News (June 2013)

Posted on May 24, 2013 · Posted in AB Public

UK

Worldspreads sues E&Y [lead]

Ernst & Young is being sued over its audits of Worldspreads, which is being administered by two KPMG partners.  Jane Moriarty, special administrator of Worldspreads and restructuring partner at KPMG, said: “The appointment of administrators to Worldspreads followed the discovery of accounting irregularities…. We have been reviewing the reasons for the company’s failure….. Following our initial review of this data and consultation with legal counsel, we have decided to take action against the firm’s auditors to protect the position for clients and creditors.”  E&Y responded: “Ernst & Young do not accept that we are liable for any losses suffered by Worldspreads or any related party and we will vigorously defend any proceedings.”  The firm added that an accurate audit is only possible if the auditor is “supplied with full, accurate and complete information”.  The parent Worldspreads group was headquartered in Dublin, where the legal action is taking place, but the main trading operation was in London.

 

Europe compromises on rotation [lead]

Firms would be prevented from undertaking audits for clients for more than 14 years under new controls proposed by the EU’s Legal Affairs Committee.  Under specified exemptions, firms would be able to audit clients for up to 25 years.  The European Commission had proposed a six year audit rotation requirement.  ‘Big four only’ requirements in contracts would be banned under the proposal.  The measure will need to be approved by the Council of Ministers to be adopted by the EU.  “We need to win back the confidence of investors, who are looking for high-quality and independent auditing to give them the assurance that they need when investing in Europe’s companies”, said Conservative MEP Sajjad Karim, who is responsible for the audit reform package.  The compromise was welcomed by ACCA as achieving a “laudable balance” between different interests.  Sue Almond, ACCA’s technical director, said: “Future legislation needs to be workable for businesses while enhancing investors’ confidence”

 

Overseas territories to share information

All British Overseas Territories acting as offshore financial centres have now signed an information disclosure agreement with the UK Government. The British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Bermuda, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands have followed the Cayman Islands in reaching agreement with the UK Treasury. Gibralter has also signed the agreement, but already complies with the measures.  Under the new concord, the jurisdictions will automatically exchange account information with the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.  The arrangements will cover accounts held by individuals, companies and trusts.  The Isle of Man and Guernsey are expected to join the arrangement.

 

FRC to investigate KPMG

The Financial Reporting Council is to conduct two investigations into KPMG.  One relates to its audits of motor group Pendragon PLC for the 2010 and 2011 years.  The investigation will consider whether the firm was independent in conducting the audit [: a former partner is now the company’s chairman].  A second investigation relates to an allegation that a KPMG audit partner held shares in an audit client and disposed of them in a non-timely manner.  KPMG said it remained of the view that it was independent in its audit of Pendragon, but that it was “very disappointed” that a partner failed to dispose of shares on a timely basis and that the firm failed to deal “appropriately with that failure”.

 

Accounting Directive to accommodate IR

The European Commission intends to amend two Accounting Directives to assist with greater non-financial disclosure by companies in line with the principles of Integrated Reporting.  The measures would affect about 18,000 businesses in the EU and improve reporting transparency on social and environmental issues.  The move was welcomed by the International Integrated Report Council.  Its chief executive, Paul Druckman, said: “We believe the Commission’s proposals are an intelligent and logical milestone on the continuing journey towards Integrated Reporting as part of the evolution in corporate reporting globally.”

 

70% of accountants would work abroad

Seven out of ten accountants based in the UK would work abroad , according to a Marks Sattin survey.  The most population destination is the United States, where 42% of accountants would work, followed by Australia, continental Europe, Canada and Singapore.  For 61% of those willing to move, the most common reason is to seek improved quality of life.  Dave Way, managing director of Marks Sattin, said: “Despite the lucrative offers available for accountants overseas, money is way down the list of their top priorities for an international move.”  Many young accountants want to work abroad for life experience, having missed out on a gap year.

 

A million RTI users

More than a million employers are using RTI to supply PAYE information.  Ruth Owen, HMRC’s director general for personal tax, said: “This is at the top end of our expectations. However, we’re not complacent and are carefully monitoring submissions, but so far things are going well. We have had lots of feedback from many employers saying that RTI is easy to use. We know it will take time before all employers adapt to RTI, but any who haven’t started reporting in real time should do so quickly.”

 

Standard proposed for regulated utilities

The IASB has proposed an exposure draft for industries, such as transport and utilities, that are subject to regulation of charges and investment.  Regulators’ decisions can have substantial impacts on entities revenues and on the timing of payments.  Existing IFRS does not provide specific guidance on rate regulated activities.  The IASB is proposing an interim standard that would allow entities to preserve their existing accounting policies, with some modifications designed to enhance comparability.

 

Revised corporate governance code for SMEs

A revised corporate governance code for SMEs has been produced by the Quoted Companies Alliance, with support from the Financial Reporting Council.  Revisions since the previous version published in 2010 include a greater focus on the benefits of how good governance can improve trust between a company, shareholders and potential shareholders and the prime importance of companies providing good quality reporting on approach, actions and behaviour.  The new code also emphasises the role of the chairman in good governance and provides greater detail on the characteristics of an effective board.

 

Companies ‘not using data effectively’

UK companies are failing to use their data effectively to generate competitive advantage, according to KPMG.  Ninety per cent of organisations passively collect data, without using it to provide market insight, it suggests.  Eddie Short, KPMG’s head of data and analytics, said: “In truth knowledge does not always equal power; collecting information for its own sake increases the risk of organisations drowning under a sea of information…. In the current environment – where cash-flow is tight – only if data analytics highlight what products and services need to be stopped or improved to delight customers and consumers, are they doing a good job.”

 

‘Skills shortage constraining growth’

Prioritising initiatives to increase the skill base of the UK workforce should be a government priority, according to a survey of UK CEOs.  Some 65% of CEOs say their businesses’ growth is being constrained by a lack of key skills.  A global survey conducted by PwC found that lack of key skills is a much greater problem in the UK than elsewhere in Western Europe.  But PwC said that CEOs should be more consistent and place skills development amongst their own workforce as a much higher priority.

 

Bonuses under strain

More than half of workers in the City report greater restraint by employers in the payment of bonuses, reports recruitment advisers Hays.  A survey of over a thousand workers in the City of London found 55% had either received no bonus or a reduced bonus this year.  Experienced workers were more likely to see a cut in bonus.  Almost half of those who have lost bonuses expressed an interest in looking for a new job.  “Without a doubt, the days of the big bonus culture have definitely come to an end and they are unlikely to return anytime soon,” said Geoff Fawcett, director of Hays Financial Markets.

 

Alternative finance replacing bank lending

The use of alternative sources of business finance rose by 16% in the first quarter of this year, according to peer-to-peer lender West One Loans.  In the last year, some £360m was provided in short-term secured lending to businesses through non-traditional finance arrangements.  But peer-to-peer lenders and brokers say that more finance could be obtained if SMEs were more aware of alternative finance.   “A growing number of UK firms are turning away from the inflexible packages on offer from traditional lenders,” said Duncan Kreeger, director at West One Loans.

 

FRC welcomes business transparency proposals

The FRC has welcomed European Commission proposals to improve business transparency on the reporting of social and environmental issues.  FRC chief executive Stephen Haddrill said: “The FRC has been leading the debate on narrative reporting in the UK for a number of years and plans to revise its 2006 reporting statement on narrative reporting once the new narrative reporting regulations have been published by BIS [the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills].”

 

Rest of World

Europe compromises on rotation [lead]

Firms would be prevented from undertaking audits for clients for more than 14 years under new controls proposed by the EU’s Legal Affairs Committee.  Under specified exemptions, firms would be able to audit clients for up to 25 years.  The European Commission had proposed a six year audit rotation requirement.  ‘Big four only’ requirements in contracts would be banned under the proposal.  The measure will need to be approved by the Council of Ministers to be adopted by the EU.  “We need to win back the confidence of investors, who are looking for high-quality and independent auditing to give them the assurance that they need when investing in Europe’s companies”, said Sajjad Karim MEP, who is responsible for the audit reform package.  The compromise was welcomed by ACCA as achieving a “laudable balance” between different interests.  Sue Almond, ACCA’s technical director, said: “Future legislation needs to be workable for businesses while enhancing investors’ confidence”

 

Tax clampdown ‘will damage economy’ [lead]

Economic growth could be constrained by reputational damage associated with government criticisms of tax planning, a New York conference of tax advisers has been told.  Frédéric Donnedieu de Vabres, chairman of Taxand, warned of dangers from governments focusing on what is ‘immoral’ instead of what is illegal.  “This has led some people to believe that any sort of supply chain planning is now a thing of the past, particularly given the tarnishing of certain corporate reputations that has already taken place,” he said.  “These waves of attack on any supply chain planning could potentially backfire, by curtailing investment, thwarting growth and compressing innovation across the globe.”  Robert N Lowe, CEO of conference hosts Alvarez & Marsal Taxand US, warned that governments are increasingly interested in transfer pricing.  “They see this activity as necessary to combat the ever-increasing efforts by multinationals to reduce their global tax rates through effective tax planning and positioning parts of their business in low tax jurisdictions,” he said.

 

Worldspreads sues E&Y

Ernst & Young is being sued over its audits of Worldspreads, which is being administered by two KPMG partners.  Jane Moriarty, special administrator of Worldspreads and restructuring partner at KPMG, said: “The appointment of administrators to Worldspreads followed the discovery of accounting irregularities…. We have been reviewing the reasons for the company’s failure….. Following our initial review of this data and consultation with legal counsel, we have decided to take action against the firm’s auditors to protect the position for clients and creditors.”  E&Y responded: “Ernst & Young do not accept that we are liable for any losses suffered by Worldspreads or any related party and we will vigorously defend any proceedings.”  The firm added that an accurate audit is only possible if the auditor is “supplied with full, accurate and complete information”.  The parent Worldspreads group was headquartered in Dublin, where the legal action is taking place, but the main trading operation was in London.

 

Firms move out of Iran

Accountancy networks are withdrawing from Iran under pressure from US lobby group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI).  Jean Stephens, chief executive of RSM, said: “Following recent correspondence with UANI, we confirm that we have ceased our relationship with Dayarayan Auditing & Financial Services, which was a correspondent firm in Tehran, Iran, effective 30 April 2013. We have made this decision because of the increased level of sanctions on Iran and rising concern about the country’s political leadership. We agree with and support the work of UANI.”  Grant Thornton International confirmed it has severed its ties with former Iran correspondent firm, Rymand & Co.  BDO has no engagement in Iran “because of the UN Security Council embargo resolutions,” a spokeswoman said.

 

Accounting Directive to accommodate IR

The European Commission intends to amend two Accounting Directives to assist with greater non-financial disclosure by companies in line with the principles of Integrated Reporting.  The measures would affect about 18,000 businesses in the EU and improve reporting transparency on social and environmental issues.  The move was welcomed by the International Integrated Report Council.  Its chief executive, Paul Druckman, said: “We believe the Commission’s proposals are an intelligent and logical milestone on the continuing journey towards Integrated Reporting as part of the evolution in corporate reporting globally.”

 

PCAOB proposes audit co-operation

The US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has proposed incentives to encourage audit firms to co-operate with its investigations.  PCAOB chairman James R. Doty explained: “This policy provides benefits to investors and real, tangible incentives to co-operate to firms and persons associated with firms.  Extraordinary co-operation permits the board to more quickly and efficiently address wrongdoing for the protection of investors, and may earn parties credit in connection with the board’s disciplinary processes.”  Credit for co-operation may result in reduced charges or sanctions in a disciplinary proceeding.

 

Scandinavia leads on board diversity

There is very slow progress in gender diversity outside of Europe, according to GMI Ratings’ annual review, Women on Boards.  The report was based on a survey of almost 6,000 companies in 45 countries.  Women now hold 11% of board seats at the world’s largest and best-known companies – a half a per cent increase during 2012 and a 1.7% rise since 2009.  Most of the improvement has been recorded in Europe.  Increased representation on boards by women has been led by Norway, Sweden and Finland.

 

Standard proposed for regulated utilities

The IASB has proposed an exposure draft for industries, such as transport and utilities, that are subject to regulation of charges and investment.  Regulators’ decisions can have substantial impacts on entities revenues and on the timing of payments.  Existing IFRS does not provide specific guidance on rate regulated activities.  The IASB is proposing an interim standard that would allow entities to preserve their existing accounting policies, with some modifications designed to enhance comparability.

 

FASB chair is Golden

Russell G. Golden takes over as chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board from July, taking over from Leslie F. Seidman.  Golden has been an FASB member since 2010, having been an employee for six years.  He was previously a Deloitte & Touche partner. Leslie Seidman spent 15 years with the FASB as staff member, board member and then chairman. Jeffrey J. Diermeier, chairman of the FAF Board of Trustees, said: “During Leslie’s tenure, she worked tirelessly to improve US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and to dramatically reduce the differences between US GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards.”

 

Information exchange ‘will be common’

Automatic exchange of information to improve tax collection and tackle tax evasion will become much more common, the OECD predicts in a report on progress on tax co-operation.  “The political support for automatic exchange of information on investment income has never been greater,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.  He argued that the US FATCA legislation and Luxembourg’s acceptance of automatic information exchange had shifted the climate amongst governments.   The report recommends use of the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters for the automatic exchange of information as it provides the means to fight offshore tax evasion and ensure compliance with national tax laws, while respecting taxpayers’ rights.

 

Gulf States to continue growth

Lower wholesale oil prices will constrain growth in the Gulf States’ economies over the next year, but private sector investment will ensure the economies are still growing, according to a Reuters poll of 19 leading analysts.  Economic growth in Saudi Arabia is predicted at 4.1% this year and 4.0% next year, with most other Gulf States showing similar growth rates.  But Qatar could see stronger growth at 5.0% in 2013 and 2014 as it benefits from $140bn of infrastructure spending as it prepares for the 2022 World Cup Football Tournament.

 

Middle East merger activity doubles

Mergers and acquisitions activity in the Middle East has doubled in value in the last year, according to the latest M&A regional report from Ernst & Young.  The value of M&A regional activity rose from US$7.3bn in the first quarter of 2012 to US$14.6bn in the same period this year.  There was a slight decline in the number of deals.  Phil Gandier, head of transaction advisory services at Ernst & Young for the MENA region, said: “This increase can be attributed to growing investor confidence, improvement in the access to credit, relatively better convergence in pricing between investors and sellers and a hint of improved macro economic conditions.”

 

Asia warned of overheating

Asia is set to continue substantial economic growth, but massive capital flows into the continent represent a risk of overheating, warns the IMF.  It predicts that Asia will grow at 5.7% this year, leading a global three speed recovery.  Growth is now being driven by domestic demand, says the IMF, supported by consumption, private investment and favourable labour market conditions.  Unemployment is at multi-year lows in several countries.  But the IMF warns that financial imbalances within the region and rising asset bubbles create risks of overheating.

 

Big increase in green taxation

The United States is the world leader in the use of green taxes, says KPMG.  Other world leaders are Japan, the United Kingdom, France, South Korea and China, according to KPMG’s first Green Tax Index.  The assessment is based on analysis of taxation in key policy areas such as energy efficiency, water efficiency, carbon emissions, green innovation and low carbon construction.  Barbara Bell, head of KPMG’s UK environmental tax team, says: “Governments are increasingly using green taxes as a tool to change corporate behaviour and to assist with environmental policy objectives.

 

Iraqi banking ‘growing rapidly’

Iraq’s banking sector is growing rapidly, according to the first comprehensive review of the country’s banks since the fall of Saddam Hussein.  The review, conducted by Sansar Capital Management, found the largest private banks grew aggregate net income by 207% in the period 2010 to 2012.  It predicts further fast growth driven by oil revenues in the south of the country, developing mobile payment systems and improved national connectivity between head offices with bank branches, ATMs and point of sale terminals.

 

Politics

PAC attacks firms

The Big Four firms play ‘cat and mouse’ with the tax system, according to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee.  Margaret Hodge MP, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said: “The large accountancy firms are in a powerful position in the tax world and have an unhealthily cosy relationship with government. They second staff to the Treasury to advise on formulating tax legislation.  When those staff return to their firms, they have the very inside knowledge and insight to be able to identify loopholes in the new legislation and advise their clients on how to take advantage of them. The poacher, turned gamekeeper for a time, returns to poaching.  This is a ridiculous conflict of interest which should be banned in a code of conduct for tax advisers, as we have recommended to the Treasury and HMRC.” The firms angrily denied the allegations.

 

‘Accounting fiddles’ hold down government borrowing

Although the Government’s latest public sector net borrowing figures are in line with the Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecast from March, this is only because of accounting manipulations, according to the Centre for Economic and Business Research.  The official figure for the 2012/13 financial year was £86.2bn – significantly above the previous OBR forecast from December, which predicted it would be £80.5bn.  The CEBR said the full year PSNB figure would be even higher had it not been for the receipts from the quantitative easing asset purchases being paid to the Treasury instead of the Bank of England, as was previously the case, and the transfer of £28bn of assets to the Government from the Royal Mail Pension Plan – which has the effect of increasing liabilities on the Government’s balance sheet by £38bn.  The Chancellor was also assisted by the sale of the 4G telecommunications spectrum and an end of year squeeze on departmental spending.

 

Information exchange ‘will be common’

Automatic exchange of information to improve tax collection and tackle tax evasion will become much more common, the OECD predicts in a report on progress on tax co-operation.  “The political support for automatic exchange of information on investment income has never been greater,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.  He argued that FATCA legislation in the US and Luxembourg’s acceptance of automatic information exchange had shifted the climate amongst governments.   The report identifies the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters as the ideal legal instrument for the automatic exchange of information. The Convention provides governments with a variety of means to fight offshore tax evasion and ensure compliance with national tax laws, while respecting taxpayers’ rights.

 

Big increase in green taxation

The UK is one of six countries taking a lead in their use of green taxation, says KPMG.  Other world leaders are the United States, Japan, France, South Korea and China, according to KPMG’s first Green Tax Index.  The assessment is based on analysis of taxation in key policy areas such as energy efficiency, water efficiency, carbon emissions, green innovation and low carbon construction.  Barbara Bell, Head of KPMG’s Environmental Tax team, says: “Governments are increasingly using green taxes as a tool to change corporate behaviour and to assist with environmental policy objectives. The UK’s landfill tax, for example, was introduced in 1996 and has had a marked and widely acknowledged impact in significantly reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.”

 

 

Public sector

Infrastructure plan ‘will not deliver’

The Government’s Infrastructure Plan is a list of aspirations without funding or, for most of the schemes, any realistic prospect of construction, says the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee.  “Investment in infrastructure is crucial for stimulating economic growth. However, the Treasury’s Infrastructure Plan is simply a long list of projects requiring huge amounts of money, not a real plan with a strategic vision and clear priorities,” said Margaret Hodge MP, the chair of the committee.  “The Treasury maintains that it has prioritized 40 projects and programmes, but in reality the list details more than 200 individual projects said to be ‘priorities’.  Most of the £310bn of investment needed will come from the private sector, with households shouldering the cost through higher energy bills and fares…  Given the difficulty in raising private finance, the government may have to use taxpayers’ money to attract investors through direct grants, guaranteed incomes or agreeing to bear certain risks.”

 

Charity shops could lose rate relief

Charity shops in Wales would lose much of their existing rates relief under proposals from an independent review.  Under the plans – which are out for consultation – relief for larger charity shops would be capped at 50%, down from the current 80%.  In addition, the relief could also be made available only on properties with a low rateable value.  A tougher qualifying criterion would be introduced of demonstrable social or community benefit.   But credit unions and social enterprises, which are currently excluded from the relief, would be eligible to claim in future.  The proposed reforms are intended to protect commercial retailers, but are strongly opposed by charities.

 

Corporate

Most CEOs have finance background

Most chief executives of the largest companies have a finance background, according to the latest Robert Half FTSE 100 CEO Tracker.  There has been a strong trend in recent years for finance professionals to take the top jobs – in 2008 only 31% of CEOs had a background in finance.  “The risk and regulation agenda is driving demand for those with finance skills who can oversee all operational reporting groups within a business,” said Phil Sheridan, UK managing director of Robert Half.  The report also found a reducing proportion of women chief executives – just three FTSE 100 companies are now led by women, compared with four in 2012.  The research chimes with comments made by Ernst & Young’s UK chairman at a women’s network event for FTSE chairman, where he said progress was frustrating slow.   “Is this just one of those areas where change comes slowly, where we have to be patient?” he asked guests.  He added that he did want to be patient.

 

EFG fined for money laundering failures

The UK’s new financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, has fined EFG Private Bank Ltd £4.2m for failing to operate effective money laundering controls.  EFG had conducted a client review which established of its 3,342 customer accounts, around 400 presented a higher risk of money laundering and of these 94 were held by politically exposed persons.  Despite identifying17 customer files representing significant money laundering risks – with allegations or charges of criminal activity – an investigation by the regulator found insufficient records to show how the bank had mitigated those risks.

 

Practice

Makinson Cowell bought by KPMG

Equity markets advisory firm Makinson Cowell has been bought by KPMG.  The acquisition will assist it to meet a growing demand from clients for combined independent debt and equity capital advice, says KPMG, which said the deal size was small, but strategically important.  Simon Collins, KPMG’s UK chairman, explained: “First, Makinson Cowell’s insights into the market views of the shareholder community will help provide independent and objective equity advice linking the boardroom and investors, which can only be to the benefit of all those involved in the capital markets.  Furthermore, at a time when companies are increasingly looking to ensure advice is independent from the underlying sources of finance, the combination of KPMG’s debt advisory business with the equity services provided by Makinson Cowell will create a market leading independent capital advisory business.  This innovative transaction will establish a unique offering in our market place which we believe will be warmly received by companies and investors alike.”

 

Online personal tax accounts ‘on way’

HMRC is likely to soon introduce personal online tax accounts, enabling individual taxpayers to see their tax information on the internet.  The online accounts will show tax payments and liabilities, along with a display of how taxpayers’ money is spent.  Exchequer minister David Gauke told Accountancy Age: “We’ve focused on personal tax statements, but I can see us moving in the direction of personal tax accounts so you’ve got much more information available for a personal taxpayer.  It will be very secure, and like online bank accounts, they can see where they stand.”

 

Rest of World

Corporate

Capital One settles charges on understated losses

Capital One Financial Corporation and two of its senior executives have been charged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission with understating losses on auto loans in the company’s financial reports.  Capital One has agreed to pay $3.5m to settle the charges, while the two senior officers – the chief risk officer Peter A. Schnall and former divisional credit officer David A. LaGassa – also settled the charges against them.  The under-declarations of losses were on loans to sub-prime borrowers and the SEC concluded that in the second and third quarters of 2007 the company failed to properly account for losses when it became clear that bad debts on loans would be higher than forecast.  The reporting failures were contrary to internal expectations of growing defaults.  Loan losses were under-reported by 18% in the second quarter and by 9% in the third quarter of 2007.

 

‘Weak skills constraining growth’

Governments must do more to produce skilled workforces, according to a survey of business leaders.  More than half of CEOs globally reported that their growth prospects are constrained by the lack of key skills.  A global PwC survey of over 1,300 CEOs revealed that they regard the shortage of key skills as the second biggest threat to their business growth, with the growing tax burden considered the greatest threat.  CEOs in Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific are the most concerned about the lack of key skills.  Only 15% of CEOs believe their government has been effective in creating skilled workforces.

 

Practice

Baker Tilly and Holtz Rubenstein merge

Baker Tilly Virchow Krause has merged with Holtz Rubenstein Reminick LLP in the United States. The two firms will use the name Baker Tilly Virchow Krause from the beginning of June.  Holtz Rubenstein Reminick is  a New York firm with offices in Manhattan and Long Island, which will become the operational base for Baker Tilly’s New York practice to give the expanded firm a stronger base on the US East Coast. “We’ve been looking for the right merger partner in New York and we found that partner in Holtz Rubenstein Reminick,” said Timothy L. Christen, chairman and CEO of Baker Tilly. “They have a strong reputation, considerable technical excellence, and a record of success.  The combination of these two well-respected firms will result in a $300m plus firm with more than 1,600 professionals, deepening our capabilities to better serve our clients.”  Baker Tilly’s executive managing partner Ed Offterdinger will lead the integration of the two firms.

 

KPMG is ‘Living Green’

KPMG in the US has reduced its use of electricity by 12%; cut its solid waste by 22%; reduced water use by 8%; increased recycling by 66%; and reduced its overall carbon footprint by 3% in a single year through its Living Green initiative.   “We are thrilled with the progress we have made over the past year,” said Steve Clemente, lead partner for KPMG’s Living Green program. “What is really impressive is how engaged our employees have become to focus on environmental sustainability at work, at home and in their communities, and how they are driving these results office by office around the country.”