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The Serious Questions

a dry pipe in the desert

AICPA Council Approves 12-Point Plan to Do F*ck All to Solve the Accountant Shortage

Last week, the AICPA released a revised pipeline acceleration plan, the goal of which is to get more young people into accounting to save the profession from extinction. To save you a click, I’m putting it here. At its spring meeting in Washington this week, the AICPA’s governing body (“Council”) approved this plan. Yay. Cue […]

sketch of a robot among business people to signify AI replacing workers

PwC Chief Products & Technology Officer Says Not to Worry, They Don’t Want to Replace You With AI

A couple days ago, NYT published a piece asking an important question: Who will protect the workers losing their jobs to AI? The article references a May 16 senate subcommittee hearing chaired by Senator Richard Blumenthal at which OpenAI’s Sam Altman is told Mr. Blumenthal’s greatest nightmare is AI causing massive job loss. “There will […]

someone looking at their watch

Deferred Start Dates Are a Good Thing?

Staci Zaretsky wrote about deferred Biglaw start dates on Above the Law today and while law ≠ accounting, the sausage factory of the Professional Services Industrial Complex™ is pretty much the same thing. Let me add, we’re beginning to see delayed start dates in our little corner of the billable hour universe so this might […]

Microsoft Crunches Some Data to Find Out Teams is the Biggest Productivity Killer at Work

Have you ever been totally in the zone, grinding away at work oblivious to the world around you when you’re rudely interrupted by a *DING* that snaps you right out of your trance and back to the tedium of a seemingly infinite inbox? Or maybe you were cruising along on some project you’d been putting […]

a question mark turning into an exclamation in shadow

Would Mobility Go Away Without the 150-Hour Rule?

by Sharon Lassar, PhD, CPA (Florida) John J. Gilbert Professor and Director of the School of Accountancy, University of Denver There has been much discussion about the 150-hour rule recently. Going Concern previously reported the AICPA and NASBA are trying to strong-arm Minnesota into maintaining the 150-hour rule. I wrote that NASBA can be a […]

Empathetic Leadership Is So 2022

Post image via Here’s the Deck EY Put Together to Sell the Audit/Consulting Split to Staff It was only days ago that EY released its Empathy in Business Survey results for 2023 and if you remember, the last time they promoted empathy in business it did not go well. Recap on that from last year: […]

empty open office

Seniors and Up Are Hard to Find Because Associate Grunt Work Has Been Automated?

Yet another article about the accountant shortage has been published and we’ll spare you the bit about mass boomer retirements, declining accounting enrollments, and scary AICPA figures because it gets repeated in every single one of these articles. So why mention it at all? Because at the very bottom they get the expert opinion of […]

person with a question mark for a head standing in front of chalkboard

Is It Ethical to Endorse an Educational Path That Is Susceptible to Cheating?

By Sharon Lassar, PhD, CPA (Florida) John J. Gilbert Professor and Director of the School of Accountancy, University of Denver The AICPA’s website includes a statement titled Purpose in action that, in its 129 words, uses “trust” (twice), “integrity”, “ethics”, and “public interest”. Yet, its pipeline acceleration plan proposes an Experience, Learn & Earn (ELE) […]

black and white photo of man reaching out his hand

Want to Do Your Part to Help the Accountant Shortage? Here’s What You Can Do Right Now

As accounting firms dig deep into their pockets to raise starting salaries and the profession’s biggest egos brains figure out new and exciting ways to ease the accountant shortage, there are things that you, as an accountant, can do right now to make a difference. Although it may not feel like you can make a […]

freaked out guy

ChatGPT Talks About AI Taking Accountants’ Jobs From the Perspective of an Accountant Losing Their Job to AI

Ed. note: I asked ChatGPT to write about automation in accounting from the perspective of an accountant losing his or her job to AI. Here’s what it said. Note: Going Concern does not publish AI-generated content unless it’s clearly labeled as in this case. Believe it or not, humans write most of this crap. As […]

business guy with a bullhorn

Now’s Your Chance to Tell NASBA How You Really Feel (About Extending the CPA Exam Window)

The following message is for current and aspiring CPAs: it isn’t often that anyone asks your opinion unless it’s a client trying to get free work out of you but there is an issue in need of your immediate attention and feedback. NASBA is soliciting comments on a proposal to extend the CPA exam window […]

someone asleep at their desk wearing a VR headset

ChatGPT Isn’t Terminator for Accountants…Yet

Ed. note: the following is a guest post by Jack Castonguay, PhD, CPA, who has not yet been replaced by ChatGPT as far as we know. Or has he? Was ChatGPT sent to us from the future to rescue the industry from the pipeline crisis by filling open accounting jobs with cyborgs and sentient machines? […]

business guy raging

OK Now They Are Just Trolling With These ‘Newest Workplace Trend’ Buzz Phrases

Ever since professor Anthony Klotz coined the term “The Great Resignation” in 2021 we have been inundated with more and increasingly nonsensical workplace trends bouncing around the business rags. Quiet quitting, quiet hiring, bare minimum Mondays, ‘tang ping,‘ (‘lying flat’ in Mandarin Chinese), and now we have “rage applying” which we’ll get to in a […]

question marks on brown background

We Asked Twitter What’s the Second Most Important Issue in the Accounting Profession Right Now, Here’s What They Said

Bored of writing and talking about the dire accountant shortage and the consequences it could have on the entire financial system as we know it, the other day I tweeted a question to find out what else folks think is plaguing accounting. Thanks to everyone who chimed in, I know sometimes Twitter feels like shouting […]

75 on REG tshirt

A Going Concern Special Investigative Report: Why Does NASBA’s CPA Merch Suck So Bad? (UPDATE)

While clicking around NASBA’s website this afternoon on a hunt for information I need for an actual article and not the shitpost you are about to read, I came across their merch page and excitedly clicked over to “CPA merchandise” to see what they had. CPA stress balls? “I got a 75 on REG and […]

Do Ex-Big 4 Accountants Make Good NFL Team CEOs?

Last week the Chicago Bears introduced Kevin Warren, most recently commissioner of the Big Ten Conference who also has 21 years of experience as an NFL team executive, as the franchise’s fifth president and CEO in its 103-year history. Warren succeeds Ted Phillips who is retiring after 40 seasons with the Bears, including the last […]

an empty classroom

Is an Accounting Major Too Hard? A Thread

Is accounting too hard? That is the question posed by Dr. Josh McGowan, CPA on Twitter: Is the accounting major too difficult? At many universities, accounting courses (especially Principles I & II) have some of the lowest GPAs compared to other disciplines. Why? Are we deterring the next generation of accountants or upholding a needed […]

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Immigrants Aren’t Ethical and Don’t Properly Report Their Income, Says Guy Who Reads Accounting Today

Yesterday morning, Accounting Today published a few letters from readers sent in response to AT’s August 26 article titled Do we need accounting firms? Editor-In-Chief Daniel Hood specifically invited reader comment when he asked out loud if we can do without accounting firms and, as expected, there were comments to be had. Like Randy Crabtree, […]

an illustration of an email

How Do You Sign Off Your Emails?

The Journal of Accountancy published an article about how CPAs should end their emails for maximum professionalism a few days ago and it got me thinking about an old article my former colleague Caleb Newquist wrote about email pet peeves many years back. Actually it got me thinking about a rant on how “best” is […]

a concept photo of a man seeking money

How Much Should Public Accounting Starting Salaries Be to Make Public Accounting Starting Salaries Less Awful?

Title. Let’s talk about starting salaries in public accounting. Let’s assume a student has an undergraduate accounting degree, a MAcc degree, and has passed all 4 sections of CPA exam. What do we think is a fair starting salary? #Accounting — Dr. Josh McGowan, CPA (@Jmcgowan3838) September 19, 2022 Starting salaries in #accounting have gone […]

Would You Take a Pay Cut in Exchange For a 40-Hour Workweek in a Beachside Locale?

Citigroup has launched a new program in which a few dozen young analysts will trade big investment banking salaries for shorter work days in Málaga, Spain, a beautiful city on the southern coast known for its food, culture, and lovely weather. The best part? The analysts might even have some time to enjoy the scenery. […]

Do You Regret Quitting Your Job During the Great Resignation?

We’ve written about the Great Resignation ad nauseam over the past two years, but one topic we really haven’t talked about is Great Resignation regrets, or the Great Regret. The grass hasn’t been greener for many people who quit their jobs recently, like this senior associate: There’s actually quite a few people in similar situations. […]

Deloitte Has Calculated the Tangible and Intangible Value of the Roman Colosseum Because of Course They Did

Deloitte got their calculators out and put a dollar value on The Colosseum of Rome, the largest amphitheater built during the Roman Empire, the largest standing amphitheater in the world today, and top Italian tourist destination. Despite listening to Tiziano Ferro for 20 years, my Italian sucks so here’s Google’s translation of the newly released […]

Happy 4th of July and Also a Lesson in How Not to Be

On this, the best holiday of the summer, let us all try not to be angry and bitter like this guy who got mad at KPMG for flexing Omaha Steaks on Facebook many years ago: Speaking of steaks, did they ever come back after The Great Unsteakoning of 2020? Stay safe out there everyone and […]

More Scary Anti-WFH Headlines: Is Remote Work Bad for Your Mental Health?

The anti-WFH propaganda is in full swing and why shouldn’t it be? Commercial leases still have to be paid whether offices are full of bodies or not, might as well try to weaponize pandemic loneliness against workers to force them back under the fluorescent lights while they can. First we heard that remote work might […]

a gentleman looking very freaked out

Why is the Accounting Profession Scaring Everyone Away?

Saw this on our Twitter timeline, thought I’d throw it to the sharks and see if anyone has some thoughts: Accounting industry. We all agree there numerous issues & major changes are needed. The ultimate question is even with all the issues, why are ppl not willing to overcome all of them & either enter […]

If KPMG Was a Radio Station, What Would Its Slogan Be?

One of our favorite nicknames we’ve given KPMG through the years is “The Radio Station,” for obvious reasons. So in this Saturday shitpost, we ask: If KPMG was actually a radio station, what would its tagline or slogan be? We have a handful of suggestions: Good Auditing’s No. 1 Alternative Playing All the Hits (and […]

Does Any Blame Lie With Mazars USA In Trump Organization Financial Statement Mess?

The big news that sent shockwaves through the accounting profession on Monday afternoon was Mazars USA breaking up with longtime client Donald Trump and his company on Valentine’s Day, saying in a letter to the Trump Organization, which was included in a court filing, that “the Statements of Financial Condition for Donald J. Trump for […]

EYers, What Would Your Candy Heart Message Be to EY On Valentine’s Day?

EYers, can you feel the love your employer has for y’all in this post on Instagram today? Awww, so sweet. Do you have a sweet message in return for EY? Eh, probably not. They would probably be more along the lines of: I Quit EY Sux Mo’ Money #1 PTO W&P (Waffles & Pancakes) or […]

TIL Doing Porn Is (Probably) Not Considered an Act Discreditable to the Profession (Side Hustle, Anyone?)

Today’s nugget of knowledge comes courtesy this Reddit post and the OP’s ethics textbook: Debit Does Dallas heh. The textbook author who came up with that deserves a raise. In case you didn’t know, Rule 501 of the AICPA Code of Conduct is a bit controversial due to its completely open nature. The code itself […]

How Much Is An EY Shirt Selling For At TJ Maxx These Days?

About as much as a first-year at EY makes an hour during peak busy season. Related article: How Much Do You Think a KPMG T-Shirt Costs at Goodwill These Days?

How Many Non-Auditors are Getting Pulled Off the Bench to Do Inventory Counts This Year?

Hello and Happy post-Christmas Monday, everyone. Quick show of hands (let’s just pretend I can see them through the screen OK?), how many of you NOT in audit have been pulled off the bench to do inventory counts this week? We’re hearing some grumblings of tax people being thrown into the gauntlet and thought it […]

Wanna Know What New PwC Employees Get These Days In Their Welcome Package?

This new PwCer shows you in a video posted to YouTube last month—and drags out his or her swag unpacking for nearly three minutes. Newbie. This person obviously didn’t know all PwCers have to tag everything PwC-related on social media with #PwCProud.

Do Professional Examinations Have to Be Hard to Be Valuable?

The other day, a reader sent us this Bloomberg Opinion piece on the CFA exam with a quick note attached: Imagine the original article where “CFA” is replaced with “CPA” The article’s title? Wall Street’s CFA Program Is a Colossal Waste of Time It starts off by informing us that the “notoriously difficult” Chartered Financial […]

Does KPMG Lakehouse Have Hairdryers?

Not sure if Going Concern readers and random Googlers who end up in this sacred temple of Big 4 gossip are aware, but we can see the keywords you search prior to clicking through onto our site. And man, some of them are disturbing, due in part to the fact that we’ve written about questionable […]

Today’s Trivia: Time Spent Checking For Stupid Mistakes Made By Clients

Q: How many hours in a week do accountants waste by manually checking client data for errors? a. Two hours b. Four hours c. Ten hours d. Twenty hours A: While it might seem like you guys are spending 20 hours or more each week during busy season dealing with bad data from clients and […]

OK Which One of You Has This Yacht?

We know it doesn’t belong to former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann or it would be called “Community Adjusted EBITDA.” No words… pic.twitter.com/cV6kzUCZ6s — The Wet Bandits (@ChaseJones11) August 1, 2021 Happy Monday, everyone. Related article: Let’s All Have a Good Laugh at WeWork’s Stupid ‘Community Adjusted Ebitda’

Did This Deloitte U.K. Partner Unjustly Rip Young Staffers, Or Did He Speak the Truth?

“Now, if you want to do what you want [with your time] I suggest that you become millionaires, authors or bums. Failing that, I would like to emphasize the rules of the road for scheduling.” — Alexander Curry, partner and U.K. lead of Deloitte’s strategy and business design practice, Monitor Deloitte, in an internal email […]

We Need to Talk About Why This CPA Is Wielding a Golf Driver In His Promotion Press Release

Saw this press release on PRWeb today: I don’t know, guys, but Erik looks poised to bash fraud to death. Or beat bad clients who ignore invoices. Or destroy an office printer to smithereens out in a field à la Office Space. Or maybe he just likes to golf. Accountants like to golf. But it […]

What Exactly Is the Profession’s ‘Pipeline Problem’ and Why Should You Care?

I realized the other day while halfway through typing out a rambling sentence that barely had anything to do with accounting in a separate post that I’ve written about the profession’s pipeline problem several times over the last few months but hadn’t ever really defined it. I’d reference back to things here and there but […]

Has Anyone Worked At All of the Big 4 Firms?

Did you or a current or former colleague complete public accounting’s equivalent of “hitting for the cycle” in baseball? (Presumably, single = KPMG, double = EY, triple = Deloitte, and home run = PwC.) Do you wear your Big 4 quadfecta as a badge of honor? Which firm gave out the best swag? Which firm […]

Sports Talk Radio Host Has Thoughts on Which PGA Golfer Most Resembles an Accountant

So I was in the car listening to CBS Sports Radio while running some errands on Saturday afternoon when the show’s host, Andrew Fillipponi, started talking about his lack of interest in watching the Masters because Tiger Woods wasn’t competing for his sixth green jacket. He felt the Masters just wasn’t the same without Tiger, […]

#TBT: That Time When a Manager and Partner Chucked Knuckles At the Office

A bored tax associate asked on Fishbowl earlier today if anyone has ever been involved in a fistfight at work. We don’t know which accounting firm or who the combatants were, but someone responded with this little bit of awesomeness: Ah, the good ol’ days of public accounting.

Which Firm Was the Biggest Loser In the Last Auditor Shuffle of 2020?

The fourth quarter of 2020 had some new winners and losers in the game of auditor musical chairs, as there were 16 new engagements and 41 client departures among the 12 major global and national audit firms between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, according to Audit Analytics. Of the top 12 firms, Deloitte gained the […]

So How Much Work Did You Actually Get Done Today?

None like me, who was doomscrolling through Twitter all afternoon, or did you somehow, someway do something productive that was work-related? Stay well, everyone.

How Are Auditors Handling the Start of Busy Season?

How’s everyone surviving their first Monday of the new year so far? Today is a double whammy for our auditor friends. Not only is it the first official workday of 2021 after holiday break but it’s also the start of the grueling marathon that is busy season. I went on Twitter to see how auditors […]

What’s the Weirdest Place You’ve Taken a Call From a Recruiter?

I saw this retweeted in my Twitter timeline last night: what pic.twitter.com/IceFTqXGh8 — maya ✡︎ (@mayaisfiya) November 24, 2020 Can anyone top this? Here’s what an EY employee told us: Weirdest place I’ve taken a call from a recruiter … at a gas station parking lot somewhere in Virginia. I must have been going on […]

So Is Anyone *Really* Missing Going to Your Firm’s Holiday Party This Year?

Some of the best content we’ve put on this site in mid-December of years past has been about office holiday parties, especially Adrienne’s posts about behaving around others and not getting sloppy drunk. Of course, things are different this year. Thanks, Rona. But do you actually, really, truly miss hanging out face to face at […]

Which Big 4 Firm Was the Biggest Loser In the Third Auditor Shuffle of 2020?

Now that Accounting Today has published the most recent data from Audit Analytics on who won and who lost the game of auditor musical chairs in the third quarter, let’s take a look at which firm(s) resigned or were fired the most by clients and who the beneficiaries were. All in all there were 33 […]

Question of the Day: Is EY the New KPMG?

For as long as I can remember, KPMG has always been the butt of Big 4 jokes: Big 3 + KPMG, a golf apparel company masquerading as a Big 4 firm, the red-headed stepchild of the profession, always a bridesmaid and never a bride, Scott London, Caleb worked there, etc. But with the whole “pancakes […]

Winners and Losers In Accounting: Coronavirus Edition

Whether you realize it or not, every day there are winners and losers of the accounting profession. Take, for example, the AICPA’s failed XYZ credential. Loser, obviously. The CGMA, however, is technically a winner, at least according to the 137,000 people worldwide who hold the credential and the AICPA because they can charge for it. […]

Mental Health Check-in: How’s Everyone Holding Up?

It’s hard to believe it’s been six months since the Journal of Accountancy cover story about one CPA’s struggle with depression. Not because I can’t believe a whole six months have passed (although that’s a thing for sure) but rather because no one could have known how timely that story would be when JofA published […]

Which Big 4 Firm Was the Biggest Loser In the Second Auditor Shuffle of 2020?

One thing that hasn’t slowed down too much during the Rona pandemic is the game of auditor musical chairs, as there were 51 new SEC audit client engagements and 62 departures in the second quarter among the 12 major global or national accounting firms compared to 57 new engagements and 68 departures in Q1, according […]

How Much Do You Think a KPMG T-Shirt Costs at Goodwill These Days?

A Goodwill in Lewisville, TX, is selling the KPMG T-shirt below for a whopping … $3.05. Seems a little pricey to me for KPMGwear, even for a thrift store. But if it was a buck and XL or XXL, I’d consider plopping down four quarters for it. I’d rather pay $3 dollars for a fancy-looking […]

Despite Working More Hours, Professionals Say They Hope WFH Stays Post-Coronavirus

Today we have two surveys from our friends at Fishbowl to share with you, conveniently enough they have a bit of overlap so we figured why not just make a big ole survey sandwich. First off, Fishbowl surveyed more than 16,000 professionals across a variety of industries, including accounting, and asked a simple question: Are […]

What Are You Guys Drinking While Working From Home?

I don’t know why y’all are so eager to get back to the office because isn’t it better to be drinking a gin and tonic, sipping whiskey, or downing your favorite IPA while staring blankly at a spreadsheet at home than doing so while having a cup of coffee, Ice Mountain bottled water, or Red […]

Which Big 4 Firm Was the Biggest Loser In the First Auditor Shuffle of 2020?

Nearly 60 companies that are audited by one of the 12 major global or national accounting firms played auditor musical chairs during the first quarter of 2020, and EY ended up being the biggest beneficiary after the last song ended. According to the latest SEC audit client winners and losers analysis by Audit Analytics, which […]

Let’s See Those Work-From-Home Battlestations

Hey and happy Monday, GC faithful. It appears the world did not end over the weekend so here we are again at the start of another workweek. After almost three weeks of mandated quarantine, I’m beginning to get a bit cagey. As y’all know, we’re used to working from home so nothing has changed there, […]

COVID-19 Is Not the Only Virus One Small Accounting Firm Owner Is Worried About

This came through the Help line the other night, and because Open Items has been a barren wasteland since Caleb left nearly two years ago, I thought I’d post it here to see if we could help this person out. I’m a retired CPA who’s working during tax season for a small, local practitioner. She […]

Which Audit Firm Got Fired the Most In Q4 2019?

It wasn’t a stellar fourth quarter of 2019 for the Big 4 in terms of winning new public company audit clients, according to Accounting Today’s most recent report on the newest data crunched by Audit Analytics. Deloitte and EY brought on four and three new SEC-registered audit clients, respectively, in Q4, but Deloitte also lost […]

Man With Massive Cojones Goes on Record as a CPA Living With Mental Illness

Have you seen the cover of the February 2020 Journal of Accountancy? Just in case you don’t feel like digging it out of the mailbox (or out from the bottom of the birdcage), here you go. Not only did the JofA choose to do an article about this important topic, but they also went all […]

Which Audit Firm Got Fired the Most In Q3?

Earlier this month Accounting Today reported the latest data from Audit Analytics on public company audit client gains and losses for the third quarter, with Florida-based CPA firm Assurance Dimensions picking up nine new ones thanks to an acquisition. Among firms you’ll usually see in SEC or PCAOB enforcement orders, Marcum and Deloitte were the […]

Did Bands Play When KPMG U.K. Asked Employees to Hand Over Their Work Phones?

After Tabby Kinder of the Financial Times broke the story on Sept. 30 about KPMG U.K. taking back all the mobile phones that it had issued to hundreds of employees to cut costs, she shared a text on Twitter she got from an accountant that I found humorous because the accountant found the topic of […]

Which Big 4 Firm Audits the Most Insurance Companies?

I know you guys are just dying to know the answer to this question, so let’s get right to it. Audit Analytics recently came out with its breakdown of the top 20 audit firms that had the most insurance clients in 2018. Yes, the Big 4 firms took the top four spots, combining for 2,300 […]

According to This Infographic, You Guys Will Try to Expense Pretty Much Anything

One of the most fun things about business travel is seeing what you can get away with come expense report time. We’ve all taken liberties with our employer’s expense policy, although things I’ve put on expense reports would probably be considered lame: a pack of smokes, a four-pack of Surly Furious IPA, a bomber of […]

Which KPMG Scandal Is Worse: PCAOB ‘Steal the Exam’ or CPE Training Exam Cheating?

Since Monday when the SEC announced it had fined KPMG $50 million for not one but two scandals involving auditor misconduct at the firm, I’ve been thinking about which scandal is worse. Is it KPMG audit partners stealing confidential information from rogue PCAOB employees in order to better the firm’s audit inspection scores OR is […]

Let’s Try to Come Up with a Hockey Nickname for Each Big 4 CEO

Anyone who is a fan of the NHL knows that hockey players rarely call each other by their first or last names. They call each other by their hockey nicknames. There’s really no rhyme or reason for how hockey players get their nicknames. But usually, you get your hockey nickname by either adding “-er,” “-y,” […]

Which Big 4 Firm Is Paying Its Interns the Most?

Summer internship season is fast approaching, as thousands of bright-eyed young men and women will soon flood accounting firms all over the country, hoping to not have their wills crushed and not screw up too badly so they receive a full-time offer of employment. But what are these eager ladies and gents getting paid to […]

Accounting Endgame: Who Would Survive Thanos’s Snap?

I didn’t read comic books growing up. I don’t read them now. An occasional graphic novel, sure, but no comic books. I have nothing against them, but after I reached the age of, I don’t know, 13 or so, superheroes with super powers didn’t really do it for me. For the last decade or so, […]

There Apparently Is a Petition Circulating Online to Add Three Words to the Definition of ‘Accountant’

Most of you guys probably use Webster’s Dictionary like I do for all your spelling and word definition needs. But just in case some of you use the Oxford English Dictionary, there’s a crusade underway in the U.K. to change how the word “accountant” is defined. Why? Because Xero U.K. thinks the Oxford English definition […]

Zoltar

What Will Be the Greatest Issue to Impact the Accounting Profession in 2019?

Around this time of year, we all inevitably start thinking about the year behind and the year ahead. Maybe we swear to do better come January, maybe we say fuck it and don’t change a thing. Whatever your approach to the stroke of midnight, it’s tempting to think about what issues might affect the profession in […]

Halloween dogs

What Is Job Search ‘Ghosting,’ and Why the Hell Is Everyone Doing It?

I fondly remember my first “smartphone.” It was a giant Pocket PC (Google that, children) I inherited from my CPA review boss with a stylus and everything. THE FUTURE, I LIVED IT. No longer did I have to wait until I arrived at work to check my email. NO! I can work on the bus! […]

Unpopular Opinion: Women Make Terrible Leaders

Welcome to Unpopular Opinion, a new semi-regular series on Going Concern addressing topics impacting the accounting profession from the contrarian perspective. Have an unpopular opinion to share? Get in touch. Note: opinions are not necessarily mine.  Diversity and inclusion are hot-button issues not only in accounting but in the business world at large these days, […]

Do KPMG’s Summer Employee Perks Put All Other Summer Employee Perks to Shame?

This Accounting Today article on the perks KPMG is offering to its 30,000 U.S. employees this summer got me thinking about the summer employee perks, or lack thereof, I’ve received during my career. And I’m not just focusing on my last 19 years as a writer and/or editor. I’m going all the way back to […]

What Cheap, Crappy Gift Is Your Firm Handing Out This Holiday Season?

Here’s an anonymous tip that came in earlier today:

Random, Irrelevant LinkedIn Endorsements Are the Best LinkedIn Endorsements

Sorry if I'm a little late to this, but endorsement bombing on LinkedIn is a thing. That is, those professional accolades that you're always asked to hand out to people? People are endorsing each other ironically for random things that are of no particular relevance to anything: A couple of Rhys Wilson’s customers recently asked […]

Let’s Obsess Over: The Accountant Trailer

We linked to The Accountant trailer on Friday but after receiving a few messages and seeing a bit of chatter on Twitter, it warrants a bit more conversation. First, I suppose we should watch it together: I'm looking forward to seeing the movie this fall but, seriously, isn't Ben Affleck a little hunky for this […]

a woman typing on a laptop with way too many emails

Should You Acknowledge Every Email?

When it comes to email, the moment where proper etiquette morphs into a pet peeve is difficult to pinpoint. How many exclamation points are too many?!!!!! The correct answer is: more than one. Should you use the HIGH PRIORITY button? The correct answer is: No. Never. Okay, maybe if you’re about to mauled by a […]

An Accounting-Inspired Binge Watch List for the Accountant Who’s Seen Everything

Everyone knows that CPAs are the real stars of the Emmys and that accountants feature prominently in movies like Shawshank Redemption and The Royal Tennenbaums. What else is out there if you've already seen the whole accountants-in-the-movies list, though? (Schindler's List, The Untouchables, Ghostbusters, et al.) Cable is stuffed with white collar crime docs (American […]

Crackin’ Under Pressure: Making Mistakes During Busy Season

As you may know or be experiencing right this very second, it’s a stressful time of year for accountants and the people around them. Whether you’re working on tax returns or year-end audits or any other professional number crunching activity, that stress can cause people to make mistakes.

L’Affaire Denim: Accounting Firm Dress Code Debates Span Borders, Decades

Cosmic issues are being raised in the great Dress Code debates: Is denim okay every day? What’s the largest allowable team logo on a sweatshirt? How about pajamas outside the house? My experiences may offer some useful historical and cultural context. In the late 1990s I was expatriated to Paris with one of the then […]

Would an Accountant Ever Fall for a Phony IRS Call?

A couple of years ago, Sam Antar shared a recording of his conversation with a fake IRS agent with us. The poor dope on the other end of the line didn't know what hit him. What's been quite amazing is that the calls from fake IRS agents seems to be getting worse since the agency […]

Which Popular Accounting Hashtag Should You Use? An Explainer

You cannot deny the chaotic beauty of Twitter. There's something oddly soothing watching millions of voices shout into the void with little regard for who will be listening. Hashtags provide some method to the madness, yet each retains its own flavor of ridiculous. In the accounting world, I've noticed 3 hashtags emerge: #auditorproud, #BusySeasonProblems and […]

email pet peeves

Let’s Get Worked Up About: Email Pet Peeves

Email. It’s the most annoyingly omnipresent element of our working lives. When trying to enjoy the holidays, a nice vacation or even a relaxing Sunday evening, many people can’t get the image of an overstuffed inbox out of their minds. Especially so if you’ve forgotten to turn notifications off which is something you should absolutely […]

This Flask-Calculator Is the Perfect Gift for the Accountant Who Drinks Everything

With the end of year fast approaching, many of you will need something discreet to cope with all the busy season problems. To the internet! #busyseason is coming. So if you're giving a gift to a #CPA – make it good! #auditlife #taxlife #giftidea #flask pic.twitter.com/F7jNfD4uoc — Crystal G. Knight (@CKnightCPA) December 22, 2015   For […]

A Noncomprehensive List of Morale Boosters for Accounting Firms

Accounting firms, who generally eat their young, are all competing for “who has the best perks” in race to scoop up all of the competent new hires. We all know that accounting culture is toxic, but aside from taking all of your allotted vacation so you don’t die at your desk like that one guy, […]

Cryptic Accounting

I waste a lot of time on the internet. Alternatively, I discover a lot of weird and interesting things on the internet. Many of these things have nothing to do with the internet, ergo, I can't in good conscience share them with you because it doesn't exactly fall within my job description. However, when something […]

Welcome to Virginia sign

Virginia Is for IFRS Lovers

Credit to r/accounting, who continues to be hot on the accounting-themed license plate beat. If you’re a GC amateur archivist, then you know this is not the first vanity plate from Virginia we’ve featured. These Old Dominoners do like them for some reason. Now that you’ve taken this in, what do we like best about […]

These Florida Accountants Are So Florida

Florida, the state long considered a mecca for Disney fetishists and retirees, is the actual worst. The peninsular Sunshine State, in addition to being our #1 exporter of citrus fruit (no idea if this is true), boasts spiders the size of Diet Coke cans that can only be smote with a flame thrower, wild sharks, […]

The Accounting Profession’s Future: Who’s Safe, Who’s Not

Across GC articles concerning the future of the accounting profession, there’s hefty debate about who’s going to be affected by these changes and how.

To be clear most of my headspace is preoccupied with the battle for small to medium businesses in general practice, which does not encompass the entire profession.

Accountant Trading Cards: I’ll Give You a Luca Pacioli If You Give the Accounting Profession Its Dignity Back

So accountant trading cards are a thing. Because there’s nothing more thrilling than the adrenaline rush of trading cards combined with the raw excitement of accounting. Accountant trading cards are similar to the Most-Wanted Iraqis playing cards issued by the Bush administration during the Iraq War. The main difference is that the Most-Wanted Iraqis cards […]

Are Pets a Legit Excuse for Leaving Work?

Over at the After School Special: Accounting Subreddit, someone might be trolling (sic'd throughout): So I've just accepted a job at KPMG, and I'm so excited about it! However, I'm so worried becasue my start date is in January, and I'm in audit so that would be right at busy season. I have multiple guinea […]

The Greatest Reality TV Accountants, Awarded and Ranked

What do I love more than an ice cold Diet Coke and a full TiVo queue of bad reality TV? When the reality contestants are accounting scrubs, obviously. I’ve ranked the following accounting reality stars based on courage, entertainment value, and actual talent.   7) The Award for Best Dating Show Contestant: Mara, Legal Accountant […]

What Percent of Accountants Will Burn In Hell?

Are accountants more inclined or less inclined to believe in God? We are bound by the AICPA Code of Conduct to have professional skepticism, so not having religious skepticism may just be a demonstration of a healthy work/life balance.   A recent Pew Research Center report, America’s Changing Religious Landscape, says that in general more […]

Stupid Acronym Tricks

David Letterman's retirement has me feeling nostalgic this week, capital market servants. It was the first TV show my parents didn't want me staying up late to watch. I defied their wishes, of course, so when he moved to CBS and was on an hour earlier, it was even easier to watch Dave's irreverent, sarcastic, […]

Only One Thing Says ‘Accountant’ More Than a Practical Car

Meanwhile, somewhere in Georgia… About what you expect for an accountant's vanity plate, right down to the typos. [imgur via r/accounting]

#BusySeasonProblems: Happy Tax Season Birthday; An Unnecessary Brown Bag Lunch; The Final Countdown

It's quite obvious that we're getting close to the end. People are counting down, phoning it and the tweets from the final Saturday are a mix of hope and despair. Office obstacle course. Always in training. #BusySeasonProblems #taxseason pic.twitter.com/9yezQ2tpTN — Andrea Arriola, EA (@Tejandrea) April 7, 2015 Easily, the worst thing about #busyseason is the […]

Long Hours Are the Root of All Your Busy Season Problems

Perhaps you gleaned this from the exhaustive tournament we hosted recently, but we'll bring it up again: working a lot of hours causes a lot of problems. Among these problems: drinking. Harvard Business Review has the latest scientific research: Marianna Virtanen of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and colleagues found that people who log […]

Busy Season Zen: Ten Hours of Soothing Spring Showers

April showers bring May flowers, the saying goes. Of course, it also can bring tornadoes and all sorts of severe weather that will send your furry friends (and maybe you) running under the bed. However, the sound of rain falling and rolling thunder does give many people a sense of peace. Ten hours of it will get […]

#BusySeasonProblems: Inflatable Sharks; Late-night Checklists; Unexpected Taxable Income

Now that we've officially crowned "WTF am I doing with my life?" as the champion BSP, let's catch up on what busy season problems have made their way into the Twitter ether over the past week. I haven't cooked a meal in over 3 months #busyseasonproblems — Trei Jolly (@Trei_Jolly) April 1, 2015 Sorry about […]