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September 21, 2023

Accounting News Roundup: CPA FOMO; KPMG and Rolls-Royce; A QuickBooks Phishing Scam | 01.25.17


AICPA President, CEO and Jean-Claude Van Damme stand-in Barry Melancon gave a speech to the Accountants Club of America on the "overall health of the profession and major issue updates." Accounting Today reports that the major topic of discussion was tax reform and that Melancon expects it to pass if members of Congress can stay off social media for five minutes: “Social media has driven us to the extremes. You can’t pass anything that has less than purity because the social media extremes go crazy.”

And while the social media straw man is an interesting theory, let's move on to a topic of a little more consequence:

The pipeline of students going into accounting remains strong, Melancon noted, but more of them are now opting for jobs in industry rather than public accounting firms. The AICPA is also seeing a continuation in the trend of young people leaving CPA firms for careers in industry. The main reason is pay, according to a recent survey by the AICPA.

There it is! People are leaving public accounting because the money is terrible. This will probably surprise no one that's been reading this site for any length of time, so it's nice to see it confirmed elsewhere. Anyway, Melancon believes that the "migration pattern" for accounting professionals is changing: 

Increasingly people are not going into public practice. They’re going into industry directly. Short term, that hurts. Long term, when it comes to hiring experienced people, I think that’s going to be the migration pattern in the future. That’s one reason why we have the strategy for connecting those people through the CGMA [Chartered Global Management Accountant credential] with the profession, but I do think a large percentage of them will find their way at some point in their careers into public accounting.

It kinda sounds like Melancon believes that people going straight into industry will suffer from CPA FOMO. And maybe that'll happen, but wouldn't that mean people would have to stop caring about money and start caring about…something else? We recently talked about how most people say that their favorite part of working in an accounting firm is "the people" and yet most accountants leave firms for better pay, better quality of life, etc. Is it likely that they'll change those perspectives and decide that "the people" is really what they want out of a job?

I suppose it's possible. But people aren't simply going to stay in a job forever because they like their co-workers. Accounting firms will have to start paying their people better and offer better working conditions, too and many firms haven't shown many signs of being willing to do that.

Clients, amirite!?!

The Daily Mail, (I know, weird) reports that the UK's Financial Reporting Council will look into KPMG's role as the auditor of Rolls-Royce amidst the company's bribery scandal that it settled last week:

That included bribing an agent in Indonesia with a Silver Spirit Rolls-Royce car and £1.8 million for help selling equipment to the national airline; bribing a Russian official through a middleman for his help in securing work on a national gas project; and bribing a China Eastern Airlines executive with a £4 million cash credits.

I don't know if KPMG auditors should have found transactions like these, but I think #AppearsReasonable suits this story nicely.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Rachel Andujar wrote about mandatory Saturdays during busy season.

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