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Accounting News Roundup: Computation Errors and Grant Thornton’s New Global CEO | 05.16.17



This is from last week but seems worth sharing. Dick’s Sporting Goods announced in a SEC filing that it made a $23 million “computation error” that overstated its “adjusted earnings” and that’s mildly embarrassing:

The company discovered it had inadvertently included its asset impairment charges in two places, in effect double-counting the costs, said Lee Belitsky, chief financial officer for Dick’s Sporting Goods.Mr. Belitsky emphasized that those calculations occurred outside of the company’s official earnings reported using generally accepted accounting principles, known as GAAP.

“It’s a correction of a supplemental reporting table,” Mr. Belitsky said in an interview.

“Since it was incorrect and it had been provided to investors, we figured we would correct that,” Belitsky also said. I wonder how many people looked at that table before they sent it out. I wonder if anyone feels the need to apologize. In the end, it’s just a mistake, but it’s still a $23 million mistake, which may have affected someone’s decision about investing in a monster sporting goods store, but probably didn’t.


Grant Thornton announced that Peter Bodin will be its new global CEO, succeeding Ed Nusbaum on January 1, 2018. Bodin led GT Sweden for 16 years and also served as the Chairman of the Board of the global firm for five years.

Criminal masterminds

Remember way back in 2012, when everyone was demanding that then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney was demanding he release his tax returns? Oh, man, those were good times. If you recall, at one point, someone claimed to have stolen Romney’s returns from a PwC office in Tennessee and held them for a 1 million Bitcoin ransom. That turned out to be a hoax, of course, and clues that included pictures of cats led investigators to a man who was eventually convicted of various extortion-related crimes.

Well, that guy, Michael Mancil Brown aka Dr. Evil, has successfully appealed his four-year prison sentence. A report from The Register explains that a panel of judges agreed that the possibility that someone else may have used Brown’s computer was enough to “vacate the sentence.” Of course, the best stuff was the comical details of how he was caught:

All three flash drives contained a file named “Romney1040-Collection.7z.” … The unallocated space on the drives also held text strings and two photos of cats. The PricewaterhouseCoopers flash drive held the text string, “5276 dolphin kathryn.” … The Democratic Party drive had the string “4154 dolphin KnightMB.”

A series of Google searches using “KnightMB” revealed an email address, [email protected], and that a 33 year-old Tennessean named Michael Brown made online posts connected to that address.

“Dr. Evil” had used that email address for his AT&T account, his wife’s name is Kathryn, and he’d posted videos on YouTube as KnightMB.

Obviously the moral here is: Mitt Romney shouldn’t have released his tax returns.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Marsha Leest wrote about how to make a job search plan. In Open Items, someone’s asking about pricing for a startup CPA firm.

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