KPMG has fired six employees including the head of its US audit practice after the professional services firm found they improperly received advance warning of audits the accounting watchdog planned to inspect. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which oversees just under 2,000 accounting firms, said that one of its employees had left the the body over the affair and that it had taken steps to “reinforce the integrity of its inspection process”.
KPMG said it discovered in February that an employee who had joined the company from the PCAOB had received confidential information from someone who still worked there about which audits would be inspected. The new employee then shared the information with other KPMG staff.
All six fired employees, including five partners, “either had improper advance warnings of engagements to be inspected by the PCAOB” or were aware that others had received this information but “failed to properly report the situation in a timely manner”, the group said. The five partners included Scott Marcello, vice-chair of its US audit practice.