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Accounting News Roundup: ‘The Accountant’; an IRS Snafu; Layoffs | 10.17.16

The Accountant

I saw The Accountant over the weekend and apparently a lot of other people did too as it booked $24.7 million at the box office. As I mentioned on Friday, the critical reviews are pretty rough but Cinemascore gave it an "A" which means people are telling other people to go see it. And lots of them aren't even accountants!

As for me, I liked it well enough although the story does kinda falls apart about two-thirds of the way through due to some direction missteps. Plus, I'm not usually into shoot 'em up, beat 'em up action movies, but then again, I went for the accounting stuff. In that regard, the film had some moments, my favorite being a brief mention of Crazy Eddie. There were some amusing exchanges between Ben Affleck's (Christian Wolff) and Anna Kendrick's (Dana Cummings) characters and also his interaction with an older couple made me chuckle a few times, too. But then Christian turns into Jason Bourne and the accounting stuff kinda disappears.

Which is fine! You can't expect the filmmakers to keep the numbers stuff going forever; they're trying to make some money after all. Even a good accountant would tell you to lay off the inventory and accounts receivable analysis and get back to the action. 

I give it 3.5 out 5 stars. If they're planning to make a franchise out of this, Greg Kyte has an idea for the next film.

IRS snafu

Remember last month when the IRS loaned one of Al Capone's pistols to the Mob Museum in Las Vegas? The Smith & Wesson had an interesting story of how it ended up in the Treasury's possession after several decades and multiple owners. The IRS criminal-investigation chief held a press conference; the Wall Street Journal published a front page article about it. It was kind of a big deal.

There was just one small problem:

After the museum transfer, an IRS criminal agent involved in the 2004 Kentucky raid saw the photos and realized the handgun pictured wasn’t the one confiscated in that search. Journal readers also wrote in saying the gun described in the story didn’t match the accompanying drawing. Museum visitors alerted the museum it may have misidentified the piece.

The Journal article described a Smith & Wesson “Hand Ejector Military & Police Model” revolver with a pearl handle. But that model was known to have an external hammer, while the gun pictured didn’t show one.

It turns out the IRS possessed two Capone guns. The files on the two were inadvertently mixed up, unbeknown to the officials who prepared the display.

“Everyone had a little bit of the story, and no one had all of it,” said the IRS spokesman who had the pleasure of fielding that call. I'm sure the IRS's detractors won't waste the opportunity to put this latest tale to use.

Layoffs watch: Charter Communications

This is a little obscure but I did run across some unfortunate news for our accounting brethren out of Charlotte:

The company is laying off 258 employees, or just under 20 percent of the 1,367 workers at its facility in southwest Charlotte, according to a letter filed with the state commerce department.

Nearly all the positions are in the finance and accounting department.

The positions being cut include 70 senior accountants, 45 staff accountants, 44 accounting supervisors/managers, and numerous finance analysts and accounts payable specialists, according to the letter.

Good luck to everyone affected. Seems like a perfect excuse to go see a movie.

Has Donald Trump released his tax returns?

Nope! Given everything that's happened over the last week or so, the momentum may be out of "The Case of the Missing Tax Returns" for good. But here's an op-ed by Bert Stratton who "Just Like Trump, I Avoided Paying Federal Taxes." 

Previously, on Going Concern…

Greg Kyte celebrated the release of The Accountant with a special edition of Exposure Drafts.

In other news:

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