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Friday Footnotes: CFO Pay on the Rise; EY Seeks Neurodiversity; COVID-19 Skidoo | 4.16.21

Ernst & Young opens program in Boston to attract autistic workers and other “neuro-diverse” recruits [Boston Globe]
These programs at EY are designed to hire talented candidates whose cognitive differences — dyslexia, autism, or ADHD, for example — might hamper them in traditional one-on-one job interviews that rely on good social skills. EY also provides support to those hired through the program.

Breaking a barrier: The first Black partner of Big Eight firm [Journal of Accountancy] Fifty years after the first Black CPA received his license, Elmer J. Whiting Jr. broke an important barrier when in 1971 he became the first Black partner of a Big Eight firm, which is what the largest national accounting firms were called at the time. Whiting was already a trailblazer, having been the first Black CPA in Ohio and the 25th Black CPA in the country. His journey demonstrates the significant impact that leaders like Whiting had within and beyond the profession.

PwC is tackling workplace equity by uplifting Black, Latinx students [Employee Benefit News] Big four accounting firm PwC is expanding its Access Your Potential program through a $125 million dollar investment that is focused on increasing social equity for Black and Latinx students. The new pledge will go towards initiatives that combine high-demand digital and career readiness training, upskilling and mentorship throughout their college careers in hopes of preparing them for future careers.

FASB Gives Certain Companies an Accounting Break on Lease-Contract Losses [Wall Street Journal] The new standard, approved Wednesday by the U.S. accounting standard-setter, serves as an update to a rule that went into effect for public companies in early 2019 and requires businesses to put operating leases on their balance sheets instead of in footnote disclosures.

New French Tax Compliance Audit Process—In Practice [Bloomberg Tax] Earlier this year the French tax authorities introduced an innovative process allowing tax compliance audits to be carried out by private service providers. Thierry Viu of CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats explains the new audit process and how it works in practice.

AICPA Names Four new Accounting Doctoral Scholars [AICPA] The ADS program, first launched in 2009, recruits practicing CPAs who have expressed interest in and demonstrated potential for becoming college professors to attend an all-expenses-paid seminar. The seminar provides exposure to what it takes to earn a PhD in accounting and to teaching, research and service requirements of a college faculty member. Those who ultimately apply to and are accepted into one of more than 40 affiliated PhD programs receive a $20,000 stipend to support their education.

CFO Pay Rises as Their Companies Navigate Coronavirus Pandemic [Wall Street Journal] Finance executives at America’s biggest companies received a collective 7% pay rise last year as many of them steered their firms’ finances through the pandemic, though not all saw their compensation increase.

The COVID-19 Shift [CPA Journal] The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic created an inflection point that is going to transform the way most clients and employees interact with businesses going forward—the biggest being the ability to work and service your clients from anywhere.