There are reports that the big four companies Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have asked staff to disclose their cryptocurrencies in their annual risk assessment procedures.
The Big Four is a term applied to the leading accounting firms Deloitte, Ernst & Young (E&Y), KPMG and PwC.
They offer auditing, tax, management consulting, guarantees and legal services to the world’s leading companies and governments. This puts them in a unique position in terms of economic insights and awareness of future trends, especially in relation to digital transformation.
But what can we take from this event?
Risk assessment and compliance
According to Economic Times, Deloitte and PwC staff were asked to disclose cryptocurrencies of INR 10 ($ 0.13) or more. So far, there are no reports on the position held by E&Y and KPMG or that it is part of global politics outside of India.
“Companies fear conflicts of interest if partners or any of their family members have bought crypto assets,” insiders said.
It is worth noting that none of the Big Four have rules prohibiting staff from investing in digital assets. However, non-disclosure of assets could result in punishing staff or even dismissal.
Understandably, such a post should apply to partners and perhaps more managers. But PwC requires that all employees, even associates, adhere.
In one example, an associate was fined INR 25,000 ($ 330) for failing to disclose her husband’s crypto investment of INR 10,000 ($ 130).
Commenting on the situation, the senior partner in one of the companies concerned pointed out that the cryptocurrency is mostly owned by younger, generally less senior staff members.
“Most of these investments are made by executives and young partners because most of the older ones stick to traditional investments such as equity and real estate.”
Is this the beginning of an anti-crypto attitude?
The legality of cryptocurrencies in India is somewhat ambiguous. After that, a legal decision was made to ban digital currencies upside down in March 2020. But the government remains stubborn about their use in India.
Last time, a cryptocurrency bill that would clarify the matter was again postponed due to seeking wider consultation.
Big four senior partner he mentioned that the publication of cryptocurrency by staff is necessary for the sake of transparency, especially since companies count the central bank and the government as clients.
“But we want to be above the board because many of our projects involve direct collaboration with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the government.”
As overseers of international accounting standards, it makes sense that big four companies practice what they preach and enforce disclosure requirements.
Since that is the case, this isolated event should not be interpreted as an anti-crypto attitude of the Big Four. Instead, it seems like a precautionary measure to avoid insults from the Indian authorities.
However, the uncertainty surrounding the cryptocurrency account introduces an element of confusion.
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