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Accounting News Roundup: Yearning for ’86 and ‘A conman, a thief and a liar’ | 07.21.17


How’s tax reform coming along?

Nothing gets proponents of tax reform sentimental quite like the Tax Reform Act 1986. The cooperation of Congress and the support of the Reagan Treasury Department seems almost quaint by today’s standards of governing. Plus, everyone yearns for a tax code that is simpler, with lower rates, and doesn’t result in a massive expansion of the deficit.

This New York Times piece drips with political nostalgia, comparing the effort in ’86 to today’s reality of chaos and endless squabbling. It also casts a nice light on former Michigan Representative Dave Camp, who introduced a bill back in 2014 that “took as inspiration” the ’86 law, but ultimately went nowhere. Camp is now a tax policy advisor at PwC and says the White House has reached out to him about reform. But, as we’re all coming to learn, there’s the…uh, Trump card:

[O]ne person who didn’t like the Tax Reform Act of 1986 was Mr. Trump. “One of the worst ideas in recent history,” was how he described it in a 1986 op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal.

If Camp can just convince Trump and his team that the ’86 Act wasn’t so terrible, POTUS can just deny he ever wrote those words and maybe they’ll pull this thing off.

Elsewhere in tax reform: It’ll be hard to get corporate rate below 25%.

Accountants behaving badly

Even the most erudite of Going Concern historians may have forgotten Patrick Oki, a former PKF Hawaii partner who was accused of helping himself to $500k of his firm’s money. Oki is back in the news this week because a judge found him guilty on all charges:

“Plain and simple, the defendant abused his professional knowledge, skills and experience as a CPA professional,” Judge Rom Trader said.

Stoically, Patrick Oki remained silent as Judge Trader found the 47-year old guilty on all 13-felony counts of defrauding PKF Accounting firm of more than $503,000.

“This verdict today should remove any doubt about Patrick Oki being a conman, a thief and a liar. Now he’s a convicted felon and it’s all his own doing,” Chris Van Marter, the Prosecutor said.

Fun fact: Oki held a CFE which is a nice dash of irony in this case.

Brought to you by Accountingfly

The featured job of the week is a Tax Manager with GPW CPAs in San Diego, Calif.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Megan Lewczyk wrote about CFOs who don’t allow employees to do CPE at work. I mentioned that Ukraine pulled PwC’s bank audit license.

In other news:

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Image: Allan Warren/Wikimedia Commons