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Friday Footnotes: PwC Pays You to Go Away; EY Turned In to Rona Police; PCAOB Plans | 4.9.21

How PwC US is thanking our people for a year of hard work [Tim Ryan via LinkedIn] Writes the PwC US Chair: “Our people are the heartbeat of our organization, and their well-being is the most important thing for us to look out for. Because it is so important to take breaks, unplug, and experience new things (especially post-pandemic!), we will be giving $250 to employees each time they take a full week’s vacation for the next year, with the potential to continue this program into the future if we see wide adoption. We are also launching ‘Fridays Your Way,’ which will discourage calls and meetings on Friday afternoons this summer so employees can dedicate time to focus on what they need.”

EY accountancy firm staff held Christmas party ‘reported to the police’ [Independent] More than 25 staff from EY – including two partners at the firm – reportedly attended a Christmas dinner at the Roast restaurant on 11 December, when rules banned all mixing between households. EY confirmed that it had “investigated this matter”, but attempted to distance the company from the event by saying it had been “organised independently by the individuals involved”.

Illinois CPA Society Honors Top CPA Exam Candidates [CPA Practice Advisor] The Excel Awards were established in 1984 by the Illinois CPA Society Board of Directors to recognize new CPAs and CPA candidates for outstanding performance on the Uniform CPA Exam in Illinois.

Don’t Mistake Accounting for Economics [National Review] TL;DR: There’s one mistake that’s particularly common and damaging. Too many observers try to derive economic principles from accounting principles. This is flat-out wrong. The reason is simple: Economics is not accounting. Economists try to understand the causal relationships in commerce and government. Accountants document stocks and flows in an orderly fashion. Economics obviously makes use of accounting, and accounting can be improved through knowledge of economics, but they’re not the same thing.

Accounting-Related Cases Make Up 80% of Securities Class Action Settlement Dollars [Insurance Journal] According to a report by Cornerstone Research, accounting allegations were present in more than 30% of all federal securities class action filings, and accounting cases made up 84% of total settlement dollars in 2020.

Carole Streicher is first woman to take reins of KPMG’s U.S. deals team. Here’s how she got there [MarketWatch] Ah delicious stereotypes: Unlike most children, who want to be a firefighter or doctor, Carole Streicher, at 5 year’s [sic] old, knew she wanted to be a certified public accountant. As funny as that might sound for a child to say, Streicher in the fourth grade also picked being a CPA for school dress-up day, and thus began explaining her future career path to friends. “I loved math,” Streicher said. “And for me, I just had that in my mind and it actually worked out.”

PCAOB’s 2021 inspections target pandemic concerns, predictability [Journal of Accountancy] PCAOB inspections in 2021 will focus on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on companies’ financial reporting while also becoming less predictable, according to resources the board published Tuesday.

IRS floats plans to digitize more data [GCN] In an April 2 request for information, the agency outlined how it will reduce its reliance on paper by extracting machine-readable data from poor-quality paper and digital images, improving document scanning and using artificial intelligence to improve workflow processes.