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December 4, 2022

Accounting News Roundup: Firing Season for CPAs and Duping Millennials | 04.28.17

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Firing season

It’s been only ten days since the symbolic end of busy season, which means it’s now the season of informing people that their services are no longer needed. Ed Mendlowitz wrote about this in a column from earlier this week and he doesn’t approve:

Many firms fire staff after tax season. The reason being that they feel they needed to get through tax season and those who are not good are let go as soon as practical. I did it differently.

If someone was no good, I let them go when I realized that. If that left me shorthanded during tax season, so be it. But I never saw how it was profitable to keep people who were not doing good work just so I had someone working on tax returns. I never saw logic in this.

This strikes me as the right way to do things although reasonable minds may disagree. I could see a situation where a team or a firm does need that person to finish a season or a project because cutting them loose would put too much pressure on those remaining and send them over the edge.

But also, stringing people along to exploit them for a stretch of time is a pretty sucky move. Do them the courtesy of letting them down so they can move on with their life and find something else that they will be good at.

Duping millennials

I think we can all agree that no accountant of any stripe should ever fall for an IRS phone scam. However, as we’ve seen, many of our non-accountant family and friends have been taken for a ride by a voice threatening them with jail time for a mystery tax debt. And believe it or not, millennials seem more likely to get duped, despite a recent survey that found only 35% of them “think they are susceptible to identity theft.” Which is hilarious given they’re willing to cough up info more willingly:

[A]bout 17 percent of millennials said that if the mystery caller could verify the last four digits of their Social Security number, they would be willing to respond with sensitive information. Only 3.2 percent of Generation X, defined as those aged 36 to 50, and 2 percent of boomers (here, aged 51 to 65) would do the same.

Maybe CPAs need to start providing training sessions on these sorts of things? It seems like there’s enough demand. If it takes off, the AICPA could offer a new credential: Certified Protector of Millennials from IRS Scams (“CPMFIS,” obviously).

Brought to you by Accountingfly

A Senior Audit position with OUM & Co. in San Francisco, Calif.

Previously, on Going Concern…

I wrote about partners managing expectations around tax cuts at home.

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