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Accounting News Roundup: CPAs and the 2016 Election; ‘The Accountant’ Reviews; Competitive Poaching | 10.14.16

CPAs and the 2016 election

If you listen to politicians and pundits, every presidential election is "the most important in our lifetime." In 2016, you hear things like, "the stakes are higher than ever" because each side is so repulsed by the other's candidate. So it's fascinating that an Accounting Today survey found that CPAs don't necessarily feel that way:

The survey asked 328 accountants and CPAs from across the country this week which outcome matters more to the accounting profession, and 48 percent of respondents said that Senate races were more important. Only a third (32 percent) thought the struggle for the presidency was most important. (Approximately 20 percent didn’t know or didn’t have an opinion.)

They had strong opinions about who they would prefer to see control the Senate, with 49 percent calling Republican control of the chamber better for the accounting profession, and only 25 percent siding with the Democrats.

I think this is simple enough to explain: CPAs believe the race for POTUS is a lost cause for Trump and because they like things to balance (e.g. basic accounting equation, debits and credits) that makes a GOP-controlled Senate and House crucial to keeping a Clinton presidency in check. But what's even more interesting is the indifference out there among CPAs about the two POTUS candidates:

They were more evenly divided as to which presidential candidate would be best for the accounting profession: 38 percent said Donald Trump and 31 percent said Hillary Clinton.

The other important bit is that 29% fall into "Other/No Opinion." This means that two-thirds of the CPAs either think Trump is the best choice OR are in camp of "They're equally bad." Both of these stances are unbelievable, but the latter group is worse. Here's why: Hillary Clinton carries some baggage, yes, and she is disliked by a lot people for vague reasons mostly driven by conspiracy theories but she is still a highly qualified candidate. By contrast, Donald Trump is a horrendous candidate with virtually no experience, who's proven time and again that's he's unfit for office and it's getting worse by the day. How anyone is still left on the fence is beyond me. Any CPA who wants to make the case for Donald Trump without resorting to "Hillary is worse!" will be given 140 characters to do so.

Elsewhere: It’s Official: This Election Is Driving Americans Nuts

The Accountant

The early reviews for The Accountant are in and they're mixed. The Atlantic says it's a "moral and narrative trainwreck." The Wall Street Journal called it "an effective and even affecting pop thriller, based on a pretty novel idea." NPR says the film is "an overplotted and amoral but admirably weird action drama" but managed to get out of the studio with its "rough edges intact." Overall, it rates 49% on Rotten Tomatoes with critics, the consensus summed up this way:

The Accountant writes off a committed performance from Ben Affleck, leaving viewers with a scattershot action thriller beset by an array of ill-advised deductions.

It has a 79% rating with fans, however. Let's all blow off the afternoon to catch a matinee.

Competitive poaching

Meanwhile, in Mumbai:

In what could just be the beginning of a poaching war among the big four accounting firms, Deloitte is in the process of wooing away 20 partners along with their teams, totalling some 300 people, from KPMG, people with the direct knowledge of the matter said.

This would be the biggest such movement in the consultancy space in five years, industry experts said. "Final offers were made two days back, and about 20 partners have already put in their papers," a person with direct knowledge of the matter said. "Three more KPMG partners are in negotiations with Deloitte and they too may resign in the coming days," the person told [Economic Times]. All the partners are set to join Deloitte’s advisory team, people in the know said.

Oh, how I long for the days when PwC would lure KPMG partners away and then issue press releases. It was a simpler time.

Anyway, 20 partners and 300 team members! That's quite a haul. Either Deloitte is offering them the moon or these partners were really pissed at KPMG. Just think how mad all these partners would have to be to band together and decide to all jump ship to Deloitte. That's some impressive cat herding. I can't imagine a firm in the US pulling off a defection like this, but if the thought crosses your mind, we'd love to hear about it.

Has Donald Trump released his tax returns?

Nope! I stand by my suggestion from yesterday that he should release them now. Plus, the bounty is up to $6 million for veterans charities! Do the right thing, Donnie. For once.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Chris Hooper wrote about how work-life balance initiatives are doomed.

In other news:

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