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Accounting News Roundup: Sustainability Reporting and Everyone’s Worried About Employee Turnover | 11.05.15

Stock Exchange Group Sets Guidelines for Sustainability Disclosures [CFOJ]
We just discussed disclosures and materiality yesterday and lo and behold, we have more proposed disclosures:

The guidelines from The World Federation of Exchanges could push stock exchanges to require listed companies to report on more than 30 metrics, such as energy consumption, employee turnover, human rights, and gender and board diversity.  Exchanges in the group can voluntarily choose to adopt some, if any, of these standards.

Both Jim Peterson and Chris Hooper have talked about reporting on non-financial matters as a future opportunity for accountants and auditors. Of course, you can expect resistance to "accounting for everything" from some of the same forces expressing concern over disclosure overload.    

Loeb Boosts Short Bets Citing Sloppy Accounting, Volatility [Bloomberg]
Billionaire Dan Loeb sees bad accounting: "There’s been some real sloppiness in accounting, and this move toward using adjusted Ebitda and adjusted earnings has produced some companies that I think are trading on valuations that are not supported by the real numbers. We’ve seen some real themes that favor the type of short selling that we do." He doesn't name names, but I'm sure any company using metrics like "adjusted EBITDA (as adjusted)" would be a candidate.

One Downside of an Up Economy: Employee Turnover [DealBook]
I think the overwrought concern that a lot of accounting firms have about the talent shortage is a little myopic. Firms complaining that they need people PRONTO forget that they aren't the only companies out there having trouble finding and keeping good people:

A 2015 Deloitte survey of more than 3,300 business and human resource leaders in 106 countries found that this year, “culture and engagement” — or keeping employees — was viewed as the most important challenge over all, edging out the perennial top concern, developing leadership.

That Deloitte report goes on to say, "Organizations are recognizing the need to focus on culture and dramatically improve employee engagement as they face a looming crisis in engagement and retention." If the accounting firms worried about finding and keeping the right talent focused on building a culture — any culture! — their talent problems may disappear.

In other news:

  • Expedia to Acquire HomeAway for $3.9 Billion [DealBook]
  • M.B.A.s Get Lessons in Income Inequality [WSJ]
  • I Hope I Never Get Over My Impostor Syndrome [The Cut]
  • EY is going to train lawyers in the UK. [Accountancy Age]
  • Fast walking lanes. [Independent]
  • Detention for hugging. [WaPo]