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KPMG: More than a wise man needed to restore public trust


KPMG: More than a wise man needed to restore public trust

From Guptas to VBS to Carillion, every time it manages to get its head above water, something else strikes

Londiwe Buthelezi

KPMG SA has done a lot to try to restore public trust in the company. Unfortunately people do not easily forgive big companies. It takes time and proving themselves over and over again without getting caught again doing the same things that made them a public enemy in the first place.
For KPMG it looks like every time the firm manages to get its head above water, something else strikes: just as it was bleeding clients thanks to its association with the Gupta-owned businesses, another KPMG audit partner was caught in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal.
Now, just as accounting stalwart Prof Wiseman Nkuhlu was beginning to convince the public that the old ways of doing things that got KPMG into trouble were a thing of the past, the UK arm’s audit work for collapsed construction firm Carillion Plc is under scrutiny.
UK accountancy watchdog the Financial Reporting Council has extended its investigation to look into the preparation and audit of Carillion’s financial statements dating back to the 2013 financial year. The council began a investigation into KPMG’s audit work in January 2018.
KPMG must receive some credit as the firm itself reported the issues being investigated. It might still be a long way before any findings are announced on the UK matter.Any negative finding could be detrimental for the KPMG brand in general. Even though this investigation relates to work done in the past, it could add to a track record and the effect could be felt far wider than just in the UK.

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