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Accounting News Roundup: Cybersecurity Risks; Lotto Taxes; ‘What’s a blockchain?’ | 01.08.18

ernst & young report ashley madison

Cybersecurity Today Is Treated Like Accounting Before Enron [NYT]
Here’s an interesting comparison:

From a corporate governance and accountability perspective, cybersecurity today is being treated like accounting was before the fallout from the Enron scandal inspired the Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s increased standards for corporate disclosures. With the privacy and personal data of hundreds of millions of people at risk, and especially now with the increasing ubiquity of connected devices in our lives, the security of digital assets is too important for that kind of treatment.

You can’t help but think that there’s some exposure here for Big 4 firms, once a cyberattack completely takes down a company. These kinds of things will give Andersen refugees PTSD.

The TCJA Will Create More Complexity For Taxpayers Than It Claims [TPC]
The Joint Committee on Taxation wrote a “tax complexity analysis” that estimated that the new deduction for pass-through entities “will affect over 10 percent of small business tax returns.” Former Treasury Official C. Eugene Steuerle writes that “a number between 10 percent and 100 percent is not very informative” and also says that the analysis shortchanges the complexity “given the obvious potential for gaming this provision.”

Brace yourself for AI and blockchain [AT]
Worrisome thing #1: A guy confidently asserts that “I don’t believe for a second that the auditors will be replaced by machines — the human touch, and human thinking, are critical.”And this is where I always add the caveat — until the machines learn how to do those things. Worrisome thing #2: Erik Asgeirsson, the president and CEO of says, “The creators of crypto-assets actually want regulators and auditors to show up,” although an AT survey found that 50 percent of survey respondents answered the question “How well would you say you understand blockchain?” with “What’s a blockchain?”

Here’s the tax bill on the $1 billion weekend Powerball and Mega Millions jackpot wins [CNBC]
Ordinarily, I would just shout, “WHO CARES, THEY’RE MILLIONAIRES HUNDREDS OF TIMES OVER.” But it’s worth noting that the Powerball winner is from New Hampshire and the Mega Millions winner is in Florida, two states that don’t levy an income tax.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Grant Hutchinson wonders if all accounting firms that boast about work-life balance are lying. (This post is sponsored by Santora CPA Group, an Accountingfly partner.)

In Open Items, SEC Guidance for Accounting Impacts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and a paper on Tax Games, Roadblocks, and Glitches Under the New Legislation. Also, a soon-to-be KPMG associate wonders about asking for a transfer.

In other news:

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