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Accounting News Roundup: Brexit Driving KPMG Promotions in UK and Wells Fargo’s New CEO | 10.13.16


If you're an ambitious Klynveldian and don't see any opportunity around you, consider the old world as your next stop. The UK firm promoted 40 new partners and that may only be the beginning:

[Chairman Simon] Collins pointed to the provision of Brexit-related services as a key driver behind some of its promotions. “These promotions reflect where we expect to see growth in our own business: 20% are in financial services, which faces significant challenges in the wake of Brexit.

“The years ahead will, inevitably, present huge change for business. As we exit the EU advisors have a pivotal role to play to support industry and government. We are advising clients on their contingency plans, and their financing arrangements.”

This seems like an especially good option if your POTUS candidate of choice fails to clinch victory.

Wells Fargo

Going Concern historians will remember our coverage of the sudden retirement of Wells Fargo's CFO, Howard Atkins, back in 2011. At the time, we noted that his replacement, Tim Sloan, had an interesting approach to deals and that philosophy seems to have served him well because now he's the new CEO of the bank:

Wells Fargo & Co.’s new chief executive has the right resume: 29 years at the bank, and none of them in its troubled retail unit.

Timothy J. Sloan rose through the commercial, corporate and investment banking side of a firm best known as a Main Street lender, helping with deals including the $15.4 billion crisis-era takeover of struggling Wachovia Corp. Now, he must show he can get a handle on the bank’s sprawling consumer business.

His tasks include fixing a reputation battered by revelations that staff signed customers up for as many as two million accounts without their knowledge to meet lofty sales goals. He will also have to navigate a raft of federal and state investigations, including from the Justice Department.

Wait, replacing a CFO on short notice? Buying a radioactive bank? That's some decent crisis experience there, Tim! Good luck with this one; hope you like getting yelled at by politicians.

Accountants behaving badly

I love a good "accountant embezzles funds" story for many reasons and one of my favorite details is how the perpetrators spend the money. It's fascinating to read about the people who simply pay their mortgage, credit card bills and catch up on car payments. It's as if the stealing is supplemental income. But then, of course, we have the lavish spenders who think they've won the lottery and seem to know that they have only a limited time to enjoy their loot because it's going to come crashing down any moment.

You definitely get the sense that Reggious Sanchester Bell ‎ was in that latter group. He was an AR/AP/Fixed assets clerk at Huntsville Rehabilitation Foundation and was pretty busy:

Bell received a credit card for business expenses. Bell used the card for personal expenses from 2009 until he was caught the summer of 2013. According to his plea, he made the following personal charges:

$95,228 to Best Buy,

$21,969 to Louis Vuitton

$18,945 to American Airlines

 $23,823 to Southwest Airlines

$46,345 to Marriott Hotels

 $19,268 to Renaissance Hotels

$20,706 to Dillard's Department Store

I don't know about you all but spending nearly $25k a year at Best Buy is impressive. And nearly $40k on airfare! Even if all the American charges were for 1st class, $23k on Southwest? That seems like a lot of travel.

In any case, these charges only account for about a quarter of the $1 million he stole from Huntsville so I'm sure there's plenty more where this came from.

Has Donald Trump released his tax returns?

Nope! But considering everything that happened yesterday, maybe now's a good time?

University partner viewpoint: Persuade me

In this list of soft skills from Scranton University there’s this interesting take on persuasion:

The fact is that, whether you're on a management track at work or preparing to sit for your CPA exam for the first time, you need to be adept at persuasion. This isn't about always being right or being a salesperson. Instead, think of persuasion as an ability to gain trust and build relationships.

And it’s much easier to gain trust and build relationships when you’re being authentic. Don’t be a phony baloney. You won’t persuade anyone.

Previously, on Going Concern…

In Open Items, a MAcc student wants advice on recruiting season.

In other news:

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