Accounting News Roundup: Apple and Deloitte; Audits From Hell | 09.29.16

Apple and Deloitte

Apple products look nice and work pretty well, but they are also annoyingly ubiquitous. I'm part of the problem, you're part of the problem, our moms are part of the problem. And now Deloitte is really part of the problem:

Apple and Deloitte announced a partnership on Wednesday in which the consultant will open a new practice to help corporate clients work with Apple products, the tech firm’s latest attempt to boost enterprise sales as its key product, the iPhone, shows signs of maturation.

More than 5,000 Deloitte advisers will be included in the Apple initiative, the companies said. The consulting firm also launched EnterpriseNext, a program aimed at helping clients make better use of Apple products and services.

No one really thinks of Apple of an enterprise product, so I guess Deloitte is going to help try to change that. It makes sense since Deloitte interacts with all sorts of businesses; Apple has inked similar deals with IBM and SAP. But I'll damned if we needed more people walking around obsessing over their iPhones. And now it's going to be business people fretting over them. There's nothing more grating than self-important business people fretting over anything. Where does it end? WHERE, I ASK YOU? Here's a picture of Tim Cook and Punit Renjen looking pleased with themselves.

Audits from hell

Here's a Bloomberg story about the IRS's Global High Wealth Industry Group aka "The Wealth Squad." That's the examination unit the IRS launched in 2010 to "take a holistic approach in addressing the high wealth taxpayer population; to look at the complete financial picture of high wealth individuals and the enterprises they control." And yes, they're intended for people like you-know-who and involve turning over every rock imaginable:

Any audit of Donald Trump's tax returns, for example, would be by the Wealth Squad, said Charles Rettig, a principal with Hochman, Salkin, Rettig, Toscher & Perez, of Beverly Hills, and past chairman of the IRS Advisory Council.

What are these examinations like? Rettig once described them as "the audits from hell that your grandfather warned you about."  The teams involve "highly capable, experienced examination specialists, which include technical advisers to provide industry or issue-specialized tax expertise, specialists regarding flow-through entities (such as trusts, partnerships, LLCs), international examiners, economists to identify economic trends within returns, valuation experts and others," he said.

Neither of my grandfathers warned me about audits, but then again, I don't think teetotaling Swedes have ever really been in the IRS's crosshairs.

But seriously, the headline reads "You Do Not Want to Be On the Radar of the IRS Wealth Squad" and uh, actually, I do! You don't hear loudmouth billionaires wishing their finances would fall apart so they didn't have to endure the IRS Wealth Squad, do you? No, you do not.

I think being ludicrously wealthy is worth the minor inconveniences that come along with it. If someone said to me, "Excuse me, Mr. Newquist? We need to land your private jet so that you can meet with the IRS Wealth Squad," I'd respond, "Tell them to call my tax lawyers," and that's what would happen! Tax lawyers would handle it. That's what I, in my imaginary billionaire world, would do — hire people to deal with this stuff when it comes up. As a billionaire, I'm too busy owning beauty pageants and keeping a hoax presidential bid going to deal with the IRS Wealth Squad.

Accountants behaving badly

Recently we mentioned the CPA in Pennsylvania who was part of a scam that involved the founder of the Keystone State's largest charter school. Previous reports stated that Neal Prence planned to plead guilty and that sounded simple enough.But things didn't go as smoothly as you might expect:

After a numbing description of the complex case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Wilson, U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti asked Mr. Prence if he agreed with the government's version.

"Mostly inaccurate," he said, and added that the prosecution didn't understand tax law.

But after lengthy negotiations at sidebar, Mr. Prence finally admitted that he conspired with Trombetta to file a false tax return for the year 2011 that understated Trombetta's true income from several corporate entities Trombetta had created to channel money from PA Cyber.

"I'll agree to that," Mr. Prence told the judge.

I imagine there are plenty of CPAs who fantasize about showing up a lawyer in a court and it seems Prence seized his chance, even if for just a brief moment before he admitted that broke the law. Congrats, bro.

Has Donald Trump released his tax returns?

Nope! And now Wesley Snipes, the Daywalker has injected himself into this debate. All we're missing now is zombie Leona Helmsley.

Previously, on Going Concern…

We opened the KPMG compensation thread. And look at this cute dependent in a "Just Deduct It" onesie!

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