September 26, 2022
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Friday Footnotes: A CPA Grindset We Can Get Behind; The Klynveld Krypto Team; Firms Still Desperate (For People) | 6.24.22

Accounting Firm EY Grapples With Partner Pay, Bear Market in Breakup [Wall Street Journal] Ernst & Young’s leaders, trying to persuade partners to split up the firm, said windfalls would be spread evenly, but a bear market threatens to cut the value of a potential initial public offering of its consulting business, according to an […]

Alliantgroup headquarters

The IRS Is Paying an Unwelcome Visit to Alliantgroup (NEW UPDATE) Experts Weigh In On Feds’ Raid of the ‘Blue A’

[UPDATE 13] Jonathan Curry of Tax Notes wrote an interesting article on June 16 about why federal authorities would conduct a court-ordered raid of an established company like Alliantgroup, and he talked to law professors and a tax lawyer about the legal ramifications of that particular action by the Justice Department and IRS Criminal Investigation. […]

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Gen Z is Wearing ‘Pajamas’ to Work and No One Cares

We here at Going Concern have always worked remotely, cranking out our hard-hitting investigative journalism from the nearest coffee shop or cat hair-covered couch in our nicest T-shirts since 2009. When the pandemic hit in early 2020, Bramwell and I applied our expertise (for once) and wrote a remote work guide for those of you […]

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Audit Supervisors at the PCAOB Want Auditors to Better Supervise Their Auditors

The PCAOB adopted a new audit standard yesterday (AS 1206, Dividing Responsibility for the Audit With Another Accounting Firm) to ensure that lead auditors are properly supervising the outside auditors they use. From the PCAOB: The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) today adopted amendments to its auditing standards [PDF] to strengthen requirements that apply […]

One IRS Cafeteria Is Serving Musty Tax Documents For Lunch

When it comes to the IRS’s backlog of paper tax returns, a picture is worth a thousand words. This photo was tweeted last week by Natasha Sarin, an economist, law professor, and counselor for tax policy and implementation at the Treasury Department. At the IRS in Austin, cafeteria is overrun with paper returns awaiting processing […]

Partners Stand to Make Millions (Maybe) If EY Breaks Up

The big hurdle in EY’s plan to split audit and consulting lies in whether or not its partners want to take the risk per earlier Wall Street Journal coverage in which people familiar with the matter told WSJ its roughly 12,000 partners will need to vote to approve the spinoff. Well according to this it […]

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Deloitte Shares Unique Data on How Many Bullies and Perverts Used to Work for Them

Deloitte Australia has disclosed stats on workplace misconduct and revealed how many people got punted as a result of internal investigations reports Australian Financial Review: Deloitte has investigated 145 misconduct allegations over the past year and found more than half, or 80, were substantiated, leading to 20 employees being “exited” from the consulting firm. The […]

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Do Accounting Firms Care if You’re On Drugs? Part III

12 years ago my former colleague Caleb Newquist published a post titled “Do Accounting Firms Care if You’re On Drugs?” A good chunk of that post describes Wall Streeters getting blitzed at real estate investment trust companies because back in those days accounting news was extra slow and we wrote about a lot more finance-adjacent […]

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[UPDATED] KPMG Will Pay Audit New Hires to Study for the CPA Exam

Ed. note: update at the bottom, our hopes have been dashed. Second update includes a statement from KPMG As I’m sure you’ve heard by now the profession is having trouble recruiting future CPAs. Accounting student numbers aren’t critically low yet but fewer and fewer graduates are taking the CPA exam, an issue that keeps AICPA […]

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Monday Morning Accounting News Brief: Where Are the Ethics?; The SEC is Watching | 6.13.22

Financial Times boldly suggests that because of constant financial scandals accounting programs need to do a better job of teaching students not to screw up. “These scandals have intensified concerns that a poorly developed approach to teaching behavioral, as opposed to technical, skills is reducing ethical standards and professional independence,” writes FT. Meanwhile in Canada, […]

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Friday Footnotes: EY Buffs PE Practice; A Thirst for Integrity; “Everyone Feels KPMG Is 4th” | 6.10.22

SEC Acting Chief Accountant Cautions Against “Checklist Compliance” Approach to Auditor Independence [JD Supra] SEC Acting Chief Accountant Paul Munter re-emphasized the SEC’s focus on auditor independence in his June 8 statement on “The Critical Importance of the General Standard of Auditor Independence and an Ethical Culture for the Accounting Profession.” This latest statement follows […]

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PwC Will Not Let Economic Chaos Foil Its Aggressive Hiring Plans

That’s per PwC US chair Tim Ryan who told Insider the firm has its all-seeing eye firmly focused on the market. For now though? Let’s get those warm bodies into chairs. Tim Ryan, the US chair of PricewaterhouseCoopers, said the firm’s hiring plans aren’t going through “any major shocks or changes right now” and that […]

Top 5 Reasons Why Employers Want You Back In the Office

The debate over employee work preferences continues to explode. Many employers actively ignore employee preferences, particularly when employees favor fully remote work. In recent weeks, even more companies demanded that employees return to offices, immediately, or else. Employee preferences aside, why do companies want everyone back in the office? 1. Companies are losing grasp on […]

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Corporate Overlords Try to Scare Us Back Into the Office With Figures on How Much WFH is Costing You

As we watch gas prices tick higher and higher, commercial lessors and middle managers everywhere are anxious to get people back in chairs. Their chairs. Gross, old, shared-space, contains-the-farts-of-coworkers-past chairs. Nothing at all like the luxurious gaming chair your firm WFH stipend covered, though let’s be honest that one is harboring some ghost farts too. […]

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10 Lucrative Side Hustle Ideas for Big 4 Accountants

Things are getting pretty bad financially for all of us right now; grocery trips are digging deeper into our pockets every time we pick up a few things, rents are rising, and gas is up to $37 a gallon ($40 by the time I finish this sentence probably). Inflation is expected to remain high through […]

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If You’re Quitting Public Accounting Try Not to Burn Bridges on Your Way Out In Case You Need to Come Crawling Back

A few months ago business sections across .coms everywhere were getting blown up with articles about “the boomerang,” an imaginary trend whereupon corporate quitters discover the grass is not in fact greener on the other side and come crawling back to their former employers. Like this March piece from Forbes: According to experts like Anthony […]

When Is the Right Time to Leave Public Accounting?

When I started in public accounting, one of the audit partners I worked with shared the elevator metaphor: working in public accounting is like riding an elevator—the longer you stay on, the higher up you will go. When should you leave? The go-to response from all partners at every firm (stay until manager) is probably […]

Happy Forvis Day!

It’s official: Today’s the day BKD and DHG become Forvis. Today is a historic day as we begin serving clients as a top 10 professional services firm. Learn more from @FORVIS CEO Tom Watson and Chair Matt Snow: https://t.co/t5IW0BU97b pic.twitter.com/JcFMcz5xLD — FORVIS (@FORVIS) June 1, 2022 We hope everyone at Forvis has a great day […]

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Are You Future-Ready? Learn How to Get There at This PICPA Event

For the generations that have provided free technical support to grandparents everywhere since the ’80s and ’90s, it can be difficult to admit that the rapid pace of technological innovation is intimidating at times. There’s no denying things are changing fast. While business writers push endless streams of science fiction about robots taking jobs, technology […]

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Friday Footnotes: Which Firm Puts in the Most Hours?; Clients Pay for the Talent War; Spotting Burnout | 5.20.22

Boring No More: Accountants, Auditors See Themselves as Creative, Curious and Adventurous, Study Shows [PR Newswire] Creative, curious and adventurous may not be traits normally associated with accountants and auditors, but a recent study shows that’s just how a growing number of industry professionals see themselves. The research – conducted by leading software provider Caseware […]

Smug Smirking Douchebag Leaves Federal Prison Early

Insufferable former Citrin Cooperman client Martin Shkreli is no longer behind bars. From the Wall Street Journal: Martin Shkreli, the so-called “pharma bro” who was widely criticized for raising the price of a lifesaving AIDS drug, has been released from federal prison. Mr. Shkreli departed the Federal Correctional Institution Allenwood Low on Wednesday, according to […]

The PCAOB Ain’t Messing Around No More

After getting rid of the boil on its butt (that boil being ex-chairman William Duhnke) last June, the PCAOB seems to be feeling pretty good now under the leadership of Erica Williams. And that’s bad news for audit firms. The PCAOB has created new ways of disciplining audit firms and auditors who bend the rules, […]

Guy Compares the IRS to Barnes & Noble

“The IRS destroying data for an estimated 30 million filers in March 2021 is appalling. This will create massive chaos for taxpayers in terms of filing time and refunds. The fact that the IRS is a business that operates in the dark ages in terms of technology further compounds the taxpayer’s burden. They act like […]

Former Deloitte CEO Is a Big Fan of ‘Smors’

No, Cathy Engelbert isn’t talking about the delicious summertime treat. She’s talking about “small moments of recovery.” “I learned this at Deloitte because when you’re running a firm of that size, you have to find time. We dubbed them smors. My EA used to put them on my calendar: Small moments of recovery. You need moments during […]

6 Rules of Audit Room Etiquette

As workers return to the office, many auditors find themselves visiting client sites for the first time. Given the two-year in-person hiatus we’ve all just been through, even first-year seniors don’t know how to approach audit room protocols. So here are some key rules you should follow in the audit room whenever you do go […]

What a Sh*tty Way to Find Out You’ve Been Laid Off

Getting laid off sucks. It has happened to me twice in the past 23 years. I’ve also been fired once for poor performance, but unlike the two times I was laid off, I knew exactly when I was being fired. I hated my job, I hated my boss (I was her only employee and she […]

Accountants Didn’t Wind Up In Court As Often In 2021

While there were plenty of accountants who behaved badly in 2021, the accounting profession as a whole was fairly well-behaved and competent last year, according to a new report from Cornerstone Research. Good job, everyone. From the report, Accounting Class Action Filings and Settlements – 2021 Review and Analysis: Reversing a three year trend, the […]

Things Are Getting Spicy Between PwC UK Employees and Lord Sugar

After being called “lazy gits” in a tweet last Friday by British businessman, entrepreneur, and TV show host Lord Alan Sugar, who reacted negatively to PwC UK announcing that it would allow employees to take Friday afternoons off from June to the end of August, we were curious to see if any PwCers across the […]

Compensation Watch ’22: Big 4 Firm With the Most Negative Publicity In the U.K. Tries to Change All That By Giving Staff Raises of At Least £2,000

If you’re a regular visitor to this website, it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out which Big 4 firm we’re referring to: Carillion, loads of fines from the Financial Reporting Council, chairman’s rant leads to his resignation, Carillion, “unacceptable” bank audits, partners who are bullies, lawsuits, and layoffs. And did we mention Carillion? Yes, […]

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Friday Footnotes: Firms on India Hiring Spree; PCAOB Heads Overseas; PwC Lets You See Your Family This Summer | 5.6.22

Mesa grandma, 25-year-old accountant share love of Phoenix Suns [Arizona’s Family] JoAnne Ralph and Ben Barchilon have a special bond, and it all started with their love of the Phoenix Suns. “It’s just wonderful to have another grandson,” said Ralph. “It upsets my granddaughter because she says ‘I’m not sharing you!’ And I said, yes […]

In the Trenches: My Three Least Favorite Audit Rooms

Audit rooms come in all shapes and sizes—usually small, often windowless, sometimes with chairs you can actually sit on, and almost always as far away from the finance/accounting department as possible. After eight years in public accounting, I have loads of unforgettable audit room experiences. Here are just a few. The hostile work environment This […]

CPAs: Make Direct Indexing Your Estate Planning Secret Weapon

Traditionally, the role of accounting professionals in estate planning has been tertiary at best, with clients consulting CPAs only on the tax implications of select decisions—or simply leaving them out of the process altogether.  As you’re certainly sick of hearing by now, however, today’s most successful CPAs are taking on more advisory functions, with one […]

Are Auditors Becoming as Hard to Find as a PS5?

Alternate title: If You Are an Accounting Student, Expect to End Up In Audit When You Graduate Ever since early 2020 we have been forced to learn how to go without, not always an easy task in our always-connected, on-demand, two-day-delivery world. I don’t know about you but if I have to wait longer than […]

Marcum Gives Employees the ‘Gift’ of Summer Hours on Fridays

During a town hall meeting on Tuesday in which the marriage between Marcum and Friedman was confirmed internally before the official press release was slapped on Marcum’s website in the afternoon, Marcum Chairman and CEO Jeff Weiner announced that it’s almost time for all those busy season morale-boosting pizza parties to be replaced by new […]

Rumor Mill: Two Top 35 Accounting Firms (One In the Top 15) Are In Merger Talks (UPDATE: Friedman and Marcum Merger Official)

[UPDATE on May 3] The news we broke last week (scroll down) came to fruition today, as the merger between Friedman and Marcum is now official. Here is the press release from Marcum: Leading national accounting and advisory firms Marcum LLP (“Marcum”) and Friedman LLP (“Friedman”) today announced that they are in advanced discussions related to a […]

In KPMG Australia Cheating Scandal, Apparently Cheaters *Do* Win

From Australian Financial Review: Chartered Accountants ANZ has belatedly ruled that only 12 of the 422 members from big four consulting firm KPMG who took part in systemic exam cheating will be put through the professional body’s individual disciplinary process. The body’s disciplinary committee ruled that the “activities undertaken” by 410 KPMG CA ANZ members […]

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Friday Footnotes: EY and KPMG This Week’s Big 4 Lawsuits; Eliminate Accounting Majors?; Auditors Fire Messy Municipal | 4.29.22

New Deloitte report: working women face alarmingly high levels of burnout despite shifting work arrangements, rise in hybrid working [PR Newswire] Widespread burnout and lack of flexible work continues to hinder progress in supporting working women, according to the latest Deloitte report, “Women @ Work 2022: A Global Outlook” released today. The research reveals that […]

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: PwC #63 (2022)

The last of the Big 4 to be ranked in the 2022 Fortune BCTWF and the one that took the biggest drop over the last year is the proudest and trustiest firm of them all, PwC. Fortune doesn’t reveal why a particular company fell so many spots in its ranking from one year to the […]

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State of the Accounting Profession 2022 Via the AICPA Trends Report

As I snarkily mentioned last week, the AICPA has finally released its much-anticipated 2021 Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits (or Trends, for short) report [PDF here], a behemoth data dump of accounting industry stats first released in 1971 and released every two years since 2009. We’re […]

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: EY #52 (2022)

Coming in at No. 52 on the 2022 Fortune BCTWF is the ol’ Black and Yellow. EY has made quite a few head-scratching, unpopular decisions over the last couple of years, but here they are on the BCTWF for the 24th time in the ranking’s 25-year history. While doors will open for someone with experience […]

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: KPMG #41 (2022)

Following one spot behind RSM US in the 2022 Fortune BCTWF is KPMG, the second Big 4 firm in the ranking behind Deloitte at No. 24. It’s not too often that KPMG finishes ahead of PwC in anything, so the House of Klynveld should celebrate this accomplishment while it can. For the most part, people […]

Former EY Consultant Won LinkedIn Today

Remember last week when EY tried to convince all of us that employees prefer empathetic leadership over raises and promotions? LOL, good one EY. Anyway, Brandon Hall, founder and managing partner of Hall CPA in Raleigh, NC, who was a senior consultant with EY earlier in his career, knew the empathy-over-raises social media post from […]