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Accounting News Roundup: Another Deloitte Acquisition; Embezzling from an HOA; Are You a Toxic Colleague? | 03.02.16

Deloitte adds muscle in higher ed tech consulting [Crain's]
Yesterday we discussed Deloitte's acquisition of a Bay Area ad agency. Today, it's news of Deloitte acquiring a higher education consulting firm:

The consulting arm of the New York-based professional services firm acquired Higher Technology Solutions in Bartlett, [IL] which helps colleges implement and upgrade information systems that manage student data. The systems handle everything from class registration to documenting test scores and transcripts.

The purchase will help Deloitte capitalize on a coming wave of work to implement new cloud-based student information systems, said Jeff Bradfield, the Chicago-based leader of Deloitte's higher education practice. He said all HTS's employees would join Deloitte but declined to say how many there were.

I'm sure this oversimplifies things a little bit, but it seems like all a firm needs to become an acquisition target for Deloitte is to have "consulting" or "technology" in their name and offer some kind of "cloud solution." But, whatever, I'm sure Deloitte's return on investment here will more than pay for itself and its share of the smorgasbord at Deloitte University. Man, I'm really glad I don't run a giant, bloated professional services firm. 

Everyday embezzlement
Taking money that doesn't belong to you is wrong. Most of us know that. However, a situation may arise that tempts you to rationalize it. Here's a possibility:

A former bookkeeper for a homeowners association pleaded guilty today to using the HOA’s money as his personal piggy bank.

The plea deal was announced in Pima County Superior Court. Former HOA accountant Joshua Bonillas changed his plea from not guilty, admitted he stole $45,000 from the HOA to pay his bills, and agreed to pay it back.

In his first interview since the case became public, Bonillas told the News 4 Tucson Investigators, “I regret the harm I caused to the association, to my family, and I just want to make everything right that I can.”

The 31-year old Tucson resident was the paid accountant for Presidio Villas 2 on the southwest side. After residents saw their neighborhood deteriorating, they checked their bank account. The balance: $28. After sheriff's detectives investigated, Bonillas was charged with 12 felonies, including 10 for forgery, for signing the name of the HOA’s treasurer on association checks.

Now, while I don't condone his actions, I can understand how serving on an HOA board could cause you to start thinking irrationally and then ending up in a crazy situation. The bright side for Mr. Bonillas is that he'll never have to serve on another HOA board again.

Signs You Might Be a Toxic Colleague [HBR]
My favorite of this group is "People think of you as the 'Rule Nazi.'":

Do you think you might be a bit rigid when it comes to doing things “the way they are supposed to be done”? And are you vocal about it? Despite your good intentions, what may seem perfectly sensible and responsible to you is probably undermining your entire team.

To avoid being a Rule Nazi, the article suggests, naturally, to be a little more flexible and, quite unnaturally, point out to your colleagues when you're not being a Rule Nazi. "Look at me not being a Rule Nazi, guys!" Somehow, I don't think humblebragging about your ability to loosen up is a way to get your co-workers to warm up to you, but maybe I'm wrong.

In other news:

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