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Monday Morning Accounting News Brief: Deloitte University vs. Non-Competes; Elon Doesn’t Take Getting Compared to Enron Kindly | 4.29.24

floofy cat on bedspread

This past weekend’s weekend discussion: ‘Open to Work’ on LinkedIn, Yay or Nay? ‘Yay’ as in “yay I found a better job!”

Also want to include this link from Footnotes in case you missed it, we’ll do a full story later: PIPCA Survey Sheds Light on What Existing CPAs Want and Why Some are Leaving [INSIDE Public Accounting]

The report is found here: CPA Talent Retention 2024: Keeping Your Best Performers

And now new news.


You’ve no doubt heard by now that non-competes are no more. This could be bad news for firms, especially the sue-happy ones that strongly discourage people from striking out on their own.

NPR:

The Federal Trade Commission narrowly voted Tuesday to ban nearly all noncompetes, employment agreements that typically prevent workers from joining competing businesses or launching ones of their own.

The FTC received more than 26,000 public comments in the months leading up to the vote. Chair Lina Khan referenced on Tuesday some of the stories she had heard from workers.

“We heard from employees who, because of noncompetes, were stuck in abusive workplaces,” she said. “One person noted when an employer merged with an organization whose religious principles conflicted with their own, a noncompete kept the worker locked in place and unable to freely switch to a job that didn’t conflict with their religious practices.”

These accounts, she said, “pointed to the basic reality of how robbing people of their economic liberty also robs them of all sorts of other freedoms.”

The FTC estimates about 30 million people, or one in five American workers, from minimum wage earners to CEOs, are bound by noncompetes. It says the policy change could lead to increased wages totaling nearly $300 billion per year by encouraging people to swap jobs freely.

U.S. bans noncompete agreements for nearly all jobs,” NPR April 23, 2024

We’re working on a story, stay tuned. Also, anyone with a public accounting non-compete story — the messier the better — is encouraged to get in touch to share their experience anonymously.


On the topic of non-competes, a Forbes contributor who’s been to Deloitte University says there’s a better way to keep good talent and it’s not the threat of legal action if they leave.

Provide people with the ability to grow their careers where they’re planted. In the old days, companies used to offer management training programs. You started in an entry-level role and were given the opportunity to work in different departments. You attended special training sessions to ensure you were prepared for additional responsibility. Along the way, you were given a bump in salary and title.

Management training programs are a thing of the past. Or are they? Companies like Abbott give new hires the opportunity to participate in a two to three-year development program, which includes exposure to six different areas of focus. Amid a recession, former CEO of Deloitte, Barry Salzberg made a bold move and invested $300M in Deloitte University, a learning center dedicated to providing employees at all levels of the organization with learning opportunities. I’ve had the privilege of teaching at Deloitte U and can attest to the fact that it’s a pretty amazing place.


Deloitte announced another huge investment in Deloitte U last year.


Chicken chain Bojangles is suing an accounting firm.

Bojangles Restaurants Inc. and Bojangles Opco LLC have filed a lawsuit alleging proprietary and confidential information was wrongfully shared by its largest franchisee organization and an accounting firm.

The Charlotte-based chicken-and biscuits chain claims in a court filing that Bojangles’ of America Franchisee Association and Berkowitz Pollack Brant has caused irreparable harm to the company.
Bojangles lawsuit counters one filed by Bojangles’ of America Franchisee Association in March that alleges breach of contract and unfair and deceptive trade practices. That lawsuit was filed over money BFA members have been paying into a marketing fund — and a separate account they say was kept secret for years.

But, Bojangles says that filing has allowed its competitors, suppliers, competitors and the public access to confidential information. It alleges the confidential information shared publicly included amounts franchisees contribute to an accrual fund, dollar amounts of product write offs, amounts paid to vendors from a marketing fund and administrative fees charged.

Bojangles claims that franchisee group Bojangles’ of America Franchisee Association, bound by a non-disclosure agreement, shared confidential information with Berkowitz Pollack Brant of Miami (#61 on INSIDE Public Accounting’s Top 100, $104,938,677 in revenue). The franchisees hired the firm “to review information and documents regarding marketing and accrual funds to which franchisees contribute.”

When Bojangles got sued, this confidential information made its way into the public record. So it’s a whole thing now.


Someone about to inherit their parents’ accounting firm asks r/asksingapore how to be a good boss.

How to be a good boss?
byu/Awkward_ninjapanda inaskSingapore

Text:

Hi all, this is my first post on Reddit. As per the title, I have been wondering what does it take to be a good boss to my staff. Background story, I manage a small accounting firm, we help SME with their accounts. This is a family-run business, meaning my parents are retiring soon. My colleague and I are next in line for succession to manage the company together. Would like to hear some thoughts on this.

Because it’s asksingapore and not r/accounting, the answers are not jokey and actually helpful. Check it out.


Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz has invoked the dreaded Enron comparison against Tesla. I trust this audience does not need a brief explainer on what Enron is and why a business doesn’t want to be compared to it.

Dustin Moskovitz, the Facebook cofounder who later went on to start Asana, claimed in a Threads post on Wednesday that the EV maker has misled consumers “on a massive scale,” accusing Tesla of lying about its Full-Self Driving software and the vehicle’s ranges.

Spokespeople for Tesla and Asana did not respond to a request for comment.

Elon sure did tweet about it though!


You’d think at quick glance this Deloitte case study is about douchebags working at Deloitte.

It’s not.


Tech news from KPMG:

Quantum is coming — and bringing new cybersecurity threats with it

Most businesses surveyed are “extremely concerned” about quantum computing’s potential to break through their data encryption. Sixty percent in Canada and 73 percent in the US believe “it’s only a matter of time” before cybercriminals are using the power of quantum to decrypt and disrupt today’s cybersecurity protocols. At the same time, however, 62 percent in Canada and 81 percent in the US admit that they need to do a better job of evaluating their current capabilities to ensure their data remains secure.

KPMG Australia research shows that protecting data and dealing with cyber risks is viewed by C-suite executives and board members from private sector enterprises as a top challenge in 2024 — and for the next 3 to 5 years.

KPMG in Germany conducted research in collaboration with Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), 95 percent of respondents believe quantum computing’s relevance and potential impact on today’s cryptographic security systems is “very high or high,” and 65 percent also say the average risk to their own data security is “very high or high.” Yet only 25 percent of firms say the threat posed is currently being addressed in their risk management strategy.



Across the pond, KPMG and a former partner are in court.

One of the Big Four consultancy firms, KPMG, and its former partner have been hit with legal action by bankrupt Manchester-based property developer Bashar Issa.

KPMG and former partner David Costley-Wood have been named on a claim listed in the High Court.

According to the particulars of the claim document, as seen by City A.M., Bashar bin Mahmood (known as Bashar Issa) owned several property development companies. However, in 2008, he instructed KPMG to assist with restructuring his business after the Irish Bank Anglo Irish Bank (AIB) went into bankruptcy.

The claimant had a £89m loan with AIB to develop a housing and mixed-use property.

The claim noted that Costley-Wood was a senior manager at KPMG and had introduced the claimant to the firm’s employees under his management.

David Costley-Wood (great name, that’s what happens when your dick gets you in trouble) has been in these pages before:


PwC Australia announced a new three-year strategy on Friday that prioritizes four new key market areas: artificial intelligence, trust in what matters, climate, and business model reinvention.

Good plan, AI is notorious for being responsible with confidential information.

PwC Australia has also outlined its ongoing focus on being a well-managed firm, for example, by having a market relevant operating model, leading governance, risk and ethics, and responsible business practices. Building a leading culture is also emphasised as a key driver for the firm to deliver its purpose.

PwC Australia CEO Kevin Burrowes said business reinvention is needed to truly support clients facing rapid disruption.

“We are excited for the opportunity to create better outcomes for our clients and people as we launch this strategy,” he said.


Another accounting firm has reported a data breach.

On April 25, 2024, Berry, Dunn, McNeil & Parker, LLC (“BerryDunn”) filed a notice with the Attorney General of Maine after discovering that a managed service provider of BerryDunn’s Health Analytics Practice Group (“HAPG”) experienced a data breach. In this notice, BerryDunn explains that the incident resulted in an unauthorized party being able to access consumers’ sensitive information. Upon completing its investigation, BerryDunn began sending out data breach notification letters to all individuals whose information was affected by the recent data security incident.

HAPG uses a managed service provider called Reliable Networks of Maine, LLC, Reliable detected suspicious activity within its IT network and informed BerryDunn of this on September 14, 2023.

In response, BerryDunn launched an investigation with the help of third-party data security specialists.

Ultimately, through this investigation, BerryDunn confirmed that an unauthorized party was able to access Reliable’s network and removed certain data from HAPG’s systems.



K that’s it. Get at me about non-competes and have a great week, everyone!