Technology

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DNA Data Storage Could Complicate Data Center Walkthroughs

Forget underwater data centers and outrageous cloud CapEx spending. All of it is utterly passé compared to DNA data storage. Wait, DNA data storage? You mean — storing digital binary data as DNA? Yes. And, it blows my mind too. DNA’s not just the smoking gun in a crime drama In 2012, Harvard scientists figured […]

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Would Neuralink Solve All of Accounting’s Problems?

Elon Musk, the man of moonshots, is at it again. After all, he is a glutton for pushing the envelope of possibility. He just launched a new startup called Neuralink to explore “neural lace” technology — electronic brain implants or neuroprosthetics that would be able to interact with human thought. Oh, and nevermind that he’s […]

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Danger Lurking: Mirai and Botnet Are Terms Auditors Should Know

Uh, oh. Forget the Secret Life of Pets. What about the secret life of your video recorder or router? Am I the only one that is reminded of this scene from Brave Little Toaster? Just me. Ok. Internet of Things goes rogue Sure, it is no secret that lots of devices now have a Wi-Fi […]

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Robot Auditors Won’t Have a Problem Giving Clients Bad News

Here’s something that won’t surprise anyone: A study from the University of Missouri found that auditors defer to information provided by management. In the study, nearly 50 senior auditors from major accounting firms were asked to assess the cost of an explosion at a client’s facility based on memos provided by the company’s finance chief. […]

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How Should You Handle a Partner’s Facebook Friend Request?

Ding. It’s a friend request. You’re so popular. One problem. It’s from one of your engagement partners. Awkward. Now you have a dilemma. Are you obligated to say yes? Or, maybe, you let it sit in the unanswered request pile for eternity and pretend you never saw it. Weigh the options careful and may the […]

Australian Tax Lawyer Built an AI Tax Research Assistant That Will Never Get Sick of Your Questions

Say hi to Ailira, everyone, aka “Artificially Intelligent Legal Information Resource Assistant.” She’s here to help with all your tax research needs. Well, in Australia, anyway: Ailira, or “Artificially Intelligent Legal Information Resource Assistant” is so clever at tax that her creator believes she could help prompt the end of human tax agents. And within […]

Drones Set to Disrupt the “Ideas Accounting Firms Won’t Pursue” Niche

In a recent Journal of Accountancy piece, a bunch of people with way too much time on their hands to consider things that will never happen seem to think that drones are the next wave of innovation for accounting firms. Mind you, it was only a few years ago that one Big 4 firm made […]

Goodbye Legacy USB Ports, Hello Dongles

Have you noticed the global shift to USB Type-C yet? Well, the ball is rolling. And, if the product launches at the end of 2016 were any indication, the shift is picking up speed. Now that manufacturers have successfully phased out optical drives, all of your most familiar (legacy) ports are on the chopping block […]

Amazon’s Giant Data Transfer Trucks Are an IT Auditor’s Worst Nightmare

Drowning in more stuff than you know what to do with? Simple fix. Pack up the crap you can’t bear to part with, rent a truck, and tuck it into a storage unit. Holiday decorations and dusty workout equipment, welcome to your new home. What about when you run out of digital storage space? Or, […]

Anyone Not Adding Disclaimers to the Their Text Messages With Clients Is Probably Asking for It

Text messaging is right up there in the realm of great communication inventions. It's so engrained in our lives that we barely even think about it, but if it went away, we'd all be FURIOUS. Sure, it's butchering language and yes, people who text and drive should suffer a public shaming, but until we starting […]

Tesco Bank Deals with Digital Heist

Cybersecurity experts and IT auditors better saddle up — the world just experienced its first successful digital bank robbery. The Tesco heist Last weekend cyber criminals executed a sophisticated attack on Tesco Bank (subsidiary of the British grocery chain) and successfully stole £2.5 million (~$3.1 million) from customer accounts. While the money was refunded quickly […]

Is it Bye-Bye-Bye to SOC 2?

I wish…. While the SOC 2 isn’t exactly going away, the AICPA is in the process of giving it a major revamp. Maybe we can call it SOC Version 2.1? And, it’s about time! Back in June, I grappled with the flaws of the current Service Organization Control (SOC) reporting system: Don’t get me wrong. […]

Accounting Firms Should Embrace the Digital Fountain of Youth

When did the AICPA decide that “young” professionals are 22 to 40 (yes, 40) years old? Am I the only one to thinks 40 may be too old for that designation? Imagine if society considered professional athletes “young” if they met the under 40 threshold…   Don’t get me wrong — accounting is one industry […]

Exposure Drafts: Can’t Tell If Accountant…

Exposure Drafts is a satirical look at the eccentricities of the accounting profession brought to you by veteran Going Concern contributor Greg Kyte. Send comments and suggestions to [email protected]

Where Should Accountants Stand on Net Neutrality?

Who doesn’t love getting preferential treatment — even if you have to pay for it? Priority boarding on an airplane? TSA pre-check? Yes, sign me up! Really, any type of express lane is downright delicious.

“Rise of the Robots” – Cognitive Technology Threatens Us All

A reader’s skeptical comment on the second of this series — Part I and Part II — on the ominous messages for the accounting profession in Martin Ford’s prize-winning book of last year, Rise of the Robots was that, "The elephant in the room (is) that automation is nowhere close to being able to make […]

“Rise of the Robots” – And They’ll Audit Better, Smarter, Cheaper

“The ‘smarter’ machines get, the more and more jobs they’ll replace. Including mine. And yours.”    — Reader CommentMartin Ford’s prize-winning Rise of the Robots (2015) underlies this three-part look at the prospects that drones, robots and cognitive technology will rapidly displace jobs and careers at all levels of the Big Audit model, and that the […]

Accounting Firms and Bring Your Own Team to Work

I have worked with a few dysfunctional teams over the years. It’s the worst. But, it does make you appreciate the occasional dream team that jives together like magic. Tasks get done easier because the group functions like a well-oiled machine. Unfortunately, groups that work together seamlessly are rare and take awhile to develop. You […]

An Invasive Remedy for the Big 4 Accounting Blues

Overworked and underappreciated? Running on empty, day in and day out? We have all felt it. If you have worked in Big 4 accounting and didn’t experience Sunday night anxiety, you're not human. Prolonged spells of feeling overwhelmed can lead to burnout and start to impact your mental health. (Big surprise. #AuditorProud) As cited by […]

Accountants Are Becoming Hoarders

Does your external hard drive or cloud storage easily transform into the digital equivalent to a garage full of junk? Don’t be ashamed, I’m guilty of it too. And companies know it’s an issue, tempting you with more space for less than a cup of coffee every month. It’s hard to refuse. Remember those disposable […]

A Big Part of the Cloud Business Model Is on the Verge of Breaking

The sky is falling. Or, should I say, the cloud? No, I’m not Chicken Little. You might want to pay attention to this one… The no frill infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) business model is in trouble. Maybe you will agree with me…maybe not… but everyone seems to be looking at infrastructure providers with rose colored glasses. It […]

Augmented Intelligence in Accounting

As a follow up from my Augmented Reality post I wanted to take a moment to talk about augmented intelligence also known as intelligence amplification. Put simply, this is enhancing the human brain with technology. Believe it or not the term "intelligence amplification" was popularized by W. Ross Ashby in his 1956 book, An Introduction […]

3 Epic Fails of Backup and Recovery

Auditors — especially seasoned IT auditors — are familiar with the scene of sitting with a nervous backup and recovery analyst once a year for a walkthrough. If you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing it, here’s the drill: It begins with rapport-building (read: uncomfortable) small talk mixed with a few questions about the overview […]

Multi-factor Authentication: Mo’ Factors, Mo’ Problems

The dreaded “access denied” error message. It makes you want to cry, doesn’t it? Not only do you have to change your password every 90 days, but throw in other options for dual factor authentication such as getting a text to your phone or some type of biometric scan… it’s headache central. As I said […]

From Wearable to Implantable Electronic Devices: Are You Ready?

I’ll admit it… when I first started wearing contact lenses, the idea of touching my eye was unnerving. Luckily, I got over it. (Especially since I am not quite ready to embrace the idea of laser eye surgery.) Plus, I am pretty happy with my contacts and am able to read spreadsheets with ease. That’s […]

How Small Accounting Firms Can Stay Relevant

As a firm owner my biggest fear is getting left behind. Well, that and running into the three worst days a business owner will face.

Underwater Datacenters Might Make for Some Tricky Auditor Walkthroughs

Who says we can’t mix electricity and water? Dangerous… sure. But, hey, why not? Microsoft is currently testing an underwater data center and it’s kind of genius. It’s in the “why didn’t I think of that” category. Dubbed Project Natick, this cutting-edge innovation is vying to create an out-of-the-box subsea datacenter that can get dropped […]

Tighten Up Privileged Access Now, or Hate Yourself Later

The 2016 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (aka: “DBIR”) is out and it isn’t pretty. Where to start…? Maybe by saying that 2015 heralded over 100,000 information security incidents — including 3,141 data breaches. If those numbers are not staggering enough, it’s more unnerving to realize this is the first time I have heard about […]

Augmented Reality for Accounting

A couple weeks ago, Megan said, “It's Time for Accountants to Ditch Dual Monitors” which I read on one of my three screens. While I appreciated the GC wrath being directed at someone else for a change, the conversation missed the bigger picture.

#WhatsNext: Return-Free Filing

It's time once again for our monthly yakfest, #WhatsNext, a co-production of Going Concern and Thriveal. Today we're talking about return-free filing, something that's been in the news lately, but an issue we've covered on here for quite some time and has been a topic of debate for a decade or more. As always, I'll […]

Here’s Why There Won’t Be an Uber for Accounting

You’re probably familiar with Uber by now, unless you live under a rock, or live in the 25% of the country not yet covered by it.

Automation to Artificial Intelligence: New Frontiers for Auditors

News flash: Artificial intelligence (AI) and other cognitive technologies are eliminating jobs left and right. Bloomberg reports as many as 5 million jobs by 2020. Oh, calamity. Should auditors be worried? The short answer is no…don’t lose sleep over it. Why? First off, cognitive technologies (even super cool advanced ones) are best with structured tasks […]

It’s Time for Accountants to Ditch Dual Monitors

Here’s what my first day at a client would typically look like (circa 2012): 1. Carefully navigate through a new parking structure to avoid bumping expensive cars.2. Park.3. Obtain a security badge with an unflattering photo from the front desk.4. Return to car to collect my obnoxiously large (not technically portable) external monitor.5. Saunter into […]

Wait, Are Paper Tax Organizers Still a Thing?

Look, I admit that I’ve been out of the game for awhile, so forgive me if I sound, um, supercilious, but are paper tax organizers still a thing?

Accountants Should Dump Microsoft Excel for Database Software

Rumor has it that the AICPA is finally integrating Microsoft Excel into the CPA exam starting in 2018. I’ll admit my initial reaction is “it’s about time” since the generic spreadsheet I used was archaic. Apparently, almost 70% of the CPAs surveyed by the AICPA agreed. Go figure — we are all Excel-aholics who can’t get through the day without busting out a spreadsheet.

Now That The Cloud Is Mainstream, Where Do Hipster Accountants Go From Here?

Five years ago, hipster accountants were all over the cloud. We were working on clients’ books from coffee shops and Xero was this sketchy startup from New Zealand that no one had heard of. There were meetups and secret forums filled with the cloud elitists and, almost everyone in the scene had beards (except me, […]

Let’s All Enjoy This ‘Reply All’ Misadventure From the Virginia Society of CPAs Open Forum

How can you best annoy dozens of accountants in the midst of tax season? Well, in the age of the internet, a reply all mishap will do just fine. A tipster sent us a link to Virginia Society of CPAs' Open Forum thread that started innocently enough. An anonymous user posted a question about an […]

Do You Make These User Control Consideration Mistakes?

Discussing cyber extortion got the wheels turning about trust and reliance on our increasingly distributed IT ecosystems. Outsourcing IT functionality causes certain IT controls to be a fleeting afterthought for the user entity — the service provider will handle it, right? Well, maybe not. That’s where a Service Organization Controls (SOC) report comes in handy. […]

Cyber Extortion: Leprechauns vs. Accountants

To capture the spirit of St. Patty’s day, let’s discuss a cunning technique that nefarious leprechauns use to steal your pot of gold: cyber extortion. Boiled down, cyber extortion is an age-old blackmail scheme with a digital twist. It starts with an unlucky target, such as a database housing sensitive information. A leprechaun (read: hacker) […]

Is Our Productivity Obsession Counterproductive?

Don’t let the #productivityhack hype lure you in! It’s busy season and bloggers and app developers are just waiting to entice tired accountants with their claims to speed up your efficiency and change your life. I am convinced our obsession with productivity is simply a ruse for procrastination. Every time I add a “game-changing” new […]

Password Inundation: Password Policies We Love to Hate

As a technology obsessed society we're drowning in a sea of passwords. Remember when your locker combo was all you had to memorize? Now I have over 100 different passwords. It’s ridiculous. The problem is no one can possibly remember that many passwords. So what do we do as lazy tech connoisseurs? We simply use […]

Next-Gen Cloud Accounting: Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) Ecosystems

Let’s face it. Cloud computing is so 6 years ago. We agree it’s a technology trope that has to go. And yet, accounting software executives are still enamored with everything cloud. Enough already, right!? Unfortunately, the accounting profession’s captivation with cloud is not merely lip service. In 2014, QuickBooks Online generated more than $800 in […]

#TBT: Auditors Cringe While Watching Office Space

In honor of throwback Thursday let me take you on a journey down memory lane to reminisce about Office Space, a light hearted and irreverent comedy starring Ron Livingston and Jennifer Aniston. Spoiler alert! (Actually, if you haven’t seen the movie during the last 17 years I don’t feel bad.) Peter, played by Ron Livingston, […]

Beware of Bring Your Own Device

I woke up in shock on my first day of freedom after leaving my Big 4 job. I leaned toward my nightstand to check the time on my iPhone. Wait, what?! My phone had been wiped. Panic set in first. When did I last back it up?

Auditors Sing The Legacy System Blues

Ed. note: Today we debut a new contributor to Going Concern. Megan Lewczyk, CPA (pronounced left without the “t” and "chick" like a baby bird) is a Big 4 alumna who decided to venture off the beaten path early in her career. She owns a consulting firm, is an adjunct accounting instructor for a couple […]

Sure, Accounting Students Should Learn How to Code (And a Lot of Other Things, Too)

Over at the AICPA's website, there's a post that makes the case for accounting students to learn how to code. It's hard to disagree with the premise — coding is a valuable skill — but there are several aspects to this topic that go unmentioned, that I'll try to cover here. First and foremost, anyone […]

Tell a Fellow Accountant About Alt+Tab, for Crying Out Loud

You people make me sad. Seriously, anyone who isn't using Alt+Tab constantly needs to examine their lives. Shocking stat from a Windows 10 briefing at Microsoft today: Only 6% of Windows users know about Alt+Tab to switch apps. — David Pogue (@Pogue) July 16, 2015 If I hear of any one of you using the […]

Deloitte Survey: Auditors’ Use of Technology Does Not Impress

A Deloitte survey of financial executives, financial statement users and audit committee members found that an overwhelming majority — 84%, 70% and 76% respectively — of these people, "believe auditors should use advanced technologies more extensively in performing an audit." Apparently, 21st century auditing is still a few years off. [WSJ] Image: Gnangarra/WIkimedia Commons

The End Is Nigh: Prepare Yourselves for the Accountapocalypse

Last week I read Caleb's post about the murky future of the accounting profession, and I reached out to him immediately. You see, I am in the business of predicting the future of the accounting profession. Or at least that’s what my LinkedIn says, it makes it easier to explain what an accounting futurist actually does.

Getting Cirrus: A Conversation with Blake Oliver of Cloudsourced Accounting

Today, Harshman Phillips & Company announced that it is acquiring Cloudsourced Accounting, a firm that provides "cloud integration and online bookkeeping services" to small businesses. Blake Oliver, one of the co-founders of Cloudsourced, is unique in the respect that he is not a CPA. You may remember a post from back in January where this […]

Belated #TBT: VisiCalc, the First Spreadsheet Program

I wrote this yesterday and didn't publish it. Go figure. Anyway, VisiCalc was the first spreadsheet program, hitting the market in 1979. It was developed by Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston, originally running on the Apple II and was consider its "killer app."   In a 1980 review, BYTE stated: "The most exciting and influential piece […]

Actually, Everyone Knows That Having Two Monitors Is Super Boss

Today in this isn't news news. You may not know it but having two screens is super boss — Life at Deloitte AU (@AuDeloittian) February 26, 2015 This is Life at Deloitte Down Under, which may explain why he's under the assumption that we haven't already beaten this topic to death.

Use Excel to Keep an Eye on Your BMI This Busy Season

Let’s assume that you’ve bought into the quantified-self craze. Your wearable technology measures every breath you take and every move you make, so now it's time for new frontiers, as in something other than the fast food drive-thru lane. It’s always easiest to start with low-hanging fruit, such as your co-workers. Body Mass Index is […]

How to Add a Nice Steaming Pile of Poo to Any Excel Spreadsheet

As the old saying goes, a picture is worth 1,000 words. There may just be instances where nothing else will do in a set of audit work papers than a steaming brown pile of excrement. This is easy to add in the mobile versions of Excel, but you can also add emoji in the desktop […]

Would Your Clients Like a Side of DIY Legal Forms With That Tax Return?

As some of you know, I'm at Thomson Reuters SYNERGY this week, which is basically a 1,300 person party for Thomson Reuters CS Professional Suite users. I'll spare you the gory details of product demos and cheerful salespeople in bright orange shirts but I did want to share the big news out of this year's […]

PwC Ups Its Disruption; Gets on Gmail

Rejoice, PwCers, you all are joining the late 20th century!

Excel Can Help You Choose Where to Get a Meaty Lunch

The Internet’s viral sensation of August 2014 was an off-menu Arby’s sandwich known as the “Meat Mountain." For the low, low price of $10 you can get a stack of eight meats and two cheeses. I think even PETA has been too shocked to respond. And what exactly does this have to do with Microsoft […]

How To Add Any Website to Your iPhone or Android Home Screen

You guys have been asking us for an app for a long time, and trust us, we've been asking The Powers That Be for the same thing. Unfortunately, our favorite in-house developer who performs miracles for all of us on a daily basis doesn't have the ability to make one at the moment. What he […]

Hasten Your Departure with Pre-Written Microsoft Word Resignation Letters

Are you ready to pull the plug on your current gig, but feel intimidated by that blinking cursor at the top left-hand corner of a Word document? Microsoft Word has you covered with an array of prewritten letters of resignation. Yes, we here at Going Concern are always here to serve you. Microsoft has you […]

PwC Is Getting Into the Virtual Food Service Business

PwC learned me a new phrase today: digital spaghetti! dig•it•al spa•ghet•ti– the art of creating new words that describe something technical to educate your friends and co-workers; helpful when playing buzzword bingo in your next emerging technology discussion. Digital spaghetti terms share a characteristic of being relatively new and lack a universally agreed upon definition. […]

How to Transform Text in Excel

If you’re like most Excel users, you’re likely self-taught. Nothing wrong with that, I got here in the same fashion. However, from my perspective many users learn enough about Excel to wield it as a hammer when often more nuanced approaches are more appropriate. In this article I’ll give you several ways that you can […]

Sqrl’s Lead Developer Is Crowdfunding Potato Salad Right Now, And It Is Amazing

It seems you can crowdfund just about anything these days, from payment of your medical bills to oddly-named children's books about pit bulls. It's entirely unclear why Zack "guy who will be making the potato salad" Brown turned to Kickstarter to make a $10 potato salad, nor why he thought it would run a mere […]

How to Turn Off Error Checking in Excel

Ed. note: this is third in an ongoing series to help you make the most out of Excel setting-by-setting. If you have a specific Excel demon to slay, you can get in touch for our resident white knight and Excel-slayer David Ringstrom to help you out. If you’ve implemented the changes that I’ve recommended in […]

Use AutoRecover in Excel to Save Your Spreadsheet From Yourself

Ed. note: this is second in an ongoing series to help you make the most out of Excel setting-by-setting. If you have a specific Excel demon to slay, you can get in touch for our resident white knight and Excel-slayer David Ringstrom to help you out.   In Part 1 of this series I noted […]

Accountants Love iPhones and Shun Android, Says This

The latest CPA Trendlines survey — which is worth a glance if you're into mobile tech trends within the profession — reveals accountants favor iPhones to Android phones by two to one. More interesting, 10% of respondents say they use neither smartphones nor tablets at work. Yet half of respondents are billing at least 11 […]

A Creepy Dating App Apparently Cruised LinkedIn to Make You Think Your Colleague Wants You

This is, um, awkward. Even folks who make office romances as regular as 10 minutes in the can after the morning coffee might find this creepy. It's creepy. Kash Hill has the story at Forbes: Last month, many people received an email from a dating app called Sway letting them know that a co-worker had […]

The Future of Wearables as Visualized by Deloitte U Looks Terribly Dorky and Burdensome

I can't even with this. If the future includes walking around with an implant in my thigh (for what, exactly?) and all this crap strapped on me like I'm on house arrest in 1995, FORGET IT. The firms are really starting to hype this crap up, first with Deloitte shilling over at WSJ and now […]

The Secret to Getting Rich in Tech is Being an Accountant

Colin shared this in ANR this morning but I'm just going to leave this here to make sure you see it: David Ebersman did well as CFO of Genentech, regularly making more than $4 million per year at the biotech firm. But his next career move brought far greater riches. When Facebook was in the market […]

Does Your Future of Work Include Wearing Wearables?

Perhaps you've heard the story of a troll young lady who calls herself a social media consultant caught between a punk and a hard place at a San Francisco bar with Google Glass on her face. Perhaps you read Jody Padar's story on Glass and accounting firms. Now we have a piece published on Deloitte's […]

Here’s Why You Don’t Want Excel on Your iPad

When Excel for iPad finally arrived, my first impression was here we go, yet another 1.0 Microsoft product *insert eye roll here*. As you might expect, Excel for iPad only offers a small fraction of the functionality available in the desktop versions of Excel, but I realized it’s unfair to call it a 1.0 product. […]

Why Accountants Can (And Should) Take Over the Business World

We live in a world where everyone is trying to figure out what the hell big data means to them. But really, how much big data is there?

Going Concern March Madness: AND Then There Were Two LEFT in the Ultimate Excel Bracket

Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of Excel functionality…the thrill of victory…and the agony of defeat. The cyber-drama of spreadsheet competition…This is Going Concern’s Ultimate Excel Bracket!

Going Concern March Madness: FIND your Final Four in The Ultimate Excel Bracket

¡Ay, caramba! Our field of 64 has funneled to the Final Four:
Keyboard Shortcuts: #2 Seed Ctrl-Z vs. Other Excel Features: #6 Seed Format Painter
Worksheet Functions: #10 Seed VLOOKUP vs. Data Analysis Tools: #12 Seed Filter
There’s only one more round before the final face off. Here’s how the strong have survived:

Going Concern March Madness: Only Eight EXCEL-lent Features Remain in the Ultimate Excel Bracket

We've reached the home stretch of brackets season and we're about to crown four spreadsheet saviors in each of our Ultimate Excel bracket regions. By this point in the tournament you know these contenders well enough so we'll dispense with any further pleasantries. Plus, since we're talking about features of a computer program, there are […]

Ultimate Excel Bracket Round 3: The Great Eight

Oh, snap! #1 seed Pivot Tables is out! Here’s a rundown of the standings: Worksheet Function#10     VLOOKUP#13     LEFT Keyboard Shortcut#1    Ctrl-S#2     Ctrl-Z Data Analysis Tools#2     Table#12     Filter Other Features#6     Format Painter#8     Format Cells Don’t get too comfortable folks, only half of these contenders will advance to the Final […]

Excel-lent April Fool’s Pranks For the Hated Spreadsheet Jockey in Your Life

With a few subtle changes, you can ruin someone’s day. No, you’re not wasting company time, you’re testing your colleague’s Excel moxy. Feel free to charge prank time as “training” if necessary.

Going Concern March Madness: COUNT the Sweet Sixteen in the Ultimate Excel Bracket

There’s no time to waste worrying about how the weepy fans of Text Box or MATCH/INDEX are feeling, there are 16 SWEET Excel contenders ready to battle it out to see who will move on to their respective regional championship match-ups.

The Debate Heats Up Over How Many Computer Monitors You Should Have

This is relevant to you all because we all know how you feel about multiple monitors. You will recall, before we get into the debate, that dual monitors are critical for success even if you are working on the weekend poolside. PwC realized it could suck the life out of its grunts in half the […]

Going Concern March Madness: Get SUM in Round 2 of the Ultimate Excel Bracket

We had a nice mix of upsets, domination and disappointment (I'm looking at you, Goal Seek!) in the first round of the Ultimate Excel Bracket. If you're just getting acquainted with this spreadsheet battle royale, then check out the results in the Functions and Key Shortcuts and Data Analysis and Other Features regions to catch up. You can also read analysis from our resident Excel expert David Ringstrom.

Going Concern March Madness: Recap of Data Analysis and Other Features

Annnnnnddd we’re back with the second half of your winners from Round 1 of Going Concern March Madness: The Ultimate Excel Bracket. This time Data Analysis Tools and Other Excel Features duked it out amongst themselves, with these features advancing to the second round (see the first batch of winners here):

The Big Problem with Big Data for Big Accounting Firms

If you made a Big 4 drinking game and included the words Big Data, Cloud and Analytics, you’d be in the hospital before you logged your first eight chargeable hours of the week. These all started as leadership buzzwords, but in reality they’ve started to gain real traction, at least in my firm.

Going Concern March Madness: Recap of Excel Functions and Key Shortcut Winners

Ladieees and gentlemen (yes, we’re using those terms loosely), here are your winners from Round 1 of Going Concern March Madness: The Ultimate Excel Bracket. The games began when Worksheet Functions and Keyboard Shortcuts squared off within their respective regions: FUNCTIONS #1     MATCH/INDEX#2     IFERROR#3     SUBTOTAL#6     SUMIF#8   […]

Going Concern March Madness: The Most EXCELlent Bracket Continues

Hello again, spreadsheet fanatics. Have you returned for Excel battle royale? Of course you have. If you're just getting caught up, be sure to go to our post from yesterday to vote in the Functions and Key Shortcuts regions.

Going Concern March Madness: The Ultimate Excel Bracket

Your firm may be able to stop you from streaming March Madness on company-owned devices or with company-owned bandwidth, but they can’t stop you from participating in Going Concern March Madness!

How to Use Excel to Manage March Madness

File this under: things you must know as a spreadsheet jockey and sports fan.

It Is Almost Certain You Will One Day Be Replaced by Machines

The future is scary sometimes. Even scarier, the prospect that you, dear accountants, are more likely to be replaced by machines than firefighters, editors, pilots, and dentists. In fact, the only humans more likely to be replaced by machines than you are telemarketers and I think we can all agree they should have been shipped off to the Island of Unwanted People a long time ago.

How to Stay Focused Using Technology When Technology is Keeping You Unfocused

Jumping off Colin's Open Item earlier today about Tracker — a Chrome extension developed by a former EY employee that allows you to better understand what you spend your time doing — we came across a few browser extensions you all might find useful in this, the most non-joyful time of year where every minute […]

How To Make a List and Check It Off Twice (In Excel)

Our brother from another mother over at AccountingWEB, David Ringstrom is a CPA and Excel wizard. It's not too late to join him for his December 19th webinar "High Impact Excel," which is worth 1 CPE credit and ∞ Excel expertise. Today, David is kicking down wisdom on how to use strikethrough in Excel… you […]

Jason the Hipster CPA Was Using the Cloud Before It Was Cool

Come on, people. It opened for Wilco in '94. Attention accountants everywhere: please stop talking about the cloud. #YesteryearsNews — Jason M. Blumer, CPA (@JasonMBlumer) November 19, 2013

Chegg’s Market Debut Is Not Nearly As Well-Received As Chegg’s Actual Business

So textbook rental company Chegg went public today. And here's sort of what happened… Chegg priced their IPO at $12.50 a share, which exceeded expectations. Here's what you really need to know though: Chegg said it earned $22.7 million in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, for the nine months that […]

Some Guy Says CPAs Better Adapt or Die, And He’s Right

An interesting piece from Accounting Today tells us that basically this guy says CPAs have to adapt or die: Accountants face irrelevance if they don't keep up with the continuing changes in technology, according to Jon Baron, managing director of Thomson Reuters' Professional Tax & Accounting. In his opening keynote at the company's 33rd Annual […]

Excel Art is a Thing, Apparently

I'm sure many of you consider yourselves more than mere spreadsheet jockeys, rather true spreadsheet artistes, manipulating one of Microsoft's finest products to satisfy your need for domination over data. And that's OK. But unless you have way too much time on your hands, you're never going to get to this level of Excel artistry. […]

Has Microsoft Excel Ruined the World?

This isn't a breaking news story or anything but since our Google Alert for "Microsoft Excel" is filed in the same folder as "Lotus Notes," we sort of didn't get right on this story when it came out earlier this month. Thankfully most of you were drinking yourselves into a post-busy season coma and probably […]

Everything You Need To Know About Blackberry 10 Because We Know You People Are Out There

Editor's note: Greg Kyte has been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Blackberry 10 like Doomsday Preppers waiting for JC to knock on their door. Unlike the preppers, Greg didn't have to stockpile weapons or get into canning. No, he just needed a tent. Check out his journey on YouTube after reading this week's post. Believe it or […]

The Cloud Will Cause More Family Arguments This Holiday Season Than Ever Before

With our email addresses plastered all over this website, we get a ton of spam from "marketers" and "PR professionals" who try to pitch us topics completely unrelated to this website such as WHAT HAS MORE THAN 500,000 LED LIGHTS, A ROOM FULL OF REINDEER, AND A SANTA CLAUS JOLLY ENOUGH TO MAKE ADULTS BELIEVE […]

The Very First Microsoft Excel Ad Was Even More Clairvoyant Than Anyone Could Have Known

Human beings spend, on average, a third of their lifetime sleeping. They spend six total years eating, four years cleaning the house and a little over a year on the toilet.  If only someone would do a study to determine how many years the average spreadsheet jockey spends with their nose buried in multiple Excel […]

British Stationery Company Theorizes That Some Businesses Prefer Keeping Books on Paper Because They Are “Unaware” of Accounting Software, Other Bullshit Reasons

We all know someone who's a little too resistant to technological advances in accounting and the accounting business. The partner who never uses email. The office manager who insists on going to the post office rather than printing postage off the web. KPMG.   But even the fussiest Luddites have adapted to the various improvements […]

At Least One McGladrey Employee Is Skeptical of the Motives Behind the Firm Giving Everyone iPads

This just in from a tipster (confirming a Tweet that was pointed out to us) inside the newly reconciled laugh factory known as McGladrey: All McGladrey employees are getting a 3G iPad January 3rd. We found out in a big conference about our rebranding and RSM buyout.  It's still technically "company owned" so it's probably […]

Would Anyone Actually Download This AICPA App?

That’s a serious question.

I’ve been to events with lots of accountants huddled up in a room showing off their technology so I am not implying that CPAs don’t care about apps, I’m just wondering if anyone would download an app dedicated to a particular AICPA conference.

CrowdCompass released the AICPA Not-For-Profit Financial Executive Forum app on October 15th and as far as I can tell, no one cares about it.


The description reads as follows:

Between the slowed-down economy and a more stringent regulatory environment, the last few years have led to a “new normal.” Gaining lost momentum and getting back on track with smart new strategies and practical solutions are necessary for success.

This AICPA Not-for-Profit Financial Executive Forum is the solutions-based conference that features top experts and is designed specifically to address these issues and provide the answers for your financial, technical and structural operations. You’ll come away with valuable insights and tools to take back to your organization and implement immediately.

The 2011 NFP FEF (if that isn’t a mouthful…) sounds like a great time for anyone actually interested in non-profits (my unofficial research shows there are about 7 of you). Not-for-profit financial executive staff members, CEOs, CFOs/executive directors and directors of finance in NFP could probably learn a lot and enrich the very core of their work by hanging around at one of these forums. Hey, you can even check in on foursquare from the conference. But the Android app? I’m not sure I see the benefit there.

Does an app make navigating the conference any easier? You still have to remember the name of the person you met three hours ago who you’re being introduced to again and no app can help you with that. It’s not like there are several square miles of territory to navigate as you’re cruising the conference circuit, so is it necessary to have your exact position on the map? Maybe I’m just an old BlackBerry user who doesn’t get it.

Anyway, the conference is from October 27-28, 2011 at the Westin in my former hometown of San Francisco, CA so it isn’t too late for you to register and fly out there to the Land of Fruits and Nuts for some non-profity goodness.

If anyone actually downloads and uses this app, can you please get in touch with me? I’m curious to hear what you did with it. Sorry, that’s kind of lazy but the AICPA isn’t going to sell me the email list of anyone who buys the app so this is the best we’ve got.

Ten Most Expensive iPad Apps List Includes Becker’s Mobile Flashcards

The Most Expensive Journal recently came out with a top 10 list of most expensive iPad apps and – surprise, surprise – it looks like Becker’s mobile flashcards made the list.

The mobile flashcard set includes over 950 cards with questions on the front and brief answers on the back, which will look familiar to any of you who have used Becker’s regular flashcards.

The app works on iPhone or iPad but you don’t have the option to use it on both if you happen to own both devices; you’ll have to buy two copies of the app if that’s what you’re trying to do.

Curious to hear what your most expensive app is and whether or not you’d buy these.