Rewards for failure 34: accountancy firm KPMG
Despite the blow to its reputation from the collapse of its major audit client Carillion in January, the FT reported yesterday that accountancy firm KPMG’s revenues in the UK are rising at their fastest rate for a decade. Its sternly criticised auditing of Carillion is not the only ‘reputational setback’ in the UK and overseas over the past 18 months:
- In South Africa, it has lost audit clients and faced serious criticism over its work for the billionaire Gupta family over the past two decades.
- It has also become embroiled in a scandal in the US after it emerged the firm was tipped off about forthcoming regulatory inspections by staff it had hired from the US accounting watchdog.
- Meanwhile the UK accounting regulator has launched two investigations of KPMG’s work this year, including its audit of outsourcer Carillion
- and of Conviviality, the drinks supplier.
The Financial Reporting Council is also investigating KPMG’s work for:
- car manufacturer Rolls-Royce;
- mattress firm Silent Night;
- US financial services group BNY Mellon;
- the Co-operative Bank;
- and insurer Equity Syndicate Management.
In the face of these investigations, it is amazing to read in the FT report today that KPMG has just been appointed to investigate the delays and cost increases on the Crossrail scheme.