30th June 2022
Bite-sized business news from the UK and beyond
Good morning This week Airbnb announced that the party is over. The short-term rental platform is making a global ban on “disruptive parties and events” — put in place during the pandemic to stop the spread of Covid — permanent. But the company said exceptions to the ban may be made for "specialty and traditional hospitality venues" in the future.
- Tesco faces off with Heinz over pricing row
- Record fine for accounting giant after staff caught cheating
Tesco faces off with Heinz over pricing row
Other stories to keep you in the loop
- Pound heads for biggest six-month drop since 2016
- UK will face worse inflation than other major economies, says Bank governor
- Morrisons sees fall in sales amid 'very fragile and difficult consumer environment'
- Poundland boosts £1 items in battle for shoppers
- Moonpig delivers lower earnings as pandemic boost fades
- Unilever sells off Ben & Jerry’s in Israel to avoid West Bank row
- BNPL firm Zilch bags $50m as boss predicts looming crisis for rivals
- Travel disruption looms over as Avanti West Coast workers vote to strike
- Get ready to say goodbye to Google Hangouts
Record fine for accounting giant after staff caught cheating
This week Ernst & Young, one of the Big4 accounting firms, was fined $100m by US regulators after it emerged that some employees had cheated on the ethics part of their accounting exams. It’s the largest penalty ever imposed on an audit firm.
Some context: The role of audit firms like EY is to hold companies accountable for the integrity of their financial reporting, so practicing ethically is important.
In the US auditors need to pass a series of exams to obtain the licence they need to practice.
However, the regulator found that between 2017 and 2021 a "significant number" of EY audit staff specifically cheated on the ethics component of their exams that were required for their accounting jobs.
To make matters worse: Internal investigations at EY uncovered the cheating, but the firm didn’t disclose them to the authorities for nine months. The cruel irony? Had they studied for the ethics test, they would have known this was bad.
The fine is the largest that the US regulator has ever imposed against an accounting firm, due to EY’s decision to not be fully transparent with investigators. It’s twice the amount imposed on fellow Big4 firm, KPMG, after a similar cheating scandal was uncovered at that company in 2019.
Stat of the day
A recent survey found that up to 4.9 million fewer people are giving to charity in the UK compared to 2019
Interesting links from around the web