Several years ago, the Grumpies were pretty hard on the agencies tasked with enforcing audit quality and ethical accounting behavior in the United States (see Paper Tigers: The U.S. Accounting Oversight Regime). But my how times have changed…the “Paper Tiger” has become “Tony the Tiger,” and that is just grrrrreat! What am I talking about? Well, it has been a really bad month for the global accounting firms (GAFS).
When we think about the worst U.S. accounting scandals ever, those new to the profession usually cite the Lehman collapse or Madoff scam of 2008, or maybe even the Enron tragedy in 2001 which has become symbolic for bad accounting and auditing. And those of us with gray (or no hair) might recall the ZZZZ Best, Crazy Eddie, or Equity Funding debacles. However, many of us may have missed what may be the largest and longest running accounting swindle ever, one that finds accountants scamming accountants.