News

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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 […]

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Guy Blames Failing the CPA Exam on Why His Clients Got Busted for Bank Fraud and Tax Evasion

Hanlon’s razor states “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” Meaning most of the time when someone does something bad, it’s not because they’re a bad person, rather too stupid to know better. Or something. Socially anxious people with victim complexes — who no doubt make up a large portion of […]

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 […]

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Friday Footnotes: KPMG’s Idea of a Fun Summer; IRS Eats Their Homework; Downsized GT Downsizes | 5.13.22

Junior KPMG auditor ‘should not lose his home’ for misleading regulator, says tribunal [Financial Times] A former junior KPMG auditor should not receive a fine so large it could force him to sell his matrimonial home, a tribunal has said. The UK accounting regulator asked the industry tribunal to fine Pratik Paw £50,000 and ban […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Friday Footnotes: 43% Plan to Quit; Earf Day and ESG; Deloitte Director Stole $3m to Flex | 4.22.22

Ed. note: Happy belated 420 Earth Day, everyone! In honor of the one day a year we recognize the detrimental impact humans have on our home rock, we’re including a couple relevant links on performative environmentalism as it relates to the accounting industry and financial reporting below. Firms and audit committees focus on ESG for […]

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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 […]

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Friday Footnotes: Client Hid ‘Damning’ Audit; Predictions for the Profession; Accounting Firm Gets Compromised | 4.15.22

Ed. note: Happy almost Easter to those who celebrate, happy 11th birthday today to my cat Cash Money (no, I did not purposely track down a cat born on tax day when I adopted him from Humane Rescue Alliance in DC 11 years ago), and a very happy April 18th to those of you who […]

Your Naughty Corporate Controller of the Day

Gerard Beauzile is facing a potentially lengthy stay in federal prison after he was charged with embezzlement earlier today for thinking no one would notice $2.3 million missing from the unnamed New York-based company where he had been the controller since 2001. Beauzile, 61, a resident of South Plainfield, NJ, appeared by videoconference on Monday […]

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Friday Footnotes: Firms Make Progress on Diversity; EY Growth Plan; PIZZA PARTY! | 3.8.22

CPA firms show progress in diversity amid pipeline challenges [Journal of Accountancy] The AICPA finally got around to releasing their 2021 Trends report, which we’ll dissect shortly. In the meantime, here’s a tidbit: The profession’s efforts to encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion delivered progress with a rise of almost 5 percentage points (a change from […]

Team With No Accounting Majors Takes On Another Team With No Accounting Majors For Men’s College Basketball Supremacy

Tonight at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, the eighth-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels will be taking on the No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks for the 2022 men’s college basketball championship. After disposing its longtime archrival Duke and Coack K (thank god) on Saturday, the Tar Heels are looking to win their seventh NCAA men’s […]

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Friday Footnotes: No Foolin’ Here; 18,000 New Accounting Jobs; Skills Auditors Need NOW to Be Future-Ready | 4.1.22

Ed. note: forgive us, we lack the bandwidth to come up with an April Fool’s prank today. For your reading pleasure, you can reminisce on the time we hid the entire site behind a (fake) Bitcoin paywall for a few hours on April Fool’s Day 2014 and proceeded to get cussed out by readers and […]

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Friday Footnotes: ‘KPMG Did Not Know What They Were Doing’; Are You Boring?; PCAOB Warns About Confirmations | 3.25.22

These are the 5 most ‘boring’ — and exciting — jobs in the world, according to a recent study [CNBC] You’ll be happy to hear accounting made #2 on the most boring list. Don’t feel bad, MY job ranked #3 most exciting and I assure you it absolutely is not, I write about accounting after […]

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Friday Footnotes: The Salary Problem Catches Up to Firms; Deloitte Changes Its Mind; KPMG Punished (Again) | 3.18.22

Accounting Faces Reckoning After Years of Sluggish Pay Growth [Bloomberg Law] Gasp! Asking for time off? WELL I NEVER! The shift in power toward workers and away from employers has forced businesses to meet demands for more time off, remote work, and flexible schedules—not just wages—said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for staffing firm Robert […]

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Friday Footnotes: PwC’s Turn For a Probe; Accounting Professor Does a Naughty; The IRS is Hiring | 3.11.22

‘Big Four’ Targeted Again in U.K.—PwC Becomes Latest Subject of Investigations [Bloomberg Tax] Paul Brehony of Signature Litigation LLP looks at the growing number of investigations by the U.K. tax authority into historic audit failures by the “Big Four” firms, and discusses the prospects for success of proposed major reforms to the audit regime. The […]

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Friday Footnotes: Deloitte’s Naughty Workpapers; Audit Reform Critics; Clients Getting Dropped Like Mics | 3.4.22

Deloitte considers Russia pull out as pressure grows on western firms to exit [Financial News] Deloitte is considering pulling out of Russia, becoming the first Big Four audit firm to do so as pressure grows on Western companies to cut ties with the country following its invasion of Ukraine. The firm is reviewing its “business […]

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Taking the CPA Exam In 2023? Here’s What You Need to Know About Rolling Your Scores Over In 2024

I was tempted to start this post with “it’s hard to believe it’s already 2022,” but you know what, time has been pretty nebulous for at least the last two years, if not longer, and it really doesn’t even matter anymore. It’s as if the aliens who run the simulation cranked us up a la […]

Elizabeth Warren Shocked to Learn Big Public Accounting Firms Do Shady Sh*t (UPDATE)

[UPDATE] It looks like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is still on her quest to make life miserable for the biggest public accounting firms in the US. According to a Feb. 22 report by the New York Times, Liz and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) are asking the US Treasury Department to investigate the cozy relationship Treasury […]

an apologetic puppy looking sad

Friday Footnotes: KPMG’s ‘Scandal-Ridden’ Crisis; PwC Cheats; Give Me a Straight Answer | 2.25.22

Why KPMG’s Culture Crisis is Symptomatic of a Broken Audit Industry [International Policy Digest] A disciplinary tribunal filed against auditing giant KPMG has unearthed an internal survey conducted between 2016-17, revealing a veritable crisis of culture among the firm’s ranks. Although KPMG may purport to prioritize the ideals of integrity and quality in all their […]

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Friday Footnotes: KPMG Still On Its Bullsh*t; Here’s Why You’re Burned Out; EY Gives Itself a Hand(ie) | 2.18.22

This is why so many accountants are burned out and quitting right now [Fast Company] “If you go into investment banking or medicine, the financial ROI is worth the long hours. It’s not worth it in accounting. A junior accountant could be making $80,000 a year. A bank teller could be at $55,000 a year, […]

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If Y’all Keep Quitting Your Jobs Like This You’re Going to Break the Economy

Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this article on Bloomberg Tax, I just want to call out the photo they used for the header. “Paraphernalia” got a chuckle out of me. OK so everyone and your mother knows by now that public accounting firms are struggling with a talent shortage. Regardless of […]

Accountant Behaving Badly: There’s a Special Place In Hell For Someone Who Steals $800,000 From an Elderly Client With Dementia

Hey! Have you guys listened to “Oh My Fraud” yet? It’s a new podcast on the Earmark CPE platform hosted by our good friends Caleb Newquist and Greg Kyte. And Earmark CPE was created by another pal of Going Concern’s—Blake Oliver. The latest episode of “Oh My Fraud” is about the massive fraud in Dixon, […]

Lonely Old Man Chides Going Concern Writers For Having a Life on Valentine’s Day

Our curmudgeon-in-chief is feeling a little extra asshatty today: Went to @going_concern’s website today to see if they’d have anything clever to say about the big Mazars story, but if course there is nothing. Of course. — Big4Veteran (@Big4Veteran) February 14, 2022 Here ya go, big guy. We’re about to cut out for the day, […]

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Friday Footnotes: More Accounting Probes; IRS Gets Out of Your Face; KPMG’s Acquires Krypto | 2.11.22

Deloitte’s $5M Data Security Deal OK Is Sought by Plaintiffs [Bloomberg Law] A $4.95 million settlement with Deloitte Consulting LLP to resolve claims it created websites with poor security should receive final approval, the plaintiffs are arguing in New York federal court. German financial regulator probes Adler over its accounting [Financial Times] Shares in Adler […]

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Surprise, You’re Depressed

New research conducted across the pond by the accountant well-being charity caba shows that more than half of accountants surveyed — 56% — are stressed and burned out, compared to 41% of those across a range of sectors, business sizes, and positions. Writes ICAEW Insights about the survey results: Accountants are significantly more stressed than […]

Accountant Behaving Badly: Cherry Bekaert Partner Arrested For Allegedly Peeing In Someone’s Gas Tank

Today’s “Accountant Behaving Badly” comes via a tip from a reader. Usually public accounting firm partners get into trouble for insider trading, participating in some elaborate fraud, or sexually harassing a subordinate. But Cherry Bekaert partner William Billips got himself into trouble for allegedly going on a rampage after getting kicked out of a Nashville […]

Friday Footnotes: Grant Thornton Flees; Hunting Down Auditors; Getting Students Hyped About Accounting | 2.4.22

Talent shortage turns audits into tactical issue [CFO Dive] As in other parts of the economy, the auditing field is dealing with a war for talent, driven in part by the rise of remote work, which has opened doors to sought-after accountants looking for opportunities elsewhere. And technology changes have led to accountants getting offers […]

Accountant Behaving Badly: In This Instance, CPA Is An Acronym For ‘Child Predator Asswipe’ (Allegedly)

New Jersey Certified Public Accountant and accused Child Predator Asswipe Amit Bhatt was arrested last week and charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child who is a preteen. The Bergen County, NJ Prosecutor’s Office issued the following press release on Jan. 27: Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrest of […]

Friday Footnotes: Is Work Wrecking Your Body?; Ex-PwC Associate Gets Rich; AICPA to IRS: Do More | 1.28.22

6 red flags your body is breaking down from overwork [Fast Company] “There are two major ways that overwork can reduce health and longevity,” writes BBC contributor, Christina Ro. “One is the biological toll of chronic stress, with an uptick in stress hormones leading to elevated blood pressure and cholesterol.” She continues: “Then there are […]

Accountant Behaving Badly: Murder-For-Hire Plan Went Not According to Plan

Murder-for-hire, hitmen, bitcoin, dark web, and an accountant? OOOO, this should be good. And, of course, this happened in Florida. Here’s what the office of US Attorney Roger Handberg said about DeAnna Stinson’s plan to wipe out the spouse of her ex: According to court documents, on June 24, 2021, Stinson created an account on […]

Accountant’s Wife Behaving Badly: Stabbed Her Husband to Death

This horrific news, in which a woman allegedly killed her husband, a former accountant, with a sharp object in front of two of their children, happened on Jan. 23 at a bungalow in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. The Sun reported: Seremban police chief ACP Nanda Maarof said police received a distress call from one of […]

Friday Footnotes: Canned Deloitte Manager Goes Off; Disrespectful Clients; Audit Smackdown | 1.21.22

Fired manager accuses Deloitte of defrauding VW and a #MeToo cover-up [Financial Times] A manager fired by Deloitte’s German business after raising concerns about alleged misconduct has accused it of defrauding Volkswagen and ignoring sexual harassment allegations against senior staff. The whistleblower made the allegations last week at a labour court in Stuttgart where he […]

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Friday Footnotes: KPMG Partner Blames Juniors; Desperate Firms Look to India For Talent; EY’s Old Digs | 1.14.22

Carillion tribunal: Former KPMG staff turn on each other [The Guardian] The former KPMG partner in charge of auditing Carillion’s accounts before its collapse has blamed his more junior colleagues for misleading regulators, as former team members turned on each other during a tribunal hearing allegations against the firm and six individual auditors. Looking abroad: […]

Prager Metis Just Spent $35k So They Can Service Clients In the Metaverse

We have officially arrived into the dystopian future ’80s sci-fi movies warned us about: accounting firms are now planting their flags on the metaverse. From The Wall Street Journal: Prager Metis International LLC, a New York-based accounting and advisory firm, on Friday said it opened a virtual three-story property on a site it bought for […]

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Friday Footnotes: Another PwC Failure; Excel JPGs; Busy Season Rants | 1.6.22

Elizabeth Holmes and her Big 4 audit firm buddies at Theranos [The Dig] When audit firms don’t live up to their public duty, everyone gets hurt. The harm at Theranos was more than financial. PwC ‘Failed Dismally’ as Auditor of South African Airways [Bloomberg Tax] A South African judicial report has sharply criticized PwC for […]

Friday Footnotes: Deloitte Sued For Bullying; Auditor Shrinkage; IRS Wants Your Dirty Money | 12.31.21

Ed. note: Happy New Year, everyone! Thank you for spending 2021 with us, believe it or not we’re grateful to each and every one of you for stopping by. See you next year! Deloitte sued by female former employee over harassment claims [Financial Times] Deloitte has been sued by a former female employee who alleged […]

Friday Footnotes: Accounting’s Future; PwC Plants a Flag on the Metaverse; Netflix For Professional Services? | 12.24.21

Ed. note: Have a safe and happy holiday out there, everyone. We hope a good chunk of you are rocking the out of office message this weekend and can get some much-deserved rest and relaxation, and that the rest of you can at least fit in a nap and a text message to your grandma. […]

A Pair of Senators Are Trying to Get the Kiddos Hooked on Accounting In Grade School

Do you guys remember those after-school specials of the ’80s that made it seem like drug dealers hiding around every corner offering free drugs was going to be something one would have to be concerned about as we got older? I imagine I’m not the only one who was tremendously disappointed to find out there […]

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Friday Footnotes: KPMG Discipline Looms; Whistleblower Gets 2nd Chance; Firing Auditors | 12.17.21

Deloitte U.S. CEO on the past year’s business challenges and what’s ahead in 2022 [Fortune] “Many came into the year thinking that 2020 was the unprecedented year and things would calm down,” Ucuzoglu said. “Yet you could argue there have actually been more twists and turns [in 2021]. The pandemic is by no means behind […]

Friday Footnotes: KPMGer Sues Over Bullying; Auditing Terrorist Orgs?; Deloitte UAE’s Weekend Plans | 12.10.21

KPMG executive Greg Eldridge is seeking $130,000 in damages against the accounting giant [The Courier Mail] A senior KPMG executive now on stress leave has sued the accounting giant, alleging he was subjected to months of unlawful harassment from a colleague and then told he would have to simply adapt to the abuse. Audit tips […]

a person behind a stack of books

CPA Canada Congratulates 5,912 CFE Passers and Throws Some Cash at Top Performers

On December 3, CPA Canada announced 5,912 writers of the Common Final Examination — Canada’s version of the CPA exam — passed the grueling, three-day examination required for licensure. This is down from 6,371 in September 2020, an impressive 75.8% pass rate for first-time writers (note: they’re called “writers” not candidates up north, don’t ask […]

a cat wearing a royal crown

Friday Footnotes: PwC Germany Raided; BDO Ballers; Deloitte’s Unexpected New Hiring Push | 12.3.21

Partners at mid-tier accountant BDO paid more than at EY [Financial Times] BDO, the UK’s fifth-largest accounting firm by revenue, paid partners a record average of £760,000 before tax in the year to the end of June, surpassing the £749,000 paid out by EY. PwC Germany Offices Raided by Police in Tax Fraud Investigation [Bloomberg […]

Black Friday Footnotes: Carillion Liquidator Wants Lots of KPMG Money; EY Can’t Handle the Truth; Mattel and PwC Settle with Investors | 11.26.21

Carillion Liquidator Seeks $336 Million From KPMG [Bloomberg] The U.K. government agency charged with liquidating Carillion Plc has lodged a claim at the high court against auditor KPMG, the Sunday Times reported. The official receiver has accused KPMG of negligence in its audit of the U.K. contractor and quantified claims of about 250 million pounds […]

Friday Footnotes: EYers Fed Up; KPMG Love Triangle; CGMA For Young’uns | 11.19.21

EY faces staff backlash over handling of sexual harassment case [Financial Times] EY is facing a backlash by staff over the accounting giant’s handling of an incident in which a partner sexually harassed a female trainee on a work trip. On an all-staff webcast on Tuesday, EY promised staff it would do more to combat […]

Friday Footnotes: More Big 4 Lawsuits; The White Way In the UK; EY-Parthenon Found a Guy | 11.12.21

KPMG Sued for $600 Million Over Alleged Sloppy Auditing in Dubai’s Abraaj Scandal [Bloomberg] KPMG LLP was sued for at least $600 million over its role in the insolvency of Dubai private-equity firm Abraaj Group, the latest in a string of complaints of sloppy auditing made against the Big Four firm. The claimants, two units […]

Friday Footnotes: KPMG Sued (Again); Accounting For Weed; Less Travel Equals Profit For EY Partners | 11.5.21

.CPA Web Domain Launches in Canada [Business Wire] The restricted web domain, administered by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and its business and technology arm, CPA.com, officially launches in Canada this morning at 11 Eastern time. To be eligible, Canadian CPAs and CPA firms must be licensed. Preferred names will be awarded on a […]

ESG Is the Next ‘Hot Thing’ In Accounting, Say MIT Researchers

For years we’ve been hearing how blockchain and AI will transform accounting, and this recent article from MIT Sloan School of Management (aka MIT Sloan) about the five forces remaking accounting gives them both the obligatory nod. But we’re not here to talk about blockchain. We’re here to talk about ESG. After a brief introductory […]

Friday Footnotes: A Very Guilty Accountant; Beware Audit Independence; Grant Thornton Does a Thing | 10.29.21

Wealthy retired accountant is found guilty of murder [Daily Mail] The pregnant daughter of a wealthy retired accountant who was today jailed for life after stabbing her husband to death has told the court of her heartbreak, saying: ‘I lost my dad but I’ve also lost my mum.’ Isabelle Potterton said on Friday that her […]

Friday Footnotes: Deloitte Complains Its Way to a Contract; Deficiencies Abound; Beyond the Windowless Audit Room | 10.22.21

How CPAs can rise above a polarized political climate [Journal of Accountancy] Aside from being prepared for these possible changes, [Publisher and editor-in-chief of The Cook Political Report Amy] Walter recommends that CPAs break away from the polarization that has made each side feel like an election is an existential fight for the real America. […]

GASB Changes Its ‘Offensive Acronym’ Before Gamers Pick It Up and Start Yelling It In COD Lobbies (UPDATE)

[Updated original post from April 16. Update is at the bottom of this article.] So I’m originally from Wisconsin, and other than my tendency to store extra fat in the winter and an unfortunate affinity for drawing out my vowels in words like “mom” and “bagel,” you wouldn’t really know it. I moved to California […]

Friday Footnotes: Deloitte Sued; RSM Sued; PwC Not Sued But Incompetent | 10.15.21

‘What do you actually do?’: Redditors scratch heads at consulting firms [Yahoo News] We’ve often wondered about this too. Deloitte Workers Sue Over ‘Astronomical’ 401(k) Fees [Law360] Deloitte workers slapped the accounting giant with a proposed class action in New York federal court, claiming the company allowed two multibillion-dollar retirement plans to get saddled with […]

[UPDATED] PwC Australia Diversity and Inclusion Manager Who Mocked Chinese Accents Had to Be Told You Aren’t Supposed to Mock Chinese Accents

[Updated original post from Sept. 28 with additional information on PwC Australia’s internal investigation. Update is at the bottom of this article.] Australian Financial Review has a blockbuster of an exclusive this morning, one that involves “a human resources executive dressed as a bat from Wuhan” and a senior manager of diversity and inclusion mocking […]

Friday Footnotes: Firm Fined For Data Breach; Deloitte Named Most Attractive; EY Expands Legal Arm | 10.8.21

FRC’s changes to fraud auditing standard explained [ICAEW Insights] The Financial Reporting Council (FRC)’s UK Auditing Standard on Fraud (ISA (UK) 240) has been significantly updated for the first time in 16 years. The changes are a response to recent public discussions on the role of audit in identifying fraud, including high profile cases in […]

Maine’s ‘Utterly Unqualified’ State Auditor Just Stepped Down Because He Couldn’t Pass the Certified Internal Auditor Exam

In January of this year, seasoned bureaucrat Matthew Dunlap took the helm as state auditor in Maine despite having no background in accounting, much less auditing. Rather, he has a bachelor’s degree in Roman history and a master’s in English literature, the former of which would come in handy should Maine have a vacant State […]

Friday Footnotes: Deloitte’s Plush Profits; Britney’s New CPA Conservator; KPMG Gives a Partner the Boot | 10.1.21

Deloitte UK profits boosted by public sector pandemic work [Financial Times] Deloitte has confirmed a surge in UK profits helped by public sector contracts during the pandemic, saying that its work on the response to Covid-19 was “essential”. Revenues at the firm’s UK and Swiss businesses, which operate as a single partnership, rose 4.2 per […]

PwC Just Announced That You Never Have To Go Back To the Office If You Don’t Want To (Sorta)

Big news today! PwC just announced that effective November 1, its people will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to access PwC facilities and client sites. Deloitte announced a similar vaccination policy toward the end of August, as did KPMG, just a handful of days before President Biden announced the country’s own […]

Friday Footnotes: PwC Has an Evergrande Problem; Too Hard to Be a CPA; Big 4 Rot | 9.24.21

China Evergrande Auditor Gave Clean Bill of Health Despite Debt [Wall Street Journal] Last year as China Evergrande Group’s stock and bond prices seesawed, it offered deep discounts to keep sales growing during the pandemic and the government effectively said it had borrowed too much. Yet the property developer’s auditor [PwC] gave it a clean […]

Friday Footnotes: PwC Pays the Poors Less; Deloitte’s New Minis; BDO Brings on Audit Staff | 9.17.21

Malaysia says auditor KPMG to pay $80 million in 1MDB settlement [Reuters] Malaysia said on Thursday audit firm KPMG has agreed to pay a 333 million ringgit ($80.11 million) settlement to resolve all claims related to their fiduciary duties on auditing of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) accounts from 2010 to 2012. PwC reports disability and […]

Private Equity Is Now Dipping Its Toes In Public Accounting Firms

In early August, EisnerAmper announced a “strategic investment” in the firm courtesy of investment management firm TowerBrook Capital Partners, the first of its kind for a firm of that size. The door is now wide open for private equity to get a piece of the accounting pie. Per the press release: TowerBrook’s significant capital infusion […]

Friday Footnotes: KPMG Woos Broke People; PhD Pay Day; Guy Sues Deloitte | 9.10.21

KPMG’s UK arm among first to set targets for working class staff [Reuters] “We’re setting a socio-economic background representation target for the first time, alongside our other diversity targets,” KPMG said in a statement. AICPA Foundation Grants 25 Minority Doctoral Fellowships [CPA Practice Advisor] The funding comes from the AICPA Fellowship for Minority Doctoral Students […]

Friday Footnotes: KPMG Lied; EY Works For Free; Macaroni and Cheating | 9.3.21

KPMG faces complaint of providing ‘false’ information on Carillion audit [Reuters] KPMG allegedly provided “false and misleading” information about its audits of collapsed builder Carillion and data erasure company Regenersis for regulatory checks, Britain’s accounting watchdog said on Wednesday. EY teams up with NYC to offer pro bono advice to Black businesses [Consulting.us] Through the […]

Friday Footnotes: Firms Sweating Staff Losses; Who Got Fined This Time?; Accountant’s XXX Problem | 8.27.21

Staffing and COVID-19 relief programs are firms’ top concerns in 2021 [Journal of Accountancy] Finding qualified staff is an enduring concern that continues to challenge CPA firms this year, according to the 2021 AICPA Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS) CPA Firm Top Issues Survey. Hiring staff emerged as the No. 1 issue affecting firms that […]

Beginning October 11, You Won’t Get Into Deloitte US Offices Without a COVID Vaccine

In a firmwide email today, Deloitte US announced that the firm is strongly suggesting its 113,257 people get their Rona jabs if they haven’t already, and should they not do so, they can expect to be shut out from Deloitte offices beginning October 11. The “no shirt, no shoes, no vaccine, no service” policy has […]

Friday Footnotes: That’s Weak; Disclosing Turnover?; One Heckuva Farewell | 8.20.21

Revenue, lease accounting still challenge private companies [Journal of Accountancy] Revenue recognition and lease accounting remain a challenge for private companies after a one-year, pandemic-related delay in effective dates provided financial statement preparers some relief. For tax & accounting firms, the time to learn blockchain is now [Reuters] One question these professions should be asking […]

Friday Footnotes: Bad Guy Fights For His License; EY’s New Buddy; IRS Improvements? | 8.13.21

Accountant who stole $1.7M from corporate client, Little League group, should get his CPA license back, Pa. court says [Penn Live] A Commonwealth Court panel on Wednesday overturned a state licensing board’s refusal to allow an accountant who stole more than $1.7 million to resume his profession. Instead, the panel ordered the state Board of […]

Friday Footnotes: Don’t Trust Your Auditors; KPMG Partners Score; A PwC TikTok Star | 8.6.21

Your Auditor Is Not Your Friend [Bloomberg Opinion] Accounting is an unusual professional-services business because a lot of what accounting firms do — tax and structuring advice, consulting, etc. — is very much in this vein of wise trusted advice, but one core function of accounting firms — public-company auditing — is … only partly […]

Not the Onion: Deloitte Is Using Spoken Word Poetry to Teach Its Employees About Climate Change

Not sure if you heard but the giant rock we all call home is in trouble. Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, and I don’t have to tell you that the weather has been absolutely terrifying the last few years. The good news is it’s looking more and more like the Earth will give […]

Olympics Tracker: These Athletes Who Toiled At Accounting Firms Are Going For Gold In Tokyo (NEW UPDATE)

[Updated post from July 26 with additional athletes, event results.] If time spent consecutively looking at spreadsheets, eating hours, and submitting timesheets late were Olympic events, accountants would be among the strongest contenders for a gold medal during the summer games in Tokyo. But there have actually been accounting Olympians—Gwen Jorgensen and Alexandre Bilodeau to […]

Barry Melancon

The Profession Is Well-Positioned For Change Says Guy Who Has Held the Same Position Since 1995

Last week, CPA Practice Advisor shared remarks made by AICPA CEO Barry Melancon at this year’s ENGAGE conference and … uh. Let’s just get straight into it. That resiliency will be needed going forward, with more changes to come from technological disruption, expanded categories of non-financial reporting, and the rapid evolution of new service lines […]

Friday Footnotes: Breaking Broken Audits; Casual CFOs?; Back to Office Pressure Builds | 7.30.21

The future of auditing: why plans to sharpen up the industry could actually make it worse [The Conversation] To rebuild trust, the UK government is proposing 150 reforms in a weighty consultation that closed recently. Building on three recent independent reviews into the profession, the FRC is to be replaced by a new body called […]

Friday Footnotes: EY’s Deep and Cozy Trouble; KPMG Avoids Audit Trial; GT’s New Digs | 7.23.21

EY Accused of Actively Concealing NMC Health Audit Fraud From Investors [Bloomberg] Ernst & Young faces accusations it “actively concealed” a six-year fraud from investors in a fresh lawsuit over its auditing work for the troubled NMC Health. The hospital operator’s founder, Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, said the accounting giant enjoyed a “deep and cozy” relationship […]

This PwC Tax Manager Got So Bored Working From Home During Quarantine She Ended Up on Top Chef

It only took a year for 32-year-old Danie Baker of Seattle to go from working from home for PwC during lockdown to appearing on the new Top Chef spin-off Top Chef Amateurs, which debuted on July 1. The show lists her as a “tax accountant” but you know we snooped LinkedIn to find out she […]

The Pandemic Paid Off For PwC Partners Across the Pond

Good afternoon and happy Monday, grunts. Boy do I have something that is going to warm your cold black hearts. As we can all agree, the last year and a half has been rough. We’ve all had to make sacrifices, though thankfully many of us have at least gotten through it without having to put […]

Friday Footnotes: A Very KPMG Collapse; PwC Asks the Wrong People; Deloitte Denied | 7.16.21

Civilisation will collapse completely by 2040 – MIT model, confirmed by KPMG [Cape Talk] The most dystopian headline you’ll read all week (hopefully). SEC Whistleblower Issued Award of More Than $1 Million for Assistance in Investigation [National Law Review] According to the SEC award order, the anonymous SEC whistleblower alerted Commission staff to securities law […]

Friday Footnotes: New CPA Exam Rolls Along; (More) Big 4 Lawsuits; Meanwhile, on the Dark Web | 7.9.21

Content for redesigned CPA Exam takes shape [Journal of Accountancy] The AICPA released Wednesday a survey seeking feedback on the preliminary content proposed for the redesigned CPA Exam, which would be assessed in three sections that will comprise the Core of the Exam, plus material that would assess candidates’ knowledge in one of three Disciplines […]

Man Hired By Amazon Who Passed the CPA Exam Outraged That Loading Trucks and Sorting Packages Was Not Covered in BEC

Got a bit of a weird story for you today, one that hopefully reminds those of you among us who are bemoaning the unacceptable working conditions you wake up for six days a week that it could always be worse. A California man has filed a wage and hour lawsuit against Amazon after he says […]

RIP Michael Altman, Accountant Who Died In Surfside Condo Building Collapse

The death toll has now risen to 36 in the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium building in Surfside, FL. One of the residents of that building who died was accountant Michael Altman. According to the Miami Herald: Michael David Altman was born in Costa Rica, but moved to the United States with his […]

Friday Footnotes: Robots When?; KPMG Digs Dads; Deloitte Still Cashing In on Corona | 7.2.21

Business implications of AI within tax & accounting [Reuters] According to the 2020 World Economic Forum Outlook Report, the time spent on current work tasks by humans and machines will be roughly equal by 2025. Given that, what will workflow, operations, and our tax teams look like in four years? KPMG takes bold step towards […]

Friday Footnotes: Deloitte Hates Old People; Australia Anyone?; Interview Intel | 6.25.21

Signs you or a colleague could use mental health support [Journal of Accountancy] Some of you may need to give this podcast a listen. KPMG Study: Majority Of Female Executives Taking On Expanded Leadership Roles At Work While Responsibilities At Home Increase During The Pandemic [PR Newswire] “Advancing the Future of Women in Business: A […]

More People Quit Their Jobs In April Than Ever In Recorded History

Have you heard? They’re calling it “The Great Resignation.” Gee, if only there were a way to get people to stay! Guess they’ll have to bring in some consultants to tell them this is millennials’ fault somehow and can easily be fixed with a few recycling bins and Jeans Friday.

Accountants Behaving Badly: Old Guy Decided Stealing a Sh*t-Ton of Money Would Be the Best Way of Getting Back At His Bosses For Downsizing

Eighty-year-old Charles Esposito of Hainesport, NJ, who worked as an accounting manager for Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope for 45 years, was sentenced to five years in state prison on June 9 after admitting to stealing $2.5 million from his former employer, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Remy said during the sentencing hearing that ol’ […]

Friday Footnotes: Too Hot For Immateriality; Deloitte Ditches the Office; Diversity? I Hardly Know Her! | 6.18.21

AICPA, CAQ support SEC’s exploration of climate change disclosures [Journal of Accountancy] The AICPA and the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) voiced support for the SEC’s exploration of disclosures related to climate change and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues in comment letters sent to the commission on Friday. KPMG delays hybrid working plans after […]

Accountants Behaving Badly: Ex-Missouri CPA Would Have Made Bernie Madoff Proud

Former Lebanon, MO, accountant Douglas Richardson found out on June 10 how long he’ll be spending in federal prison for the Madoff-esque crimes a jury in November 2019 said he was guilty of committing. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri: A former certified public accountant in Lebanon, Missouri, was […]

Friday Footnotes: A Deloitteful Failure; PwC Hunts For Missing Emails; CPAs Tell Clients GTFO | 6.11.21

Deloitte Sued for Allegedly Failing to Find ‘Irregularities’ in Audits of Singapore Oil Trader [Insurance Journal] A failed oil trader in Singapore that owes creditors more than $3.5 billion is suing Deloitte & Touche LLP, alleging the auditing firm failed to detect “serious irregularities” in its financial statements for more than a decade. KPMG shouts […]

Accountants Behaving Badly: Fraud Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

I never thought I’d ever write the words “egg accountant busted in embezzlement scheme” but here we are. The egg accountant, Jonathan Weston, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh June 3 on charges of fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and tax fraud. According to the U.S. Attorney Office for the Western District of […]

There’s a Coup Going Down as We Speak at the PCAOB

Here’s a nice little Friday news dump for y’all to hand-wring over as we head into the weekend: Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler has fired the U.S.’s top accounting regulator, a move that is certain to please investor advocates and progressives who had demanded an overhaul of the watchdog. The SEC announced the […]

Friday Footnotes: PwC Thinks You Miss Your Office Friends; KPMG Clients Kept Tax Dodging; Deloitte and Diversity | 6.4.21

Wealthy KPMG clients continued to dodge taxes for years after CRA detected offshore ‘sham’ [CBC] The KPMG scheme involved setting up shell companies for Canadian multimillionaires and billionaires in the Isle of Man, a British crown dependency in the Irish Sea. A client would purport to give away their wealth to one of the shell […]

Here’s Why the Millennials and Zoomers In Your Office Stink

If you’ve chosen to awaken from your work-from-home slumber and returned to your firm or accounting department, you may have noticed a foul smell coming from some of your younger colleagues. No, they aren’t reeking of entitlement (unless they work at EY). They are reeking of body odor. Lockdowns and social distancing have triggered a […]

Friday Footnotes: The Future of Remote Work; Talent Crunch Gets Crunchier; SEC Sucks | 5.28.21

KPMG launches relaxed work policies to combat remote work fatigue [Accounting Today] “Since the start of the pandemic, the firm has employed a continuous listening approach, using regular experience surveys and other feedback channels to stay connected with people and better understand the challenges they’re facing and support they need,” Darren Burton, vice chair of […]

Friday Footnotes: You Deserve a Raise; Data Literacy; IRS Wants Your Body | 5.21.21

How to ask for a raise when the pandemic nears its end [Journal of Accountancy] With a growing portion of the population in the United States and some other countries vaccinated and at least some aspects of life set to return to normal, you may feel it’s time to raise the question of compensation with […]

Accountants Behaving Badly: Guy Liked Gambling and Porn a Little Too Much

After pleading guilty last February to two counts of wire fraud for stealing more than $1.2 million from his former employer, accountant Christopher May of Paoli, PA, was given 16 months to think about his choices. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania said: From roughly October 2019 until May 2020, while […]

Friday Footnotes: Big 4 Consulting Cartels; Ex-PwCer Takes an L; KPMG Has the Hots For Orlando | 5.14.21

Deloitte, KPMG, PwC Units Fined in Spain Consulting ‘Cartels’ [Bloomberg Tax] Deloitte, KPMG, and PwC are among 22 consulting firms to be fined a total of almost 6 million euros ($7.3 million) for forming cartels that manipulated Spanish public contracts for at least 10 years, the country’s market watchdog has said. The firms worked in […]

Friday Footnotes: Feed Me Snacks; KPMG Gets Back to the Office; Deloitte Dorks Out on Crypto | 5.7.21

These are the snacks powering CPAs during tax season [Journal of Accountancy] Wait, it’s not black tar? Huh. KPMG UK staff to work in offices up to four days a fortnight from June [Reuters] “As part of the firm’s new hybrid way of working, from June onwards, the expectation will be that KPMG’s people spend […]

Friday Footnotes: CPAs Get Pied; EY Beats BBC; A ‘Critical Shortage of Auditors’ | 4.30.21

AICPA, NASBA and AAA to Announce New Model Accounting Curriculum at Free Online Event [AICPA] The free online event, to be held June 15-16, will provide attendees with a thorough overview of the Model Curriculum. The event is open to all who are interested, including members of the media. To attend, register online. Local CPA’s […]

Your Naughty Tax Preparer of the Day

Yes, busy season sucks. But getting sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison during busy season sucks way more. Still, I don’t think any of our friends on Tax Twitter are going to feel sorry for Nikia Tull of Norfolk, VA, who was recently sentenced to 33 months in the pokey for wire fraud […]

Friday Footnotes: Is KPMG a Bunch of Bullies?; Deloitte’s Karen Problem; Firm-Mandated Jabs | 4.23.21

Deloitte reveals number of staff complaints [Financial Review] Consultancy giant Deloitte has become the first major professional services firm in the country to voluntarily disclose the number of workplace investigations conducted each year – roughly 15 a year over the past three years – with the pressure now on rival firms to disclose similar data. […]

You Can Now Take the CFP Exam From Home (Pants NOT Optional)

Back in September, we informed everyone who isn’t a regular reader of NASBA state board reports (so, everyone then) that The Powers That Be were seriously considering remote testing for the CPA exam, mostly because what we all thought would be a couple weeks at home in March 2020 turned into … well … you […]