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Accounting News Roundup: Insecure Overachievers; Digging at the AICPA; Snack Bonuses | 02.02.18


If You’re So Successful, Why Are You Still Working 70 Hours a Week? [HBR]
If you read that title and immediately thought, “I’ll bet this opens with an anecdote about an accounting firm,” then you win a prize:

“I really became a robot,” a manager at an accounting firm explained. She and her colleagues worked extraordinarily long hours, but, she said, “I thought it was normal. It’s like brainwashing. You are in a kind of mental system where you are under increasing demands, and you say to yourself that it doesn’t matter, that you will rest afterwards, but that moment never comes.”

“Insecure overachievers” is how professionals like these in accounting, law, banking, and consulting firms are labeled. Laura Empson writes that after performing 500 interviews, she concludes that, “A professional’s insecurity is rooted in the inherent intangibility of knowledge work,” and these insecure overachievers, “still believe that they have autonomy and that they are overworking by choice.” Sound like anyone (or everyone) you know?

The Spirit of Accounting: 403 and done [AT]
Long-time columnists Paul B.W. Miller and Paul Bahnson take some parting shots in their 403rd and final piece, most notably at AICPA President, CEO, and kickball team captain Barry Melancon. They rail against Melancon’s “two incompatibly different AICPAs”:

The first is the previously prestigious and effective American Institute of CPAs he inherited but has now perverted into a commercial enterprise with little or no remaining prestige. The second is the new Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (“AICPA 2.0”) that he conjured out of thin air.

And also present compensation for the “AICPA elite”:

Because the numbers speak for themselves, we report without comment that the institute’s 2015 Form 990 discloses that Melancon’s total compensation for that fiscal year was $2,080,397. In addition, Cynthia Fornelli was paid $1,827,955 and the average for the next three highest-paid employees was $814,289.

Navigating The TCJA’s Pass-Through Deduction [TPC]
Even the experts are still making their way through the maze. The Tax Policy Center’s Howard Gleckman and Aaron Krupkin write that while it “is extremely generous,” the new pass-through deduction “Clearly, […] does not simplify the Tax Code.”

Twinkie Maker’s Response to the Trump Tax Overhaul: Free Snacks [Bloomberg]
Hostess is offering one-time bonuses to its employees, but also free snacks for a year. “A representative from each of Hostess’s bakeries will choose a product each week, and the employees will be able to take home a multipack of that item.”

Accountant arrested as WBRZ files report about scheme to meet women [WBRZ]
File to Accountants Behaving Badly: Creep does creepy things in order to keep being a creep. Marlon Lemoine is accused of impersonating a paramedic to meet women on the Internet. The victim, Drew Landry, says he was confronted by women who had been contacted by Lemoine on dating websites. Afterwards, Landry’s fiance contacted Lemoine on Plenty of Fish and he started sending her messages. You see where this is going: “The messages purportedly from Lemoine are graphic – too graphic to be shown in the television version of this story – but included naked pictures of the man.”

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The featured job of the week is an IT Audit Manager with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee in Chattanooga.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Jason Bramwell wrote about how controllers don’t want to talk about the new tax law.

I wrote about PwC not talking up its role at the Oscars this year after #envelopegate.

In other news:

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