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Accounting News Roundup: Payroll Screw-ups and Buzzy Job Descriptions | 04.04.17


Reason #112 people don’t work at the IRS

The IRS, perpetually strapped for resources, hasn’t done itself any favors with this situation:

The Internal Revenue Service overpaid more than 600 employees approximately $4.2 million and underpaid over 900 employees an estimated $2.7 million because of incorrect calculations of manager salaries, according to a new report.

The report, from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, blamed the problem on complex pay-setting rules. TIGTA pointed out the pay system for IRS managers differs from the pay system for nonmanagerial employees. That means errors in calculating pay when moving between the two systems can lead to improper overpayments or underpayments, resulting in an inefficient use of IRS resources to fix the mistakes.

Part of the problem, it sounds like, is that the IRS’s rules for setting pay are needlessly complex. Making matters worse, “the IRS often promotes some of its permanent employees to temporary management positions.” Some of the employees affected “needed to delay their retirement or experienced medical issues,” which just sucks, no two ways about it.

I’m left wondering why the IRS isn’t outsourcing payroll? This doesn’t sound like anything ADP couldn’t handle.

If you’re looking for a guaranteed way to irritate your employees, screw up paying them. Go on, try it and see what happens. Man, the last thing the IRS needs is to suck more morale out of its employees.

Elsewhere in Treasury Department personnel issues: Trump Is Ready for Tax Cuts, but His Treasury Department Isn’t

Going through the motions

Good news for anyone who hopes to be the office managing partner of a Big 4 office one day: The job description is the same for everyone.

According to these two buzzy EY press releases announcing new OMPs in Seattle and Silicon Valley, the responsibilities are: “maintaining high-performing client-serving teams, developing EY’s people, fostering a strong culture of exceptional client service, and furthering strong relationships with community, government and business leaders in [your market].”

For the rank ‘n’ file out there, you can feel good knowing that even the HMFICs are all the same to a few people in your firm.

Has Donald Trump released his tax returns?

Nope! And Pepperdine Law Professor Derek Muller doesn’t think states should try to force him to do so via the ballot. Muller writes that state laws requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns would be bad policy and that New Jersey’s bill, for one, is probably unconstitutional.

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Previously, on Going Concern…

A bit of everything in Open Items: Someone’s transitioning from senior associate to manager; someone else wants to start a CPA firm; an awkward situation for someone interviewing with a Big 4 firm;  salary bumps for JD holders.

In other news:

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