September 24, 2020

Accounting News Roundup: Deloitte Legal and Trump’s Accounting Firm | 03.14.16

Deloitte Legal
As we've pointed out, Big 4 firms have been gunning for Big Law's business across the globe. Most of this activity has been in the UK and Australia, but the latest development is just north of here:

Deloitte LLP (Deloitte) today announced the formation of a new legal business in Canada called Deloitte Conduit Law LLP, which will practice in an affiliation with Deloitte. Deloitte Conduit Law LLP acquired the business of Conduit Law.

The newly formed Deloitte Conduit Law LLP will offer outsourced lawyers to support in-house legal teams, meet business needs on-demand at law firms, and deliver short-term projects or special engagements.

Heather Evans, Managing Partner, Tax for Deloitte said that as the legal market continues to undergo unprecedented change, Deloitte is investing in new models through affiliated law firms to address the evolving legal requirements of clients.

We'll also take this opportunity to remind everyone that Deloitte's CEO in the US, Cathy Engelbert, has said, "Deloitte cannot practice law in the United States, given our other businesses and how we are regulated. Therefore, we have no plans to enter into the legal market or to compete with law firms here in the US." Which is fine! Deloitte Legal has enough of a presence in other countries to keep itself busy. That will more than make up for the lack of lawyering in the US.

Donald Trump's accounting firm
Crain's Aaron Elstein reports that the firm, who DJT has called "big" and "highly respected," is WeiserMazars.

Though it may be highly respected, Manhattan-based WeiserMazars is by no means big. It is the 24th-largest accounting firm in the nation, according to trade publication Accounting Today, with 109 partners and $158 million in annual revenue. For perspective, KPMG, the smallest of the so-called Big Four accounting firms, has 1,813 partners and $6.9 billion in annual revenue.

This strikes me as a little strange since Mitt Romney, another rich guy who ran for president, has the biggest firm, PwC, prepare his tax returns. I'm not suggesting that PwC's work would be superior to WeiserMazars', only that Trump has repeatedly pointed out that the Gucci store he owns is worth more than Romney. Either Romney is paying for the PwC brand or Trump had to shop around for a firm that wouldn't mind being associated with his brand.

Salary transparency
We've touched on this topic a couple of times, but this HBR post has an example that could come in handy for anyone toying with the idea of salary transparency:

Whole Food’s John Mackey says that salary disagreements have a purpose at Whole Foods and spur a deeper conversation about pay. When people challenge him about a particular person’s salary, comparing it to their own, he often responds, “That person is more valuable. If you accomplish what this person has accomplished, I’ll pay you that too.”

I'm not sure most accounting firms have the will to tell the majority of their people that they are underachieving. But, HEY, this could be the kind of detailed feedback Millennials are looking for. Although, most of us need to work on the whole communication thing

In other news:

  • PwC boss says better opportunities will come if Britain remains within the EU
  • "Sylvester Johnson, Bob Evans Farms' senior vice president and chief accounting officer, is leaving the New Albany-based company to be the chief accounting officer at Whataburger."
  • "Only 7% of S&P 500 companies had independent directors in 2015 with backgrounds as financial executives, CFOs, or treasurers, according to the a study issued in November by executive recruiting firm Spencer Stuart."
  • Ninjas wanted.
  • The Strange and Surprising History of Daylight Saving Time

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