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November 28, 2022


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Accounting News Roundup: Charitable Deductions and Bad Passwords | 08.08.17

How’s tax reform coming along? Felix Salmon writes about the folly of the charitable deduction, and by extension, why the Trump Administration’s suggestion to raise the standard deduction is a good idea. A larger standard deduction means lower taxes for many people, and it also means fewer taxpayers itemize deductions, which means complying with the […]


Accounting News Roundup: Martin Shkreli’s Fraud Conviction and ‘Botched’ Tax Reform | 08.07.17

Comeuppance A jury found the insufferable client, boss, and person Martin Shkreli guilty on three of eight counts of securities fraud on Friday. And if you’re feeling schadenfreude, you might be disappointed to learn that he’s mostly fine: During his postverdict live-stream, Mr. Shkreli, sipping from a bottle of India pale ale, speculated that his […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Florida Accountant Mistaken for Dad of Shark Dragger | 08.04.17

Florida accountant A Sarasota CPA is suffering from a case of a mistaken identity, and in the age of the Internet, that means putting up with a lot of angry strangers calling to curse at you and make empty threats: “Your son is a f****** piece of s***,” one caller said. Robert Wenzel has gotten […]


Accounting News Roundup: BDO’s Revenue and The Pot Industry Needs Better Internal Controls | 08.03.17

BDO revenue BDO, the accounting firm most likely to pie its top performers, announced its fiscal year 2017 revenue haul yesterday. They U.S. firm brought in $1.41 billion, an increase from $1.29 billion last year. The firm states that its revenue has more than doubled from $683 million in 2013 to this year’s mark. Accounting […]


Accounting News Roundup: EY Screws Up Its Own Awards and Cryonic Preservation Trusts | 08.02.17

EY Oh, brother. EY has caused a bit of a ruckus in New Zealand by excluding a huge story involving one of its clients from the nominations for its business journalism awards: Journalist Rebecca Macfie quit the judging panel saying it was clear that one entry was not going to be recognised “because of the […]


Accounting News Roundup: Short Tenures and Obvious Scams | 08.01.17

No one’s texting. Incredible. Short tenures You see it every year — one or two new employees at a Big 4 firm flame out after two weeks or a few months on the job. This usually manifests in one of two situations: The new employee realizes he or she has made a big mistake. The […]

Accounting News Roundup: Culture Copycats and A Bad Accountant Strikes Again | 07.31.17

Culture copycats At Accounting Today, Dan Hood writes about “Three things that aren’t your firm’s culture,” and those are 1) “We treat our staff like family,” 2) “We work hard and we play hard,” and 3) “We value work-life balance.” I don’t have hard data to back this up, but I’d venture to say that […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Big 4 Interns; Wells Fargo; Prison Sentences | 07.28.17

Big 4 Interns I guess it was National Intern Day yesterday? Okay, I admit it, I knew it was National Intern Day and was too busy to mention it. Forgive me, interns, for not recognizing you. But don’t worry, Big 4 firms are still laying it on thick. Here’s EY: It’s #NationalInternDay! And we can’t […]

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Accounting News Roundup: PCAOB vs. China; Ukraine vs. PwC; Psychic Readings | 07.27.17

PCAOB vs. China Paul Gillis notes that the PCAOB’s ban of Crowe Horwath Hong Kong means that “[the] 22 US listed clients (mostly microcaps) must find new auditors (and most of its employees must find new jobs).” But also, that the PCAOB chose an easy fight: While I think the PCAOB is right in its […]

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Accounting News Roundup: PCAOB Bans Crowe Horwath Hong Kong | 07.26.17

Bans The PCAOB announced yesterday that it has banned Crowe Horwath Hong Kong from auditing U.S. listed companies for three years. This came about after the firm refused to cooperate with the Board’s investigation by failing to provide workpapers for an unnamed client. This might seem strange since the PCAOB reached an agreement with Chinese […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Bike Taxes and ‘Chipped’ Employees | 07.25.17

Bike taxes My initial hot take when I saw this Tax Foundation article on Oregon’s new bike tax was — OREGON MUST HATE FREEDOM. And if you cruise the web, a lot of Oregonian bike riders are plenty miffed by the $15 tax “on the purchase of bicycles with a retail price of $200 or […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Poker, Embarrassments at Work, and The Beatles’ Accountant | 07.24.17

What are you doing with your accounting degree? Although it’s been said that “Poker’s an honest trade” I don’t recommend that most of you try to capitalize on your accounting education this way: A New Jersey man with a degree in accounting is this year’s World Series of Poker champion. Scott Blumstein won the series’ […]


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 […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Deloitte Scraps Its Diversity Groups | 07.20.17

Deloitte I linked to this yesterday, but the news that Deloitte is scrapping its affinity groups for “inclusion councils where white men hold important seats at the table” was…surprising? They explained it this way: “We are turning it on its head for our people,” says Deepa Purushothaman, who’s led the WIN group since 2015 and […]


Accounting News Roundup: Lottery Tickets, Tax Reform Navigators, and Change Indexes | 07.19.17

Lottery tickets One other remarkable thing that came out of yesterday’s House Financial Services subcommittee on capital markets hearing re Sarbanes-Oxley was noted by Francine McKenna in her write-up at MarketWatch: In a hearing on Tuesday of the House Financial Services subcommittee on capital markets, Rep. Warren Davidson, a Republican from Ohio, compared the stock […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Professional Skepticism and Work Texts on Sundays | 07.18.17

Professional skepticism In part one of a pair of Tom Selling posts about professional skepticism, he tries to get to the essence of what the ol’ cliche of the auditing world means: Skepticism is to have doubt as to the truth of something. But how much doubt? The PCAOB’s standards state that the auditor should […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Non-competes and Marijuana Accounting Jobs | 07.17.17

Non-competes This New York Times story reports on Idaho’s unusual place within a major labor issue: The Gem State is more accommodating to non-compete agreements, making it easier for businesses to sue employees who leave for a competitor. Non-competes have always struck me as a strange tactic; in a way, it’s a business’s way of […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Books That Aren’t Business Manuals and ‘DMX didn’t give any of it to the IRS’ | 07.14.17

Books that aren’t business manuals Here’s a New York Times article about several business and political people who’ve cited Ayn Rand’s work as influential, mostly The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, but have managed to find themselves in trouble of one kind or another. Uber’s former CEO Travis Kalanick is featured and a few members of […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Reminder: Everything Is in the Cloud | 07.13.17

Cloud Cloud Cloud Hey look, everyone, it’s 2017, and the AICPA is still offering people three reasons to “embrace cloud-based technology.” Greg Kyte tweeted it best: You only need one reason to embrace cloud technology: everything is in the fucking cloud. Like, everything. Email. Banking. Ordering food. Your vacation photos. Getting a ride from a […]


Accounting News Roundup: Deductible Meals and Threatening the IRS | 07.12.17

Sports Over the last couple weeks, there have been several stories about the Boston Bruins winning a tax court case that ruled that the team can fully deduct the cost of meals when they’re on the road as a “de minimis fringe benefit.” If you’ve read some of these articles and have space for one […]


Accounting News Roundup: How to Sabotage Remote Working and Mandatory Arbitration | 07.11.17

Working from home Here’s how you sabotage remote working: Last year, Richard Laermer decided to let his employees work from home on a regular basis. “We hire adults, they shouldn’t be tied to the office five days a week,” said Laermer, who owns a New York-based public relations firm. “I always assumed that you can […]


Accounting News Roundup: Canada, IFRS, and U.S. GAAP; Shady Clients | 07.10.17

Canada, IFRS, U.S. GAAP Here’s a Gretchen Morgenson column — “Warren Buffett Invests in Canada, but Should You?” —  that isn’t so much about Canada as it is about International Financial Reporting Standards. Listed Canadian companies do report in IFRS, but, a forensic accountant, Al Rosen, who Morgenson interviewed for the column says there’s some […]

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Accounting News Roundup: ‘An event of the millennium,’ Cheating, and Stealing From a Marching Band | 07.07.17

Move it along, ducks, you squat-walking bread junkies. “An event of the millennium” Here’s an obscure story involving KPMG South Africa that’s been making headlines for the past week or so. Apparently, the firm did work for a wealthy family, the Guptas, who were close to South African President, Jacob Zuma. The story goes that […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Andersen vs. Andersen; Celebrities vs. Accountants | 07.06.17

Andersen vs. Andersen One funny thing that happened while I was away was Arthur Andersen & Co. accusing Andersen Tax of forgery to lay claim to the Andersen name. It’s not funny in a knee-slapper kind of way, in so much that it’s funny in an “I can’t believe this is still going on” kind […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Ukraine and PwC; “The Accountant” Sequel; Subtle Andersen Jokes | 07.05.17

PwC The Wall Street Journal reports that the government of Ukraine may ban PwC from performing audits there. The situation stems from the National Bank of Ukraine’s effort to rebuild the country’s banking system and its questions around PrivatBank: PrivatBank, which accounts for one-third of all individual deposits in the country, plays an outsize role […]

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Accounting News Roundup: PwC’s Independent Board Members and EY’s Innovation Center | 06.22.17

Ed. note: I’ll be on vacation from June 23rd through July 3rd, so there won’t be any ANR during this time. However, other GC writers will be picking up the slack including Rachel Andujar, Adrienne Gonzalez, Greg Kyte, Marsha Leest, and Megan Lewczyk. You’ll hear from Accountingfly and its partners, too. And you can always […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Surprise, You Can Attract Talent With Decent Pay, a Good Culture | 06.21.17

Attracting talent With all the pandering to talent going on — you know, with ping pong and baristas and whatnot — some employers out there may still wonder what they can do to compete. The Chicago Tribune reports on a recent survey with some novel ideas: More than 6,000 recent graduates from colleges across the […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Fraud Detection and Famous Names | 06.20.17

Fraud detection One of the oldest debates in auditing is around a firm’s responsibility to detect fraud. In general, auditing firms and their ilk say that responsibility is limited while regulators, investors, and investor advocates argue that the duty is broader. Auditing firms like to talk about the “expectations gap”; that is, the difference between […]


Accounting News Roundup: Trump Admin. Sides With Mandatory Arbitration | 06.19.17

Mandatory arbitration We first noted the inclusion of mandatory arbitration in PwC’s employment offers back in 2014. Lately, we’ve been talking about mandatory arbitration’s slow march towards the the Supreme Court, which includes the case Ernst & Young v. Morris. The latest development dropped on Friday, when the Trump Administration said it no longer supported […]


Accounting News Roundup: Wages vs. Benefits; The AICPA’s Startup Accelerator | 06.16.17

Compensation This Wall Street Journal article on compensation is from last week, but it’s interesting and the timing is good since we’re starting to hear rumbles of compensation discussions. It discusses how Department of Labor statistics show that less of workers’ compensation is going to wages and more towards benefits: Over the past year, paid […]

Arthur Andersen & Co.

Accounting News Roundup: Andersen Fires Back at Andersen | 06.15.17

Andersen vs. Andersen Just when you thought Andersen Tax was having its way with its French rival, Arthur Andersen & Co., in the battle over the firm’s name, AA&Co. has issued a press release declaring its intent to sue Andersen Tax in the U.S., Brazil, and India. I’m quoting at length here (translated from French) […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Construction, Uber, and Ronaldo | 06.14.17

Talent crisis? This is a talent crisis. Next time someone goes on about the shortage of talent in accounting, kindly remind them that things could be worse, like in construction. Similar to accounting, construction can’t hire young workers to replace its retiring experienced workers fast enough. But the double whammy for construction companies is that […]

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Accounting News Roundup: KPMG Settles with DOL; Brown-nosing; Bad Retirement Plans | 06.13.17

Settlements Last week, the Department of Labor announced that KPMG agreed to settle allegations of discrimination against 60 Asian job applicants for audit associated positions at its Short Hills, N.J. office from late 2011 to early 2013: KPMG does not acknowledge any liability. It agreed to pay $420,000 in back pay, interest and benefits to […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Quitting a New Job; Tim Ryan’s Diversity Project | 06.12.17

Quitting a new job If you start a new job, there’s always a honeymoon period where everything is fresh and exciting. But how long does this last? Apparently, it’s a lot shorter than you might think: Twenty-eight percent of workers said they would consider quitting within the first 90 days of starting a new job […]


Accounting News Roundup: Ye Olde CPA; Lotto Winnings and Taxes | 06.07.17

Ed. note: ANR will be off tomorrow and Friday, returning on Monday. Ye olde CPA Here’s a Wall Street Journal article about how “old-timey jobs are hot again.” Vocations like butchers, barbers, and bartenders have become popular thanks to “the ephemerality of the digital age,” according to sociologist Richard Ocejo. Other jobs he mentions include […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Accounting and STEM; Vocational Irony | 06.06.17

Accounting and STEM A lot of people who end up in accounting explain their career choice with a variation on “I liked numbers, but sucked at math.” Or maybe that’s just me? Anyway, accounting has always had a reputation of precision that’s kinda sorta in the spirit of math, but I think the vast majority […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Revenue Recognition and Exxon’s Emission Costs | 06.05.17

New revenue recognition rules The new revenue recognition rules go into effect later this year, so everyone is working like mad to get ready for it. Unfortunately, the Wall Street Journal reports that not everyone is going to be ready, which means people’s lives are terrible now. The story cites an EY study that found that […]


Accounting News Roundup: PCAOB Approves the New Audit Report | 06.02.17

The new audit report The PCAOB unanimously approved its overhaul of the auditor’s report. Here’s the final rule, a fact sheet, and statements from the board members. PCAOB Chairman James Doty told the Wall Street Journal that the rule will make the report “more complete and relevant” and that “Investors want it.” The main change […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Gen Z Are the Game Changers Now; Fraud for Travel; Hamburgers | 06.01.17

Millennial-ish Great news everyone, millennials are over. You can expect the people in charge of bombarding the Internet to focus on a new crop of vexing young people: Big corporations, particularly in traditional fields such as accounting and insurance, are feeling the pressure to appeal to Gen Z. “We really need to tell them we’re […]


Accounting News Roundup: Andersen vs. Andersen and Lame Lunches | 05.31.17

There’s no learning going on here. Andersen vs. Andersen It’s never been clear to me what the France-based Arthur Andersen & Co. was trying to accomplish by claiming to be the “rightful holder” of the name “Andersen.” It seemed to be nothing more than corporate mischief but after they were confronted by Andersen Tax for […]


Accounting News Roundup: Summer Fridays and Don’t Waste a Good Crisis | 05.30.17

Summer Fridays My memory is fuzzy, but back in my KPMG days, I recall a policy during the summer months that allowed everyone to “jump start” the weekend by leaving at 3 pm on Fridays with “client demands permitting.” It seemed luxurious at the time but in recent years, many firms have gone one step […]


Accounting News Roundup: Tax Reform Confusion; Partner Delegation; A CPA ‘Dog Guy’ | 05.26.17

Ed. note: We’ll be off on Monday for Memorial Day. Enjoy the long weekend! How’s tax reform coming along? There seems to be some confusion in the Trump Administration about some pertinent details in their tax plan. Kate Davidson and Richard Rubin report in the Wall Street Journal: White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told […]


Accounting News Roundup: Inadequate Accounting and Financing a Business With Fraud | 05.25.17

Inadequate accounting Here’s a Financial Times story about KPMG’s resignation as the auditor of Lycamobile, a British telecom company, after three years. It’s a bit confusing, though, because the CFO of Lyca Group, Lycamobile’s parent, said the company terminated KPMG on April 24th. KPMG, however, claims it notified Lycamobile in November 2016 and again in […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Retirement (or Not) and the Arthur Andersen Gallery | 05.24.17

Retirement For many years, 65 has been the magic number for retirement. That was the milestone everyone shot for when deciding they would stop working and start doing nothing. Over the last few years, however, many people have decided that they’re going to cruise into their retirement…still working: Nearly 3 out of 4 Americans plan […]


Accounting News Roundup: Embracing Technology and A KPMG Museum | 05.23.17

Technology Maybe it’s just me, but I get the sense that the accounting profession is thin-skinned about its future. Any criticism of CPAs, how they conduct business, and their ability to adapt to the changing world is met with a defensive response akin to, “WE GET TECHNOLOGY. WE ARE WITH IT.” For example, AICPA President, […]


Accounting News Roundup: CPA Ambassadors and Auditor Rotation Lives (Somewhere) | 05.22.17

CPA ambassadors In recent years, the gap between the number of accounting graduates and the number of people sitting for the CPA exam grew to levels that made some people — mostly AICPA executives — uncomfortable, so a new urgency around convincing graduates to obtain a CPA license emerged. The AICPA sold this to firms […]


Accounting News Roundup: Remote Working, Lying, and Cardigans | 05.19.17

Remote workers I don’t know if most accounting firms offer their employees the option to work remotely, but I get the sense that it has become more accepted in recent years. The timing of this acceptance seems about right given that one of the “pioneers” of remote work, IBM, is now abandoning the idea: International […]


Accounting News Roundup: Employee Turnover and Tax Reform Delays | 05.18.17

Employee turnover A recent Robert Half survey found that 42% of workers are considering quitting their jobs in the next year. The number is even higher among people aged 18-34, with 68% saying they’re likely to change jobs in the next twelve months. What’s most interesting, though, is management’s understanding — or lack thereof — […]


Accounting News Roundup: Misadventures with FIFA; Bad Fiduciary, Bad Tax Returns | 05.17.17

FIFA Last September, FIFA named PwC as its independent auditor. KPMG had resigned as FIFA’s auditor about three months earlier after 16 years of looking the other way while FIFA ran a graft factory masquerading as an international sports organization. Now that some time has gone by and everyone seems distracted with other matters, it […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Complicated Simplification; McLaren Dumps KPMG for Deloitte | 05.15.17

Accounting is complicated Here’s a New York Times column by William Cohan on FASB’s Accounting Standards Update 2016-01, aka “Financial Instruments–Overall: Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities.” This rule, besides having an awful name, will change how fluctuations in equity investments valuations will be reported. My favorite sentence is this one: Like […]


Accounting News Roundup: Lavish Perks; RSM Detroit; Bad Partners | 05.12.17

SEC enforcement Earlier this year, I mentioned a SEC enforcement against MDC Partners, a marketing company that, among other non-GAAPy things, failed to disclose perks that it paid on behalf of its former Chairman and CEO Miles Nadal. The SEC has now gotten around to settling with Nadal and, as a reminder, these perks were […]


Accounting News Roundup: Former Deloitte Employee Sentenced for Attempted Murder | 05.11.17

Accountants behaving badly Here’s a crazy story about a former Deloitte employee, Alan Fowler, who was convicted of the attempted murder of his former boss, Kevin Lane, and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Deloitte fired Fowler in 2015 after discovering that he used his company credit card to “pay for family vacations and buy […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Auditor Musical Chairs and Personal Exemptions | 05.10.17

Auditor musical chairs Hey, good job, everyone: Auditors kicked off the year by reporting more new engagements than in the previous quarter (128 in Q1, versus 116 in the last quarter of 2016), but also lost more old clients, netting 52 new engagements, 20 less than in Q4. If there’s one thing that keeps auditors […]


Accounting News Roundup: Accountant Scapegoats and 20-Year Scams | 05.09.17

(Re)-Trials The re-trial of two Dewey & LeBoeuf executives ended yesterday and the jury declared that the Accountant did it, in the Board Room, with the Spreadsheet: A jury in Manhattan convicted Joel Sanders, the law firm’s former chief financial officer, on three criminal counts arising from what prosecutors said was a scheme to hide […]


Accounting News Roundup: Management Accountants and Creative Tax Arguments | 05.08.17

Management accountants I had no idea that International Management Accounting Day was on May 6th. Did the management accountants have to recognize the holiday by going into work?  That seems more likely than a management accountant march or a management accountant Derby party. Anyway, if you weren’t aware of the holiday, then I’m sure most […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Defending SOX and a Big Tax Position at the White House Remains Open | 05.04.17

Ed. note: ANR will be off tomorrow, returning on Monday. Defending SOX Earlier this week, the Center for Audit Quality, Council of Institutional Investors, and CFA Institute went to bat for Sarbanes-Oxley, sending a letter to the House Financial Services Committee that the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, a bill up for consideration, should leave the […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Toshiba Needs an Auditor; Earnings Reports with Emojis | 05.03.17

Toshiba needs an auditor This Financial Times report about PwC refusing to sign off on Toshiba’s financial statements is a good read. PwC’s Japanese firm was pretty desperate for a new client win, as they only have “3 per cent of Tokyo’s public companies” so taking Toshiba on (after EY cut the company loose) seemed […]


Accounting News Roundup: Fancy Office Spaces and Accounting Scam Nicknames | 05.02.17

Nice office. Too bad they’re all dying inside. Office space By the sounds of this EY press release,  you’d think that all you need to build a successful business is a fresh coat of paint and the inspiration of a tacky, corporate bistro: The firm’s new office features approximately 14,500 square feet of office space […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Diversity in Accounting Could Be Worse; ‘This doesn’t pass the smell test’ | 05.01.17

Diversity in accounting: It could be worse! Accounting firms pay a lot of lip service to diversity. The Big 4, especially, like to point out the number of women and minorities they hire, and the statistics do bear it out. However, at the partnership level, the profile is still largely white and male. Still, accounting […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Firing Season for CPAs and Duping Millennials | 04.28.17

Firing season It’s been only ten days since the symbolic end of busy season, which means it’s now the season of informing people that their services are no longer needed. Ed Mendlowitz wrote about this in a column from earlier this week and he doesn’t approve: Many firms fire staff after tax season. The reason […]


Accounting News Roundup: Fake Financial News and Tax Reform Bullet Points | 04.27.17

Fake financial news The AICPA is worried about fake news, everyone. No, really! Fake financial news to be precise. Here’s an anxious press release from this morning regarding a recent survey commissioned by the AICPA that found all sorts of people are making a lot of rash financial decisions: The risk of making an impulsive […]


Accounting News Roundup: KPMG and Wells Fargo; Pass-through Tax Rates | 04.26.17

A different giant rabbit. KPMG and Wells Fargo As if KPMG hasn’t had a rough enough month already, that Wells Fargo stink is not washing off: Two U.S. Senate Democrats are asking a U.S. audit watchdog to review whether KPMG failed to disclose or prevent fraud when it audited Wells Fargo’s books during the time […]

Accounting News Roundup: Big 4 Consulting Bans and The Accountant Sequel | 04.25.17

Big 4 consulting bans Here’s a David Cay Johnston column on the unaccountability of the Big 4, spurred by the latest scandal flavor of the week: KPMG firing six employees who acted inappropriately with confidential PCAOB information. He rightly notes that the market is desperate for some competition in auditing, but also mentions changing the […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Liberal Arts > Accounting and Andersen vs. Andersen | 04.24.17

Liberal arts > Accounting We talk about careers a lot around here and have also noted that some accounting careers might be at risk for automation. Of course, there are steps you can take to combat the robots comin’ fer yer job, or you can try pursuing another career path. All we’ve been saying, I […]


Accounting News Roundup: Over-promising Tax Reform and Sovereign Citizens | 04.21.17

How’s tax reform coming along? If there’s one success that the Trump administration can claim so far it’s this: They can over-promise and under-deliver the hell out of anything. No other modern presidency has promised so much in a short amount of time and managed to accomplish…uh, nothing? Like, not a single thing. And there’s […]


Accounting News Roundup: Vault Accounting Firm Rankings and Marijuana Businesses | 04.20.17

Vault accounting firm rankings In general, I don’t get as excited about rankings like I used to, but I’d be remiss not to mention that Vault’s Accounting 50 came out the other day. For the most part, it’s you would expect. The Big 4 occupy the first four spots, but there’s quite a bit of […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Take a Break | 04.19.17

Trolling on. Take a break Although busy season wrapped up for many of you weeks ago, and for some, it’s still not over, the April 15 (18th, whatever) deadline is the symbolic date that marks the end.  Of course, some people in our a little corner of the media assume that you never take a […]

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Accounting News Roundup: ‘Strikingly Young’ PwC and Filing Last Minute Tax Returns | 04.18.17

Strikingly young PwC Last year we mentioned a class action lawsuit against PwC that accused the firm of age discrimination for its entry-hires. There’s not much new that I can see in this Wall Street Journal article on the subject, other than the Supreme Court might decide to hear a similar case to provide some […]


Accounting News Roundup: When Good KPMG Auditors Go Bad and Brazen Tax Scams | 04.17.17

It’s hard to watch when auditors make bad decisions. When good auditors go bad The Wall Street Journal published a profile of Scott Marcello over the weekend, the now former Vice Chair of Audit for KPMG who was fired for his role in a ring of employees who received a leak of confidential information from […]


Accounting News Roundup: Bad Press for KPMG and Revolving Doors | 04.14.17

Bad press for KPMG Last month we noted how PwC had become the Big 4 firm of ridicule and abuse after a series of bad publicity. We all knew that one day another firm would take PwC’s place on the dunk tank and, yes, as you might’ve guessed, that firm is KPMG. And it was […]


Accounting News Roundup: Auditing the Auditors’ Auditors and Alpaca Tax Shelters | 04.13.17

Auditing the auditors’ auditors One topic of conversation that will kicked around in the wake of this KPMG/PCAOB scandal is whether KPMG got an unfair advantage thanks to advanced notice of the PCAOB’s inspection plans. Reports so far haven’t been able to uncover when the leaks started but only when KPMG learned about them, which […]


Accounting News Roundup: Fired KPMG Partners and Tax Return Selfies | 04.12.17

Fired KPMG partners By now you’ve probably heard that six KPMG employees, including the head of audit and 4 other partners, have been fired for receiving confidential information on the PCAOB’s plan for its inspection of the firm’s audits. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Scott Marcello, the firm’s Vice Chair of Audit, as […]

Accounting News Roundup: Big Auditors, A Tax Situation and United | 04.11.17

Big auditors Accounting Today reports on the latest numbers out of Audit Analytics on public company auditors. And congrats to EY, the audit-yiest of the auditors: Big Four firm Ernst & Young maintains its top spot in the rankings of auditors of public companies, with over 250 public company clients more than its nearest rival, […]


Accounting News Roundup: Robots, Tax Reform Restart and Considering Embezzlement | 04.10.17

Just one more vacation and then I’ll start thinking about how I could wind up in jail. Robots It’s fair to say that we talk about robots, AI, et al. taking or supplementing accounting jobs regularly around here, which is why this quote struck me as strange: Bill Cline, the national advisory leader for digital […]


Accounting News Roundup: Big Companies vs. Small Companies and CPAs in High Places | 04.07.17

Big companies vs. small companies Here’s a Wall Street Journal article with a bunch of charts showing how most people in the U.S. work at big companies. Really big companies. More than a quarter of all U.S. employees worked at firms employing at least 10,000 people in 2014, the most recent year for which the […]


Accounting News Roundup: Tax Cuts and Discredits to the Profession | 04.06.17

If you’re in Alabama, just gaze at this cat for awhile. Tax cuts Here’s a fun mental exercise: If your tax rate were lowered tomorrow, how would it affect your work habits? Maybe you would work harder — put in longer hours, take on special projects, do everything you can to get that next promotion. […]


Accounting News Roundup: Payroll Screw-ups and Buzzy Job Descriptions | 04.04.17

Reason #112 people don’t work at the IRS The IRS, perpetually strapped for resources, hasn’t done itself any favors with this situation: The Internal Revenue Service overpaid more than 600 employees approximately $4.2 million and underpaid over 900 employees an estimated $2.7 million because of incorrect calculations of manager salaries, according to a new report. […]

Accounting News Roundup: Procrastination, Tax Evasion and ‘A flatulent mythical beast’ | 04.03.17

Procrastination If you prepare tax returns for a living, then you probably know that a few people are behind on filing theirs this year: As of March 24, the Internal Revenue Service received 85.3 million tax returns, down 4.7 percent from the same point last year. I suppose this is another area that is ripe […]


Accounting News Roundup: AICPA Branding, Tax Reform Headlines and Commuting | 03.31.17

AICPA branding Last year around this time, the AICPA was lobbying members on its proposed “evolution of a joint venture” with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. In June of last year, we learned that the members approved the proposal to create a new global association called the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. And […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Sanctions for Former Deloitte Brazil Execs and #Envelopegate: The Aftermath | 03.30.17

Deloitte Brazil Back in December, Deloitte’s Brazil affiliate paid a record $8 million fine and settled charges with the PCAOB over some bad audits and the cover-up of those bad audits. Yesterday, the PCAOB announced sanctions for two former Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Auditores Independentes (aka Deloitte Brazil) executives who wouldn’t cooperate with the Board’s investigation: […]


Accounting News Roundup: Trust in Accountants and Slacking Taxbots | 03.28.17

A stock image of a cat’s trustworthy face is much more effective than one of a human’s. Trust Great job, tax accountants. A survey says you’re the most trustworthy people in the whole world when it comes to discussing the tax system: The survey, by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the International Federation of […]


Accounting News Roundup: Blockchain, Deloitte’s Cloud Stuff and Bosses Doing Your Work | 03.27.17

Accountants are worried about the blockchain Nah, just kidding. Accountants tend to worry about lots of things technology related, but the blockchain is not one of them. According to a survey by Thomson Reuters and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, “only 4 percent of respondents selected blockchain as the disruptor that will have a […]


Accounting News Roundup: Middle Management Stress and Diversity Denial | 03.24.17

We are all middle management Here’s a Harvard Business Review article on “Why Being a Middle Manager Is So Exhausting” because, hey, most people aren’t C-suite material. It make sense: if you’re not on the top and you’re not on the bottom, you’re somewhere in the middle. And that, my friends, is exhausting. Why? Simply […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Substantial Doubt About Sears and PwC Settles | 03.23.17

I sincerely hope PwC’s lawyers gave MF Global the right envelope. Substantial doubt Going concern opinions are pretty rare, but rarer still is a going concern opinion from a company’s management but not one from the auditor. Francine McKenna reports at MarketWatch that that’s exactly what happened with Sears Holdings and Deloitte yesterday, explaining the […]

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Accounting News Roundup: PCAOB Transparency and a Deloitte Cafeteria Accepts Bitcoin | 03.22.17

PCAOB transparency One of the biggest gripes about the PCAOB is that their disciplinary proceedings are conducted in secret until the matter is finalized. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) have introduced bills in the past that would make these hearings public, but they went nowhere. They reintroduced the bill just last week […]


Accounting News Roundup: Lobbying Against Return-Free Filing and Millennials’ Productivity | 03.21.17

Lobbying against return-free filing The lobbying activities of Intuit and H&R Block are well-known. Together they are the key players on team BIG TAX PREP. The two companies want to prevent any bill that would simplify the tax return filing process from seeing the light of day. One idea that has floated around for years […]


Accounting News Roundup: Talent Worries and Opposing Auditor Rotation | 03.20.17

Nothing says accounting news quite like a corgi on a beach. Accounting firms are worried about talent A survey from the International Federation of Accountants found that the biggest worry for small and medium-sized firms is “[a]ttracting new staff and retaining existing staff.” You’d think that these concerns would be met with excitement for more […]

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Accounting News Roundup: CMA Salaries and the Fight Over Corporate Interest | 03.17.17

Salaries Hey, congratulations to all the CMAs out there: CMAs of all ages earn more than non-CMAs, according to the IMA, which provides the CMA credential. CMAs aged 30 to 39 earn a median salary 49 to 50 percent bigger than non-CMA in the same age range. CMAs believe their certification leads to career opportunities […]

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Accounting News Roundup: PwC Trial Moves On; No One Likes the AMT; Wells Fargo Keeps KPMG | 03.16.17

PwC on trial Although the big news in the MF Global/PwC trial was the judge’s rejection of the firm’s motion, the Wall Street Journal also noted that one of the key players also testified yesterday: On Wednesday, Linda McGowan, the chief PwC audit partner on the MF Global account, testified about her work vetting the […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Two Pages of Trump’s 2005 Return and #Envelopegate Redux | 03.15.17

Has Donald Trump released his tax returns? Nope! Well, maybe? I mean, probably not. Someone sent David Cay Johnston pages 1 and 2 from DJT’s 2005 1040 and…that’s it. Johnston speculated on Rachel Maddow’s show that it could’ve been Trump who actually sent them because the returns show that he made a lot of money. […]


Accounting News Roundup: ‘An accident waiting to happen’ and Snap’s Accounting Fees | 03.14.17

PwC on trial Even if PwC thinks a mistrial wouldn’t be totally inappropriate, things roll on for now. The Financial Times reported on PwC’s cross-examination of former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine that continued yesterday: During cross-examination of the former chief executive on Monday, Mr Cusick noted that an eleventh-hour rescue deal by Interactive Brokers, […]


Accounting News Roundup: Phony Email and Cross-examination | 03.13.17

Don’t send it. Don’t send it. Don’t send it. Phony email Last year, several stories emerged about executive email scams. These are the schemes where an unsuspecting accountant receives an email that appears to be from a C-suite or other high-ranking executive for an immediate transfer of funds. They would find out later, of course, […]


Accounting News Roundup: PwC in Court, Robots and Stalled Tax Reform | 03.08.17

PwC in court I wrote about some people using PwC to get out of jury duty yesterday and this Financial Times article gives you a pretty good idea of what they’re missing: Both sides’ opening statements made clear that the 10-strong jury will be expected to grasp complex US accounting rules: specifically, a standard known […]


Accounting News Roundup: Auditor Search, the IRS Budget and a Headlock | 03.06.17

Auditor search Even though we witnessed a couple of PwC accountants get way more attention than they could’ve ever wanted last week, most stay below the radar. Audit partners, especially, hope that will be true as the PCAOB’s Auditor Search went live this year. The Wall Street Journal reports that the names of partners who […]


Accounting News Roundup: Will the Real Arthur Andersen Please Stand Up? | 03.03.17

Arthur Andersen On Wednesday of this week, a post by Stéphane Laffont-Réveilhac appeared on LinkedIn entitled: “Arthur Andersen restarts with 26 offices in 16 countries on 5 continents.” Laffont-Réveilhac is identified as the “Global Managing Partner” in the byline, but the post reads more like a press release. As from the 1st of March 2017, […]

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Accounting News Roundup: #Envelopegate and Enron Litigation | 03.02.17

#Envelopegate To absolutely no one’s surprise, the PwC partners responsible for the mix-up at the Oscars will not return to work the ceremony, according to both the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences and PwC. And also not surprising, sadly, they need protection: PwC told NBC News that personal information and the pictures of […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Public Shame, Layoffs and Audit Campaigns | 03.01.17

Public shame By now, everyone knows that PwC partner Brian Cullinan handed the wrong envelope to Warren Beatty which set off the huge Best Picture fiasco at the Oscars. This is the version that was widely reported on Monday and then confirmed by the firm later in the day. Whether his tweeting was the culprit […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Failing to Predict Failure and Unauthorized Tweeting | 02.28.17

Failing to predict failure One thing that I’m still confused about in this whole PwC/Oscars debacle is the plan of action — or lack thereof — in case the wrong winner was read on stage. Here’s what Brian Cullinan told the Huffington Post, in a now jinxiest interview ever conducted: Should a presenter declare a […]

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Accounting News Roundup: PwC’s Oscars Flub | 02.27.17

Oops Well, in case you went to bed early last night, here’s what you missed: In what was surely the most shocking moment in Oscars history, Faye Dunaway announced the wrong winner for best picture at the end of the ceremony, awarding the trophy to “La La Land” when it actually was supposed to go […]

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Accounting News Roundup: More Litigation Fun for PwC and Tax Reform on Snapchat | 02.24.17

Litigation I’m sure when you’re a mega professional services firm like PwC, things like class-action litigation probably just start to feel normal after awhile. Last week we noted the firm’s pending trial with the bankruptcy trustee of MF Global and now we have this story from BloombergBNA that reports on more fun legal stuff: PricewaterhouseCoopers […]