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Accounting News Roundup: PwC Jumps Deloitte; Be Better Than Everyone at Something; Accounting on an Apple Watch | 10.06.15

PwC tops Deloitte to lead Big Four auditors [FT]
Yes, PwC reclaims its #1 ranking after posting $35.4 billion in revenues for FY 2015. That's 10% growth "at constant exchange rates," according to the firm. This shoots them past Deloitte by $200 million, or roughly the 20th largest accounting firm in the U.S., depending on how the numbers shake out. How did they do it? Easy! They acquired Booz & Co.:

PwC’s consulting arm, the engine of its growth for the year to June 30, now accounts for more than 30 per cent of total revenues after growing 18 per cent to $11.2bn during the fiscal year. Much of the rapid expansion stems from PwC’s acquisition last year of Booz and Co, which it rebranded Strategy &. Consulting revenue had grown 10 per cent in the previous financial year.

At this point in the FT story, they mention the audit business's tepid growth (6.2%) and then proceed to worry about independence because of consulting's growth relative to the audit's. Global Chairman Dennis Nally responds to this worry:

Mr Nally said culture was key to ensuring consulting does not harm audit quality. “If the culture of the firm does not provide the glue that allows all the different capabilities to coexist under the same umbrella then I think you have some real issues,” he said.

In other words, investors should sleep well knowing that the objectivity of auditors is held together by magic glue.  

What Do You Do Well That Others Don’t? [HBR]
Next time someone tells you that social media is a giant waste of time and has no practical purpose in your firm, show them this:

In 2013, Jayne Juvan became one of the youngest partners ever at the Cleveland-based law firm Roetzel & Andres — thanks to Twitter.

When Juvan started using social media a decade ago, very few lawyers used such tools.  They didn’t see the opportunity.  But after only a few months of blogging, Crain’s Cleveland Business interviewed Juvan on the use of social media for lawyers. She then began to land clients through social media.

Juvan got some political flack from fellow lawyers, but she didn’t back off.  Good thing.  In 2007 and 2008, the economy collapsed.  She sidestepped layoffs, in part because of her social media efforts. In 2013, when she was being considered for promotion to partner, the fact that prominent professionals were following her on Twitter bolstered her case in a major way.

Now that everyone is on Twitter, it's maybe too late to follow this particular path, but maybe you can be the Jayne Juvan of Peeple! Ha, no, actually, it's too late for that, too.

Finally, accounting software that runs on your Apple Watch [Quartz]
For the CFO who has everything except a happy family, here's Sage Live which will be available on the Apple Watch:

Santiago Solanas, Sage’s global marketing chief, tells Quartz that the point of the small-business software is not for CFOs to tap out ledger entries on their watches. Rather, the software—which combines Sage’s accounting front-end with Salesforce’s cloud-based backend—is built to deliver financial information to execs at whatever time they need it in whatever format is most convenient.

Call me old fashioned, but can't all that be done on a smartphone attached to your wrist with a big piece of Velcro? Surely. But can a smartphone attached to your wrist by a big piece of Velcro do this?

Most importantly, the watch app can buzz a user’s wrist when critical cash-flow levels are breached or key invoices fall overdue, “before it becomes a red-alert thing,” Solanas says. Simple transactions are also possible, from approving invoices to extending bank credit lines and even requesting funds from peer-to-peer lenders.

Yes, I'm pretty sure it can.

In other news:

  • Jack Dorsey is CEO of Twitter (and Square) [NYT]
  • EY bought Bluestone Consulting. [Accountancy Age]
  • “The first cheeseburger,” he says, “was f—ing awesome.” [Bloomberg]
  • Bristol-Meyers Squibb settled FCPA charges with the SEC. [CFO]
  • OECD released its plan for curbing tax avoidance. [AP]
  • Of course FanDuel and DraftKings are stacked against you. [Bloomberg]
  • Alcoholics in Antarctica. [Wired]