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Monday Morning Accounting News Brief: Identical Twins Head to Deloitte; TWO PwC Leaks; VA Tackles 150 | 5.15.23

cat with breakfast in bed

Good morning and happy Monday! Here’s some stuff happening.

Virginia Society of CPAs is tackling the question “is 150 too many?

For nearly the past two decades, prospective CPAs in Virginia have had to undertake 150 hours of education before becoming licensed. But a declining CPA pipeline has accountants asking: Is the 150 now a barrier to becoming a CPA? Is it time to reimagine how we prepare CPAs for an increasingly evolving profession?

VSCPA members — CPA leaders across organizations of all sizes — are asking these questions. In September 2022, the VSCPA Board of Directors convened a special 150-Hour Task Force to gather data on the 150, review challenges to the CPA pipeline, and make a recommendation to the Board on if the VSCPA should change its standing position supporting the 150-hour requirement for licensure.

Saw this Bloomberg article over the weekend and I have just one question: where!?

Big 4 accounting firms squeeze traditional MSP market:

Amid a market downturn and shrinking tech company valuations, big-four accounting firms are buying up third-party technology services firms to fill critical skill gaps and chase high-margin consulting revenue.

Traditional MSPs – from large system-integrator companies to smaller boutique firms – might feel a squeeze as big-four firms market their technology enablement services within a bigger package of business process improvements, analysts say.

Armanino is named in an FTX lawsuit:

The latest suit was filed Friday in federal court in San Francisco against Sequoia Capital Operations, LLC, the prominent Menlo Park firm known for early backing of Apple, Inc. and Google, among many other Silicon Valley start-ups.

The plaintiffs also asserted claims against FTX’s accounting firms, Armanino LLP of San Ramon and Prager Metis CPAS, Inc. of New York.

The plaintiffs and proposed class representatives are individuals who opened accounts on the FTX platform in order to buy and sell crypto currencies. They allege that they have lost all the funds they entrusted to FTX.

The suit recites agreements that allegedly assured the plaintiffs that their monies would be “segregated” from FTX’s assets and their “digital assets shall at all times remain with you and shall not transfer to FTX trading.”

Deloitte legal troubles in Australia:

Zip Co and its auditor, Deloitte, faces a class action filed by Banton Group, with the law firm suggesting the buy now, pay later operator contravened ASX listing rules and the Corporations Act, along with consumer law.

Banton, which has already pursued legal action against Blue Sky Alternative Investments and Nuix, is also well-advanced in preparing claims against Zip’s auditors and its directors.

The BNPL company’s share price has tumbled over the last 12 months, falling more than 16 per cent on one day in January alone on concerns it would run out of cash before it exited markets outside Australia and the US.

Remember the case of worker vs. the CPA firm she worked for (see: Remote Accountant Who Billed Too Many Hours Owes Her Former Firm $2700 For ‘Time Theft’)? Evaleen Hellinga of Spring Law discusses time theft in Lexology. Although Canadian labor laws differ from our own, she offers some takeaways for employers who suspect their people of time thieving.

Former PwC Australia CEO Tom Seymour, who vacated his post a week ago related to the PwC tax leak scandal, is now retiring. He’ll be gone on September 30.

Speaking of PwC and confidential information leaks, PwC’s UK business has successfully defended a £63 million ($79 million USD) High Court claim that it leaked confidential information that put its client Quindell at a disadvantage in deal negotiations, reports AFR.

New York has spent $64 million on a Covid app no one uses:

New York hired Deloitte and Boston Consulting Group before the pandemic for a five year commitment worth $59.5 million for the purpose of “transforming or reengineering government business models and operations,” an agreement obtained by the Times Union said.
“While the pandemic-driven need for ready access to vaccine records has subsided, the app continues to offer New Yorkers a safe and secure mobile application that brings state-issued digital passes, licenses and records directly to their fingertips,” state Department of Health spokesman Cort Ruddy said in a statement.

Even now that the app has been rendered nearly useless in the state, with most stores and employers having dropped their vaccine mandates, New York pays IBM $200,000 a month for data storage services surrounding the app. In March, $2.2 million was spent on “application development” for it, the Times Union said.

Times Union article here.

Identical twins Ryan and Kyle Walter — who were homeschooled up to high school — are graduating from Wichita State University’s School of Engineering with degrees in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics.

Identical twins, identical degrees

“We actually both interned with Smart Factory on campus for Deloitte and so we’ve been working with them for, him two years me about a year and a half at this point,” said Ryan Walter.

So, what are Walter’s plans after they move their tassels from right to left? We can tell you one thing; they won’t be separated.

“We’re actually both graduating, going to Kansas City and we’re going to start working as supply chain analysts for Deloitte Consulting,” said Kyle Walter.

Congrats, guys!

It’s been two years since the remains of KPMG managing director Alan White were found in a wooded Dallas area. His family continues to seek answers:

“It’s a daily occurrence in your mind. Why did someone do this? Why was it? Why did they put it upon themselves to determine that it was time for his life on earth over?” said older brother Tim White.

Dallas Police continue to investigate Alan White’s disappearance.

“We encourage anyone with info to call. Even the smallest bit of information could be what is needed to solve a case or generate a lead,” said a department spokesperson.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Eric Barnes at 214-671-3480.

There’s a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

EY UK is doing a little ‘reshaping’ after the split failure, reports Sky News:

Sky News has learnt that one of EY’s top British-based executives, Alison Kay, is to move to a European role, potentially removing her from the running to become the UK operation’s next boss.

In a memo circulated to partners late last week, the audit giant said it was slashing the size of its executive committee from 13 members to eight, and would no longer have a chief operating officer.

Ms Kay, who took the role of managing partner for client services in 2020, will shift to work across the firm’s European regions, according to the memo.

She had been presumed by many insiders to be the likeliest contender to replace Hywel Ball, EY UK’s managing partner.

An EY UK spokesperson said: “EY has reshaped two of its internal UK management teams. These changes will allow more EY partners to be focused on serving our clients and stakeholders. EY’s UK LLP board is the ultimate governance and decision-making body for the UK firm and remains unchanged.”

Newcastle firm is taken over by global giant EY – and you’ll love its new name:

A Newcastle tech consultancy has been bought by one of the largest professional services networks in the world.

EY has announced the acquisition of whyaye ltd, a consulting services provider for the data platform ServiceNow, as part of significant ongoing investments in technology consulting services. The announcement marks the eighth EY acquisition in the UK since April 2021.

The acquisition, which will be known as EY whyaye, will support the growth of EY Technology Consulting services by expanding capacity, capabilities and market presence around the ServiceNow platform. Maureen Robson-Norman, whyaye CEO will join Ernst & Young LLP as a Partner.

EY WHYAYE? Oh lordie.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Be good.