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Accounting News Roundup: Grant Thornton’s Revenues and Accountants Are Worried About the Cloud | 09.28.16

Grant Thornton revenues

There's almost no point in large accounting firms reporting their revenue, but hey, the Purple Rose of Chicago had a pretty good year. The US firm's self-reported, unaudited revenue of $1.65 billion is a record, up 11.4% from last year. And looky what led the charge:

Audit was up 6.3 percent, Tax increased 9.4 percent and Advisory grew 17.9 percent. Advisory’s momentum was bolstered by the April acquisition of ARRYVE, a business consulting firm based in Bellevue, Washington. Over the last two years, Advisory’s revenue grew 33.3 percent. Most of Grant Thornton’s industry groups also grew in 2016.

That's by far the most interesting thing in the press release. Then if you're feeling ambitious and peek at Accounting Today's ranking of firms by revenue, you learn that the $1.65 billion would be enough to make GT the 5th largest firm in the US but only if RSM's revenue growth this year was, like, 1% or less.

Reminder: Big 4, et al., accounting firms love to talk about values like integrity and responsibility and trust etc. etc. but eschew transparency. The irony is not lost on us.

Accountants are worried about the cloud

Still! And even those who have cloud-based products figure out a way not to use them:

In a recent study we found that not only were company-mandated tools used by fewer than half of respondents, they were regularly being circumvented in ways that undermine security and productivity, which in the end costs firms—not only in terms of time wasted, but in billable time lost.

You'd think that appealing to people's bottom line would convince them to take the use of collaborative technology seriously, but these are probably the same firm leaders who insist on doing all the work.

Has Donald Trump released his tax returns?

Nope! As we've mentioned, the likelihood that an IRS employee would leak the returns is pretty slim since it's a felony to disclose confidential tax information. The Chicago Tribune interviewed Richard Schickel, a former former IRS senior revenue officer who was featured in that Washington Post article and he's wonderfully quotable:

"From what I've heard from friends in Washington, they're talking about (offers of) $20 million for that tax return," Schickel, 58, said from his home in Tucson, Ariz. "But you'd end up going to jail for a very long time. This is Snowden stuff."

And he characterizes the "slim" in "slim chance":

"It might take a long time, but yeah, you'd get caught," he said. "I couldn't see anyone leaking this unless they were dying of cancer or something like that."

University partner viewpoint: Are you MBA material?

If you aspire for the C-suite one day, an MBA could help you get there. But how do you know if it's a good option for you? This Manhattan College post will walk you through some considerations including your motives, work experience, GMAT scores and more.

Previously, on Going Concern…

I dug through the Weatherford SEC enforcement order. Elsewhere on Weatherford, Francine McKenna reports that it's unlikely that the oil services company will claw back any executive compensation and includes this fun fact:

Olga Usvyatsky, the vice president of research at Audit Analytics, told MarketWatch that Weatherford’s combined restatement was the largest such disclosure by a public company since 2010.

In other news:

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