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Accounting News Roundup: Extended Auditor Reporting; CPA Ponzi Scheme; The Carolina Panthers’ Tax Guy | 01.29.16

Extended auditor reporting
The UK just wrapped up its second year of extended auditor reporting and people seem pretty happy with it. You can read the Financial Reporting Council's 60ish-page report on it if you like, and there's even a summary-for-investors, but if you prefer the abbreviated version, here are some of the key findings:

  • Investors welcome the information included in extended auditor’s reports, and particularly for smaller companies where there tends to be less independent information available;
  • The reports which have earned the greatest praise from investors tend to be well structured, signposting key information and often making innovative use of graphics, diagrams and colour;
  • In general, auditors have continued to move away from generic language and descriptions of risk, making their reports more relevant and insightful;
  • Descriptions of the scope of audit work and the approach to materiality continue to improve.

I think it says something about the state of audit reports when the "use of graphics, diagrams and colour" are considered innovative. Is PwC on top of this?

We all know that the current auditor's report in the US has less concrete details than a Presidential debate, so it's kinda sad that we're now just talking about the possibility of expanding the report here. The PCAOB has the topic on its agenda for re-proposal early this year, but if it goes anything like audit partner disclosure, it could be a while before we see any real progress.

Norwalk accountant sentenced to 8 years for running Ponzi scheme [The Hour]
Ponzi schemes always feel personal, even if you're not a victim. Just read this tale of James Neilsen and try not to get upset:

His victims not only included his accounting clients, clients of his tax preparation business, but friends and members of his family, including his 93-year-old great-aunt. His victims also include minor children beneficiaries of a trust established after their father’s untimely death and whose trust monies Neilsen had authorized access to. 

If you're an accountant and you rip off your clients, that's a pretty dick move. But to extend that dick move to your friends and family, including little old ladies and children who lost their dad? To use a clinical phrase, that's fucked up.

When the Panthers have a tax question, they ask their punter [FoxSports]
Carolina punter Brad Nortman earned an accounting degree from Wisconsin and "passed his CPA exam" (I'm guessing he's not licensed).  J.J Jansen, the team long-snapper, graduated from Notre Dame magna cum laude with an accounting degree. Naturally, this means that Carolina players ask them questions about taxes and stuff. How do we know this? Someone asked Nortman about it after the team won a game that sent them to the Super Bowl:

“I would say J.J. and I are the go-to corner for tax questions, investing questions and personal finance questions,” Nortman told after Carolina’s NFC title game rout of Arizona. “Any guys that want to know about it know where to go to.”

I guess when you're a punter in the NFL, these are the kinds of things you get asked about. "Hey Brad, you punted 3 times for less than a 40-yard average. Um….um….I hear you studied accounting. Do the other players ask you a lot of tax questions?"   

Previously, on Going Concern…
We welcomed a new contributor to the site: Megan Lewczyk. She wrote about how legacy systems are the worst. And from Open Items, someone wants to hear opinions on BKD and Alvarez & Marsal.

In other news:

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