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Monday Morning Accounting News Brief: PwC Partner Banned; Salary Predictions; Public Accountants Have Had It | 1.23.23

smushed face cat and alarm clock

Last week someone complained about the format I’ve been using for this linkwrap since I started doing it many, many Mondays ago so just for them, here’s some bullet-free bullet points in lieu of one giant paragraph. Don’t say I never did anything for you.

Brazilian retailer and PwC client Americanas filed for bankruptcy, its three largest shareholders said over the weekend they had not known of $4 billion in accounting inconsistencies. “We didn’t know of and would never allow any accounting manipulation in the company”, they said in a statement. “Banks and auditors never reported any problems.” [Reuters]

The next six to 12 months will bring an explosion of experimentation, predicted EY global chief technology officer Nicola Morini Bianzino, especially once companies are able to build on top of ChatGPT using OpenAI’s API. And the killer use case that emerges could be around generative AI’s impact on knowledge management — that Bianzino describes as the “dialectic of AI.” [VentureBeat]

Educators and professionals discuss accounting’s diversity problem: Students and young professionals from underrepresented groups pursuing careers in accounting have a much smaller pool of people who look like they do to lean on for support. Percentages and numbers of diverse groups in accounting vary depending on the metrics and parameters of different studies, but all of them have the same conclusion: “In a nutshell, the accounting profession remains a very non diverse industry,” summed up Steve Sublett, senior vice president of CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Solutions Inc. and co-chair of the CBIZ Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. [San Diego Business Journal]

A U.S. District Court judge in the Southern District of New York granted on Friday Deloitte LLP’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act that was filed in October of 2021. [PLANADVISER]

A former partner at PwC has been banned from practicing as a tax agent in Australia for two years in a scandal involving the sharing of confidential information about government plans to target multinational tax avoidance with the firm’s clients. [Financial Times]

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced settled charges against Bloomberg Finance L.P. (Bloomberg) for misleading disclosures relating to its paid subscription service, BVAL, which provides daily price valuations for fixed-income securities to financial services entities. The SEC’s order finds that from at least 2016 through October 2022, Bloomberg failed to disclose to its BVAL customers that the valuations for certain fixed-income securities could be based on a single data input, such as a broker quote, which did not adhere to methodologies it had previously disclosed. [SEC]

North Carolina’s elected state auditor Beth Wood has a court date next week after she was cited for misdemeanor hit-and-run and another traffic-related charge when police said she hit a parked car. [WLOS]
A billboard created by someone for whom graphic design is a passion is calling for her resignation:

A Florida CPA pleaded guilty in the District of New Jersey to conspiring to sell tax deductions disguised as charitable deductions to high-income clients. Between 2013 and 2019, while working as a CPA, Ralph Anderson of Naples, Florida, along with others, promoted and helped sell fraudulent syndicated conservation easement tax shelters. [Department of Justice]

We love Dr. Josh McGowan but oof no bby:

Happy first day of tax season! You’ve got this!

Crypto skeptic and former chief of the SEC Office of Internet Enforcement John Reed Stark wrote a long-ass LinkedIn post about why “regulation by enforcement” is nonsense:

Some catchphrases are awesome like “May the Force Be With You.” Some catchphrases are hilarious like, “More Cowbell.” And some catchphrases are baseless and misleading like Theranos’s mantra that, “One Tiny Drop Changes Everything.” The catchphrase of “SEC Regulation by Enforcement,” shouted from the rooftops by crypto-grifters, falls into that last category — a complete and utter falsehood.

The crypto-spin goes like this: The crypto-enforcement efforts of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will crush innovation via regulation-by-enforcement (RBE). Rather than create regulations that provide specificity and clarity to crypto-firms, the SEC instead unlawfully uses enforcement actions to develop the law on a case-by-case basis, molding securities regulation into whatever best suits the SEC staff at the time.

“Big Crypto,” the now popular epithet for the extraordinarily well-funded and well-organized group of cryptocurrency lobbyists, “educational groups,” and other crypto, DeFi, NFT, and Web3 supporting organizations, have been carping about RBE ad nauseam. But that does not make them right.

In fact, the repetitive chorus of RBE is not only a misguided, deflective effort designed to tap into sympathetic libertarian and anti-regulatory mores – it’s also utter nonsense.

Before anyone runs with this as fact, let’s be clear that the above Reddit title was sarcasm. Everyone knows public accountants don’t have time to riot.

One quick editorial item: we’re working on a piece about your career at various stages in your life. Right now I’m looking for current and former public accountants in their 40s and 50s to talk about their experiences and any specific challenges they’ve encountered related to age. If you are open to answering some quick questions, gimme a shout. No, you don’t have to go on record.

That’s all I’ve got. Hope everyone has a great week! 

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