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Monday Morning Accounting News Brief: Fear and Loathing at KPMG; FASB? More Like SLOWB; EY, Esq. | 10.31.22

a Boston terrier dressed as a Chia Pet

Happy Spoopy Day! Here are your morning headlines:

As critics suggest FASB is too slow to make new rules, FASB chair Rich Jones hits back: The standards for financial statements are “designed to provide the best information for capital allocation decisions” by investors, he said, but “at the end of the day, it’s applied by accountants, and it’s evaluated by auditors. It has to work.” States spent millions on Deloitte’s ‘anti-fraud’ Covid unemployment systems, billions in fraud happened. The IRS is providing a new way for CPAs and others to make anonymous reports about third-party vendors who promote improper claims for the employee retention credit. The story is behind a paywall but says that during a recent webinar, EY global law leader Cornelius Grossmann said a new EY company, split from its audit business, would focus on largescale clients and projects that are multidisciplinary in nature, with legal services being a key—but not dominant—component. ICYMI: after the death of a former colleague from South Africa who’d just been fired, current and former employees at KPMG Saudi Arabia say unethical employment practices are commonplace and have left expatriate staff fearing for their personal safety and struggling with their mental health. PwC diversity leader Norma Taki talks about women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in the workplace. Andersen Global’s CEO talked to the Wall Street Journal, no plans to get into the audit business any time soon: “We have no interest in having an audit practice. From inception in 2002, our vision has been to provide tax, legal and other relevant services to clients. But we do not think that having an audit practice is suitable with that kind of platform.”

Over the past two weeks, several high level advisory people have abruptly left BDO USA and we are trying to figure out why. As we continue to gather information on something going down at BDO, you are encouraged to get in touch if you’re a BDOer who has spotted any strange happenings. You can also reach out on the tipline at 202-505-8885 — texts greatly preferred to calls and as always, tipsters are anonymous.

Since it’s Halloween and all, here’s a throwback to a guy’s “Taxed to Death” costume:

I’ve been playing Fallout Shelter lately and cracked up when this “Accountant Outfit” appeared in my inventory. +4 Perception isn’t too shabby and I wouldn’t expect it to boost Charisma but shouldn’t it give a point or two to Intelligence?

a screenshot of Fallout Shelter game

Speaking of games:

A few things we’re working on this week:

  • As mentioned above, we’re keeping a close eye on BDO, don’t be surprised if you see a story or two this week
  • Some organizations are getting REALLY desperate for accountants, we’ll take a look at one org drastically lowering their standards
  • Speaking of the accountant shortage, some firms are reporting HUGE incoming hire numbers… how??
  • The IRS is cracking down on practitioners who jump the line on the phone
  • Thought I’d do something on “legal THC” that you’ve probably seen for sale at your nearest gas station, will it cause you to fail a drug test? (If your accounting firm requires drug tests, that is)
  • We might write up Deloitte’s State of AI survey, we might plug accounting firms into WOMBO instead
a WOMBO Dream creation
AI doesn’t even know who you are, Deloitte

People who took the CPA exam on October 1 thinking they would get their scores on October 11 but didn’t are anxiously awaiting the November 8 score release. It would be pretty funny (and cruel) if scores end up delayed that day. I would expect a full scale riot, we’ll keep you posted.

Lastly, KPMG Australia is hiring high schoolers. Guess that’s one way to widen the candidate pool in this market.

That’s about it for today. If you see anything interesting gimme a shout. Have a great week, everyone!