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A Going Concern Special Investigative Report: Why Does NASBA’s CPA Merch Suck So Bad? (UPDATE)

75 on REG tshirt

While clicking around NASBA’s website this afternoon on a hunt for information I need for an actual article and not the shitpost you are about to read, I came across their merch page and excitedly clicked over to “CPA merchandise” to see what they had. CPA stress balls? “I got a 75 on REG and all I got was this lousy T-shirt” T-shirts? Lavender, chamomile, and Trazodone bath beads in a decorative gift box? Sadly, no.

Once I got over my initial disappointment I decided to look around a bit. Not that there’s a whole lot to look around at, which we will get to in a moment. Let’s check out this Business Card Holder at the very top of the page. I clicked “larger image” and this happened:

NASBA business card holder product page

Let’s see what happens if we maximize the window.

GOD WHY. Maybe the problem is I’m using Chrome. Let’s try Safari.

I give up. I really wanted to criticize this $20 business card holder and I can’t even do that because I don’t know what it really looks like.

The rest of NASBA’s limited CPA merch selection isn’t much better. Yes, this is it.

NASBA store merch

Hol’ up. The “Gift Bundle Package” — which you can’t buy anyway — says you save 10% by bundling. I’m no mathlete but…the bundle includes the following:

  • Ceramic Desk Mug $18.99
  • Leather Mousepad $16.99
  • Rollerball Pen $14.99
  • Cuff Links (Gold OR Silver) $19.99

18.99 + 16.99 + 14.99 + 19.99 = 70.96. Whatever, maybe you get the 10% discount at check out. We can’t test it obviously.

Let’s see if I can get a closer look at that highly in-demand ceramic mug.

FML. Lemme try that again.

Using reverse image search, I was able to find the mug for $6.30 each in quantities over 24 from a promotional branding site though that is the price for screenprinted customization, not the engraved seal offered by NASBA. Specs from that promotional branding site:

Perfect for a trade show or convention, take your brand from unknown to well-known with this uniquely designed promotional giveaway! With safety in mind, this 16 oz. ceramic constructed mug features a wide integrated handle with firm grip to protect your hands from hot beverages. Also made with a stainless steel skid proof base with skip pad. For added convenience a gift box is included for easy wrapping and presentation. Measures 5.5″ H x 3.4″

NGL “take your brand from unknown to well-known” is actually unironically funny given the efforts currently underway to evangelize the benefits of a career in accounting to students of all ages.

Here’s NASBA’s description of that same mug on their site:

Black and silver ceramic construction with stainless steel skid-resistant base. Wide integrated handle, for firm grip. Engraved with silver Certified Public Accountant seal.

You know, I’d keep going on this but I keep getting HTTP ERROR 500 messages and if I have to see that depressed emo folder one more time I’m going to flip out.

FML, again

I’m going to be real with you NASBA, the Certified Public Accountants of America deserve better. I mean, even cheap ass accounting firms hand out YETI tumblers at recruiting events. Where are the socks? The embroidered Columbia fleeces? THE STRESS BALLS?? Do better.

Update (2.28.23):

The NASBA CPA Merchandise section has been wiped out. Not sure when or why this happened, I just checked today to see if they changed the price on that bundle.

Does this mean we’re getting some fresh CPA merch? Sure hope so!