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September 24, 2023

Friday Footnotes: KPMG Still On Its Bullsh*t; Here’s Why You’re Burned Out; EY Gives Itself a Hand(ie) | 2.18.22

a wrinkly dog in a party hat presented with a lollipop

This is why so many accountants are burned out and quitting right now [Fast Company] “If you go into investment banking or medicine, the financial ROI is worth the long hours. It’s not worth it in accounting. A junior accountant could be making $80,000 a year. A bank teller could be at $55,000 a year, but they’re not on call, working 70 or 80 hours a week. You’ve got candidates who are rethinking their lives because the ROI isn’t there for them. The value proposition for the career path in public accounting has reached a point where it sucks.”

‘Still full of KPMG-shaped bullet holes in our backs’: ex-partner on TAHE [Australian Financial Review] “When I find myself in a murky, unethical place where I might go missing, I find it’s good to leave traces, so people can work out what happened to me…” It was a message former KPMG partner Brendan Lyon recalls expressing to KPMG’s general counsel in November 2020, after being told by other executives to stop documenting issues in emails as it was “concerning” senior partners. This and dozens of other emails, recollections and documents were released late last week in response to a question on notice to “identify … emails, documents, correspondence that … supports … what you say with regard to the pressure that was being applied?”

With a wellness stipend, EY aims to help families live their best lives [HR Dive] Anyone else hear aggressive fapping sounds somewhere far off in the distance? Frank Giampietro, EY’s newly appointed chief well-being officer for the Americas, said employees were excited at the mere thought of how to spend the money. “You know, just that anticipation of Christmas, a winter holiday or a birthday,” he said. Giampietro told HR Dive that EY has actively championed employee well-being for almost a decade.

Crisis of culture laid bare at the heart of auditor KPMG [The Times] A year before the collapse of Carillion, the giant outsourcer that was one of KPMG’s biggest audit clients, the senior leadership team in Britain of the “Big Four” accountant gathered for a meeting with Jayne Vaughan, the firm’s head of culture. The group discussed concerning findings from an extensive internal survey of staff and partners into the accountancy firm’s culture, The Times has learnt. They included an apparent irrelevance of corporate values, low levels of trust in the company’s leadership and a lack of accountability or consequences for poor behaviour.

Deloitte to hire 300 ultra-Orthodox Israelis for Beit Shemesh offices [The Jerusalem Post] “Diversity and inclusion are values close to our hearts,” said Ilan Birenfeld, CEO of Deloitte Israel. “The haredi society can and should play a significant role in fulfilling that vision.”

Meanwhile, on Reddit:

via r/accounting

EY To Hire 1,300 As It Opens EYCarbon Unit [Rigzone] Consultancy firm Ernst & Young (EY) will be hiring more than 1,300 people as it launches EYCarbon, a new sustainability offering to support businesses preparing for net-zero. EYCarbon is being backed by over $135 million of investment by EY in the UK. The new service will advise, and support listed businesses as they prepare their net-zero plans ahead of independent scrutiny and verification.

BDO South Africa suspends head of actuarial services to probe qualification ‘discrepancies’ [fin24] Accounting firm BDO South Africa has suspended its head of actuarial services Yashoda Ram because of the alleged misrepresentation of her qualifications.

Report: Accounting enforcement at SEC, PCAOB down in 2021 [Compliance Week] Cornerstone Research on Wednesday published its “Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Activity—2021 Review and Analysis,” in which it identified the SEC and PCAOB publicly disclosed 52 accounting and auditing enforcement actions in 2021. Monetary settlements totaled approximately $159 million, representing a nearly 90 percent decline from $1.4 billion in 2020.

PwC’s $105,000 a fortnight for six staff to assess Industry grants [InnovationAus] Global consulting giant PwC was paid $105,000 in a fortnight to provide just six staff to the Industry department to assist in the assessment and issuing of government grants. Industry department officials were questioned at a Senate Estimates hearing on Thursday afternoon about a near-$2 million contract awarded to PwC at the start of the year for “surge capacity”. The officials said that this contract will see PwC staff “embedded” within the Industry department and working across AusIndustry’s 250 programs, including drawing up grant guidelines and assessing applications. The $1.9 million price tag for the contract is the “upper limit” of its worth, with its value determined by the number of staff utilised.

#TaxTwitter is getting quieter and quieter as the weeks go on but here’s a goodie. Cooking class?

Hybrid working good for firm and staff at Grant Thornton [] In a recent wellbeing survey conducted internally by the firm, 93% of the 2,200+ people who responded reported that they believe hybrid working – being able to work where and when works best for them – allows them to be more productive. At the same time, 91% of respondents believed that a hybrid working approach supports their wellbeing – though 1% disagreed.

Black CPAs share valuable advice for those early in their careers [CPA Canada] There’s no question that for any CPA, soft skills are a great way to demonstrate the extent of your technical skills. According to CPAs Leonidas Assogba and Andrea Nicholls, for racialized groups in particular, soft skills can make all the difference.

Tax pros are subject of ‘spearphishing’ attacks [Journal of Accountancy] dentity thieves are targeting tax professionals with “spearphishing” emails masquerading as coming from the IRS or tax return preparation software providers, the Service advised in a news release Wednesday. A recent such ploy features the IRS logo, with a subject line such as “Action Required: Your account has now been put on hold,” or a bogus “unusual activity report,” with a link purportedly offering to remedy the suspension or other problem. Another links to a page showing logos of several popular tax preparation software companies. Clicking on one prompts a request for the tax preparer’s account credentials.

Late night hosts laugh at Trump dumped by his accountant [The Week] “You might want to brace yourselves again, ladies and gentlemen, because it looks like there may be some actual consequences for former President You Know Coup,” [Steven] Colbert said. As part of a New York fraud investigation, “yesterday, the former president’s accounting firm dropped his company as a client. If there’s any karma in this world, they dropped him for a younger, hotter client. Now he’s gonna need someone else to do his taxes — I suggest H&R Cell Block.”

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