September 14, 2010

The Risks of Holding a Virtual-Only Annual Meeting

It looks like more companies are willing to take the risk of negative press – and shareholder anger – and hold virtual-only annual meetings. For example, check out this letter writing campaign against Symantec for planning to hold such a meeting, spearheaded by the “United States Proxy Exchange.” Here is Symantec’s proxy statement, which explains how it’s annual meeting will work (eg. questions will be permitted to submitted in ‘real time’).

Remember to tune in today for our webcast – “Holding the Virtual Annual Meeting: Factors to Consider and Practice Pointers” – featuring experts who are the pioneers that have been through the virtual or hybrid experience already.

The Big Four and Their Growing Consulting Practices: Deja Vu in Europe?

For those of us practicing more than a few years, you will recall how the largest auditing firms spun off their consulting practices in ’02 (post-Enron thing) since the risks of conflict of interests was too great when it came to the auditors doing their audit work (eg. see this article). According to this article in The Guardian, the Big Four has grown its consulting groups in Europe to the point where the revenue from these groups constitutes as much as a quarter of the firm’s revenue stream. Not a good thing…

PCAOB Extends “Communications with Audit Committees” Comment Period

Not only has the PCAOB extended its “communications with audit committee” comment period, it has calendared a roundtable for September 21st on the topic – and posted this briefing paper.

– Broc Romanek