ROB ROSE: KPMG’s client dilemma
KPMG’s reform includes an ambitious plan to prioritise ‘public interest’ — but will this help it avoid the next Gupta or VBS Mutual Bank scandal?
Ignatius Sehoole, CEO of the SA arm of audit firm KPMG, tells a story about a group of young accounting students who’d come to visit one auditing firm. At the end of the presentations, the students were asked if they had any questions. "This youngster raised his hand, and when someone pointed at him, he said very sheepishly: ‘Sorry sir, but can we please go see your parking lot?’"
For Sehoole, this illustrates that many recruits have lost the notion of working in the "public interest", fixating instead on "delighting the client", hoping this translates into bonuses.