Accounting News Roundup: Middle Management Stress and Diversity Denial | 03.24.17

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We are all middle management

Here’s a Harvard Business Review article on “Why Being a Middle Manager Is So Exhausting” because, hey, most people aren’t C-suite material. It make sense: if you’re not on the top and you’re not on the bottom, you’re somewhere in the middle. And that, my friends, is exhausting. Why? Simply put, people above you want stuff and people below you want stuff. That’s bad enough, but you interact these two groups very differently and that’s what gets to people:

This vertical code-switching, as we call it, can take a toll, according to a wide body of research. On the emotional side, conflicting roles lead to increased feelings of stress and anxiety, reflecting the tension between incompatible social expectations. Physically, the high stress levels that accompany such conflicts are risk factors for a large number of health problems, from hypertension to heart disease. As if that weren’t enough, conflicting roles can disrupt cognitive performance and the ability to focus on a task without getting distracted.

Have a great day.

Diversity

“Everyone Knows Tech Workers Are Mostly White Men—Except Tech Workers” is a headline at Bloomberg and that might make accounting profession feel slightly better about their own diversity problems. At least accountants seem to own it.

Accountants behaving badly

Prosecutors in Pennsylvania called Michael Bergmeister “an equal opportunity fraudster.” He stole funds from his employer’s pension plan, his friends who were saving to “pay for their severely handicapped daughter’s future care,” and “a friend of his wife’s.”

And not only did he have his fingers in lots of pockets, he threw this stolen money around far and wide, tooHe put some of the stolen money into businesses that he co-owned with his son Ian — a nursery, a tax-preparation business and another firm.

Bergmeister also used some for personal expenses — car bills, credit card bills, a cellphone bill, mortgage payment, merchandise bought at Victoria’s Secret and tutoring for his grandson — and for real estate investments.

You have to admit, this guy hustled. I can’t see many people being able to manage three frauds, three businesses, real estate investmentspaying all the bills, lingerie shopping and arranging for a tutor. But stealing from your friends with a handicapped child? That’s low, man.

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The featured job of the week is an Audit Manger with Perkins & Co in Portland, Ore.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Adrienne Gonzalez is wondering where all the accountants have gone. Megan Lewczyk wrote about Mirai and botnets. In Open Items, someone wants opinions on two different career paths.

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