I’ve been following the recent KPMG case where a long-standing partner who had spent nearly three decades as an auditor admitted he provided stock tips on clients to a friend in exchange for cash and gifts. These stock tips allegedly led to $1.2 million in illicit profits by one of his clients and the KPMG partner obtained personal benefits including more than $50,000 in cash and gifts.
In addition to the obvious thoughts and questions about why a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with almost 30 years experience would do something like this, it made me reflect back to a recent conversation I had with one of our up and coming senior auditors. The conversation surrounded our CDH WHY statement of how we strive to “make a difference” for our clients. He was struggling to come up with thoughts and ideas on how we can really make a difference for our audit clients. He believes an audit engagement is really important work for our clients but was not sure about how to make a difference in the work that we perform. As I think about this situation and our conversation, it leads me to consider that we really don’t need to get fancy in order to make a difference. Following our profession’s code of ethics and handling our client relationships with the utmost integrity can truly make a difference.
Can it really be that simple? I’d love to hear your thoughts.