Accounting News Roundup: Accountants’ Expertise and Business Performance; ‘I know you’re not from the IRS.’ | 07.22.16

Accountants' expertise and business performance

If you've ever doubted your professional value, findings from a recent report will be slightly more uplifting than a political convention speech: 

[R]esearchers reviewed more than 90 academic papers on the relationship between accessing accounting expertise and business performance to demonstrate the positive impact that accountants have on aligning the goals of organizations with the actions they take.

The researchers found that accountants are well-suited to play various roles in the organizations where they work, including analyzing and communicating information, decision making, managing risks, and creating sustainable value for the business.

Okay, that seems obvious enough; here's the full report and key findings. What's worth remembering, however, is the survey from last year that found over half of small businesses don't use an accountant at all. In other words, there's a whole lotta untapped business performance out there.

Client documents

Last week we learned about PPG Industries' plans to sell its flat glass business when the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that it had "obtained" "a draft copy of an independent auditor’s report" that mentioned the sale. Yesterday, PPG reported earnings and, yes, some other news:

PPG took another significant step toward its goal of shedding non-paint assets Thursday with the announcement it will sell its flat glass operations to a Mexican firm for $750 million.

It doesn't matter much now how the Post-Gazette got that draft report, but I'm sure PPG would have preferred that they hadn't spoiled the surprise. 

People are worried about IRS phone scams

Where aren't they worried? Reports out of Pennsylvania, Texas, Indiana and Pennsylvania again. And in Washington State, we learn that another accountant who avoided humiliation: 

Lance Woodall got three of those phone calls on his cell, just a few weeks ago. He also happens to be a long-time CPA in Downtown Spokane and knew immediately, it was a scam. Woodall said the first two callers left a voicemail, but on the third attempt, he actually picked up the phone.

"Guy with an Indian accent, said he was from the IRS. I said, ‘Oh, really?? I think you're about to have a bad day, because you just reached a CPA, and I know you're not from the IRS.’ He was hemming and hawing, and hemming and hawing, and he actually closed the call rather quickly," said Woodall.

I envision this IRS phone scam artist rolling his eyes during this whole ordeal, wishing he could say: "Look, man, I don't care if you're a CPA. Obviously, I'm not from the IRS. I'm required to keep you on the line for at least 90 seconds. I have to make 40 more calls before lunch today, alright? I'll be hanging up on you soon enough."

That's what I really want — one of these phony callers to give an honest assessment of the tedium in this scam. It has to be brutal.   

Previously, on Going Concern…

Megan Lewczyk wrote about an invasive remedy for the Big 4 blues. And in Open Items, someone asks about applying to positions where you don't meet the minimum experience.

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