KPMG A-OK With Fellow FIFA

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"That was close."

The Big Four accounting firm saw nothing untoward during its annual meeting with Sepp Blatter in the FIFA parking lot. The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority is going to see if it can do better with a peek at its bankers.

No one has challenged the accuracy of the annual reports of the body, FIFA, which are prepared according to international accounting standards by KPMG’s office in Zurich, where FIFA is based. But that only heightens the puzzling disconnect between the different pictures that are emerging of FIFA as an organization: riddled with bribes and kickbacks in the view of prosecutors, yet spotless according to the outsider most privy to its internal financial dealings….Mr. Epstein, who wrote a widely used professional handbook on accounting and auditing, added that if the Justice Department’s accusations of $150 million in bribes and kickbacks related to World Cup bidding and other soccer events “turn out to be founded, then analytically, something should have shown up” in KPMG’s audits “that would have required deeper investigation.” Harriett Baldwin, the Economic Secretary to the U.K. Treasury, said the Financial Conduct Authority is “discussing with banks whether the FIFA episode has highlighted weaknesses in their anti-money laundering systems and controls.”

Luckily, science has the solution: Hire women to run FIFA and the banks, if you can find one.

While men and women are equally attracted to prestigious careers, women are more likely to balk when told a job requires them to compromise their ethical values, according to Vanderbilt management professor Jessica Kennedy. In a recent interview, she points out even small differences in the degree to which men and women pursue a career in a field can lead to large gender disparities over time.

Corruption in FIFA? Its Auditors Saw None [NYT]
U.K. Financial Regulator in Talks With Banks over FIFA Probe [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]
Sacrificing Ethical Values Bugs Women More Than Men [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]

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