Accounting News Roundup: Big 4 Blockchain Consortium and Taxable Olympic Champions | 08.12.16

Big 4 blockchain consortium

Here's a thing that apparently happened yesterday:

Blockchain representatives from each of the 'Big Four' accounting firms are set to meet this morning with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to discuss establishing a distributed ledger consortium.

Held at Microsoft's headquarters in New York City, the event marks the first meeting between blockchain specialists from Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC. Collectively, the four firms last year generated $123.7bn revenue.

The meeting is being hosted by ethereum-focused startup Consensys, but the attendees will be considering a wide-range of possible blockchain solutions.

Grant Thornton got an invite, too.

Anyway, it doesn't sound like the consortium is a done deal, but I'm sure the firms appreciate the opportunity to size each other up and see who's really on top of this and who's clueless as f: 

Organizers say that those taking part will have the opportunity to speak more candidly about the idea of creating a consortium, and how such an effort would overlap with each of the firms' in-house blockchain work.

While organizers say the accounting consortium effort is in its early stages, the concept itself has proven to be a popular way for established players to work with the potentially disruptive technology.

A wise fictional man once said, "You don't need to make formal alliances with people you trust," and that seems to apply here.

Golf

Over the years, there's been some debate on this site about whether golf is good for your career or not. And while I've relaxed my militant stance on opposing it outright, I still don't believe that it's an imperative to getting ahead in the accounting profession or anywhere else for that matter. However! Now that golf is an Olympic sport, there's a very, very slim chance that it could really turn out in your favor:

If Bubba Watson takes a more conservative approach during this week’s Olympic golf, it will be for good reason: He brought his accountant as his caddie.

When Watson tees off Thursday morning during the first round of Olympics golf in more than a century, his accountant and childhood friend Randall Wells will be on the bag.

The unusual arrangement dates to Watson’s offhand choice months ago to include Wells when the world’s sixth-ranked golfer was asked to submit two names to Olympic organizers for background checks. When Watson’s full-time caddie, Ted Scott, dropped out for personal reasons, it was too late to submit a new name.

“It’s time, baby,” Wells said Watson told him.

Wells is a CPA and manages Bubba's investments so I'm sure he hears "It's time, baby," regularly. You know, whenever Watson overhears Phil Mickelson talking stocks, he probably calls Wells and says, "It's time, baby. Phil's throwing money around like a drunk sailor."

Watson shot a 73 yesterday.

Yes, Olympic champions pay taxes

Every time there's an Olympic Games, people make a hullabaloo about US medal winners paying taxes and this year it's no different:

This is your periodic reminder that the Olympic medals, and the bonuses that the athletes win for snaring a gold, silver or bronze, continue to be taxed as income. You probably already know that prizes, such as lottery, casino or game show winnings, are taxable. Medals and prize bonuses fall under that same umbrella, even if winning an Olympic medal requires a bit more effort than, say, scratching off a card.

In addition to a priceless memento, U.S. athletes also win bonuses of $25,000 for a gold-medal performance, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. All of that is taxable.

The medal itself is also taxable, however their values don't come close to the bonus amounts: gold is worth $564; silver: $305; bronze: "little intrinsic value."

And, of course, political figures like to take the opportunity to introduce legislation making the winnings tax exempt. This year it's New York Senator Chuck Schumer. A bill was introduced in California also. But unlike our Olympic champions, those politicians fail. They fail every time.

Previously, on Going Concern…

The second part of Jim Peterson's look at the Rise of Robots.  And in Open Items, someone wants to know if they should stick around for the senior manager title.

In other news:

  • GT Masters.
  • Wall St. banks ask Fed for five more years to comply with Volcker rule
  • "In the order, Judge Brian Holeman of DC Superior Court said that both sides — Trump and the defendant in the case, celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian — but particularly Trump’s, had 'undertaken great efforts to prevent the public from accessing records normally made available to the public.'"
  • Millennials outraged over TV show portraying millennials as outraged
  • Rogue One trailer!
  • Dying Is (Probably) Okay

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