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Accounting Watchdog Francine McKenna Slated to Address Economics Club of Hampton Roads

Francine McKennaFrancine McKenna

Francine McKenna, a freelance writer and CPA who runs an influential news website about the business of the Big 4 audit firms, will be the guest speaker at the Economics Club of Hampton Roads luncheon on April 23.

McKenna, a finalist in 2013 for the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Financial Journalism in the magazine category for her writing in Forbes, will speak at noon at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott. The event is free for Economics Club members and $40 for non-members. RSVP to Katrina Davenport at kdavenpo@odu.edu or 683-3590.

The topic of McKenna's presentation is "Economic Impact of the Accounting Industry."

The four largest audit firms in the country reported approximately $109 billion in revenue worldwide for fiscal 2012, and counted between 150,000 and 200,000 employees and partners each on a worldwide basis.

That is a far more significant contribution, by volume, to the economy than the legal industry. The latest survey by American Lawyer of the top 50 global law firms' published revenues was $55 billion for the same time period.

However, unprecedented changes in the accounting profession, and professional services in general, mean the current approach to safeguarding shareholder interests, as well as the other stakeholders of the modern publicly traded global enterprise, is no longer efficient nor effective. McKenna has written about this topic in dozens of national and international publications, including The Financial Times, American Banker, Al Jazeera, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business Capital Ideas Magazine and Columbia Journalism Review, as well as many other financial, media and technology blogs.

She writes a column at Forbes.com under the heading "Accounting Watchdog."

Stories on McKenna's personal site, re: The Auditors.com, explore the role, responsibility and regulation of the audit/accounting industry in the global capital markets in an independent, objective and usually critical way.

The Economics Club of Hampton Roads is a business-oriented organization for those who share an interest in the practical implications of economic trends, events and principles.

It was established in 1991 as a community service by former ODU President James V. Koch, and is administered by Gil Yochum, dean of the College of Business and Public Administration, under the supervision of an elected board.

Membership is available to anyone who would enjoy the opportunity to hear timely, varied and valuable presentations from nationally known experts and regional business leaders. Except for the annual Economic Outlook Luncheon, programs are not normally open to the general public. However, members are encouraged to bring guests. Corporate membership is also available, enabling organizations to send up to three individuals to each program.

For more information about the Economics Club and its events, visit the club website at http://bpa.odu.edu/bpa/econclub.shtml.