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Sunday, 30 December 2018

XKPMG (IN ENGLISH, LATIN AND GREEK) - By Bashorun J.K. Randle


Arrangements had been concluded for the petition (signed by alpl the retired partners of KPMG who are still awaiting their gratuity and pension) to be tabled before the United Nations General Assembly which was held in New York, United States of
America from 18 September to 5 October 2018, when the highly respected SecretaryGeneral of the U.N., Mr. António Guterres pressed the pause button.


He was responding to the tremendous pressure from various Heads of State (particularly Kim Jong-Un from North Korea; Robert Mugabe who insists he is still the ruler of Zimbabwe for life and General Idi Amin who declared on CNN that not only is he still very much alive, but had recently acquired two new wives – one Christian and the other Moslem, although he cannot remember their names!!). The pressure group managed to swing matters in favour of deferring discussion of allegations of “pensioncide” (deprivation of pension) to the World Bank/IMF meeting which was scheduled to hold in Bali, Indonesia from October 12 to October 14 2018.

In the intervening period, we solicited the support of the 100 most powerful men and women in the world. The response was overwhelming. All of them, without exception, pledged their full support – this is definitely a matter for the United Nations. Peace is not the absence of war but the full payment of gratuity and pension.

However, the most intriguing response was that of Prince Charles who sent a cryptic message:

“As I Get Older All I Want To Do Is Plant Trees” (No Gratuity; No Pension)
Prince Charles says that planting trees is all he longs to do as he gets older and has created an entire wood for his grandson.

He discusses his passion for arboriculture for a new BBC documentary, in which he is filmed touring the wood planted for Prince George at his home in Birkhall, Aberdeenshire.

The Prince of Wales, 69, planted dozens of trees of different varieties in a paddock adjoining the house’s garden to mark George’s birth in July 2013. “As I get older all I really long for is to plant trees”, the prince tells John Bridcut, the filmmaker. “I hope it will be quite amusing for George, as they grow up, and he grows up.”

The prince is a keen gardener and has previously spoken of how he had help from George to plant trees at his Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire.
“Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70, which airs on Thursday 8th November on BBC One ahead of his birthday on November 14, obtained exclusive access to the prince, the Duchess of Cornwall and his sons over a period of a year. The BBC described it as a “revealing and intimate portrait” of the longest-serving-heir to the throne, who still feels he has a lot more to do.
The prince was filmed inspecting his Birkhall arboretum during the dry summer and worrying about the lack of water. “He does rain dances most of the day, to try and get some more,” the duchess jokes.

During the documentary the prince defends his reputation for meddling after high-profile public interventions on subjects as diverse as climate change, architecture, red squirrels and Islam. “If it’s meddling to worry about the inner cities as I did 40 years ago and what was happening or not happening there, the conditions in which people were living – if that’s meddling I’m very proud about it,” he says.

The Duke of Sussex also pays tribute to his father’s campaigning. “The man never stops,” he says/ “Whether its dinner or tea or whatever and we sit there and speak to him, he gets so frustrated.

You can understand why, when he cares that much and he’s been banging the drum for this long.”

Equally fascinating was the response from Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury who chose to deliver his verdict not from the pulpit but as “BREAKING NEWS” on CNN when he declared:

“The Almighty is not male or female”.
As confirmation that he was deadly serious, the Holy Father sent us the following report by Caroline Wheeler.
Headline: “Let Elderly Make Love, Not Cocoa, Care Homes Told”
         (Residents must be able to spice up their sex lives, new guidelines say).
“Help the aged has taken on a whole new meaning, with the country’s biggest nursing union issuing guidelines to care home staff on how to enable residents to enjoy an active sex life.

While the passing of time makes it difficult for some OAPs to raise anything more than a smile, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has told its members how to provide the right environment for residents to get amorous.

This includes ensuring there is a private area, with double beds available, and allowing residents access to pornography, Viagra and even sex toys — and “do not disturb” signs.
The RCN’s document, Older People in Care Homes: Sex, Sexuality and Intimate Relationships, warns staff that advancing age “in no way prevents older individuals and couples enjoying sexual activity, sexual intimacy or coitus”.

The document suggests that, far from shuffling gloomily towards encroaching infirmity, many care home residents are still driven by vigorous sexual urges, and may be having better sex than the rest of us. "With less time pressure than in the earlier times of their lives, some older people report that sexual activity can be more leisurely, lasting over an entire afternoon or an entire day, the RCN adds.

Older people often speak of the wish to maintain their usual sexual practices which might include cross-dressing, sadomasochism etc. Many older people report that they enjoy trying new positions and incorporating sex toys into their sex life."

A study by the University of Manchester of more than 7,000 people aged 5O and over found that at least a quarter of men and one in 10 women over 85 were sexually active. Given that women tend to heavily outnumber men at that age, some nursing homes have reported fierce competition for sexually active males.

Care home providers have long been nervous about the ethical, moral and legal implications of catering to sexual needs, especially where residents with dementia are concerned, or where mutual consent might be a problem.

Some residents have asked for prostitutes to be brought to their rooms, potentially exposing managers to prosecution if they permit the use of sex workers on their premises.
"Care providers should always take their own legal advice on any action they propose to take in relation to a resident as it may have implications under human rights law or other legislation," the document warns.

Abuse remains a major concern, with care homes liable to prosecution if they fail to protect vulnerable patients. In Australia last week a 102-year old man pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated indecent assault on a 92-year-old woman at their old people's home in Sydney. The man was unconditionally discharged on mental health grounds.
Dawne Garrett, the RCN's professional lead for older people and dementia care said the union produced the guidance because care home providers needed to treat their residents’ sexuality with respect".

She said: Just because people live in a care home doesn't mean they lose the same rights, choices and responsibilities they once enjoyed in their home as long as these don't impinge on the rights of other residents. Care home providers should develop policies that treat their resident’s sexuality with respect."

Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, which represents independent care homes, argues that care plans "should be sensitive to people's sexual and emotional needs, and care providers must give residents the privacy and dignity that will enable them to maintain their personal and sexual identity”.

The RCN's guidelines include 10 practical examples to help nurses understand how to behave in certain situations, such as if two men called "Edward and Thomas" move into a care home and fall in love, but whose adult children object to the relationship.
Another involves two adults, "Reginald and Mary" who begin a sexual relationship "which they are both enjoying and Reginald tells nurses that they must not tell his wife, who visits him every Tuesday. "Staff also agreed with the couple that staff would keep their relationship confidential but that, should Reg's wife find out about it, staff would suggest she speak to Reg," it states.

In one case involving dementia patients, a woman of 80 and a man of 94 formed a close relationship that lasted three years. They could not remember each other's names, so called each other "sweetie”. The woman's daughter Theresa Elvins, recalled being told by nurses, "We've found your mum and Denis in bed together" She said "I'm like, ‘Oh my God’.”

At the IMF/World Bank meeting, the lingering matter of the unpaid gratuity and pension of retired partners of KPMG was listed under “AOB” (Any Other Business). Unfortunately, there was no time to do justice to the issue. It was “The Punch” newspaper which took the wind out of our sail with the following front-page report:

“NIGERIA SERVICING DEBT WITH MORE THAN 50% REVENUE – IMF”
(Federal Government of Nigeria proposes to borrow ₦1.5 Trillion in 2019)

“The International Monetary Fund on Thursday painted the precarious situation of the nation’s economy in particular and Sub-Saharan Africa’s, in general, going by how much the country and the region spend on debt servicing.

According to the Breton Woods financial institution, Nigeria spends more than 50 per cent of its revenues on servicing debts, a situation that does not give room for other necessary expenses.

Speaking at the presentation of the Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa – Capital Flows and the Future of Work in Abuja on Thursday, Senior Resident Representative and Mission Chief for Nigeria, African Department, Amine Mati, put Nigeria’s growth rate for 2018 at 1.9 per cent.
Mati said that although Nigeria’s debt to Gross Domestic Product remained low at between 20 and 25 per cent, the country spent a high proportion of its revenue on debt servicing as a result of low revenue generation.

For Nigeria, he added, the debt servicing to revenue ratio was more than 50 per cent while for sub-Saharan Africa, the rate was about 10 per cent; a figure he said was too high and reminiscent of what the region went through in the period following debt relief at the beginning of the 21st century.

Mati said, “Security issues are exacting a significant human toll in a number of countries. Debt to GDP ratio is increasing in the past five years. Public debt is diverting more resources towards debt servicing.

“The interest rate has gone up to where they used to be around the year 2000 before the debt relief. The adjustment has relied on spending compression rather than revenues mobilisation. Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals will require stronger growth and more financing.”

The IMF top-notch said that the sub-region needed to create 20 million jobs every year and added that the situation was even more precarious with the Fourth Industrial Revolution lurking around.

“Policies are needed today to create more jobs in the coming years. Twenty million jobs are required every year in Sub-Saharan Africa to meet the SDGs. Job creation is complicated by uncertainty to which technology replaces labour,” he said.

Speaking at the event, Director General of the Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha, stated that it was important for the government to borrow especially given the nation’s low revenue generating capacity.

She contended that without sufficient revenue and with the recession that the country found itself between 2016 and 2017, the government had no option but to borrow and spend the country out of recession.

Oniha said, “We are borrowing to be able to increase forex availability. The government needed to borrow in order to spend the country out of recession.” She disclosed that the government had proposed to borrow N1.5tn in the 2019 fiscal year, adding that borrowing had reduced as the nation was now out of recession.

Justifying this viewpoint, Oniha said that in 2016, the Federal Government borrowed N2.5tn which was approved by the National Assembly while it proposed to borrow N1.64tn in the current financial year.

In 2019, she added, the proposed debt of N1.5tn had gone further down. She added that the government had taken steps to diversify the economy and increase tax collection which she said was lower than in most countries of the Economic Community of West African States.

The DMO boss differed with the opinion of a questioner who argued that the infrastructure in the country had been decaying despite increased borrowing in the last three years.

However, a Non-Governmental Organisation, Social Action, has berated the government for its inclination towards borrowing.

In a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Thursday, Head, National Advocacy Centre, Social Action, Nigeria, Vivian Bellonwu-Okafor, said that the inclination to borrow by the government showed cluelessness.

Bellonwu-Okafor said the recent statement made by the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola that ‘those who complain that we (FG) borrow too much should tell us where else to find funds’ was not only unfortunate but also a glaring admission of cluelessness.

She said, “While it is distressing to watch the country’s debt profile balloon into pre-2006 levels – before the debt buyback deal when the Olusegun Obasanjo administration paid $12bn to eliminate over $30bn then owed to the Paris Club of creditors – it is disheartening that the Buhari government seems to be bereft of ideas on what to do to generate revenue without resorting to excessive borrowing.”

Perhaps it was this precarious state of affairs as a prelude to anarchy and fragmentation that provoked the late Apostle Hayford Alile the pioneer DirectorGeneral and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange to issue a “fatwah” on his 80th birthday (24th April, 2018) interview which was published on the front page of the “Vanguard” newspaper of November 9, 2018.

Headline: “IF I WERE GOD, I’D CUT ZIMBODA’S BLESSING”
“God says I can’t come from heaven above to come and help you, but if He identifies you as a good instrument, He will pump his goodness through you to others.”

It is always a huge task to ascertain who is on the side of the angels. A case in point is the fierce contest between XKPMG and KPMG over the sponsorship of “The Match” (Golf) Tournament. KPMG outbid XKPMG by depositing the princely sum of U.S. $9 million. Alas, according to the report by The Sunday Times, it was money down the drain. It would have been better spent on retired partners of KPMG who are still awaiting their gratuity and pension.

Headline: “THE OBSCENE $9 MILLION SHOWDOWN THAT SHAMED GOLF”
“It was the photograph of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson sitting in the midst of all those bundles of dollars that was grim. How desperately did they need the $9m on offer to the winner of their match? They could have posed naked for the cameras and not come close to the tastelessness of what they did.
The Match, as the marketing men branded it, happened at Shadow Creek golf course in Las Vegas on Friday, and if you had the good sense to ignore it you made the right decision.

Two men in their 40s, both past their best, played a lot of average golf in a meaningless exhibition. In their pursuit of an obscenely excessive prize, they showed not a scintilla of respect for the game they profess to love.

Mickelson won, but who cares? It would be nice to think he will find a worthy charity for all of the dubiously-gotten gains but so far, there has been no such indication. Before Friday’s exhibition, Forbes estimated his career earnings at $815m, but if there is one thing life teaches it is that the very rich rarely have enough.

One report claimed Woods and Mickelson also received $10m each for taking part. If this is true Lefty pocketed $19m for playing an average round. Plenty of people in the game were unimpressed. Rory Mcilroy said he wouldn’t be paying to watch. But this is professional golf, where the stars see controversy as a water hazard. Something to be avoided. If they have a strong view you won’t find it on their Twitter feed.

Eddie Pepperell is the exception. The world No 38 calls it honestly and passionately, describing The Match as “putrid” in a Twitter post. He then wrote about it at length on his blog. “Worse still, this event, by way of selling itself, has put golfers in the same basket of people who aren’t revered publicly, but who are often despised, due to their opulent wealth and seeming lack of awareness.

This isn’t me trying to be righteous, or admitting I wouldn’t have participated in it because I’m ‘different’, it’s just me voicing concerns over an image which has already eroded people’s interest in sportspeople.

“I don’t think sportspeople have an obligation to necessarily give back to the community beyond our taxes. That’s a choice. But as human beings we should have a better understanding of when and where to flaunt. At times like these, I think flaunting is a bad idea. “(PS: I am aware I sometimes flaunt. I never said I was perfect).” Remarkably, Woods and Mickelson just didn’t get it.”

These are all politics and oppression not accountancy or economics. It is little comfort to the retired partners of KPMG to refer them to Bertolt Brecht who in utter disgust and disillusionment proclaimed:

“The worst illiterate is the political illiterate. He hears nothing, sees nothing, takes no part in political life. He doesn’t seem to know that the cost of living, the price of beans, of flour, of rent, of medicines, all depend on political decisions. He even prides himself on his political ignorance, sticks out his chest and says he hates politics.
The imbecile doesn’t know that from his political non-participation comes the prostitute, the abandoned child, the robber and worst of all, corrupt officials, the lackeys of exploitative multinational corporations.”

Regardless, the retired partners of KPMG are adamant – no politics for them. They have always steered well clear of politics and they see no reason to change tack now, no matter the amount of money involved. Integrity, reputation and principles remain paramount.

Clearly, KPMG is not the only accounting firm with problems regarding retired partners. On their front pages, the leading financial papers – Wall Street Journal; The Financial Times; The Telegraph; The Sunday Times etc. went to town with the same bold, screaming and alarming headline:

“DELOITTE HAS FIRED 20 UK PARTNERS FOR INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR (Report by
Madison Marriag)
• Chief says firm will not spare anyone involved in sexual harassment or bullying
“Deloitte has fired about 20 UK partners over the past four years for inappropriate behaviour including bullying and sexual harassment, the accounting group’s chief executive said.

“We will fire people for any inappropriate behaviour. No one is protected,” said David Sproul. “There has been unfortunately a number of partners who have been fired for inappropriate behaviour, be it of a sexual nature or of a bullying nature. I’d like to say there weren’t any, but there are.”

Deloitte is the first of the Big Four accounting firms to disclose the extent of dismissals for inappropriate behaviour in its senior ranks. It comes as the #MeToo movement has exposed the pervasive sexual harassment of women at work.

Mr Sproul said the firm, which has about 1,000 UK partners, has “reinforced” existing guidance on appropriate conduct in response to the #MeToo movement, such as the rules on socialising with colleagues after work.

“You can’t meet someone more junior to you in a bar on a Friday evening after work and assume she or he is attracted to you [and is seeking] a one-night stand. You just can’t do it,” he said. “Some people definitely would have to have that explained to them. So we’ve been very clear on what is acceptable in our firm.”

Deloitte introduced several initiatives to combat harassment and discrimination years before the #MeToo movement, according to Mr Sproul. These included mandatory “respect and inclusion” training for all staff, helplines that enable employees to anonymously report problems and a video where employees explained why a situation made them uncomfortable.
“About 10 of our people agreed to speak anonymously about behaviour that they had experienced. This wasn’t the most egregious behaviour, and they explained how it made them feel. It was probably one of the most powerful things we did, because it caused people to realise that . . . something some people would have thought was just banter was massively offensive to the person hearing that banter.”
PwC did not respond to a request for comment.”

As confirmation that KPMG can afford to take care of its retired partners, here is the unqualified independent auditors’ report by Tabby Kinder:
“The British business of KPMG has grown at its fastest rate in a decade and its partners will receive £80,000 more than last year on average, despite the accountancy firm being caught up in the collapse of Carillion.

The Big Four firm made £2.34 billion in the year to September 30.8 per cent more than last year, while underlying profits before tax rose 18 per cent to £356 million. The increase meant that average pay per partner rose by almost 16 per cent to £601,000.

KPMG is the fourth largest accountancy group in Britain by revenue, after Deloitte, PWC and EY. It employs about 14,500 people in the UK and has 635 partners, each of whom receives a share of profits each year.

KPMG’s reputation suffered over its audits of Carillion, the giant outsourcer and construction group that failed in January. It is being investigated by the Financial Reporting Council, the audit regulator, after politicians accused it of having missed red flags in Carillion’s books. It also has faced scandals in South Africa this year over its work for the prominent Gupta family business empire and in the United States, where three of its former partners were charged with fraud.

The latest financial results come 14 months after Bill Michael was elected UK Chairman. He took over KPMG in October last year after running its global banking and capital markets practice.

Mr. Michael replaced Simon Collins, who was known for some exuberant projects, including launching a private members’ club for the firm’s staff and its clients in west London and for treating staff to performances by Florence and the Machine and Tinie Tempah at the O2 in Greenwich, southeast London.

Mr. Michael said that the results showed KPMG was “back on track after going off-piste. Our trajectory is good, but we’re not complacent. There is a long way to go.”

He said that reviews into the accounting profession and audit market, such as the inquiry by the competition watchdog that will release initial findings this month, would “necessarily change the landscape we operate in”. he added that he had made "tough decisions" about the direction of the business, including writing off about £20 million of bad investments made by previous management.
Growth last year was driven by a 14 per cent rise in fees from providing advice to clients on deals and a 7 per cent increase in advice on tax, legal issues and matters relating to Brexit.

KPMG's audit practice delivered an 8 per cent rise in revenues, despite criticism for an "unacceptable deterioration" in its auditing by the FRC in June. The firm also made £106 million on selling its office in Canary Wharf in London, which is not included in its profits and was not distributed to partners. The money was used to reduce risks surrounding KPMG's pension scheme and to create an investment fund for future projects.
In November, KPMG became the first large accounting firm to stop providing consulting and tax advice to all of the listed companies that it audits. The move will cost it up to £80 million in fees, or about 40 per cent of its audit turnover.”

Bashorun J.K. Randle is a former
President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and former Chairman of KPMG Nigeria and Africa Region.

He is currently the Chairman, J.K. Randle Professional Services.
Email: jkrandleintuk@gmail.com


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