Categories
Profession

Big 6 accounting firms call for changes

The Big Four audit firms – Deloitte, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and KPMG – along with the number five and six firms – BDO and Grant Thornton – have joined forces to call for significant changes to the way public companies report their results.

They propose businesses report realtime financial data via the Internet, rather than quarterlies. It’s obvious that this would provide more timely information for investors, and that’s a good thing. It also seems like this could at least take advantage of the costly effects of Sarbox, that of thoroughly documenting controls – because the controls would be even more critical if information is constantly updated and available.

Either way it’s nice to know the guys at the top are still thinking about ways to improve the industry. Taking advantage of technology, especially the web-based variety, will continue to grow in importance not just for auditors and accountants, but in every aspect of business. Some accountant bloggers have been quite hysterical about the lack of focus on our part on technology.

Now if I can slide off on a tangent, I’d like to draw your attention to the headline (from the link above): “Accounting firms want company accounts revamp, paper says.” First of all, is this even a sentence? Is revamp a noun now? I had to read that thing several times over to really get what they were trying to say.

Categories
Profession

The Ernst & Young theme song

Wow. You’ve gotta see this. And comment on it!

(Via The Anonymous Accountant.)

Categories
Technology

Auditor laptop stolen, confidential data included

The auditor for Hotels.com is Ernst & Young, and one of their staff working on the audit had their laptop stolen from their car, compromising the credit card data of approximately 243,000 customers.

These things will happen, but what I don’t understand is whether they’re just assuming whoever stole the laptop is going to be able to crack the password that is no doubt protecting it. I have to enter two different passwords just to get into my work laptop, one to boot up and one to log in.

Am I missing something here? Are passwords not enough to protect the data? Can you just rip the hard drive out of the laptop somehow and extract the data that way? Is any data truly safe, then?

EY has pledged to encrypt sensitive data such as this in the future, so maybe that holds the key to safeguarding the intangible assets of audit clients.