September 24, 2022

Friday Footnotes: KPMG Downsizes (Office Space); CPA CPA CPA; Some Good News on Diversity | 8.26.22

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Big 4

Deloitte sees diversity improving at senior levels [Accounting Today] More than 35% of this year’s high-ranking executives identify as racially and ethnically diverse, and more than 42% identify as female, according to Deloitte’s 2022 DEI Transparency Report.

India poised to become next global SaaS capital, says EY-CII study [Business Standard] According to a study by EY and CII titled “India: The next global SaaS capital”, India is poised to become the next SaaS capital over the next few years, mainly driven by small and medium businesses with a focus on large enterprises. The report also stated that according to industry estimates, the market is expected to reach $20-25 billion by 2025 from $4-7 billion in 2020.

KPMG to Cut Manhattan Office Space in Move to New U.S. Headquarters at Hudson Yards [Wall Street Journal] The global audit and consulting firm KPMG LLP is shrinking its New York office space by more than 40%, becoming the latest big company to cut back on real estate as it embraces hybrid work.

PWC’s Ryan on Shortage of Workforce Talent [Bloomberg] Tim Ryan, PWC senior partner & chairman, discusses workforce and talent concerns across companies and sectors. He speaks with David Westin on Bloomberg’s “Balance of Power.”

‘Address visa issues’: KPMG wants more migrants, now [Australian Financial Review] Professional services firm KPMG will call on the federal government to lift the immigration cap to alleviate widespread worker shortages at next week’s Jobs and Skills Summit. The government will also need to fix the nation’s bogged-down visa processing system and actively market Australia as a destination of choice for overseas workers given the current international competition for skilled workers, KPMG chairman Alison Kitchen said.

Law and Order:

NLRB Judge Rules Art Directors Guild Fired Accountant For Unionizing Guild’s Staff [Deadline] In a stinging rebuke of the Art Directors Guild and Chuck Parker, its national executive director, an NLRB administrative law judge has found that Parker “unlawfully” fired the guild’s longtime accountant “in retaliation” for her successful efforts to form a union among the guild’s staff.

Accounting Firm and Two Partners Conducted Deficient Custody Exams [SEC] The SEC’s order finds that Farber Hass Hurley LLP and its partners, Michel Abedian and Michael Hurley, departed from applicable standards for attestation engagements and compliance examinations when conducting surprise examinations of clients. Specifically, the order finds that Abedian, the engagement partner, failed to confirm balances and transactions with custodial clients and failed to reconcile brokerage confirmations to adviser books and records. The order finds that Hurley, who conducted quality control reviews of the examinations, failed to ensure that sufficient and appropriate procedures were performed and that examination reports were appropriate in the circumstances.

Audit

U.S. and China Announce Deal to Share Audits of U.S.-Listed Chinese Firms [New York Times] American and Chinese officials said Friday that they had reached an agreement to allow accounting firms in China to share more information with American regulators about the finances of Chinese companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges. The agreement is a potentially big step toward resolving a conflict that had appeared likely to force some of China’s largest companies to leave American stock exchanges starting in 2024.

Statement on Agreement Governing Inspections and Investigations of Audit Firms Based in China and Hong Kong [SEC] SEC Chair Gary Gensler: Why do these inspections and investigations matter? It’s a privilege for foreign issuers to access our markets — the largest, deepest, most liquid markets in the world. Investors in U.S. markets should be protected — and have trust in a company’s financial numbers — regardless of whether an issuer is foreign or domestic. Further, if foreign issuers want access to our public capital markets, they must be on a level playing field with U.S. firms.

Welp now we know why no one can find seniors

We found Barry Melancon’s Reddit account

Practice Management

Do we need accounting firms? [Accounting Today Opinion] Daniel Hood writes in AT: The firm structure is not a particularly efficient way of raising or mobilizing capital. Given the number of firms that complain about the difficulty of finding the next generation of partners, it’s clearly less attractive as a structure to potential partners than it once was. Too many firms don’t even capitalize on one of the form’s clear advantages — the ability to have a wide range of expertise in one place — to aggressively cross-sell services to a single client base; instead, they act more like a collection of individual practitioners in a WeWork space. And the rules of partnership can often slow decision-making and prevent firms from taking risks and nimbly meeting challenges.

Is the hybrid work model working? CPAs spill the beans [CPA Canada] Three accountants share their experience being back at the office. Find out how they are adjusting and exploring the benefits.

How to get your firm started with ESG [Accountancy Age] Some partners feel they can wait until ESG services are more developed and view the opportunity as a tick box service. They worry that current guidance is directed towards bigger entities and that their firms lack expertise – they should be confident. ESG is not a tick box exercise. It involves helping a business clarify its goals and its business model. It requires support with capturing data, reporting, and auditing – core skills of an accounting firm.

Shifting roles: Managing the evolving changes to firm structures & employee expectations [Thomson Reuters] There are multiple reasons why the legal and tax & accounting industries are seeing shifts in the long-established roles within their firms.

IRS

Claim that Congress members exempted themselves from IRS audits started as satire [Poynter] The claim that Congress is exempt from IRS audits appears to have originated from a satirical Twitter account called News That Matters. On Aug. 17, the account tweeted, “BREAKING In order to safeguard democracy, Congress has voted to exempt itself and its members from upcoming IRS audits.”

IRS is Assessing Security for Offices, Staff After Political Attacks [Bloomberg] “We are conducting a comprehensive review of existing safety and security measures,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a memo to employees on Tuesday. “This includes conducting risk assessments based on data-driven decisions given the current environment and monitoring perimeter security, designations of restricted areas, exterior lighting, security around entrances to our facilities and other various protections.

Firm M&A

Baker Tilly Acquires Consulting Firm Management Partners [CPA Practice Advisor] The national advisory and CPA firm Baker Tilly US, LLP (Baker Tilly) will acquire Management Partners, effective Oct. 1. Management Partners specializes in strategic planning, process improvement, organization analysis, financial analysis, executive recruitment, interim management, coaching, facilitation, and training for local governments. The acquisition adds a unique and significant layer of experience to Baker Tilly’s robust public sector practice.

Dark Horse CPAs Merges in Mary Pierce of Pierce & Company LLC [PRWeb] Dark Horse CPAs, a top accounting and tax firm serving small businesses and individuals across the nation, announces the addition of Mary Pierce, CPA, owner of Pierce & Company LLC, to the profession’s only democratized CPA firm. Ms. Pierce brings with her over 25 years of experience working as an internal and external controller and CFO for SMBs. With this acquisition, Dark Horse CPAs expands their presence in the Florida market.

Tax Twitter is having way too much fun with the IRS SWAT team memes

News

Accountant, 26, and her IT consultant boyfriend, 27, who were tired of the humdrum 9-5 quit their jobs to travel around Europe in a van – and fund their lifestyle by renting out their two-bedroom home in Oxford [Daily Mail] Fed-up with the rat race, former IT consultant, Kieran Field, 27, and former accountant, Alice Ballard, 26, from Oxford, gambled everything on a £7,000 van to create a home on wheels – complete with a double bed, compostable toilet beneath the sofa, one-square-metre kitchen and outdoor shower. After quitting their jobs they rented out their renovated two-bed semi-detached house in Oxford to fund their new lifestyle, Kieran and Alice began their adventures in the north of France in August 2020.

Diversity among CEOs, CFOs continues to rise [Journal of Accountancy] The percentage of women and racially or ethnically diverse CEOs and CFOs at large companies has nearly doubled over the past decade, according to a long-running report. The Crist | Kolder Associates Volatility Report 2022, in its 19th year, gathered data for the first half of 2022 from 681 companies from the Fortune 500 and S&P 500. The report’s latest data revealed a record percentage of female and racially or ethnically diverse company leaders. Currently, 158 CEOs and CFOs at the companies studied are female or racially or ethnically diverse (or both), nearly double the number in the 2012 report (86).

Eisner Advisory Group promotes 10 to partner [Consultancy.org] Eisner Advisory Group, the business consulting arm of mid-market accounting and consulting firm EisnerAmper, has promoted 10 team members to partner, effective August 1.

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