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Accounting News Roundup: AICPA Doing Stuff; Snoping IRS Phishing Scams; Are You Too Gritty? | 01.27.16

AICPA Takes on IRS and Expands Internationally [AT]
In a speech given yesterday, AICPA president, CEO and Crossfit addict Barry Melancon talked about many things, including the ongoing problems with the IRS:

“Basically the service levels in the Internal Revenue Service to preparers and taxpayers are at an all-time low,” he said. “To use a South Louisiana French term, it sucks. We do not have a 21st century IRS, and we are not likely to get one in the short term. We’re not going to get one because the Congress absolutely loathes the Internal Revenue Service and the leadership of the Internal Revenue Service.”

I gave Melancon credit for recognizing how royally screwed up this situation is. Congress hates the IRS. The IRS needs money. IRS customers (i.e. you, me, EVERYBODY) get screwed. There's plenty of blame to go around and Congress deserves most of it, but IRS commish John Koskinen seems to be bad at making friends, so that doesn't help matters and lunatics like Ted Cruz are making it worse. Meanwhile, people calling the IRS for help wait 45 minutes to speak to someone and their locations around the country are using technology from 50 years ago. The AICPA is trying to be pragmatic in its dealings with everyone so CPAs can have a slightly better experience with the IRS but neither side will budge. Yeesh, what a mess.

Elsewhere in this speech, Melancon said that the "evolving" AICPA and CIMA "joint venture" is "not a merger per se. In associations, you don’t typically do true mergers like you would in a corporate. It’s an integration of strategy, operations and management."

Elsewhere in IRS news, you know things have gotten bad when an entire Snopes page is dedicated to the subject of phishing scams:

Claim: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is contacting taxpayers via e-mail to convey important tax return information, complete paperwork for a refund, or request payment on a balance owed.

It's false, of course, but I'm sure some of you have clients or family or friends that prefer to trust a website rather than you, so just send them over need  in case they need convinced that the IRS will only contact them by snail mail.

Bosses: Are You Too Gritty for Your Own Good? [WSJ]
For a while now, people have been talking about the virtues of grit. Grit is good. Grit gets the job done. I WANT TO SEE SOME OF THAT GRIT. Now, it sounds as though grit is great until you're too gritty:

[S]ome driven senior managers “are getting burned out over being gritty,” often because they don’t know when to give up, says Richard Chaifetz, head of ComPsych Corp., a major provider of employee-assistance programs. ComPsych has seen an increase in calls from such stressed executives in the past year or so.

“Excess grittiness can derail your career,” warns Mary Herrmann, managing director of executive coaching for BPI Group, a global consultancy. She estimates that about 35% of BPI’s coaching assignments involve grit, with many executives acting “too passionate toward their goal” following a new job or big promotion.

These individuals keep trying to win losing battles, even when their persistence costs them the chance to earn a bonus, according to a recent study of grit’s downsides by the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, an affiliate of University of Southern California. “There is also value in knowing when to quit,” the study concluded.

So the real value is knowing when to grit and when to quit. Quit too soon and people will probably say you don't have the necessary DRIVE to want SUCCESS. Grit too much and you risk people hating you. "I pushed harder,” one anonymous grit monster said.  “Everyone was angry or annoyed.”  There's even an 8-question grit quiz which is not from BuzzFeed, incredibly. 

Previously, on Going Concern…
We wrapped up our interview with Facebook controller Matt Banks and I wrote about dealing with passive-aggressive people on your team.

In other news:

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