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Oscars, Audit Firms, Accuracy And Inclusion

Posted on February 27, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Oscars, audit firms, accuracy AND inclusion: all in one place? Really. You might well wonder.

Perhaps it's just me - I tend not to think of issues in boxes -but in an inter-connected way - because that is how the world actually works. So when it rapidly emerged on Twitter that the accountancy firm PwC was responsible for the error at #Oscars2017, the first thing I thought was: "but it's an AUDIT firm - it's meant to be accurate."

Silly me. On the other hand, while I watched the BBC Breakfast News in disbelief, the dismissals were already starting.

In case you were wondering, I have no vendetta against PwC.They do some excellent work in corporate governance, for example. But I did write something on Forbes on January 25 which unfortunately involved their London offices - and has I see now had 227,130 hits.....it went up very very fast and is still rising.( No, I don't get paid any more now for more hits.)

At the time PwC was keen to stress it wasn't them, it was their recruitment firm that had the dress code policy. To which I responded here, on Board Talk.

Do big accountancy firms - like large banks - hide behind their very size? Do they know what is going on in every bit of the organisation ? Surely they should.

If I was Warren Beatty - who read out the incorrect reward - I would be very angry. Because millions of people who never bother to read the detail will walk away thinking 'poor guy, he had a 'senior moment.' No, he did not. Speaking for myself, I felt for him deeply as I watched him try to make sense of what had happened - while the world went viral with information and mis-information.

PwC made an appalling error. Will the accounting regulator the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) say anything ? PwC is already being investigated for its audit of Redcentric.

Let's see. You could argue that this is not an accounting matter. But it is a matter of reputation. And the general public is pretty cynical, when it comes to the power of the big accountancy firms. It's all about trust - right ?

Note: ain't social media grand ? Here's some input from a follower...    meet the PwC partners involved in the #Oscars2017 'winnning envelope fiasco'

Categories: Scrutiny, Governance, Inclusion