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Accounting News Roundup: Empty Tax Plans; Don’t Cut the Snacks; Really Big Companies | 11.10.15

Republican Candidates Push Bold Tax Plans [WSJ]
I've mentioned it before, but I think it's silly  to take POTUS candidates' tax plans seriously during the primary campaign. Between now and next November the eventual nominee will change his or her plan to suit their political needs. You don't even think you have to be a cynical, liberal weenie like me to believe that!

“It doesn’t seem like there’s anything constraining these guys,” said Alex Brill, a former GOP congressional tax staffer now at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. “The next guy that’s announcing his plan, he’s going to announce a plan that’s bigger and bolder and better than the last guy. And then he can win that debate.” 

I guess? Carly Fiorina supposedly won a debate or two and it's not going to catapult her into the White House. Meanwhile, I'm sure CPAs all across the country are fielding questions from clients about what they think will happen. The correct answer: probably nothing.

BDO Canada Acquires H&A Forensic Accounting [AT]
Much like the US firm, BDOC has been on a buying spree with seven "strategic mergers" in the last twelve months.

Why Getting Rid of Free Office Snacks Doesn't Come Cheap [Bloomberg]
I have no idea how many accounting firms provide free snacks, but those of them that do should heed this warning:

But the economic case for offering free snacks outweighs the relatively puny savings—and once a workplace gets hooked on snacks, it can't really go back.

It makes sense. If a company starts pulling the snacks, not only does that look cheap, employees then have to fend for themselves, which means they will probably leave the office to do so. Staples conducted a study that found that snack runs result in 2.4 billion hours of lost productivity. Plus, yanking snacks "can have a psychological effect that far outstrips the dollar amount." Matt Levine laments about the time Goldman Sachs got rid of free soda, so the pain is real. The accounting firms I worked for, including KPMG, only had free coffee, so I can't imagine the anguish associated with such a move.   

Eight Companies Are Now in the $300 Billion Club [WSJ]
Alphabet (aka Google), Amazon, Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, ExxonMobil, Facebook, General Electric and Microsoft are taking immateriality to new heights.

In other news:

  • SEC whistleblowers still doing okay for themselves.
  • Another Valeant conference call. [WSJ]
  • Ex-TierOne Bank CEO Guilty of Hiding Losses [CFO]
  • Failed border fence. [NYM]
  • A movie about offshore tax havens. [TaxProf]