Professional Services Monitor: Today


May 20, 2009

More Audit Fees Lists

Filed under: ARGI,Audit Fees,Firms,PricewaterhouseCoopers — psmtoday @ 9:47 am

We wrap up the March to April proxy statement busy season with three more lists of audit fees, as a follow-up to our earlier post. We again look at largest increases and decreases from FY2007 to FY2008, and we’ve added a third list of the 10 largest total audit fees.

These 30 companies were taken from about 2400 proxies filed during March and April, 2009. The average increase in this group was about 10.0%.

PricewaterhouseCoopers clients had an average increase of 8.9%. The three of the four largest audit fees-paid in FY2008 belong to PwC clients: JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs Group and Bank of America. With the large acquisitions made by each of these three companies in the second half of 2008, one might expect that audit fees increases ought to be even larger in FY2009.  Net, audit fees increased for this group of PwC clients by about $6.5 million.


May 18, 2009

WolframAlpha and Financial Data

Filed under: Technology — psmtoday @ 10:28 am

WolframAlpha is a new search engine—”computational knowledge engine: it generates output by doing computations from its own internal knowledge base”—from Wolfram Research,. which debuted over the weekend. The Internet is alive with discussion of WolframAlpha being a Wikipedia killer and an alternative to Google.
While I personally have no interest in feeding the Wolf with mathematical minutiae, I did have a look at it’s treatment on public company data. Using General Electric as an example, WolframAlpha quickly produces a page of about 10 boxes, starting with current stock quote and fundementals (or ratios, or balance sheet, or quarterly cashflow), down to projections and daily returns compared to the S&P 500. Data is not limited to mega-cap companies, like IBM or Wal-Mart, but also smaller companies such as Meridian Biosciences and Isilon Systems. It did not, however, generate data on hometown favorites, Pyramid Breweries and Craft Brewers Alliance (formerly Redhook).
Furthermore, WolframAlpha can also combine most of an individual company’s data with another in a quick comparison.