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Accounting News Roundup: Saying No to More Work; Treating Employees Like Free Agents; Embezzle, Spend Lavishly, Repeat | 12.29.15

How to Say No to Taking on More Work [HBR]
It's inevitable that you'll be asked to chip in on something in addition to your regular workload, especially if you're working in accounting firm during busy season. Knowing when and how to say no to those requests is key to your success and keeping your sanity.

Art of Accounting: 20 Best Practices for Training and Retaining Staff [AT
The majority of this list is stuff that you've read elsewhere, but there's this reminder that would probably be wise to remember:

Recognize that each staff person is a 'free agent' who can get another job quite easily and with an increase in salary. Treat every interaction as if you are competing for their loyalty.

That's good advice for any job really, but especially for accounting firms that are desperate to find and retain people,

Fast cars, jewelry, fraud: Accountant pleads guilty to $4M scheme [KCBJ]
Thomas Hauk embezzled $10 million from 4 clients that allowed him "two marriages and divorces, a 'paramour' and a taste for luxury vehicles" among other things. And if you're a car person, you'll be interested to know that we aren't simply talking about a few Range Rovers:

Hauk's vehicle purchases included a 2006 Ford GT worth $223,249 and a 2009 Ferrari for $205,953.

In a separate civil proceeding, the release said, federal authorities seized $1.6 million worth of goods, including 33 luxury cars, high-end motorcycles and other vehicles still in his possession.

Among his other purchases during a five-year period, detailed in the release: $30,500 on a 2.5-karat diamond ring; $2,400 on an Alexander McQueen handbag; $8,819 on airline-related expenses; and $8,000 on custom vehicle accessories.

33 cars! That is not small feat. You almost have to admire the willingness of a person who embezzles money clearly for the purposes of spending it lavishly. Almost.

In other news: