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September 30, 2023

Accounting News Roundup: PwC Reassures People (Down Under) After Trump’s Election | 11.22.16


Here's a weird report out of Australia about an email sent by PwC's CEO there to its staff about the election of Donald Trump. I know that sounds odd, so just read it:

In a letter to PwC’s 7000 Australian staff, Australian chief executive Luke Sayers said the company’s values “will be vital” in the wake of the US election. “I did want to call out the value of care today,” he writes. “Partners and staff have reached out to me already concerned by reports of women being denigrated on the streets in the US, or Muslims being told to go home.

“My deepest commitment is to the diversity and inclusion of our people, and the communities we live in. If you don’t see this happening in our firm, or PwC can help in anyway, please let me or a member of my executive board know immediately.”

So, this is a nice sentiment because Trump's election has and will continue to embolden bigoted assholes here in the US, but will it embolden bigoted assholes Down Under? Gosh, I hope not. Yes, the US and the UK seem to have lost their marbles, but that doesn't mean you can't keep it together, Australia!

Accountants behaving badly

Maybe it's the holidays coming up or maybe it's a coincidence, but all of a sudden we have a flurry of news about ABB. Jeanne Swain stole $378k from four elderly women who were her long-time clients that she "genuinely liked." She took the money "to pay health care costs and many of her ex-husband's bills," among other things but then "offered a gambling addiction as an explanation for her actions, but said that was not an excuse." She was sentenced to 3-6 years in prison.

Joseph Attaway is on the lam, being sought on theft charges from his employer, an unnamed logistics company. Apparently, "In late September, Attaway took a vacation and never went back to work." He had allegedly stole about $90k to "finance an extravagant lifestyle" which included a truck, furniture, and airline tickets, which falls short on extravagant for me, but whatever. He also spent the money on rent and "food, alcohol and gifts from gentleman's club" which is more like it. This is the best, though:

Some of the stolen funds […] were even paid to an attorney to represent him in a DUI case. He depleted his checking account, leaving a negative balance.

And finally, here's an lengthy article about Tiffany White, who has been accused of ripping off a bunch of her clients, mostly professionals: doctors and lawyers and such. She made lots of unauthorized transfers from her clients' accounts to her own and when they complained, well, that's when it got a little weird: 

In a series of posts on Yelp last month, a person posting as White said all of her clients signed engagement letters, which served as contracts and authorized her billing practices.

"All billing policies are clearly reflected on my website and have been posted for 2 years," wrote "Tiffany W.," posting as "business owner" in multiple posts on Oct. 25. "Any random person, potential client or current client has access to billing policies at all times. It is a shame they dispute their signed contracts and ignore publicly accessible information about my firm."

In several posts, White pointed the finger at her predecessor and business partner, saying she "went AWOL with approximately $375,000."

Records show her former partner maintains a license in good standing and has not been disciplined by the state board.

White's clients complained that she quadrupled her fees without notifying them and charged for services they didn't ask for. One client said, "I was taken aback by a professional going this low," adding, "I hope she gets to learn a new skill collecting trash on the side of the highway in an orange jumpsuit."

Has Donald Trump released his tax returns?

Nope! Don't worry, there's not a critical mass of HDTRHTR coverage out there to warrant a return to a daily section. However! Oregon Senator Ron Wyden promised to re-introduce his bill that would require presidential candidates to file their three most recent tax returns with the FEC in the new Congress.

Elsewhere: A running list of how Donald Trump’s new position may be helping his business interests

Previously, on Going Concern…

Bryce Sanders wrote about how people know if you're sincere. I checked in on Grant Thornton's unlimited vacation policy.

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