Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Accounting News Roundup: CPAs: Beacons of Trust and Messing With IRS Scammers | 05.17.16

AICPA Spring Council

AICPA President, CEO and Settlers of Catan tournament champion Barry Melancon spoke at the AICPA Spring Council meeting yesterday and spoke about, uh, change and stuff.

Melancon […] welcomed members and focused primarily on the concept of necessary change in the profession during today's "very, very, fast-paced time of change and evolution."

Melancon noted that people look to the accounting profession as "one of the few beacons of trust in society," and with that, there should be a continued effort to work for that trust with the population by staying current.

I wonder if humanity has ever lived in a time that wasn't a "very, very, fast-paced time of change and evolution"? Does change or evolution ever take a day off? Maybe it needs unlimited PTO like those lucky ducks at Grant Thornton? Is it possible that everything is completely normal and that the CPA brand is stuck in neutral? I'm just asking questions of you, my fellow beacons of trust. 



Diageo PLC’s Latin America sales for fiscal 2016 will be hit by an accounting error the spirits giant made over sales of its high-end tequila brand Don Julio last year, the company disclosed Monday.

Diageo’s sales in Latin America will take a 2% hit in the current fiscal year ending June 30 from sales that the company accidentally double booked, Diageo’s Latin America and Caribbean president Alberto Gavazzi said on a conference call with analysts.

Diageo’s Mexico unit sold some bottles of Don Julio to the company’s U.S. unit that it recorded as an external sale. The company’s U.S. unit then sold on those bottles and recorded that as a separate sale.

Diageo logged net sales of £1.03 billion ($1.48 billion) in Latin America and the Caribbean last year. Diageo said the accounting error’s impact amounts to roughly £15.1 million.

I can't help thinking about materiality in this instance. For example, if the Mexico unit had mistakenly sold £1.5 million of Don Julio to the American unit, we wouldn't even know about it! And £1.5 million buys a lot of tequila!

Now, this is merely a recording error and not an instance where empty cases of Don Julio were sitting the warehouse, ended up on a truck only to get dumped into the ocean. But it's still a silly error and it makes you wonder how many silly errors happen and aren't given the slightest bit of attention. In the context of materiality, they are completely unimportant and not worth a second thought. But to the rest of us, that's enough tequila to last you a few lifetimes. 

IRS phone scams

I, for one, am hopeful that the organization or organizations behind the IRS phone scams never stop calling US citizens. At some point, the vast majority of people will have read about the scams (or, sadly, been a victim of one) and know that these calls are bogus. That will lead to more exchanges like this:

Scammer: "Thank you for calling the Internal Revenue Service, how may I help you?"

Sheriff: "I am the sheriff in Dodge County, Wisconsin, and I had a complaint about this number and I am trying to confirm that this is in fact the IRS. Is there a way that you can confirm this for me?"

Scammer: "No sir, this is not the IRS. This is a scam."

Sheriff: "This is a scam?"

Scammer: "Yes."

Sheriff: "OK, can you tell me where you are from? Where you are located?"

Scammer: "In Afghanistan."

Sheriff: "In Afghanistan?"

Scammer: "Yes."

Sheriff: "Can you tell me your name?"

Scammer: "Malma Dahli (Spelling uncertain)."

Sheriff: "Why are you scamming our citizens?"

Scammer: "This is our job, sir."

Sheriff: "You're stealing money from people."

Scammer: "Yes."

Sheriff: "And why are you doing that?"

[Hang up]

Yes, my wish for the scam attempts to continue just for entertainment value is a selfish one, but imagine if someone tries hard enough, we'll end up with a "Hanging in Chad" episode at some point.

Elsewhere in IRS phone scams: Kelly Richmond Pope was almost our first accountant to be scammed. She escaped unscathed.

Previously, on Going Concern…

I obsessed over The Accountant trailer. And in Open Items, someone asked about the Lean Six Sigma Certification.

In other news:

Get the Accounting News Roundup in your inbox every weekday by signing up here.