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Accounting News Roundup: Trump Admin. Sides With Mandatory Arbitration | 06.19.17


Mandatory arbitration

We first noted the inclusion of mandatory arbitration in PwC’s employment offers back in 2014. Lately, we’ve been talking about mandatory arbitration’s slow march towards the the Supreme Court, which includes the case Ernst & Young v. Morris. The latest development dropped on Friday, when the Trump Administration said it no longer supported the position of the National Labor Relations Board, the plaintiff in one of the other cases SCOTUS will hear.

In Friday’s court filing, acting U.S. Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall said the Supreme Court should find that class action waivers are legal and enforceable under federal law. Workers that waive the right to collective litigation cannot “escape the consequences of that choice,” he said.

The other side of this argument is, of course, that compelling employees to abandon collective bargaining is illegal. The case will come up in the Supreme Court’s next term.

Accountants behaving badly: Celebrity Edition

You have to admire something about those “accountants to the stars.” Essentially, these are people who not only will keep the books and complete tax returns, but pay bills, make investments, and host of other financial responsibilities that regular people have to do on their own, but people in show business would rather not.

There is the possibility, however, that since celebrities would rather just trust someone to take care of all this personal finance stuff, some accountants might take advantage of that trust. Hence, the regular drip of celebrity-sues-accountant stories. And today we add Alyssa Milano to the canon:

Alyssa Milano has filed a $10 million lawsuit accusing her former business manager of severe misconduct that caused her to spiral into a financial disaster.

The suit accuses accountant Kenneth Hellie and his firm, Hellie, Hoffer & Co., of forging her signature on checks, failing to pay overdue bills and taxes, and inducing her to make bad investments in businesses in which he was also an investor, without disclosing the conflict.

Hellie’s actions, according to the suit, left Milano and her husband, talent agent David Bugliari, “with millions of dollars in debt and their credit in ruins.”

“Milano alleges that her financial woes began with a ‘home improvement debacle,'” and I can’t help but think that many people have a story that starts this way but that doesn’t end with them suing their accountant. Still, if you outsource your personal financial management, expecting someone not to steal from you and/or make bad decisions is reasonable.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Adrienne Gonzalez wrote about the AICPA trying to innovate you out of a job. In Open Items: “The Big 4 really know how to sell themselves, but looking at it now, I’m not so sure it’s what I want to do.”

In other news:

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