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February 1, 2023

Accounting News Roundup: EY Screws Up Its Own Awards and Cryonic Preservation Trusts | 08.02.17

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EY

Oh, brother. EY has caused a bit of a ruckus in New Zealand by excluding a huge story involving one of its clients from the nominations for its business journalism awards:

Journalist Rebecca Macfie quit the judging panel saying it was clear that one entry was not going to be recognised “because of the problems fall-out from the story were creating for EY”.

That story was from former National Business Review reporter Karyn Scherer about alleged accounting irregularities at Fuji Xerox.

EY was Fuji’s auditor during the period covered but there is no suggestion it was at fault.

Two of the other judges for the awards were EY executives, so you can see the problem. Major New Zealand media companies have pulled all of their entries, leaving EY with a bunch crappy trophies that no one wants. To make matters only slightly worse, EY is not commenting on this story at all, thereby failing to participate in a process that they were about to recognize for its excellence. The irony is lovely.

Still, I’m a little perplexed as to why EY would sponsor journalism awards at all. Did they not think that conflicts like this were possible? Not to mention the possibility of EY being the subject of a major news story. This snafu isn’t quite on the level of handing someone the wrong envelope, but EY sure is royally screwing up the optics in a way that PwC managed to avoid.

Cryonic preservation trusts

Here’s a fascinating post at Bloomberg BNA on cryonic preservation trusts. Yes, they are trusts for people who wish to be cryogenically frozen and it answers practical questions, such as:

1) how can an individual afford to pay for potentially hundreds of years of cryonic preservation and expect to have assets remaining when they are revived?; and 2) what are the estate tax consequences (if there even is an estate) when the individual is cryogenically preserved?

I admit that I had no idea that CPTs were a thing, but I suppose those of you that do a lot of estate & trust planning with eccentric, overbearing clients — e.g. Ralph Offenhouse — consider this to be old hat.

Previously, on Going Concern…

I wrote about millennials not living up to their stereotypes. In Open Items: Public Accounting Buzzwords.

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