KPMG is in the middle of an unbelievably dirty cheating scandal that keeps on getting uglier

Originally published at:


There has to be a name for the psychological effect of an ethics watchdog phoning in the construction and safeguarding of the ethics test so hard that it gives the impression to the testees (?) that ethics is not actually a priority…


I’m not sure that can even be considered cheating. It’s more like having the first question of the exam be “Please specify the mark out of 100 you would like to set as the passing grade.”


“The bad news is that you failed the ethics test. The good news is that you aced the hacking exam.”


Really a missed opportunity. Make it obvious that you can change the setting, and then, on submission, see if the value has changed.


If you can’t trust the accounting firm, the whole thing falls apart.

Roger That!


It’s time we put corporations (and their executives) in jail. What would that look like? Put them into receivership for a specified amount of time. In extreme cases, break them up and sell the parts. “But the employees! But the shareholders!” They will suffer, but maybe if they were a little more afraid of losing their job or their stock profits, there’d be a few more whistle-blowers and these things wouldn’t happen. As it is now, executives get a slap on the wrist, corporations pay a de minimus fine (compared to their bottom line) and it’s back to business as usual.


So, what do you think should earn the corporate death penalty?

(Alas I can’t find the MP3, but it is seared into my brain)

The rot runs deep though.


“Integrity” exams. . . .

Word comprehension seems to be a problem in America today.

Or I guess they understand and just don’t care. Yeah.


If I saw an ethics test that was set up so blatantly to make it easy to cheat I’d be tremendously suspicious that the test itself wasn’t another ethics test. I mean come on. Their IT department must have had a horrific track record of incompetence to make people think that it could possibly be that easy to cheat. If there was ever a question about it an auditor could always go back and check the logs even if the IT department doesn’t have two brain cells to rub together.

Anybody who lowered that threshold should just be fired on the spot. Auditors are supposed to live and die on their honesty and reputation. Someone willing to cheat so blatantly is eventually going to show up in a congressional report and make your company look like a bunch of jackasses.


See Also: The financial crisis of 2007-2008.


URL tampering has been found to be a DMCA felony violation.
People have been given lengthy prison terms for this exact “crime.”

I’m sure the KPMG big wigs will be no exception (sarcasm).


One of the core problems with the big accounting firms is that they are supposed to be (and claim to be) “independent” – meaning their auditing is objective, without bias, etc. But who pays the firms for their work? Their clients, of course. What happens if you keep telling your client they are cooking the books, taking bad accounting positions, etc.? They go to another firm. So guess what? They aren’t so independent.


“The SEC’s order says KPMG must “cease and desist” violating the securities laws”

This is what it all comes down to. Average people break the law and they have they’re lives destroyed with time in brutal prisons followed by a lifetime of perpetual obstacles to rebuild their lives. Corporations are asked nicely to please stop breaking the law.



Well, duh - how do you expect them to pass them otherwise?


Anyone remember… Arthur Andersen LLP ?


ETA: I just noticed the Latin for this baked into the story’s URL. Nice Easter egg!


It worked well for Captain James T. Kirk, so like, “why not??!”

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That doesn’t always go far enough. In the USA, corporations are turning into mythical creatures that spring from the mind of Zeus. The fact is that corporations exist because of corporate charters and because of government. Granting corporate charters wasn’t always automagic as it is now. Before the corporate era they were even limited as to not gain too much power. Somehow in the late 1800s they started becoming what they are today.

In other words, if corporations are constant bad actors their charters should be revoked and their assets forfeit. If you do this a few times then stockholders will actually insist that the law be followed.