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Accounting News Roundup: Accountants Are Busy; There Will Be No Postcard Tax Returns; Crypto Tax Prep | 12.22.17

accountant tax bill busy

A busy accountants is a happy accountant.

Ed. note: The Accounting News Roundup will be off next Monday and Tuesday, returning Wednesday. While things are quiet, send tips and links to [email protected]. And remember Open Items is like 7-11.  

Tax Bill Is Great for Accountants — Unless They Have Holiday Plans [NYT]
Yesterday, we mentioned that the AICPA was perturbed about CPAs being left out of the tax cut extravaganza. But really, Barry Melancon & Co. shouldn’t feel all that bad, because every accountant from Boston to Boise to Biloxi is too busy making heads or tails of the new (impending) law of the land:

Late nights spent scrutinizing the new rules in the office have fueled UberEats and other food delivery services. Christmas shopping? Forget about it. Long-scheduled holiday trips are being delayed or interrupted.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the Big Four accounting firms, is not rescinding its tradition of shutting down the entire firm from Christmas to New Year’s Day.

But that’s basically a technicality.

“People and teams are going to have to figure out what they need to do to make sure we’re serving our clients appropriately during a difficult time,” said Len Combs, the firm’s chief United States auditor.

Congress made things difficult enough by shoving this bill through so no one had proper time to dig into it; however, EY’s vice chair of tax is quoted that many clients didn’t expect it to happen at all. “30 to 40 percent of the heads of tax at corporate clients are scrambling to model out the new law,” Kate Barton said. And then there are the people who can’t get enough. One Grant Thornton tax director gushed, “This has, in some ways, been my Super Bowl. It’s been the most exciting time of my career.”

Who needs a tax cut with all this excitement? Happy (Billing) Holidays, everyone.

Does the GOP tax plan make taxes simple enough to fit on a postcard? Probably not, experts say. [NBC]
The claim that the tax bill will allow 90 percent of Americans to fit their tax return on a form the size of a postcard is one of the most insulting pieces of rhetorical nonsense in the modern political era. If they do manage to fit the 1040EZ onto a postcard, I fully expect to see “Greetings from Hell” on the back of every single one.

Grant Thornton has a 26% gender pay gap [Economia]
GT’s U.K. affiliate has the biggest gap, even when compared to its Big 4 rivals. The disparity is driven by the most senior, highest-paid positions being held primarily by men. At the entry level, the split is 50:50 and the firm says that “on a gross basic full time equivalent basis, the gap is only of 1%, meaning men and women in similar roles are being rewarded consistently.”

Happy Tax starts cryptocurrency specialty tax practice [AT]
You gotta strike while the iron’s hot, right? “[T]he IRS said that even though millions had traded cryptocurrency in 2015, only 802 taxpayers included such trades on their tax returns. Happy Tax hopes to help taxpayers who find themselves in such a situation.”

Survey says…

Over the past month, we’ve been surveying accountants about their experience with the month-end close. If you haven’t taken our query yet, do us a solid and spend a few minutes answering some painless questions. We appreciate it.

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The featured job of the week is an Experienced Accountant position with FloQast in Los Angeles. They’re looking for someone with at least 2 years experience at a Big 4 or national firm.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Jason Bramwell wrote about how controllers can up their cybersecurity game.

In Open Items, a CPA exam candidate is feeling lost.

In other news:

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Image: iStock/cyano66