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November 23, 2022

Accounting News Roundup: An Enron Anniversary and The Race to Be KPMG’s Next Global Chief | 12.02.16

Sustainability accounting

If you're a believer in sustainability accounting, the good news is that more companies are addressing these risks in their reports. Tatyana Shumsky writes that the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board found that 81% of 700 companies they reviewed had included them. The bad news is that "52% of the companies" are phoning those disclosures in, opting for "vague, boilerplate language to flag the risks without articulating management response strategies."

If anyone's interested, I'd be happy to help spice the language up a bit at a tidy sum of $5,000 per disclosure.

Happy 15th anniversary, Enron bankruptcy!

Yep! Enron declared bankruptcy on December 2, 2001 and Michael Peregrine writes that it still matters:

[F]ailures included inadequate and poorly applied internal controls, insufficient vigilance of corporate affairs, the suspension of the code of ethics to allow certain transactions to proceed, not responding properly to warning signs, cursory attention by the audit and compliance committees to critical matters placed on their agendas, the lack of an abundant flow of information and, perhaps most important, not recognizing the significance of some of the information about problematic transactions raised to the board’s attention. That is some list.

As cliche as it is to throw around "Enron," it is pretty fascinating to think that no accounting scandal since has quite captured people's attention like Enron's. Just think, Enron made it to Broadway! It might be a long time before we get show tunes out of an accounting scandal again.

Who will be KPMG's next global chief?

Sky News reports that Simon Collins, the head of KPMG's UK firm, is in the running to be the next global chairman. The story also says that the head of the German and Canadian firms are also candidates to replace John Veihmeyer who is "expected" to hang it up in 2017.

Rich people's tax returns

Janet Novack at Forbes writes that the IRS is discontinuing its annual report of the 400 highest AGIs in the country. It'll be replaced with a "analytically useful tabulation" report that shows the results for the ".001 percentile level" which in 2014 was 1,396 returns.


A couple of years ago the Daily Mail acquired Elite Daily. But now it's writing off the entire investment, like, $31 million. Of course, Rio Tinto had a $3 billion write-down on a coal deal that the SEC is now looking into, making the Daily Mail situation look downright adorable.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Bryce Sanders wrote about being interesting. I wrote about some Bay Area Big 4 senior associates who are unhappy with their pay. In Open Items, a reader pointed out a former Baker Tilly partner suing for age discrimination.

In other news:

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