Day 4: Lecture on Regulatory Environment and Trip to KPMG

Our day 4 started from a great lecture in the morning. The topic for today’s presentation was financial reporting supervision and enforcement in international accounting. Ferdy van Beest, who is from Authority of Financial Markets (AFM), presented the aim of AFM and the way in which they are trying to accomplish goals in the Netherlands. Ferdy is an energetic speaker who always encouraged students to ask him questions and made students get involved in this serious topic. He stated that the goal of AFM was to create a better market in the Netherlands. However, AFM was still confronted with some challenges to achieve its goal. For example, collecting sufficient evidence was one of the most important thing for AFM. Beyond that, balance between firm-level and country-level regulation is the other problem they needed to consider. He also spoke about some companies in the Netherlands using integrated reporting, which included a scoring list with mandatory and voluntary components. At the end of his presentation, he mentioned that companies seemed to postpone taking impairment losses, hence suggesting that the financial results are distorted. AFM could not fine them since it was hard to measure without certain information. It seems like AFM still has some challenges when it regulates and enforces the process of financial reporting in the company. We really enjoyed Ferdy’s passionate speech and most of MAcc students even said he was the most interesting speaker during this business trip.

After lunch, we headed to KPMG in Amsterdam. As the previous leading audit firm of Philips, KPMG addressed the challenges they face in auditing an international listed company, and the lecture on external regulation was given by a partner and audit manager, who is also a UO alum. One issue the partner raised is that audit firms must be trusted. He stated that one audit challenge that the auditor faces is the potential punishment from negative news on social media. When one or two auditors fail on audit quality, the whole audit firm would be exposed to negative news. So the audit firms face the challenge of building relationships and trust with stakeholders and potential investors. Our alumnus also gave us some suggestions on how to deal with culture shocks, work pressure, and difficulties from his own experiences on KPMG’s rotation abroad. This presentation was a great opportunity to gain knowledge that could help us to begin our future career path.

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Written by Joyce

I am currently a MAcc student at UO and I really enjoy the time here.