Friday Footnotes: Deloitte’s Lucrative Hookup; Big 4 ‘Hiring Spree’; Smoke Up, CPAs | 1.22.21

Partner capital account reporting gets transition penalty relief [Journal of Accountancy] The IRS provided transition penalty relief Tuesday to partnerships in complying with new rules for reporting partners’ capital account balances.

7 Reasons Accounting Firms Should Embrace Cannabis Clients in a Post-COVID World [CPA Practice Advisor] Cannabis use is up, especially with more people at home due to COVID, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Retail marijuana sales are on track for a 40% increase in 2020 over 2019 and are projected to reach $37 billion by 2024. Deemed an “essential” business by the U.S. government this year, the cannabis industry has proven pandemic-proof. Now that it has been legalized in many states and is widely accepted, it’s no longer taboo or frowned upon as it once was. In fact, because cannabis use is increasingly commonplace and accepted, many different businesses sell trendy CBD and hemp products.

SEC Charges Father-Son Team With Defrauding Clients [ThinkAdvisor] The SEC’s complaint alleges that, from November 2015 through March 2018, the Sztroms provided investment advice to clients through SWM and concealed from clients that Michael was not associated with APA or any other RIA and was not subject to compliance oversight by APA or any other firm.

Big four firms go on hiring spree as travel bans cut talent pool [Financial Review] Like all global professional services firms, the big four typically have an ongoing influx of professionals from their overseas branches brought into the country to work on client projects. But this supply of staff has been severely curtailed by COVID-19-related restrictions on travel into the country.

PwC: Remote work ‘an overwhelming success’ for employers, employees [HR Dive] From a PwC survey, not PwC talking about themselves: “Productivity may be a big factor behind future decisions to maintain remote work. Fifty-two percent of executives said that productivity improved during the prolonged work-from-home period, while 34% of employees said the same. But while more than half of workers wanted to work from home at least three days per week, 87% said the office is important for collaboration and building relationships.”

Test and Trace is paying Deloitte nearly a million pounds every day [The London Economic] Dido Harding’s Test and Trace system is splashing out nearly a million pounds every day to private consultancy firm Deloitte, newly-released government figures have revealed. David Williams, a top-ranking civil servant at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), told MPs on Monday that 900 of the firm’s consultants were currently employed – at a rate of £1,000 per day.

Advice for Retaining African American Accountants [CPA Journal] From a practice management perspective, training supervisors in the art of perspective-taking can foster interpersonal relationships, build trust between diverse employees, and lead to higher retention rates for African American accountants.

Allison Herren Lee Named Acting Chair of the SEC [SEC.gov] “It’s an honor to continue my service on the Commission in this new role,” Acting Chair Lee said. “I have tremendous respect for my colleagues on the Commission and the exceptional staff across the agency, and look forward to working closely with them. Together we will continue the agency’s work of protecting investors and ensuring market integrity.”

I.R.S. Pushes Back Start of 2020 Tax Filing Season [NYT] The shift was needed, the I.R.S. said, to allow the agency to update and test its systems to reflect late-year tax changes approved by Congress, including a second round of economic stimulus payments.

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