a live client engagement.”

CAS practices see 20% growth rate [Journal of Accountancy] Client advisory services (CAS) practices saw a 20% growth rate in terms of net client fees per professional, according to the latest & AICPA PCPS Client Advisory Services Benchmark Survey. That outpaces the 12% growth rate CAS practices reported in 2018, the inaugural benchmark survey and the last time it was conducted. Respondents reported having more CAS clients, higher net client fees, higher fees per professional, and higher CAS net client fees per client than they did in 2018.

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