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Accounting News Roundup: New PwC Leadership and a Non-GAAP Task Force | 06.01.16

New PwC leadership

Yesterday we talked a little about Deloitte UK's new partner class. Now we have news of PwC's new team of overlords that was announced by Tim Ryan on LinkedIn:

Over the last few weeks, I spent time talking with our partners and staff to understand what they were looking for in this team. Beyond the natural asks of expertise in various areas, one thing came up over and over again: people wanted this team to lead not just from the top, but to lead with them to serve our clients, our people, and our communities. People wanted team members to whom they could relate, those who would welcome new ideas from every level in our firm, and importantly, those who clearly understood the collective values of PwC.

We talk frequently about diversity and inclusion, and the idea of “lead with me” struck at the heart of that discussion. When you include a diversity of minds in the decisionmaking process, you inevitably have a better and stronger result because the environment in the room becomes open. You start talking with people, rather than talking at them. With an inclusive approach, the sum is far larger than its parts. Each of us brings to the table our own personal journey and our personal passion. Through these shared experiences we learn from each other, and develop a deeper sense of empathy–and better solutions for the complex problems facing our world.

You almost forget that he's talking about an accounting firm. And maybe that's the idea? Everyone expects PwC to know numbery things, just like they expect Deloitte, EY and KPMG to know numbery things. That is, technical chops are just table stakes for professional services now. It seems to me that PwC is trying to solidify and exhibit a strong culture to convince people who believe that these firms are "all the same," that PwC is really different. And that's much harder than just telling people they can wear jeans to work.

Non-GAAP worries

After months of worrying out loud, the SEC released new Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations ("C&DIs" ) on companies use of non-GAAP measures a couple weeks ago. And to make sure everyone stays on their toes, the Commission put together a team of chief non-GAAP worriers to keep an eye on things:

The SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance is forming an internal task force to closely review the use of “non-GAAP” numbers and whether companies respond to recently updated guidance on using these metrics.

So-called comment letters will go to companies that don’t comply with the new guidance in their second quarter earnings releases.

These letters will not be "an official expression" of what the SEC thinks about an issuer's non-GAAP reporting, but rather a hint that maybe they don't like where things are going. However, an enforcement action is possible if their worries continue and "a resolution is not reached that meets the regulator’s satisfaction."

Elsewhere: Dennis Howlett wonders: "Is the end of non-GAAP measures in sight?"

Previously, on Going Concern…

Blake Oliver explained why he's going for the CPA. And in Open Items, someone wonders if they should go back to audit after a stint in private.

In other news:

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