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Friday Footnotes: Robots Are Coming; The Gayest Big 4 Firm; How to Fire People | 6.19.20

EY faces an existential threat [Reaction] Let’s play guess which firm: “Auditing is little more than an entry ticket to the boardroom. Inevitably, there are many conflicts of interest, as one firm is brought in to investigate the failures of another, but one of the four seems particularly accident prone.”

How to deliver the news of furloughs and layoffs [Journal of Accountancy] Donny Shimamoto, CPA/CITP, CGMA, founder of IntrapriseTechKnowlogies, thought he could avoid laying off or furloughing the roughly 13 employees of his advisory-focused CPA firm during the coronavirus pandemic. But when several clients put the brakes on their projects, he realized what he had to do. Shimamoto furloughed three workers and reduced the hours for two others. This wasn’t new to him — he made similar decisions a few times before, including during the recession in 2008. But this felt different. “In this one, everyone is affected,” Shimamoto said. “You can’t figure out when things are going to come back.”

Practice Management in a Future-Ready CPA Firm [CPA Practice Advisor] Every firm that goes through a strategic planning process will ultimately realize that to be successful, the firm needs a commitment to growth. This doesn’t necessarily mean more people, but it does require the team to be as efficient and effective as possible.

Wirecard says it may be victim of hefty fraud [MarketWatch] Wirecard AG said Friday that it may be the victim of substantial fraud, a day after publication of its 2019 accounts was postponed due to indications of false balance confirmations. “At present it cannot be ruled out that Wirecard has become the aggrieved party in a case of fraud of considerable proportions,” Wirecard Chief Executive Markus Braun said in a video statement. Wirecard shares plummeted more than 60% on Thursday when publication of last year’s accounts was delayed again because the company’s auditor said it had been deceived over evidence of 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion) in cash balances.

How PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG are cutting employee costs [] The increments and promotions cycle for these companies is drawing close, pushing the advisory sector to devise a cost-cutting plan. Third-party spending was among the first costs to be cut by most businesses in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, which was a significant blow to revenues for the consulting sector.

Get to know PwC, a 2020 Business of Pride honoree [Tampa Bay Business Journal] A nice little profile on PwC Pride.

Capitalizing On the Lease Accounting Deadline Extension [CFO] For some organizations, the extension has already paused their decision to move forward with implementation and adoption. According to a recent LeaseAccelerator survey, 25% of respondents noted they had started their GASB 87 implementation but were now delaying it to match the new deadline. Furthermore, 28% of respondents noted that they started their GASB 87 implementation project but were now delayed until work-from-home restrictions have been lifted.

Botkeeper raises $25 million to automate accounting tasks [VentureBeat] Studies show the vast majority of day-to-day accounting tasks can be automated with software. That may be why over 50% of respondents in a survey conducted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants said they anticipate the development of automated and intelligent systems will have a significant impact on accounting businesses over the next 30 years.