Friday Footnotes: CFO Pay on the Rise; EY Seeks Neurodiversity; COVID-19 Skidoo | 4.16.21

Ernst & Young opens program in Boston to attract autistic workers and other “neuro-diverse” recruits [Boston Globe] These programs at EY are designed to hire talented candidates whose cognitive differences — dyslexia, autism, or ADHD, for example — might hamper them in traditional one-on-one job interviews that rely on good social skills. EY also provides […]

Important Audit Professional Takeaways from Botta v. PwC Closing Arguments

Closing arguments were held on April 13 in the bench trial of audit whistleblower Mauro Botta vs. PricewaterhouseCoopers. Botta, a former PwC senior manager, claims that he was wrongfully terminated by PwC in retaliation for making a whistleblower report to the SEC. Botta’s whistleblower report alleges that PwC had compromised its independence by acquiescing to […]

Where Does Janet Yellen Want to Be Taxed?

Presuming that Janet Yellen, our current secretary of the Treasury, lives in California, her marginal tax rate might be as high as 13.3%. That’s a little scary for those of us living here in Maryland. Good thing she knows how to handle finances. For that kind of tax rate she might easily be persuaded to […]

Promotion Watch ’21: Grant Thornton Canada Adds 53 New Partners and Principals

Grant Thornton in America’s hat recently admitted 35 new partners and 18 new principals into the purple kingdom. Alberta Chris Cameron, Partner, Edmonton Ken Hankinson, Partner, Edmonton Stephen Latimer, Partner, Wetaskiwin Jenny Pon, Partner, Edmonton Freida Richer, Partner, Edmonton British Columbia Shawn Birkenhead, Principal, Kamloops Sandra Blair, Principal, Kamloops Michelle Coates, Principal, Nelson Kevin Cooper, […]

Your Naughty Tax Preparer of the Day

So this guy actually thought he could get away with this, huh? SMH. Hadi Isbaih of Palos Heights, IL, was charged in an indictment returned Monday in the Northern District of Illinois with four counts of wire fraud for allegedly fraudulently assisting customers in obtaining millions of dollars in loans under the CARES Act, authorities […]

EY Poaches Someone From PwC and Issues a Press Release, Parts IV and V

In today’s edition of “Big 4-on-Big 4 Poaching From Around the World,” we’re focusing on the strategy consulting arms of PwC and EY in Australia, as Miles Tam recently left PwC’s Strategy& as a director to join the partnership at EY Port Jackson Partners. In addition, EY Port Jackson Partners lured Chris Paxton away from […]

KPMG U.K. Partners Seem to Like This Jon Holt Guy

KPMG in the U.K. made it official this morning that head of audit Jon Holt will replace Bill Michael as the firm’s new CEO. The U.K. House of Klynveld said: KPMG in the UK has confirmed that following a partnership vote, Jon Holt has been elected with overwhelming support as the firm’s Chief Executive. He […]

Friendly Reminder: Take a Day Off, Who Cares

Many years ago, I had this somewhat demanding job that happened to also be a really fun place to work, so while it was stressful and the hours were long, I found myself reveling in this because I actually enjoyed it most days. Now, I realize this may be a foreign concept to some of […]

Accounting Stayed Real Classy In 2020

Not even a global pandemic, the likes of which we’ve never seen, could slow down the amount of accounting-related securities class actions filed in 2020. A new report from Cornerstone Research revealed that 70 federal securities class actions involving accounting allegations—all were “core” filings containing Securities Exchange Act Rule 10b-5, Section 11, and Section 12(a) […]

Botham Jean’s Killer Is Appealing Her 10-Year Prison Sentence

Amber Guyger, the former Dallas cop who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in October 2019 for murdering PwC accountant Botham Jean in his apartment a year earlier, has an appeals hearing scheduled for later this month. The NBC affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth reported last month that Guyger’s hearing will begin at 1 p.m. […]

Number of the Day: 88%

This is the percentage of the 4,500 or so employees of the Queen’s Grant Thornton who want to continue to spend the majority of their time working from home post-pandemic, an in-house employee survey revealed. According to the Financial Times, GT U.K. CEO David Dunckley said the pro-WFH crowd was the same regardless of age, […]

Your Naughty Tax Preparer of the Day

After being indicted last week on 35 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false and fraudulent tax returns and two counts of willfully failing to file personal income tax returns, Ametra Q. Wooden should probably change the name of her tax preparation business to F Plus Tax Experts & Financial Services, amirite? […]

Number of the Day: $79,520

This is the average salary for an accountant in 2021 based on an analysis by AdvisorSmith of accounting salaries, number of accounting jobs, and the cost of living from 363 U.S. cities. That salary is up about 2% from 2019’s average accountant salary of $77,920. The business research website used data from three sources—Bureau of […]

Friday Footnotes: Troubled KPMGer Kicks Rocks; Stay Home, Auditors; Grant Thornton Plays Defense | 4.2.21

Partner who led KPMG’s audit of Carillion leaves Big Four firm [Financial Times] The partner who led KPMG’s audit of Carillion, the collapsed government contractor, has left the Big Four firm as the UK accounting regulator’s investigation into the scandal reaches an advanced stage. IRS provides details on April 15 postponement [Journal of Accountancy] On […]

You Can Now Drive By Dallas Police HQ on Botham Jean Boulevard

Back in January we told you guys about the Dallas City Council approving to rename a four-mile stretch of South Lamar Street, including where the Dallas Police Department’s headquarters is located, in memory of Botham Jean, the PwC accountant who was murdered in his apartment by a Dallas police officer in September 2018. Botham Jean […]

Your Naughty Tax Preparer of the Day

So this guy and his wife walked into MZ BIZ Tax Services in Houston last Thursday to complain about something or another regarding the tax return the business prepared for them. An argument ensued, with the owner of the business allegedly telling the couple to “get the hell out.” The wife left but the man […]

Friday Footnotes: Amazon Prime Accounting?; KPMG Office Outbreak; PwC Staff Appreciation | 3.26.21

Wirecard ‘Criminals’ Had Us Duped, EY Auditor Tells Lawmakers [Bloomberg] An Ernst & Young LLP partner said his firm fell victim to “criminals” at Wirecard AG, rejecting allegations EY didn’t do enough to uncover wrongdoing at the now defunct payment processor. Deadline for certain single audits delayed because of pandemic [Journal of Accountancy] The due […]

Another Big 4 Firm Sticks It to Women

[Updated on March 25 with information on the leading CEO candidate at Deloitte Australia.] You can cross EY Oceania off the list of potential landing spots for a woman CEO of a Big 4 firm, as David Larocca, currently the managing partner of EY Oceania’s Strategy and Transactions business, will take the reins from CEO […]

Your Naughty Tax Preparer of the Day

Aminta Smith, a former tax preparer in Charlotte, NC, was given 30 months to think about her choices. According to the sentencing hearing, court documents and evidence presented at trial, Smith owned and operated a Charlotte-based tax preparation business, Touch by Angels Tax Services, also known as Touch by Angels Accounting Services and Smith Tax […]

Bonus Watch ’21: At Least Deloitte U.K. Gave Its Employees Money As a Thank You Gift Instead of a Lame Pizza Party

For some reason Big 4 partners think buying their capital market servants pizza will make everything all better. Here, have a free slice of pepperoni or two as a token of our appreciation for working those 80-plus hours last week. Your employees are adults, not elementary school children. But some of my favorite public accounting-related […]

Your Suffering Is Not Noble So Let That Sh*t Go

Before I get into this, I feel it’s important to explain where I’m coming from. You see, I had a turbulent childhood. Not “damn, my mom won’t buy me a Power Pad!” turbulent, I only wish that had been the extent of my troubles growing up. I won’t get into too much detail as I’m […]

You Can Easily Replace ‘Investment Banking’ with ‘Public Accounting’ In These Reactions to the Goldman Sachs Workplace Abuse Claims

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or neck deep in tax returns, you probably heard about the recent allegations from 13 first-year analysts who work at Goldman Sachs that their employer is actually a sweatshop disguised as an investment bank. In a Working Conditions Survey created and only answered by those 13 GS analysts, […]

PwC Peeper Finally Gets Jail Time For His Upskirt Photo Fetish

Leon Chan just couldn’t stop taking photos up girls’ skirts. This dude, who used to work for PwC, had 1,700 upskirt pics saved on his iPhone when he was arrested in July 2019 at the Topshop clothing store in London after getting caught taking photos of a female shopper bending over. The crazy thing is […]

Your Naughty Tax Preparer of the Day

I don’t know which is more dumb: that El Paso, TX-based tax preparer Victor Gonzalez intentionally underreported his income by roughly $289,000 over a three-year period or that the name of his now-defunct business was Tax Preparation Services. Seriously, Victor? You couldn’t come up with a better name than that? Anyhoo, V-Gon was indicted recently—not […]

Friday Footnotes: Costly Audit Mistakes; No Bonus For You!; Accounting Education Lags Behind | 03.19.21

Bonuses Are Targeted in U.K. Crackdown on Audit Scandals [Bloomberg] Top executives at companies hit by accounting scandals could lose their bonuses under U.K. proposals for beefed-up regulation after a wave of corporate collapses including Carillion Plc and travel firm Thomas Cook Group Plc. UK audit reform set to cost businesses more than £430m a […]

Your Naughty Tax Preparer of the Day

Alternate title: “Ex-CPA with Irish Surname Gets Jail Time on St. Patrick’s Day.” Authorities say 64-year-old Mark Harmon of Evansville, IN, who was sentenced Wednesday to two years in federal prison on multiple counts of tax evasion, altered client invoices and falsified income on personal tax returns for several years: Harmon owned and operated Mark […]

EY’s Kelly Grier Is Eager to ‘Forge a Path Forward’ to Coworkers Disturbing Your Concentration at the Office Again

If introverted EYers were expecting another quiet Monday as a socially-accepted hermit in these troubling times they were in for a surprise this morning when EY Chair Kelly Grier came crashing into their inboxes with an update on the big post-COVID plans. Spoiler: it involves making yourself available in the office. The following email has […]

Friday Footnotes: Deloitte Deals With Lookers; PwC Gets Fired; Auditors and Climate Change | 3.12.21

UK watchdog investigating Deloitte audits of Lookers [Reuters] Britain’s accounting watchdog said on Friday it had opened an investigation into audits conducted by Deloitte of car dealership operator Lookers. The investigation will look at financial statements for the years ended Dec. 31 2017 and 2018, the Financial Reporting Council said in a statement. Babcock parts […]

It’s Bonus Bonanza Time at Deloitte and PwC In India

Nearly a week after Deloitte in India said it would give all employees either a bonus or a straightforward increase in salary this month as the firm bounces back from a pandemic-related malaise, PwC leaders in India are also sharing the wealth with employees as a “token of appreciation” for hanging in there during the […]

Deloitte Australia CEO Resigns, Says Leading Firm Through Pandemic ‘Has Come At Some Personal Cost’

In an announcement that reportedly stunned Deloitte Australia partners and staff, CEO Richard Deutsch resigned today after spending two and a half years on the job, the Australian Financial Review reported. “After a difficult and unprecedented year and following much personal reflection, today I announced my resignation as CEO,” Mr Deutsch told partners and staff […]

Certifications = Higher Salaries, Natch

Those of you who are still on the fence about pursuing a professional accounting certification should, if for no other reason, consider getting your CPA or CMA or both because of this: more money. The Institute of Management Accountants polled its U.S. membership last September for its 2021 U.S. Salary Survey. Of the 1,300 or […]

PwC Building In New Zealand Evacuated After Bomb Threat

PwCers who work in the firm’s building in Wellington, New Zealand had a bit of a scare earlier this morning after they were evacuated following a bomb threat. Police are responding to an incident on Wellington's waterfront. Multiple officers & police cars are stationed outside the PWC building. Public area outside has been cordoned off. […]

Another Big 4 Executive Bites the Dust In the U.K.

The big news last week in the U.K. wasn’t the sale of KPMG’s restructuring unit but the resignation of Dimple Agarwal, Deloitte’s diversity and inclusion chief. The resignation attracted widespread attention as Agarwal allegedly harassed younger staff and spoke aggressively to them. Agarwal’s resignation came less than a month after Bill Michael stepped down as […]

Your Naughty Tax Preparer of the Day

It might just be me but it seems that tax preparation businesses with unscrupulous owners have the most ridiculous names. Would you really trust getting your taxes done correctly and legally at a place called Tax Terminatorz? Well, people did and in the process were part of Tax Terminatorz’s grand plan to screw the IRS […]

TIL There’s a ‘Hall of Tortured Souls’ Easter Egg In Excel and That Couldn’t Be More Appropriate For Accountants’ Favorite Tool

Endlessly scrolling my YouTube recommendations the other night in a desperate attempt to scrape up the tiniest shred of dopamine, I came across the video I’m about to share with you all. It’s about the “Hall of Tortured Souls,” an easter egg buried in Microsoft Office 1995. This website has been around for 12 years, […]

The Truth About Public Accounting, Part III: The ‘A’ In PCAOB Stands For ‘Accounting’

An article titled “PCAOB Inspections: Public Accounting Firms on Trial” describes the results from an academic study and survey about the effects on auditors who have been subject to PCAOB inspections. One of many good observations from that academic study is repeated below: Respondents collectively perceive that audit quality has improved as a result of […]

Some Florida Lawmakers Do Not Want Deloitte Consulting Hanging Around No More

While a circuit judge in Leon County in Florida still has to decide whether a potential class-action lawsuit against the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity and Deloitte Consulting over the shoddy and problematic unemployment benefits system D-town built and installed will continue, Florida senators are pushing forward a bill that would penalize companies (cough, Deloitte, […]

Your Naughty Tax Preparer of the Day

The owner of InTouch Tax Solutions in Dallas won’t be touching anyone’s tax returns for quite a while. The Feds said: A North Dallas tax return preparer was sentenced to 3½ years in prison and ordered to pay $11.9 million in restitution for filing fraudulent income tax returns, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern […]

Listicle of the Day: Best- and Worst-Paying States For Accountants

Gather ’round, kids, we’re going to talk about accounting salaries. The other day, Business.org came out with a report on which states (plus the District of Columbia) pay accountants the best and the worst. To do this, the site said it used data from the Bureau of Labor’s annual occupational employment stats and compared each […]

What I Learned From Failing the FAR Exam Twice

Before working in my current position as a senior tax associate, I was helping people to make the world a better place in a different way, as a manager for a Montessori preschool. I valued my relationship with the staff and children, but my interest was continuously drawn more into the business side of the […]

Talent-Strapped PwC Is That Desperate Ex Texting You With ‘WYD’ After You’ve Moved On

Leaving public accounting is rarely an easy decision, even when the choices are “stay or have a crippling nervous breakdown.” It’s not that the decision itself is hard, rather the consequences of taking an oftentimes necessary leap can lead to difficulties in securing subsequent employment if, as your accounting professors would have you believe, walking […]

Friday Footnotes: Did Rona Change the Industry For the Better?; Best Big 4 For Women; WFH Is Out | 2.26.21

No progress without a pandemic? [Accounting Today] Dan Hood asks the important question in AT. Federal accounting can be a more dynamic career than it sounds, industry group says [Federal News Network] LOL: “If you think federal accounting is dull and unchanging, think again. People who do federal accounting and finance say it’s a constantly […]

Big 4 Lawsuits: Mauro Botta vs. PwC and VBS Mutual Bank Liquidators vs. KPMG

PwC ‘Punished’ Thorough Auditing, Whistleblower Testifies [Law360] A couple Augusts ago, Adrienne wrote about an academic study that revealed the market for audit services penalizes audit firms for disclosing information critical of management in their audit opinions and that audit firms that find internal control material weaknesses experience lower client and fee growth. In other […]

Your Naughty Tax Preparer of the Day

If you search for reviews on Yelp of the best tax preparation firms in the Bronx, it’s no surprise you don’t see RAP Tax Services among them. Maybe it’s because the owner admitted to submitting false and fraudulent tax returns on behalf of clients, falsely claiming dependents, nonexistent charitable deductions, or bogus business expenses. Yeah, […]

Grant Thornton Auditors Are Just Showing Off Now

It’s fair to say Grant Thornton auditors are no longer on the struggle bus. From 2010 to 2015, the Purple Rose of Chicago had an average audit failure rate of 44% in its PCAOB inspection reports during that time frame, including a whopping 65% worth of screw-ups in the firm’s 2012 report, which gave GT […]

Your Naughty Corporate Controller of the Day

Edward Kelly has been suspended from appearing or practicing before the SEC as an accountant because he got caught insider trading. You can read the SEC order from Feb. 16 here. But the blog SEC Actions put together a nice little synopsis of the case against Kelly: Now the agency has brought an insider trading […]

New SOX In the U.K.? It’s (Probably) Coming Soon

The February gloom was broken recently by the news that the British government will be introducing reforms targeting company financial reporting and audit oversight. In truth, none of this should be a surprise. There have been several accounting scandals in recent years where the directors of various companies have been unscrupulous and their external auditors […]

3 Ways Accountants Can Get Awesome Results In the Value Pricing Era

The move toward value pricing marks the dawning of a new era for accountants and accounting firms, where financial and professional advancement opportunities abound. No longer constrained by the billable hour, earning potential for accountants is limited only by their own efficiency. And that’s awesome—for those who can find ways to make every minute of […]

Thumbs down BDO LLP

Those Who Know, Know BDO … Is Consistently Terrible At Auditing

Here’s a number of the day for ya: 50.7%. That is the average failure rate of BDO USA audits in PCAOB inspection reports from 2010 to its most recent 2019 report, in which PCAOB inspectors found significant errors in 42% of audits reviewed. Public accounting firms that have been historically bad at auditing, like Grant […]

The Not-So-Secret Way to Get an Elijah Watt Sells Award

Since 1923, the Elijah Watt Sells Award has recognized the extraordinary achievements of the top-performing CPA exam candidates each year, a rare and hard-earned reward for above-average scores. The few, the proud, the … wait, wrong slogan. Have you ever wondered just who Elijah Watt Sells even was? Most people probably assume he was some […]

Friday Footnotes: China v. Deloitte; Fraud Jumps Over a Lazy Brown Watchdog; Stay Home, PwC | 2.12.21

China orders Deloitte to investigate whistleblower allegations [FT] China’s Ministry of Finance said in a statement that it “attached great importance” to the whistleblower report and that it had called a meeting with Deloitte’s management. Virtual accounting: How to succeed remotely [Journal of Accountancy] The coronavirus has changed the business landscape significantly. Many accounting firm […]