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Accounting News Roundup: Talent Solutions and PwC’s Diversity Training | 12.08.16

Accounting firms are worried about talent

What's a non-Big 4 accounting firm desperate for warm bodies to do? Excellent question! Although not being an awful place to work is a pretty good idea, a few firms are trying more practical things. According to this Accountingweb article by Jeffrey McKinney, some are finally using internships while others are hiring 2-year accounting graduates and some are even — gasp — not requiring crazy hours:

A vice president of the National Society of Accountants, [Brian] Thompson says the firm has done a fair job of retaining staff by not requiring them to work excessive hours. He added that staff who choose a more normal schedule are paid less than those who work longer hours, but it seems to be a sacrifice that they are more than willing to make.

“The effect on our business has been to hire a few more qualified people  and then work really hard to retain someone that is talented, even if it means paying them a little more or allowing them to work less,” he says.

That's the spirit! Imagine if they eliminated timesheets…

Diversity training

Here's an interview with PwC US Chairman Tim Ryan on the firm's new diversity training for detecting "blind spots" that "is comprised of interactive and animated videos [that] can take up to 45 minutes to complete." Although it sounds like Tim spends a lot more time than that thinking and talking about it:

How high up does this training go? Do higher ranking leaders and executives have to complete the training as well?

Its starts at the top. I've taken the training and I’m personally encouraging all of the staff and my leadership teams to take and talk about it. The blind spots training is something I mention to my leadership team in meetings, in partner communications, to my local market leaders, and in firm-wide communications. As a firm, we are always looking for ways to improve and I believe this is an opportunity to make ourselves better.

You know, if robots keep doing more and more of the auditing, tax and advisory work, it's possible that PwC could become a place where people simply develop their diversity awareness. It seems like the perfect thing for people to do while the machines handle the number crunching. 


One of the more colossal wastes of time this past year has been the effort by some House Republicans to impeach IRS commissioner John Koskinen. They were dealt a blow earlier this week when the full House voted overwhelmingly to send the matter to the Judiciary Committee.

From here it could go a couple of ways: Koskinen ends up serving the rest of his term which ends in 2017 or he could be forced out after ugh Donald Trump becomes president. In a fun twist, however, Trump and Koskinen have a bit of a history. Politico's Morning Tax pointed to a New York Times article from 1975 where the two were on opposite sides of a couple real estate deals. This leaves the door open to…maybe Trump reappointing Koskinen? It's probably a longshot, but it would almost make all this worth it.

University partner viewpoint: MBA vs. Work Experience

Here's a post from the University of Saint Mary on the debate of whether an advanced degree — in this case an MBA — or work experience is more valuable to employers.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Greg Kyte's Exposure Drafts cartoon address the PCAOB's naughty list. I wrote about the FASB slowing down its standard setting.

In other news:

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