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Accounting News Roundup: True Life: I’m a PwC Partner and April 15th | 04.15.16

True Life: I'm a PwC Partner

Lawrence Ballard is a 21-year vet and partner at PwC. A day in his fabulous life was chronicled by Business Insider and it's probably a good blueprint for how a person makes it as a partner in the biggest professional services firm on earth:

4:30 a.m. Wake up and work out

"[My wife] is up at 4:50 a.m. to work out and drags me out of the bed," Ballard said.

He tries to squeeze in at least 45 minutes of exercise every morning before going on to wake his kids, Alexis, 12, and Ava, 8, up for school. By 6 a.m., Ballard is on his way from his home in central New Jersey to the office in Manhattan. Depending on meetings and location of clients, he either drives or takes the train.

"My day starts early so that I can beat the commute," Ballard told Business Insider.

He takes advantage of this time to get organized. "I use my commute in the morning as my opportunity to get my day organized – check email, organize my priority list for the day, catch up on reading client files, memos, etc.," Ballard said.

If you've been sitting around, feeling good about yourself, thinking, "I pretty work hard," Ballard's daily entry will make you feel like a slacker. His day begins at 4:30 am and ends at 11 pm and you don't get the sense there's a break in the action except for when he FaceTimes his kids at 5 pm. The article says he spends "50 hours a week at the office" during busy season but that seems like a low estimate if he's arriving at 7:30 am and staying until at least 7. 

This Big 4 partner lifestyle hasn't changed much over the years and I don't get the sense it will any time soon. Ballard is 43 and will probably be at PwC for the rest of his career. Maybe I've read one too many articles about Millennial stereotypes but I have a hard time believing that many people in their 20s and 30s see this lifestyle and think: "I WANT SOME OF THAT!" Is this business model really sustainable? Can PwC and the rest of the Big 4 really find enough people who want to keep this going? I'm just asking questions.

Elsewhere in PwC partners talking about squeezing life into your work, Tim Ryan is tweeting about late-night work email.

April 15th

If all goes well, I'll file my tax return today. It isn't the first time I've filed on April 15th and probably won't be the last. This year however, Emancipation Day — celebrated on April 16th in Washington, DC — falls on a Saturday and is being observed today so tax returns aren't actually due until Monday. Maine and Massachusetts both celebrate Patriots Day on April 18th so their residents have until April 19th to file.

Vox has a good explainer on Emancipation Day but the gist is that it celebrates the end of slavery in DC. That means schools and offices are closed and that allows procrastinators a few more days to file. And yes, most of us are procrastinators:


If you're looking for some bedtime reading, the SEC's 340-page concept release on disclosures should do the trick, especially if you appreciate a really deep, holistic look into, uh, disclosures:

Wednesday’s report considers such bedrock questions as whether new rules should be based on broad principles or whether the SEC should prescribe more specific rules. The release also tries to define the audience for financial reports.

It then delves into specific items. Those include defining intellectual property, description of property, off-balance sheet arrangements and disclosure about corporate sustainability efforts.

It goes without saying but someone is quoted anyway: “It’s really going through the nitty, nitty gritty.” 

Previously, on Going Concern…

Megan Lewczyk suggested that everyone get rid of dual monitors. And in Open Items, someone asked about fudging an MBA application.

In other news:

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