October 1, 2022

Partners Corner

Partners Corner is a collection of articles, news items, and intel of particular value to accounting firm partners and decision makers. Want to know what’s happening in the accounting industry without the excess of bathroom humor and naughty words Going Concern is notorious for? This is your spot. Think of it like eavesdropping on what your subordinates are saying and thinking. Need to get some ideas for retaining staff don’t include pizza parties? Check here. Please contact Going Concern editors with suggestions of articles you’d like to see if it’s something we haven’t covered yet.

Promotion Watch ’22: Deloitte Admits 279 New Partners and Principals

Deloitte recently unveiled its latest class of overachievers, which includes 107 new partners and 172 new principals for fiscal year 2023. This newest class is a biggun compared to others in recent years—Deloitte admitted 169 new partners and principals for FY 2022, 125 for FY 2021, and 150 for FY 2020. Want more numbers? OK, […]

Promotion Watch ’22: Here Are the 37 Newest Marcum Partners

If the 2022 new partner class at Marcum looks unusually large, it is. Why? Because of all the Friedmans. The class of new partners includes professionals who joined the firm as part of Friedman LLP’s merger into Marcum less than a week ago, on September 1. Up until now, last year’s class of 29 new […]

Promotion Watch ’22: Baker Tilly Churned Out a Record 46 New Partners

The new partner class of 2022 is one for the record books at Baker Tilly, as 46 BTers got their club memberships recently from CEO Alan Whitman. Baker Tilly says in a press release that it’s the largest new partner class at the firm to date, which we have every reason to believe given that […]

Friday Footnotes: KPMG Downsizes (Office Space); CPA CPA CPA; Some Good News on Diversity | 8.26.22

Ed. note: apologies to the individual who criticized last week’s Footnotes headline for being too clickbaity and scary, our bad. This week’s consciously informative headline is just for you, buddy. While you’re here, allow us to pester you to sign up for our newsletter to get accounting headlines twice a week. Happy weekend! Big 4 […]

Promotion Watch ’22: Grant Thornton Admits 38 New Partners and Principals

Plenty of new promotion purple roses were handed out at Grant Thornton on Aug. 1, as the firm celebrated its largest class of new partners, principals, and managing directors in GT’s history. The 96 new PPMDs in the class of 2022 surpasses the 87 in last year’s class, which had been Grant Thornton’s largest ever. […]

Monday Morning Accounting News Brief: PwC Auditor Hurt; Deloitte Tops a List; EY Writes the Treasury | 8.22.22

PwC is being sued by a 28-year-old auditor who claims he suffered a serious head injury after attending a work event that involved an “excessive” drinking game of pub golf. The Securities and Exchange Commission is gearing up to fine many of Wall Street’s biggest banks a total of one billion dollars; the banks’ employees […]

Friday Footnotes: EY Partners’ Snazzy Secret Meeting; PwC Talks Layoffs; Merger Mania! | 8.19.22

Ed. note: trying out a little something new for this week’s Footnotes. We’re adding accounting firm mergers & acquisitions to the weekly news as they’re happening with such frequency and regular Footnotes readers will notice the news is now sorted by topic. Neat! Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for more headlines, or […]

Promotion Watch ’22: Forvis Admits First Class of New Partners and Principals; All Have Forward Vision

Forvis, the oddly named love child of BKD and DHG that was born on June 1, announced its inaugural class of new partners and principals, as well as new managing directors, last month. As far as we know, the 21 partners, two principals, and 38 managing directors in this year’s class all have eyes in […]

Monday Morning Accounting News Brief: Yes, There’s Still a Shortage; PwC Probe; Puppers Hate EY | 8.15.22

Since February, 29,500 EY employees have gotten the firm to pay their commuting costs, all dependent care costs and all pet care costs so they can be back in the office, these reimbursements totaled $22 million for the year to EY’s FY year-end in July. The Times Record in Maine writes about the accountant shortage: […]

Friday Footnotes: Crippling Staff Shortages in Consulting; Hold Auditors Accountable; AICPA is Mad | 8.12.22

Ed. note: fans of accounting headlines are encouraged to sign up for our newsletter to get headlines delivered to your inbox twice a week. Looking for a remote accounting job? We encourage you to sign up to get job alerts for remote accounting positions from our friends at Accountingfly. Now, the news. How to follow up […]

Promotion Watch ’22: Plante Moran Adds 29 New Partners

Fortune magazine’s favorite accounting firm promoted 29 new partners across eight service lines and 15 offices at the beginning of August. The new partner class of 2022 at Plante Moran is the firm’s largest in the last several years, surpassing the 24 in 2021, 25 in 2020, 16 in 2019, and 15 in 2018. Here […]

A Word on the Persistent Low Morale of the Audit Profession

We received the following email from a distraught and burnt out Big 4 auditor in the Southeast: The level of morale in the [XYZ] office is at an all time low. Discussion with low level staff, through managers, have yielded the same opinion of overwhelming expectations without the needed support from the firm. They want […]

Monday Morning Accounting News Brief: PwC Gets Fined; Big 4: What’s the Scam?; The IRS Straps Up | 8.8.22

Across the pond, PwC has been fined $2.12 million after the firm failed to properly challenge UK telecom group BT once a half-a-billion pound fraud was discovered in BT’s Italian operations: “The sanctions imposed in this case, where certain elements of the adjustments following a fraud were not subject to the required level of professional […]

Friday Footnotes: A World Without Accountants; GAO Finds a Big Mistake; ‘Fazbie’ | 8.5.22

Ed. note: are you obsessed with accounting news? Yeah, us too. Sign up for our newsletter to get headlines in your inbox twice a week. Looking for a remote accounting job? We encourage you to sign up to get job alerts for remote accounting positions from our friends at Accountingfly. If the world had no accountants […]

Spreadsheets Suck, Say Clients

We all have that one friend whose door is always open to us. This person has been with you through all the ups and downs, and uneventful middle parts between. You trust this person because they’ve never let you down, their advice is always solid. What if clients thought of you as that friend? What […]

Monday Morning Accounting News Brief: EY Exploitation; Ethics Training Sucks; Stick Around in Public? | 8.1.22

Happy Monday! Here are your headlines. SOX turned 20 over the weekend. SEC Chair Gary Gensler had some things to say about Sarbanes-Oxley’s past, present, and future. Tim Ryan on leadership: “Too often, I find in corporate America, we go into the huddle where we agree on a pass play but not on what routes […]

Friday Footnotes: KPMG Accounts For Half of All Audit Fines; LGBT Accountants Dip; EY in Big Debt? | 7.29.22

Ed. note: fans of accounting news — all two of you — are encouraged to sign up for our newsletter to get headlines delivered to your inbox twice a week on Tuesday and Friday. Check out today’s newsletter here. Looking for a remote accounting job? We encourage you to sign up to get job alerts […]

Is It Time to Renovate Your Practice?

Remember those home renovation reality shows that were all over the place in the 2010s? The formula was always the same: find the jankiest, most run-down home on the market, gut it, and somehow end up with a beautiful property that more than made up for the renovation costs upon sale. The “before” homes are […]

Monday Morning Accounting News Brief: EY Sucks at Auditing; Accounting Headaches; KPMG Partner Banned | 7.25.22

Some headlines to get you started on this fine Monday: KPMG partner banned from accounting after misleading regulator over Carillion. KPMG fined £14.4 million after the firm admitted to providing false and misleading information to its regulator during spot checks on audits of construction firm Carillion and outsourcing firm Regenersis. The spread of ESG labels […]

a very ugly dog

Friday Footnotes: New Managers Share Wisdom; KPMG Praised??; PwC Creeps Leave | 7.22.22

Ed. note: Footnotes is published every Friday at 5 p.m. Sign up for our newsletter to get accounting headlines delivered to your inbox twice a week. Oh, and if you are looking for a remote accounting job, we encourage you to sign up to get job alerts for remote accounting positions from our friends at Accountingfly. […]

Monday Morning Accounting News Brief: Grant Thornton’s ‘Serious Failings’; PwC Won’t Split; IRS Zoom Calls? | 7.18.22

In an interview with the Financial Times, PwC’s Bob Moritz said that keeping audit and advisory arms together was essential to attract staff and that the benefits of the model outweighed the difficulty of managing the risk of conflicts of interest between the two divisions. Are accounting firms walking back remote work? Fire at a […]

Friday Footnotes: Sleazy PwC Partner Leaves; No You Can’t Claim a Boob Job; PCAOB Scholars | 7.15.22

PwC partner accused of rating female staff leaves firm [Australian Financial Review] A PwC partner who allegedly held male-only events with colleagues where they rated the attractiveness of women in their office and visited strip clubs has left the firm. Audit watchdog to overhaul UK corporate governance code [Financial Times] The UK’s corporate governance code […]

a corgi stealing food off the counter

Blind Item: California Firms Are Paying California Salaries to Poach Midwestern Public Accountants (UPDATE)

Are you a public accountant in a LCOL or MCOL Midwestern city? Put down the beer, open your ears, and whip out your wallet for this one. A source tells us California firms are setting their sights on comparatively lower cost of living Midwest cities to fill their vacancies. And they’re doing it not to […]

a pair of pensive people

Are ‘Strong Leadership, Agile Working, and a People-Centric Value Proposition’ on Your List of Must Haves at Work?

UK businesses within the accounting industry are understaffed by 22% and leaders everywhere are busy telling each other the things accounting professionals — particularly the younger generation — are hungry for at work. Fewer hours? Better money? Not getting scammed out of accrued PTO with a switch to “unlimited” vacation? NAH. What we really need […]

a dog in bed with an alarm clock

Monday Morning Accounting News Brief: KPMG Doesn’t Care; Audit Partners on Inflation; Record Payouts | 7.11.22

KPMG’s global leadership has been accused by staff of failing to act on written complaints about the conduct of the chief executive of the accounting firm’s business in the United Arab Emirates, writes Financial Times. ICYMI: 950 PwC UK partners scored £1m payouts, a first for any Big 4 firm, and The Guardian made sure […]

a cat taking drugs

Friday Footnotes: PwC Partner$; The Ketamine Accountant; Deloitte Mexico Missed Some Stuff | 7.8.22

Wirecard’s former top accountant admits forging documents for KPMG special audit [Financial Times] Wirecard’s ex-head of accounting has admitted to forging documents requested by KPMG during a special audit, ahead of a trial that is set for later this year, according to people familiar with the matter. Stephan von Erffa is one of three defendants […]

Promotion Watch ’22: EY Admits 1,033 New Partners Across the Globe

Move over, EY new partner class of 2021. There’s a much larger class of brand-new rainmakers at the firm this year: The EY organization announces that 1,033 people have been promoted to partner across the globe, the largest ever cohort of new partners. Women and the Assurance service line represent 32% and 33% of this […]

Friday Footnotes: XOXO, Accountants; PwC Wants Tax Cuts; KPMG Stacks Partners | 7.1.22

Accountants are voted the best kissers in Britain ahead of doctors and nurses while civil servants, bankers and lawyers are rated as the worst [Daily Mail] Often ridiculed as boring beancounters, accountants have surprisingly been voted the best kissers – ahead of doctors, nurses and engineers. And the worst are civil servants, bankers and lawyers, […]

various marijuana products

CPAs Should Get Into Weed, Says CPA Into Weed (As a Business, That Is)

“Cannabusiness” is booming and obnoxious cutesy phrase aside, it’s a $25 billion-and-growing (heh) industry with more potential than a fresh cart of Blue Dream on a Saturday night. Clever CPAs who get in on the ground will not only open themselves up to nearly unlimited billing potential (yay), they’ll be helping cannabis businesses navigate the […]

punctuation bubbles on a grey background

Who’s Smarter, Big 4 Accountants or Industry Accountants? A Debate

Yesterday we retweeted an observation about how the smartest people work at Big 4 firms hoping for some good discussion and discussion did in fact ensue. Decent discussion, actually. It warms my cold black heart to know that at least in our little corner of the internet people with differing opinions are still capable of […]

a man and his dog not reading accounting news

Monday Morning Accounting News Brief: PwC UK Raises; ESG = $$$; Mid-Tier Tech Sucks | 6.27.22

Crypto has crashed–oops sorry, there’s a “crypto winter” and apparently that’s important for CPAs to be aware of. Mid-tier firms have crappy technology. “Deloitte Consulting Analyst got minimum 15% base increase since May 2021” is something relevant to PwC UK staff getting a 9% pay bump to offset cost of living according to one Redditor […]

a white cat and a fan of money

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 […]

a man buried in paper holding an I Quit sign

Being Home During Lockdown Shifted Accountants’ Priorities, Says Lady

Kristy Illuzzi, CPA, CGMA of International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) on why the Great Resignation is affecting the profession so acutely: I think the Great Resignation is interesting in that it has impacted almost every sector of our economy and every profession in some way, and it’s no different in the accounting industry. I think […]

a scruffy dog standing on train tracks looking adorable

Friday Footnotes: Accounting AI Explodes; SOX Compliance Sux; KPMG Gets on a List | 6.17.22

The 2022 Client Advisory Services (CAS) Benchmark Survey is now open for participation [CPA.com] Participation in the CAS Benchmark Survey provides an opportunity for you to work on your business – first, by reviewing the data about your practice in preparation to take the survey, and later, when you can review your practice’s data compared […]

Promotion Watch ’22: PwC Admits 283 New Partners and Principals

PwC will be swimming in new partners and principals on July 1, the day when members of one of the largest classes in recent memory at the firm officially earn their stripes. Of the 283 members of the class of 2022 at PwC, 169 will be principals and 114 will be partners. It’s the biggest […]

Hybrid Work Only Makes It More Obvious How Much Going to the Office Sucks

While there are small pockets of American white collar workers who would welcome a respite from screaming kids and incontinent dogs at home (shout-out to a certain Going Concern team member always regaling us with shitty stories on Zoom calls), a good majority of people have realized that skipping the commute and making your own […]

a dog on a sunny beach

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, […]

a dog focused on a treat in a hand

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 […]

Finding/Retaining Staff and Challenges Working With the IRS Are Top PITAs for CPA Firms, Says AICPA Survey

Small firms think ‘challenges when working with the IRS’ is a bigger PITA than trying to find and retain talent according to the results of the 2022 AICPA Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS) CPA Firm Top Issues Survey released by the AICPA this week. Via Journal of Accountancy: The IRS issue didn’t resonate only with […]

a neat work from home setup

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. […]

a dog wearing a colorful feather boa

Friday Footnotes: Big 4 Pride; KPMG Gets Snubbed; EY Goes on a Poaching Spree | 6.3.22

Accountant Finds Out Client Has “Skeletons In The Closet”, Gets The IRS Involved And Makes Him Lose Everything [Bored Panda] It was posted on Reddit so obviously it must be true. How a New Accounting Rule Is Making Bank Earnings Go Wild [Wall Street Journal] The new accounting standard, known as current expected credit loss, […]

CPAs: 3 Ways Direct Indexing Can Help Your Clients Level Up Their Charitable Gifting

Direct indexing is an investment strategy that can help your clients take charitable gifting to the next level, potentially offsetting gains and reducing tax liabilities in ways that improve their after-tax performance—and possibly even lead to better outcomes for the charity or recipient. Using direct indexing for charitable gifting (and for other things, too) is […]

a Persian cat getting a bath

Friday Footnotes: EY Gets Extra Empathetic; Broke KPMG Partner Sues; Auditor Pay Cuts? | 5.27.22

Accounting Giant EY Created A Chief Wellbeing Officer To Uplift And Empower Their People [Forbes] EY investing in that empathetic leadership everyone loves so much. Bankrupt former KPMG partner sues law firm over job loss [Financial Times] A former KPMG partner who went bankrupt after investing in French ski chalets is suing law firm Herbert […]

a calico kitten in front of a yellow background

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 […]

a beautiful young cat

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 […]

a cat wearing sunglasses

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 […]

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 […]

a set of colorful kettlebells

Shape Up With This Five-Step Plan For Finance Department Fitness

Feeling a bit pudgy these days? You’re not alone. In one recent survey by WebMD, 54% of respondents reported having gained weight due to coronavirus lockdowns. It makes sense: people were not going to the gym, many were subsisting on takeout (OK, basically all of us), and we weren’t getting in the daily steps one […]

a puppy with its ears held upright

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 […]

a dog in grass

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 […]

4 Ways CPAs Can Explain the Tax Benefits of Direct Indexing to Clients

Pop quiz, CPAs: What do you tell a client who asks you about the tax benefits of direct indexing? If your answer is “Pretend I need to go to the bathroom and hope I can get one of my advisor friends on the phone to explain it to me in time,” this article is for […]

a man pointing to a line graph

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 […]

a kitten hiding

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 […]

a sleepy puppy in a hammock

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 […]

a man looking through binoculars

Here’s Everything We Know So Far About 2022 Accounting Salary Projections

As of February 2022, inflation in the United States has hit a 40-year high at 7.9%; the last time inflation was this bad, many of you weren’t even alive so yay, think of this like Halley’s Comet, some day in the distant future you’ll get to say “I was there!” You don’t need us to […]

Updated List of Accounting Firm Average Partner Profits In the UK For 2021

Hey Grant Thornton UK partners, how y’all livin’? Probably not too bad these days, now that the average profit for those of you in the club went up 34% to £611,000 in 2021. With GT releasing its 2021 average partner pay yesterday, as well as firm profits and net revenue, we’ve updated our list of […]

a cute pair of young kittens

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 […]

a kitten on its back with its paws up

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 […]

Arthur Andersen & Co.

Study: Ex-Arthur Andersen Audit Partners Do Not Deserve to Get Shredded

When you hear the name Arthur Andersen, the first thing that usually comes to mind is … well … you know. But here’s some good news associated with the Andersen name: audit partners who worked at Arthur Andersen during its collapse and who currently work in the Big 4 provide higher-quality audits than audit partners […]

An orange cat with its paw over its face

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 […]

An Accounting Firm Gets Phished: A Play In Two Acts

The other day — OK it was actually 12 days ago — we got a random email in our editor inbox. This is not uncommon, said inbox serves as the garbage disposal into which reader complaints go. Just kidding, we love feedback. Really. The editor inbox is a hub for reader comments, advertising requests, story […]

A sad fluffy dog

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 […]

a woman holding a black cat

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 […]

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 […]

Opinion: If You’re Burned Out It’s Probably Your Fault

The post I’m about to share with you appeared in CPA Practice Advisor yesterday, and while it is written for firm leaders and not the grunts at the bottom of the ladder (that’s you), I thought it worth sharing because … well … you’ll figure out why in a minute. It’s been long established that […]

a wrinkly dog in a party hat presented with a lollipop

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, […]

a man in a suit pointing

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 […]

a pretty grey cat leaning toward the camera

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 […]

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 […]

Congratulations, Public Accountants, the Reality of Your Miserable Career Made the Mainstream

This year will mark 15 long, boring, excruciating years I have spent circling the periphery of the accounting industry like a vulture waiting for a warm body to drop so I can get a nice carcass to gnaw on. Don’t get me wrong, I love it here. It’s not where I thought I’d end up […]

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 […]

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 […]

a dog wearing a bear costume

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: […]

a black cat peeking out of a patterned blanket

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 […]

This Year, Let’s Normalize Actual Time Off In Public Accounting

For far too long, the accounting industry has been plagued with this idea that sacrificing your personal life for the firm is some badge of honor to be celebrated rather than pitied. When millennials showed up in the workplace, we started destroying this concept just like we destroyed frozen food sit-down restaurants, the wedding industrial […]

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 dog-shaped sign that says no

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 street sign that says "end"

Is Accounting an Obsolete Major?

Is accounting an obsolete major? That’s the question posed by John “Jack” Castonguay, PhD, CPA, in the August/September 2021 CPA Journal. He writes: Accounting — at least as an independent field of study — is becoming obsolete in today’s technology- and analytics-focused world. Its value lies in its interdisciplinary applicability and position as a foundational […]

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 […]

a stack of binders

Despite 65-Hour Weeks, You Should Consider Doing Client Work on the Side, Says Guy Who Did Side Work Back In His Day

I would like to preface what I’m about to write with an important note. I have the utmost respect for Ed Mendlowitz (not like he gives three quarters of a rat’s butt cheek what I think of him because who the hell am I), he is an OG of the profession, and we are all […]

Get Your Precious ZZZZs and Let An Automated A/P Solution Handle Supplier Tax Compliance

Believe it or not, risks associated with tax and tax compliance still keep CEOs in the US and around the world up at night, even in these COVID times when supply chain issues, the Great Resignation, and cybersecurity incidents grab all the headlines. According to the KPMG 2021 CEO Outlook Pulse Survey, 14% of the […]

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 […]

an alarm clock and coffee cup on a table

4 Ways to Automate Your Day and Free Up Precious Time

It’s hard to remember that dark time in the not-so-distant past when we had to do things like print out directions instead of trusting our phones to lead the way. Alexa hasn’t even been around for a decade, and yet here we are today, with smart home setups that open up the house for us, […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Number of the Day: 53

The average age of a non-Big 4 public accounting firm partner hasn’t really changed at all in the last three years. In late December 2018, CPA Journal analyzed the results of the 2018 NYSSCPA–Rosenberg Practice Management Survey and mentioned this in regards to partners’ ages: Partners have gotten slightly younger, both in terms of average […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]