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Accounting News Roundup: X by Deloitte and Is EY Moving to Hoboken? | 06.21.16

X by Deloitte

In an effort to become one-stop-shops, Big 4 firms have been in the acquisition business for last few years.

The thinking goes, why would you spend years building an expertise in a service area when you can just buy the expertise, right? Right!

During this professional services snatchathon, you may have started to notice that some of the firms Deloitte has acquired don't fully take on the firm's name. Rather it's "Bersin by Deloitte" or "ConvergeHealth by Deloitte" or "LRA by Deloitte." It's like Deloitte is claiming authorship of a bunch of books it didn't write.

In any case, the firm is adding a new one to its shelf:

Deloitte has acquired substantially all the assets of Casey Quirk, a strategic consulting firm focused on the asset management industry.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Casey Quirk has serviced a majority of the world's 50 largest asset managers. As part of the deal, Casey Quirk’s partners and team members will transition to Deloitte and will operate under the "Casey Quirk by Deloitte" brand.

Deloitte has been building its consulting practice in recent years while retaining the brands of some of the firms it has bought. In January 2013, it acquired the human resources advisory firm Bersin & Associates, renaming it Bersin by Deloitte. That same month, Deloitte acquired a corporate strategic consulting firm, Monitor Group, and renamed it Monitor Deloitte.

"CIS by Deloitte"; "Bio Intelligent Service by Deloitte"; good lord, they're not going to stop until they have more titles than Stephen King.

Elsewhere in accounting firm shopping sprees: Moss Adams acquired the inconspicuously-named CF Accountants & Consultants out of Dallas.


In this Accounting Today report of the AICPA-CIMA merger "landslide" vote, there are some details that were not shared by the AICPA on voter turnout:

Of the 56,560 AICPA members who voted, the vast majority (48,945, or 86.5 percent) approved the proposal, according to the independent tabulator, Survey and Ballot Systems. Only 7,615, or 13.5 percent, voted against. Roughly 15 percent of institute voting membership participated in the vote; according to sources familiar with similar votes in membership organizations of similar size, that's much higher than the usual average of around 11 percent.

It's easy to get excited about the approval percentage; 86.5% is impressive even by Vladimir Putin approval rating standards!  

But the turnout is less impressive. The AICPA boasts about 412,000 members, so assuming all of those members have voting rights, that would make the turnout about 13.7%. And if "sources familiar with similar votes in membership organizations of similar size" says that's above average, then so be it. But you have to wonder why turnout is so low. Either a lot of people thought they would get around to it and didn't; or a lot of people don't care; OR a lot of people don't exist! [cue]

It's also a little strange that so few members could vote on an issue and make it binding for the entire organization. I confess that I'm wholly unfamiliar with how large, non-profit organizations are run, but would you really feel confident about less than 15% of your membership participating? Imagine if our political elections had turnout that bad. People would really starting thinking our country is a farce with that level of participation. But for a professional trade group, it's totally normal. 


5 Times Square has long been the headquarters for EY, but like many, the firm may be getting sick of the crowds, the cost, the smell, etc. etc. because the firm is looking for a new location in — GASP — New Jersey:

The accounting firm is negotiating to relocate as much as 170,000 square feet at 5 Times Square to the New Jersey waterfront, according to several sources familiar with the London-based company's search. Those sources said the firm is in talks to take space at 121 River St., an office building in Hoboken. 

To be fair, the firm occupies about 1 million square feet at 5TS so it's looking elsewhere too:

The deal in New Jersey would be EY's first step in a potentially bigger move to shift a large segment of its space out of its New York City headquarters at 5 Times Square, where it occupies nearly 1 million square feet, according to CoStar Group Inc. Beginning next year, the firm plans to start searching for space in lower Manhattan, where it is exploring locations for roughly half of its offices, sources said. It will likely keep some space at 5 Times Square or a new location in midtown.

What I'm waiting for one of the Big 4 to acquire a bicycle/artisan sandwich shoppe and move to Brooklyn. That would really complete the insufferableness.

Previously, on Going Concern…

We kicked off compensation season with an open thread for PwC. And in Open Items: EY Advisory Risk vs. Performance Improvement.

In other news:

  • Mourners held a vigil for Eddie Justice, the accountant killed in the Orlando massacre, yesterday.
  • 5G (primer)
  • "Court documents said undercover officers went to the business a few days later. They purchased a pepperoni pizza, but they were denied a receipt."
  • People are worried about the Brexit.
  • "In a first-semester business ethics class, Ciampa failed to attend class or complete the required coursework, but instead used her computer access in the Registrar’s Office to assign herself an “A” for the course."
  • Foreboding nickname.

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