Accounting News Roundup: Auditor Musical Chairs and Personal Exemptions | 05.10.17

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Auditor musical chairs

Hey, good job, everyone:

Auditors kicked off the year by reporting more new engagements than in the previous quarter (128 in Q1, versus 116 in the last quarter of 2016), but also lost more old clients, netting 52 new engagements, 20 less than in Q4.

If there’s one thing that keeps auditors hungry, it’s the possibility of new business. Of course, it also has to be immensely satisfying to watch crappy clients leave. On the other hand, losing business is typically frowned upon regardless of how awful a client is, especially for a Big 4 firm. Personally, I’d rather kick bad clients to the curb than keep them for “a book of business.” I think this partly explains why I’m not a Big 4 audit partner.

How’s tax reform coming along?

This Wall Street Journal article by Richard Rubin reminds us of how simple the Trump tax plan used to be:

Back in September 2015, well before the first Republican primary, his tax plan was a model of simplicity for middle-income households.

Individuals making under $25,000, single parents making under $37,500 and married couples making under $50,000 would get a new form from the Internal Revenue Service. They could literally write the words “I win” and pay nothing, the plan said.

Whether or not the “I win” was a serious proposal, I think we can all agree that is a finer detail than what was rolled out two weeks ago. Rubin writes that everyone’s in the dark about things as simple as personal exemptions:

In the April plan, Mr. Trump proposed doubling the standard deduction, which would increase the amount of income shielded from taxes. However, the plan says nothing about how personal exemptions or head-of-household filing status would be treated, and the White House and Treasury declined to clarify.

His campaign proposals included the idea of eliminating personal exemptions, a move that could actually increase taxes on millions of households, depending on how it is set.

“It’s kind of shocking,” says a guy of the lack of detail.

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Joey Havens of Horne asks accounting firms if they are ready for the future.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Adrienne Gonzalez wrote about not apologizing all the time.

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