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Accounting News Roundup: Deloitte Does Stuff and A Break in the IRS Phone Scams Case | 10.06.16

Deloitte does a Deloitte thing

When you're the largest professional services firm in the world, you have professional services professionals professionally servicing 24/7. So it's understandable if management doesn't know what's going on in every corner of the business at all times.

On occasion, you might discover that two specialty groups might be duplicating efforts a bit — "AHA! An inefficiency," a person might say. "This is the perfect opportunity to consolidate our efforts and streamline a process to better serve our clients." Then you'd probably issue a press release:

Deloitte announced today the launch of the Center for Board Effectiveness, a single organization that combines the experience, knowledge and resources of the Center for Corporate Governance and the Audit Committee Programs. Focused on the myriad of issues facing boards today including governance and audit, strategy, risk, innovation, compensation and succession, the center plans to deliver a broader, more powerful set of programs. It also plans to engage board members and directors throughout their board life cycles with differentiated, innovative experiences to enable boards of directors to execute their duties as effectively as possible.

Deb DeHaas, vice chairman and national managing partner, who previously led the Center for Corporate Governance, Deloitte LLP; and Henry Phillips, vice chairman and national managing partner, who previously led the Audit Committee Programs and Client Matters, Deloitte & Touche LLP, will jointly lead the center.

I can't say if this is the Deloitteiest thing that's ever been Deloitted but I can guarantee that you will not read a Deloitteier Deloitte press release today.

IRS phone scams

Welp, it looks like authorities have found the location of IRS Scams, Inc.'s headquarters:

Police said three nondescript office buildings on the edge of this booming Mumbai suburb were packed with hundreds of people posing as Internal Revenue Service officials in a scam that has vexed Americans for years.

Authorities arrested 70 people Wednesday alleging they helped manage nine call-centers where around 700 people made thousands of calls a day to try to trick Americans into sending them money.

“You can call it a scam center,” says a deputy commissioner of police and, okay, we'll call it a scam center. The authorities have no idea how much money this particular scam center made, but because these call centers employed hundreds of English-speaking Indians that "suggests it had significant revenue." 

Naturally, this kind of bust warranted a press conference that included some fun details:

At a news conference Wednesday, Thane police shared a recording of a call they said was taken off the call center’s computers. A caller with a heavy Indian accent told a man he owed more than $11,780 and was facing arrest within hours, a five-year prison term and $100,000 fine if he didn't settle. The call was handed to a “senior treasury officer,” who told the man he can pay whatever he can afford right away by going to the nearest Walgreens to buy Apple iTunes gift cards worth $1,000.

“Keep yourself on speaker and get dressed,” the man was told at one point. “We are running short of time within two hours you will be taken into custody.”

In the end, the man wasn’t victimized and revealed he was just stringing the caller along to waste his time.

It's hard telling if this will put a dent in IRS Scams Inc.'s operations or not. I do hope that they release more audio of people stringing along callers. I'd listen to at least two of those.

Has Donald Trump released his tax returns?

Nope! And his former accountant Jack Mitnick is still making the rounds, telling The Today Show:

"As far as I know, and that only goes through late '96, he didn't understand the code," said Jack Mitnick, a former tax adviser for Trump, in an interview with NBC's TODAY. "Nor would he have had the time and the patience to learn the provisions. That's a lifetime of experience."

Not understanding the tax code doesn't make Donald Trump unusual. However, claiming that he knows it better than anyone decidedly makes him Donald Trump.

Elsewhere, Business Insider's Josh Barro works off of a Tax Notes column by Lee Sheppard (sub required) that has a solid theory on how Trump paid so little in taxes.

University partner viewpoint: Leadership Styles in Star Wars

Have you ever been watching a Star Wars movie — NOT Episodes I, II or III — and thought to yourself, "What kind of leadership styles are being exhibited in these films?" Wonder no longer, my young padawans, this video from Georgetown University McDonough School of Business discusses precisely that. And you can learn more about their Master's of Finance program here.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Greg Kyte's new Exposure Drafts cartoon has an accountant, a dog and Donald Trump (that's in descending order of tax knowledge). And in Open Items, someone is asking if anyone uses Blackline for closing the books at their job. 

In other news:

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