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Friday Footnotes: Busy Season Vacay; PwC Fined; Bill Michael Was Right? | 2.19.21

Black CPA Centennial celebrates first Black CPA [Journal of Accountancy] The first CPA law was passed in New York 1896. It would be another 25 years before a Black person joined the profession. The primary blockers that made licensure essentially impossible for many aspiring Black CPAs included education, experience, and exclusion.

Art of Accounting: Work-life balance doesn’t stop for tax season [Accounting Today] Ed Mendlowitz writes: A few days ago I received an email from a friend at a Top 500 accounting practice. He is the firm’s founder and senior partner and just wanted to touch base. He said something that I think is very important and I want to share it with you. He gave me a rundown of his year and mentioned that he hasn’t had a day off in 15 months and that he also hasn’t seen his parents since then. He said he was taking off from March 16 to 21 to see his parents. He also mentioned that in his over 35 years of practicing he “never took a vacation during tax season. This is a first.”

Accounting Woes Spread to France as Mazars, PwC Hit by Fines [Bloomberg Quint] Mazars SA and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP were fined a total of 450,000 euros ($546,000) by French audit regulators for shortcomings related to a client that had been inflating its revenue with fake bills that could be worth hundreds of millions of euros.

Silicon Valley Democrat’s bill would give the IRS more money to audit millionaires, corporations [CNBC] The legislation, if passed, would infuse the IRS with $70 billion between fiscal 2022 and 2031 to help the agency hire additional staff to audit individuals making more than $1 million in total income. Corporations with more than $20 billion in assets would also be prioritized for audits under the plan.

KPMG Work Bias Furor Exposes ‘Loud Minority’ Emboldened by Trump [Bloomberg Tax] Former KMPG U.K. chief Bill Michael outraged his employees and ultimately lost his job after mocking the concept of unconscious bias, but human resources professionals say he’s far from the only executive to scoff at diversity and inclusion training. HR professionals said Michael reflects a silent but substantial minority of C-suite executives who are skeptical of the need for such initiatives, and now feel more emboldened to criticize those efforts by former President Donald Trump‘s now-rescinded 2020 executive order restricting diversity training.

Deloitte sells restructuring unit before audit reform [Accountancy Daily] The divestment by Deloitte comes ahead of imminent UK legislation forcing the largest audit firms to split off their audit arms to ensure independence.

Why PwC is making its diversity data public [Fortune] PwC U.S. Chairman Tim Ryan is putting out a blog post this morning to explain why the firm has taken the unusual step of making its data on diversity public. Ryan noted that the recent Edelman Trust Barometer shows one result of the COVID crisis is that business is now more trusted than government, media or NGOs.

Remote Accountants Build Trust by Communication [AccountingWEB] What can we do in our daily practice to bridge the divide between human contact and virtualization?