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Friday Footnotes: Accountant Bros Behaving Badly; Deloitte Partners’ Haul; CLA Has a New CEO | 12.25.20

Atlanta accountants plead guilty to $1.2B in fraudulent charitable deductions [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
Brothers Stein Agee and Corey Agee, partners at the Sandy Springs firm AgeeFisherBarrett, both pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, an offense that carries up to five years in prison. A sentencing date has not been announced. The Justice Department alleged the duo marketed, promoted and sold investments in a tax shelter that took advantage of a popular land conservation benefit to grant massive deductions to high-income investors. For every dollar invested in the scheme, the Agees and unnamed co-conspirators promised investors would receive more than $4 in charitable tax deductions.

PwC names new managing partner for KC office [Kansas City Business Journal] With John Martin planning to retire in June, PwC will get a new managing partner for its Kansas City office for the first time in 10 years. The new OMP is Christopher Briggs.

Deloitte partners get their full pay back early [Australian Financial Review] Deloitte has restored non-equity partners to full pay early and reinstated other payments to equity partners on the back of strong first-half results. The moves, revealed in a partner briefing, are an example of the consulting market recovering faster than anticipated from the COVID-19-induced recession.

Deloitte says partner profits could jump 10pc [Australian Financial Review] Deloitte says partner profits could rise by 10 per cent for the 2021 financial year. The potential jump in profits has been fueled by strong sales and lower operating costs over the past six months, partners were told.

Heitman Ex-Accountant Says Race Bias Behind Her Ouster [Law360] A Black former senior accountant for Heitman LLC has hit the real estate investment firm with discrimination claims in Illinois federal court, saying her race and age unlawfully served as factors in falsely negative performance reviews and her eventual termination. Melodi Fields says the performance reviews were false partly because when she asked for examples of her deficiencies, “the manager was unable to provide details.”

Jen Leary named CEO named at nation’s 8th-largest accounting firm [The Business Journals] CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, the nation’s 8th-largest public accounting firm, has appointed a new CEO. Jen Leary will succeed Denny Schleper at the helm, effective Jan. 1. Leary, who is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, has 22 years of experience and spent the last 11 at CLA. Most recently, Leary was chief strategy officer and a member of the firm’s board. Schleper, who worked at the firm for over 30 years, will transition to a CEO emeritus role and remain actively involved through 2021.

KPMG and EY to train civil servants in £288m deal [The Telegraph] Ministers have handed contracts worth up to £288m to consultants at KPMG and EY to train thousands of civil servants over the next four years. The firms, two of the UK’s Big Four accountants, will design and deliver courses in everything from project management and leadership to training on Microsoft IT systems such as Excel and Word.

U.S. Finance Chiefs Expect Growing Revenue, Wages and Employment Levels in 2021 [Wall Street Journal] Chief financial officers at U.S. companies are optimistic the country’s economy as a whole—and their businesses, in particular—will recover in 2021 despite worries about potential tax rate changes and higher labor costs. Finance chiefs expect their companies’ revenue to rise by an average of 6.9% next year, up from a 0.3% increase forecast for 2020, according to a survey by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the Federal Reserve Banks of Richmond and Atlanta. Wages, prices and employment levels also are forecast to increase, the survey of about 300 CFOs found.

Former MACPA chair Mehta to chair AICPA [Accounting Today] Anoop Natwar Mehta, who chaired the Maryland Association of CPAs from 2012-2013, has been nominated to chair the American Institute of CPAs for 2022-2023. Mehta is president of Science Systems and Applications, a government contractor in Lanham, Maryland. He has more than 40 years of government contracting experience, including work with both NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He’s also a former board member and past president of the Maryland Space Business Roundtable.