I have recommended to Tuesday Club readers the book “Bean Counters” by Richard Brooks. Here’s a link to how you can purchase a copy. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bean-Counters-Triumph-Accountants-Capitalism/dp/1786490285. Or buy yours at Scorpio, where I bought my copy. Everybody who has the slightest interest in public finance should read it.
I think that too often, rather than have in-house expertise, those on the Boards of public institutions call far too quickly for a report from “KPMG, EY, Deloittes” etc. This is because people seem more committed to protecting their backsides than analysing just what quality they are getting from these firms. The report which then arrives at the Board table is seen as of greater value than in-house advice and is acted on because it’s supposedly “independent”.
I have read, in New Zealand, reports which have been written obviously in the interests of keeping a consultancy. Rather than complying with the ethics of fair and honest reporting, which is precisely what is required of a supposed “independent” report.
So, it didn’t surprise me when I read this article in the Guardian this week where a public watchdog group was calling for a ban for EY to be not able to bid for Government contracts for 3 years.
Maybe it’s time for somebody who has slightly more time than me to start monitoring the big four in this Country.