Sunday, May 10, 2009

No, Seriously, the Financial Crisis is Really Killing Us.

So, it's Sunday evening and I'm unwinding and I come across an article in the Denver Business Journal that lists seven industries that are thriving. To my surprise (or perhaps not) "CPA's" is on the list, "Average revenues at accounting firms grew by 10.2 percent in the past year, making the accounting industry among the top 20 in the country by sales growth."

Ok, I think to myself, this is disturbing primarily because of all the cost cutting (i.e. primarily firing people) the FB4 firms are doing. This certainly goes towards disproving the premise that the firms are putting out that they are hurting because of the economic shitshow. This got me curious to see what the FYE 2008 FB4 numbers were... TA-DAH:

- Up 14.5% to $22.7B (FYE 9/30)
Deloitte - Up 18.6% to $27B FY (FYE 5/31)
PWC - Up 14% to $28B (FYE 6/30)
E&Y -Up 16% to $24.5B (FYE 6/30)

SHEESH, looks like they're really hurting, right? Oh, and get that nonsense about the recession not starting until late in 2008 right the hell out. The Wall St. Journal, as early as July 2008 was wondering if the recession had started in 2007. Keep in mind that this was before AIG, Lehman, et al.

Knowing that I could get some sane information from re: The Auditors, I revisited a post from last month to find out what the hell the rationalization is for these cuts heading into FYE 2009. Whole thing here and my musings here.

Per Francine, there's all kind of excuses out there from the ripples from the bank fiascoes, to over-hiring, to off-shoring being a complete and utter failure. But does anyone believe for a nano-second that these firms are going put out results in the coming months with anything less than double digit growth in revenues? I suppose they could sandbag the numbers to make it look like thing are tough but would anyone (especially their clients) really believe it?

Isn't it about time these firms started issuing annual reports so we can know the whole story about the businesses? It's not like there's an investment strategy to be stolen here, long hours + lots of accountants = lots of money.

AND, let's not forget, dude, that if firms would present ALL information rather than just revenue numbers, maybe they could legitimately rationalize cost cutting rather than be like, "oh well, just trust us, it's rough out there".

When the FYE 2009 numbers come out, no one is going to feel bad for the FB4 because all they're going to see is that there was double digit revenue growth for the umpteenth year in a row. If costs were out of control, no one will know because the firms don't release that data. More of the "trust us, we're getting killed".

I'll wrap this up by bitterly reminding everyone that the FB4 CEO's like talking about how we, er, you have the responsibility to serve the "capital markets" (whatever the hell that means). If the capital markets are being served, shouldn't they know how well you're doing and maybe, just maybe, that there might be a smidgen of conflict of interest?

I guess that it might be kind of awk if the firms told everyone that they are making metric asstons of money being the "watchdog" and basically showing everyone that the watchdog is blind, missing half its teeth, and is three-legged.

Report: 7 thriving industries in the U.S. [Denver Business Journal]
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1 comment:

  1. it will be interesting to see what the US specific numbers look like. i think the BRIC countries will be the driving force behind much of these gains.