KPMG, one of the world’s largest accounting firms, has been fined $2 million by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) for its failure to properly supervise its staff. The fine comes after it was discovered that some KPMG employees cheated on internal training tests, which are designed to ensure that staff maintain the necessary knowledge and skills to perform their duties.
According to the PCAOB, the cheating occurred between 2015 and 2017 and involved a number of KPMG employees, including both managers and staff. The employees were found to have shared answers or used unauthorized materials during the tests, which are required for staff to retain their professional licenses.
In a statement, the PCAOB said that KPMG’s failure to properly supervise its staff and prevent the cheating “was a significant breach of professional standards.” The organization also noted that KPMG had cooperated with the investigation and had taken steps to improve its internal controls and training processes.
The fine comes at a time when the accounting industry is facing increased scrutiny, with several major firms facing regulatory penalties in recent years. In 2018, for example, Deloitte was fined $10 million for its role in a scheme to defraud the federal government. And in 2019, EY was fined $4 million for its failure to properly audit the financial statements of a Chinese company.
In response to the fine, KPMG said that it takes the matter “very seriously” and has implemented a number of measures to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future. The firm added that it is committed to upholding the highest professional standards and to maintaining the trust of its clients and the public.