January 23, 2022

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Accounting News Roundup: Blowing Off Clients and Christmas Tree Tax Breaks | 11.29.17

Yes, it’s only Wednesday, but look at the bright side; the end might be closer than we think. ‘I’ve got to run. My big client is on the other phone!’ [AT] Withum partner Ed Mendlowitz shares an anecdote about meeting an accountant who he overheard blowing off a client “because his humongous client needed something […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Antitrust and ‘Large, Round Number, Unsupported’ Journal Entries | 11.21.17

Ed. note: We’re off starting tomorrow, returning Monday. Send tips over the holiday to tips@goingconcern.com and submit your questions, missives, and tryptophan-induced dream journals to Open Items. Happy Thanksgiving! Mergers Yesterday, the Department of Justice sued to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger. Justice believes the combined company would “greatly harm American consumers” while AT&T says […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Insurance Fraud and Tax Reform Gets Harder | 11.16.17

Accountants behaving badly Here’s an interesting diversion in the ABB section from the usual “Accountant Embezzles Funds” story: insurance fraud! An Atlanta-area CPA, Earle Turner Sr., allegedly took out 19 life insurance policies on his clients, naming himself as the beneficiary: Mutual of Omaha notified Georgia officials of suspected fraudulent activity by Turner after finding […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Massages During Tax Season and Big 4 Collusion | 11.10.17

Editor’s note: Accounting News Roundup will be off on Monday, returning Tuesday. Have a great weekend. Employee retention “How to lose staff and alienate employees” is this Accounting Today article based on a speech given by Sandra Wiley and it is nearly perfect. Secretive, cultureless firms with only up-or-out career paths are doomed, and rightly […]

Accounting News Roundup: Embezzling and Impersonating; Tax Reform; Phony Revenue | 10.20.17

Accountants behaving badly A reader pointed us to this seemingly common ABB story featuring Krystle Sheals of Marion, Ark.: Sheals, a former bookkeeper with Nichols Fire and Security (NFS) in Memphis, Tennessee, is charged with using her access to her employer’s bank accounts to pay personal bills and expenses, including personal credit card payments, personal […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Hacks, Rio Tinto, and ‘What was owed to him’ | 10.18.17

Hacks Joe Kristan pointed us to this disturbing story in Tax Notes (sub req’d) featuring IRS Commissioner John Koskinen: “Our estimate has been that before that breach, information on over 100 million Americans was already in the hands of criminals,” Koskinen told reporters during a press conference on the IRS security summit preparations for the […]

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Accounting News Roundup: The Mortgage Interest Deduction and ‘I helped people [with stolen money]’ | 10.17.17

Mortgage interest deduction This Wall Street Journal story reports that while the mortgage interest deduction appears to be safe in a quest to reform the federal tax code, however, the proposal to double the standard deduction might render it moot: Under current law, a typical homeowner would need to purchase a home worth at least […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Ignoring Rules and Seattle’s Income Tax | 10.11.17

Ignoring rules The other day I mentioned that it might be fun to work in Tesla’s accounting department since Elon Musk doesn’t seem too hung up on things like production estimates or sales projections. And as fun as playing fast and loose with numbers might be, it pales compared to Uber’s laissez-faire attitude about the […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Estimates, ‘Rough’ Balance Sheets, and Repeat Embezzlers | 10.09.17

Estimates Elon Musk is a big thinker, a visionary, perhaps a bit insane, but that’s why people love him. He sees the world’s potential and wants to make that potential a reality, not getting too hung up on details like sales estimates, production guidance, etc. The Wall Street Journal pointed out over the weekend, however, that […]

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Accounting News Roundup: New Bosses, Property Taxes, and Kickbacks | 10.02.17

New bosses KPMG, BDO, and Crowe Horwath have all announced new global chairmen/CEOs recently. This will have almost no effect on your day-to-day professional lives beside the fact that you will be ignoring emails from a slightly different smiley white dude. SALT This Bloomberg BNA post points out that if your city’s newly constructed professional […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Estate Taxes, Accounting Fraud, and Insider Trading | 09.29.17

Estate taxes Perhaps this will sound like a repeat of yesterday, but the Trump Administration’s tax reform plan is more of an illogical tax policy term paper. USC Professor Edward Kleinbard called it a “deficit-busting mess.” PolitifFact said Trump’s claims about ending the estate tax are a “Pants on Fire” level falsehood. This particular proposal […]

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Accounting News Roundup: An Amazon Pageant, Kentucky, and Insider Trading | 09.25.17

Amazon This New York Times story shares examples of how city leaders from all over the country are groveling for the opportunity to be the home of Amazon’s next headquarters. “Mayoral letters to Amazon are actually becoming a YouTube subgenre.” People are obsessing over hundreds of hours of videos of Jeff Bezos. Tucson tried to […]

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Accounting News Roundup: No Low Tax Rates for You, Accounting Firms | 09.13.17

Critical audit matters A BDO survey of corporate board directors found that 48% of them “do not feel the discussion of CAMs is an improvement to the transparency and usefulness of the auditor’s report for investors.” This shouldn’t be surprising since 1) A lot of board members don’t care much about auditing and 2) Even […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Sticking With Clients and Amateurish Fraud | 09.07.17

Sticking with clients Paul Gillis notes a story about Goldman Sachs stopping its work on an IPO for a unit of HNA, a Chinese conglomerate, remarking on PwC’s connection: HNA’s public companies are audited by PwC. This raises the question of how PwC is able to continue as auditor. Auditing standards require auditors to annually […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Burnout and Knowing When to Quit | 09.05.17

Burnout I wrote briefly about workaholism right before the holiday weekend, and now that we’ve returned, some of you might feel angst and woe about returning to work. I think this is normal and should not concern you. However, if those feelings occur on an average Tuesday, then maybe something else is going on: Burnout. […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Workaholism and Insider Trading | 09.01.17

All work and no play makes you a dummy. Ed. note: Going Concern will be off on Monday, observing Labor Day. See you back here on Tuesday. If anything interesting happens between now and then, drop us a line at editor@goingconcern.com or create a post in Open Items. Workaholism Accounting firms have long had a […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Long Prison Sentences and Short Sandwiches | 08.30.17

Accountants behaving badly If this section of ANR has taught you anything, it should be that embezzling money from your employer is a horrible idea. If you still aren’t convinced, let this story from the heartland serve as another reminder: The former finance director of the Substance Abuse Treatment Unit of Central Iowa headquartered in […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Forgetting a Career Limiting Move and Long Cons | 08.23.17

Forgetting a career limiting move If you get in trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission and they suspend you for, say, five years — do you forget about it? I mean, five years is a decent stretch, so things change, you move on with your life, you find some new work. So would you […]

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Accounting News Roundup: The Auditor’s Report and Showing Up to Court | 08.21.17

Mayo latte, anyone? The auditor’s report Last Friday was the deadline for submitting comments to the SEC on the PCAOB’s proposed revised auditor’s report. The SEC has never rejected a rule submitted by the PCAOB, so unless the commissioners decide to shred the PCAOB’s independence, auditor’s reports will start looking different next year.  This Jason […]

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Accounting News Roundup: CEOs, Jury Duty, and Fraud Detection | 08.17.17

How’s the businessman president getting along with business? Not too good, man. President Trump’s nightmare of a news conference on Tuesday started the unraveling earlier in the week, and then yesterday, everything fell apart: On a 45-minute conference call that started around 11:30 a.m. ET Wednesday, members of the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum decided […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Recruiting on Snapchat and Screwed-up Estimated Payments | 08.14.17

You’re not missing anything. Recruiting trends Should you be recruiting on Snapchat? I have no earthly idea, but then again, maybe that’s where all the accounting talent is hiding? On the other hand, I’m surprised that someone would even suggest that you should consider recruiting on Snapchat. The best PwC could come up with was […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Taxes, *Very* Different Career Paths, and Lewd Behavior | 08.11.17

Taxes Consummate bullshit artist and current POTUS Donald J. Trump repeated one of his favorite falsehoods yesterday, saying, “We pay more tax than anybody in the world.” Although this has been discredited by countless economists and tax experts, they made the rounds again including this exasperated guy from the Tax Foundation: “Two years later, and […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Job Search Survival, Pot Tax Policy, and Jail Time | 08.10.17

Job search survival I enjoyed this interview with Harvard Business School Assistant Professor Ethan Rouen about job search survival, not only because he’s nauseatingly enthusiastic about accounting, but because he seems to appreciate his weaknesses: I have no self-control around sweets. Without some kind of forced regimen, I’d eat cake for every meal. That being […]

Accounting News Roundup: Convenience vs. Necessity Tests and Free Bathroom Renovations | 08.09.17

Businessman telling businesswoman about how he’ll be working late, but not as late as her, and not be judged for it. Convenience tests This Bloomberg BNA article discusses the strange but very real issue for workers who work from home but also work in an office…that’s in a different state. New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Martin Shkreli’s Fraud Conviction and ‘Botched’ Tax Reform | 08.07.17

Comeuppance A jury found the insufferable client, boss, and person Martin Shkreli guilty on three of eight counts of securities fraud on Friday. And if you’re feeling schadenfreude, you might be disappointed to learn that he’s mostly fine: During his postverdict live-stream, Mr. Shkreli, sipping from a bottle of India pale ale, speculated that his […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Florida Accountant Mistaken for Dad of Shark Dragger | 08.04.17

Florida accountant A Sarasota CPA is suffering from a case of a mistaken identity, and in the age of the Internet, that means putting up with a lot of angry strangers calling to curse at you and make empty threats: “Your son is a f****** piece of s***,” one caller said. Robert Wenzel has gotten […]

Accounting News Roundup: Culture Copycats and A Bad Accountant Strikes Again | 07.31.17

Culture copycats At Accounting Today, Dan Hood writes about “Three things that aren’t your firm’s culture,” and those are 1) “We treat our staff like family,” 2) “We work hard and we play hard,” and 3) “We value work-life balance.” I don’t have hard data to back this up, but I’d venture to say that […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Big 4 Interns; Wells Fargo; Prison Sentences | 07.28.17

Big 4 Interns I guess it was National Intern Day yesterday? Okay, I admit it, I knew it was National Intern Day and was too busy to mention it. Forgive me, interns, for not recognizing you. But don’t worry, Big 4 firms are still laying it on thick. Here’s EY: It’s #NationalInternDay! And we can’t […]

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Accounting News Roundup: PCAOB Bans Crowe Horwath Hong Kong | 07.26.17

Bans The PCAOB announced yesterday that it has banned Crowe Horwath Hong Kong from auditing U.S. listed companies for three years. This came about after the firm refused to cooperate with the Board’s investigation by failing to provide workpapers for an unnamed client. This might seem strange since the PCAOB reached an agreement with Chinese […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Yearning for ’86 and ‘A conman, a thief and a liar’ | 07.21.17

How’s tax reform coming along? Nothing gets proponents of tax reform sentimental quite like the Tax Reform Act 1986. The cooperation of Congress and the support of the Reagan Treasury Department seems almost quaint by today’s standards of governing. Plus, everyone yearns for a tax code that is simpler, with lower rates, and doesn’t result […]

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Accounting News Roundup: ‘An event of the millennium,’ Cheating, and Stealing From a Marching Band | 07.07.17

Move it along, ducks, you squat-walking bread junkies. “An event of the millennium” Here’s an obscure story involving KPMG South Africa that’s been making headlines for the past week or so. Apparently, the firm did work for a wealthy family, the Guptas, who were close to South African President, Jacob Zuma. The story goes that […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Trump Admin. Sides With Mandatory Arbitration | 06.19.17

Mandatory arbitration We first noted the inclusion of mandatory arbitration in PwC’s employment offers back in 2014. Lately, we’ve been talking about mandatory arbitration’s slow march towards the the Supreme Court, which includes the case Ernst & Young v. Morris. The latest development dropped on Friday, when the Trump Administration said it no longer supported […]

Arthur Andersen & Co.

Accounting News Roundup: Andersen Fires Back at Andersen | 06.15.17

Andersen vs. Andersen Just when you thought Andersen Tax was having its way with its French rival, Arthur Andersen & Co., in the battle over the firm’s name, AA&Co. has issued a press release declaring its intent to sue Andersen Tax in the U.S., Brazil, and India. I’m quoting at length here (translated from French) […]

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Accounting News Roundup: KPMG Settles with DOL; Brown-nosing; Bad Retirement Plans | 06.13.17

Settlements Last week, the Department of Labor announced that KPMG agreed to settle allegations of discrimination against 60 Asian job applicants for audit associated positions at its Short Hills, N.J. office from late 2011 to early 2013: KPMG does not acknowledge any liability. It agreed to pay $420,000 in back pay, interest and benefits to […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Gen Z Are the Game Changers Now; Fraud for Travel; Hamburgers | 06.01.17

Millennial-ish Great news everyone, millennials are over. You can expect the people in charge of bombarding the Internet to focus on a new crop of vexing young people: Big corporations, particularly in traditional fields such as accounting and insurance, are feeling the pressure to appeal to Gen Z. “We really need to tell them we’re […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Summer Fridays and Don’t Waste a Good Crisis | 05.30.17

Summer Fridays My memory is fuzzy, but back in my KPMG days, I recall a policy during the summer months that allowed everyone to “jump start” the weekend by leaving at 3 pm on Fridays with “client demands permitting.” It seemed luxurious at the time but in recent years, many firms have gone one step […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Inadequate Accounting and Financing a Business With Fraud | 05.25.17

Inadequate accounting Here’s a Financial Times story about KPMG’s resignation as the auditor of Lycamobile, a British telecom company, after three years. It’s a bit confusing, though, because the CFO of Lyca Group, Lycamobile’s parent, said the company terminated KPMG on April 24th. KPMG, however, claims it notified Lycamobile in November 2016 and again in […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Employee Turnover and Tax Reform Delays | 05.18.17

Employee turnover A recent Robert Half survey found that 42% of workers are considering quitting their jobs in the next year. The number is even higher among people aged 18-34, with 68% saying they’re likely to change jobs in the next twelve months. What’s most interesting, though, is management’s understanding — or lack thereof — […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Misadventures with FIFA; Bad Fiduciary, Bad Tax Returns | 05.17.17

FIFA Last September, FIFA named PwC as its independent auditor. KPMG had resigned as FIFA’s auditor about three months earlier after 16 years of looking the other way while FIFA ran a graft factory masquerading as an international sports organization. Now that some time has gone by and everyone seems distracted with other matters, it […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Complicated Simplification; McLaren Dumps KPMG for Deloitte | 05.15.17

Accounting is complicated Here’s a New York Times column by William Cohan on FASB’s Accounting Standards Update 2016-01, aka “Financial Instruments–Overall: Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities.” This rule, besides having an awful name, will change how fluctuations in equity investments valuations will be reported. My favorite sentence is this one: Like […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Lavish Perks; RSM Detroit; Bad Partners | 05.12.17

SEC enforcement Earlier this year, I mentioned a SEC enforcement against MDC Partners, a marketing company that, among other non-GAAPy things, failed to disclose perks that it paid on behalf of its former Chairman and CEO Miles Nadal. The SEC has now gotten around to settling with Nadal and, as a reminder, these perks were […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Former Deloitte Employee Sentenced for Attempted Murder | 05.11.17

Accountants behaving badly Here’s a crazy story about a former Deloitte employee, Alan Fowler, who was convicted of the attempted murder of his former boss, Kevin Lane, and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Deloitte fired Fowler in 2015 after discovering that he used his company credit card to “pay for family vacations and buy […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Accountant Scapegoats and 20-Year Scams | 05.09.17

(Re)-Trials The re-trial of two Dewey & LeBoeuf executives ended yesterday and the jury declared that the Accountant did it, in the Board Room, with the Spreadsheet: A jury in Manhattan convicted Joel Sanders, the law firm’s former chief financial officer, on three criminal counts arising from what prosecutors said was a scheme to hide […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Defending SOX and a Big Tax Position at the White House Remains Open | 05.04.17

Ed. note: ANR will be off tomorrow, returning on Monday. Defending SOX Earlier this week, the Center for Audit Quality, Council of Institutional Investors, and CFA Institute went to bat for Sarbanes-Oxley, sending a letter to the House Financial Services Committee that the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, a bill up for consideration, should leave the […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Fancy Office Spaces and Accounting Scam Nicknames | 05.02.17

Nice office. Too bad they’re all dying inside. Office space By the sounds of this EY press release,  you’d think that all you need to build a successful business is a fresh coat of paint and the inspiration of a tacky, corporate bistro: The firm’s new office features approximately 14,500 square feet of office space […]

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Accounting News Roundup: When Good KPMG Auditors Go Bad and Brazen Tax Scams | 04.17.17

It’s hard to watch when auditors make bad decisions. When good auditors go bad The Wall Street Journal published a profile of Scott Marcello over the weekend, the now former Vice Chair of Audit for KPMG who was fired for his role in a ring of employees who received a leak of confidential information from […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Robots, Tax Reform Restart and Considering Embezzlement | 04.10.17

Just one more vacation and then I’ll start thinking about how I could wind up in jail. Robots It’s fair to say that we talk about robots, AI, et al. taking or supplementing accounting jobs regularly around here, which is why this quote struck me as strange: Bill Cline, the national advisory leader for digital […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Tax Cuts and Discredits to the Profession | 04.06.17

If you’re in Alabama, just gaze at this cat for awhile. Tax cuts Here’s a fun mental exercise: If your tax rate were lowered tomorrow, how would it affect your work habits? Maybe you would work harder — put in longer hours, take on special projects, do everything you can to get that next promotion. […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Middle Management Stress and Diversity Denial | 03.24.17

We are all middle management Here’s a Harvard Business Review article on “Why Being a Middle Manager Is So Exhausting” because, hey, most people aren’t C-suite material. It make sense: if you’re not on the top and you’re not on the bottom, you’re somewhere in the middle. And that, my friends, is exhausting. Why? Simply […]

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Accounting News Roundup: PCAOB Transparency and a Deloitte Cafeteria Accepts Bitcoin | 03.22.17

PCAOB transparency One of the biggest gripes about the PCAOB is that their disciplinary proceedings are conducted in secret until the matter is finalized. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) have introduced bills in the past that would make these hearings public, but they went nowhere. They reintroduced the bill just last week […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Corporate Taxes and KPMG’s Next Global Chairman | 03.09.17

Corporate taxes As you probably heard, heavy-equipment manufacturer Caterpillar had an unexpected visit from federal agents last week. Investigators from three different agencies showed up at the company’s headquarters in Peoria, Illinois to seize files, computers and whatnot and apparently this is not a common occurrence: “It’s not unusual to go in and do a […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Auditor Search, the IRS Budget and a Headlock | 03.06.17

Auditor search Even though we witnessed a couple of PwC accountants get way more attention than they could’ve ever wanted last week, most stay below the radar. Audit partners, especially, hope that will be true as the PCAOB’s Auditor Search went live this year. The Wall Street Journal reports that the names of partners who […]

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Accounting News Roundup: PwC’s Oscars Flub | 02.27.17

Oops Well, in case you went to bed early last night, here’s what you missed: In what was surely the most shocking moment in Oscars history, Faye Dunaway announced the wrong winner for best picture at the end of the ceremony, awarding the trophy to “La La Land” when it actually was supposed to go […]

Accounting News Roundup: Robots and Regulations | 02.21.17

Robots err comin fer yer jobs It’s late February, so if a robot showed up at your desk ready to take over your duties, many of you would pack up your desk, leave and never look back. And, who knows, that might actually happen some day. NYU Professor Vasant Dhar writes in Wired believes that […]

Accounting News Roundup: MF Global vs. PwC and Tax Literacy | 02.17.17

Ed. note: GC will be off on Monday for Presidents Day. See you back here on Tuesday. MF Global vs. PwC We touched on this story last week, but if you can’t get enough of the pre-game analysis of the pending trial between the bankruptcy trustee of MF Global and PwC, then you’ll enjoy this […]

Accounting News Roundup: Tax Prep With Watson, GE Layoffs and Bribes | 02.02.17

Programming note: There will be no ANR or newsletter tomorrow. More details to come later today. H&R Block and Watson Last year, H&R Block drew the ire of CPAs everywhere with some videos that the AICPA didn’t think were very nice. H&R Block CEO Bill Cobb responded with, “Sorry, not sorry,” and we didn’t hear […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Border Adjustment and Deloitte’s New Tax Boss | 01.30.17

Wall financing Tony Nitti did some Yeoman’s work late last week, explaining the border adjustment tax that has been floated as a possibility for paying for President Trump’s proposed border wall. And if you read that and are still confused, consider the avocado. Deloitte Tax’s new boss If you enjoy a nice word salad, go […]

Accounting News Roundup: Happiness at Work and SEC Enforcement | 01.19.17

Happiness at work A recent article in the New York Times discusses what prevents people from being engaged (read: happy) at work. You won't be surprised to learn that money only satisfies us to a degree: [W]e found that promotions and raises were important for people both in their current job and in applying for […]

Accounting News Roundup: Accounting Firms and Higher Ed; Undeserved Vacation and Bonuses | 01.05.17

Firms and schools Yesterday, I mentioned an article that pointed out that the Big 4 and Grant Thornton aren't all they're cracked up to be, despite what many professors tell their students. But you can't really blame the professors all that much. You see, getting in good with higher ed is just something mega accounting […]

Accounting News Roundup: Another SEC Apprentice Competitor and Big 4 Isn’t for Everyone | 01.04.17

Trump's SEC Apprentice The SEC Apprentice competition is still going on and a new name has emerged: Jay Clayton of Sullivan & Cromwell. Reuters reports that he's currently the top choice and that his notable work includes a lot of financial crisis era deals, including Barclays's purchase of Lehman Brothers. His is the fourth name […]

Accounting News Roundup: Deloitte Apologizes to UK Government and Bad Tax Policy Ideas | 12.21.16

Deloitte apologi[s]es Deloite is apologizing to the British government for a leaked memo that stated that there was no plan for Brexit. In addition to the groveling, the firm offered to cease bidding on government contracts for six months, which seems like an empty gesture since there aren't that many firms out there that would […]

Accounting News Roundup: Deloitte Spies, Stock-based Comp and an SEC Chair Contender | 12.20.16

Deloitte spies Here's a fun story from CNBC reporter Eamon Javers on an espionage group inside Deloitte that helped gather information on Bearing Point, the old KPMG Consulting spinoff. The story says the group was "generally known as the competitive intelligence unit" and was led by a former CIA guy named Gordon "Gordy" Welch. Essentially, […]

Accounting News Roundup: KPMG’s Revenue and Spending $1M on ‘Game of War’ | 12.13.16

Revenue recognition As we mentioned the other day, the FASB has said it might take a time-out from new standard development projects. One of the reasons are asking for a breather is none other than the new revenue recognition standard which will be keeping people plenty busy. The Wall Street Journal's Tatyana Shumsky reports that […]

Accounting News Roundup: Lying and ‘Individually Tailored’ Accounting Metrics | 11.29.16

Social media You can say a lot of things about Donald Trump's unlikely win in the presidential election, but this is just weird: Accounting giant KPMG’s ­Social Media Intelligence Group has examined the role social media played in the campaign, how it was used by Mr Trump and how those learnings can be applied on […]

Accounting News Roundup: Abolishing the Corporate Income Tax; EY’s Bitcoin ATM; Older Workers | 11.28.16

Corporate taxes Now that the US and UK are talking big about cutting corporate tax rates, you can expect some people to suggest abolishing it altogether. BloombergView's Leonid Bershidsky makes a case for it:  Because of everything companies do to game it, the tax distorts financial reporting and creates a lot of needless work for […]

Accounting News Roundup: PwC Reassures People (Down Under) After Trump’s Election | 11.22.16

PwC Here's a weird report out of Australia about an email sent by PwC's CEO there to its staff about the election of Donald Trump. I know that sounds odd, so just read it: In a letter to PwC’s 7000 Australian staff, Australian chief executive Luke Sayers said the company’s values “will be vital” in […]

Accounting News Roundup: Pining for Tax Reform; Facebook Needs a New CAO | 11.21.16

Pining for tax reform Richard Rubin of the Wall Street Journal reports on the starts and stops of tax reform over the last several years and that now, it might be ready for prime time. People like Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady are confident, perhaps too confident: […]

Accounting News Roundup: GE’s Non-GAAP Accounting and Turnover at the FASB | 11.16.16

Non-GAAP worries It seems that some people are still worried about non-GAAP accounting, but they're not as worried as they used to be. This Wall Street Journal story reports that the SEC looked at GE's non-GAAP reporting and decided they should point out a few things:  In correspondence between the SEC and GE from June […]

Accounting News Roundup: SEC Changes; Celebrating Festivus; Suspicious Firm Names | 11.15.16

SEC changes As expected, yesterday SEC chair Mary Jo White announced that she would step down in January to the pleasure of…everyone? Under her leadership, the SEC announced record numbers of enforcement cases and required, for the first time in its history, some companies to admit guilt in their settlements. However, she was criticized for […]

Accounting News Roundup: Voting and Partner Steals From Partner | 11.08.16

Voting Although my political leanings are obvious (and I seriously doubt anyone cares much), I'm taking a cue from other sites whose writers and editors have disclosed their votes and I'll share my own. I'm the only full-time staff person, so I'm the only one participating. This has been a bonkers election, but hey, we […]

Accounting News Roundup: Former EY Partner Still Fighting PCAOB; Governors Take Cue From Trump on Tax Returns | 11.04.16

PCAOB, SEC Enforcement Here's a story about a former EY partner, Mark Laccetti, who is challenging the findings by the PCAOB and SEC in federal appeals court. Laccetti's case stems from work that he performed on the 2004 audit of a subsidiary of an Israel-based issuer, Taro Pharmaceuticals USA. The board said Laccetti violated PCAOB […]

Accounting News Roundup: Definitions and Creative Accounting (or Fraud?) | 11.03.16

Definitions The IASB is concerned that people are taking liberties with how certain financial terms are defined, so it sounds like they're taking up the task of putting out an official accounting dictionary or whatever: The International Accounting Standards Board, or IASB, which sets reporting standards in more than 120 countries, said Wednesday it would […]

Accounting News Roundup: KPMG and Wells Fargo; Internal Auditors Under Pressure | 11.02.16

KPMG and Wells Fargo This Wall Street Journal report on KPMG's role as Wells Fargo's auditor went with a classic headline: Where Was the Auditor? People like to ask this question when a company — often times a bank — has outraged the public by doing something brazen, fraudulent or brazenly fraudulent. In the case […]

Accounting News Roundup: Big 4 Challengers; Fake Identities; Nigerian Email Scams | 10.25.16

Big 4 challengers Back in August, we talked about a report out of the UK that the former head of Deloitte there, John Connolly, was building a new professional service firm, one "to create a credible long-term challenger to the big four accounting firms." It seemed silly because building a mega accounting firm is a […]

Accounting News Roundup: The Accounting Profession Is Still Worried About Millennials | 10.24.16

Oh, those millennials If you like reading articles that feature a Greatest Hits of what's wrong with millennials in the accounting profession, then this recent Accounting Today post will not disappoint: A recent survey by the Institute of Management Accountants found that 62 percent of senior finance professionals believe that recruiting millennials is the biggest […]

Accounting News Roundup: Audit Committee Disclosures; Brexit and IFRS; Underaccrued PTO | 10.21.16

Audit committees, disclosures Research from Ernst & Young found that 82% of the Fortune 100 audit committees "explicitly stated they were responsible for appointing and overseeing their company's external auditor, as well as the auditor’s compensation." That's up from 42% in 2012. On the one hand, it's interesting that this is a voluntary disclosure; on […]

Accounting News Roundup: Compensation (aka Bribes); EY Luxembourg Is Hiring | 10.19.16

Compensation, bribes, whatever If you're a company who likes to push the envelope with its financial reporting, you may be struggling with how to ensure that your employees look the other way when it comes to aggressive accounting. Sure, threats and intimidation are popular methods, however, it's worth considering a softer approach:  Companies that violate […]

Accounting News Roundup: ‘The Accountant’: Fact and Fiction; Audit Partner Naming Practice | 10.18.16

The Accountant: Fact and Fiction People are still talking about The Accountant and that's fine, it's the Tuesday after the opening weekend, but isn't it a little premature to be discussing a sequel? Obviously the answer to that question is, "No," and explains why I'm not running a Hollywood studio. Rumors aside, here's a post […]

Accounting News Roundup: Brexit Driving KPMG Promotions in UK and Wells Fargo’s New CEO | 10.13.16

KPMG UK If you're an ambitious Klynveldian and don't see any opportunity around you, consider the old world as your next stop. The UK firm promoted 40 new partners and that may only be the beginning: [Chairman Simon] Collins pointed to the provision of Brexit-related services as a key driver behind some of its promotions. […]

Accounting News Roundup: EY’s Hiring and Trump’s Accountant Deserves the Credit | 10.05.16

EY is hiring, everyone Every fall, Big 4 firms go on a publicity blitz to remind the world that they are open for business and will be hiring lots of people over the next year. Ernst & Young, for its part, is planning to hire a small army, pegged at 15,200 jobs, in every imaginable […]

Accounting News Roundup: Trump’s $916 Million Loss and Small Time Accounting Crooks | 10.03.16

Has Donald Trump released his tax returns? Nope! But someone sent three pages of his 1995 returns to a New York Times reporter that showed a nearly $916 million loss for his adjusted gross income. The losses arose out of "financial wreckage he left behind in the early 1990s through mismanagement of three Atlantic City […]

Accounting News Roundup: Apple and Deloitte; Audits From Hell | 09.29.16

Apple and Deloitte Apple products look nice and work pretty well, but they are also annoyingly ubiquitous. I'm part of the problem, you're part of the problem, our moms are part of the problem. And now Deloitte is really part of the problem: Apple and Deloitte announced a partnership on Wednesday in which the consultant […]

Accounting News Roundup: The SEC Looks at Exxon and Stealing From Foster Homes | 09.21.16

Exxon Last week we learned that the New York Attorney General was curious as to why ExxonMobil hasn't written down any of its reserves since the price of oil started dropping. Turns out, the SEC is curious too and is even asking PwC, Exxon's auditor, for information about it. But there's slightly more to it […]

Accounting News Roundup: Exxon’s Write-downs (Or Lack Thereof) and Opportunities to Steal | 09.16.16

Exxon's write-downs (or lack thereof) Exxon Mobil Corp. hasn't written down any of its assets since the drop of oil prices began about two years ago. Some people find that hard to believe, including the New York Attorney General and a number of analysts, and I have to say, their doubts aren't exactly unfounded: The […]

Accounting News Roundup: Lousy Clients and The Non-GAAP Playground | 09.13.16

Life after Big 4 Here's a Bloomberg article about Charles Chao, the CEO of Chinese internet company Sina Corp. Chao is a former PwC manager and his career has gotten pret-tay, pret-tay, pret-tay interesting in the last few weeks: The former audit manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is sitting on gains of about $423 million after […]

Accounting News Roundup: Mandatory Arbitration and Too Many Managers | 09.09.16

Mandatory arbitration Alison Frankel of Reuters reports that the question of whether mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts may be soon before the Supreme Court. How big is the issue of whether employers can bar workers from acting as a group to enforce their rights? So big that on Thursday, the accounting firm Ernst & […]

Accounting News Roundup: Deloitte’s Revenue and Apple’s Tax Returns | 09.07.16

Deloitte's revenue Each year, accounting firms release revenue results and each year I am reminded that it's not really about transparency, rather, it is about marketing. The most meaningful number in Deloitte's press release is the $36.8 billion in global revenue. From there, it's a long list of factoids that the firm wants to tell […]

Accounting News Roundup: PCAOB Inspection Reports and Accountant Confessions | 08.31.16

PCAOB inspection reports The PCAOB released Deloitte's and PwC's inspection reports for 2015 yesterday. Deloitte's deficiency rate was 24%, slightly worse than last year's of 21%. PwC's deficiency rate was 22%, slightly better than last year's of 29%. Michael Rapoport reports a few of the details: At both firms, accounting for revenue was one of […]

Accounting News Roundup: Social Media Envy and Stealing from THE CHILDREN | 08.25.16

What's the AICPA up to? Now that the CIMA merger is in the bag, the AICPA has moved on to other important things like shaking their collective heads at our social media activity: A new survey, conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), found that Americans are caught in […]

Accounting News Roundup: Grilling Audit Partners and Trillion-Dollar Adjustments | 08.24.16

PwC on trial The case between the bankruptcy trustee of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker and PwC rolls on and yesterday, the Financial Times ran a profile of Steven Thomas, the plaintiff's attorney. It has all the anecdotes of a typical profile: Thomas grew up in a Missouri town "so small it didn’t have a stop […]

Accounting News Roundup: KPMG’s Special Schools; Taxes and Triathlons | 08.05.16

KPMG's special (graduate) schools KPMG announced a new partnership with Villanova and Ohio State that will put 50 lucky boys and girls into master's programs that "[emphasize] data and analytics." Program participants will start next fall, followed by a spring internship, back to school in the summer and become full-fledged Klynveldians in fall of 2018. […]

Accounting News Roundup: Non-CPA Managing Partners and Bad Accountant: Caught on Tape! | 08.01.16

Non-CPA managing partners Does the managing partner of an accounting firms need to be a CPA? If we assume that a managing partner’s duties include setting the overall vision and running the day-to-day operations of the firm, I think the answer is, “No.” If we also assume that a managing partner is the best business […]

Accounting News Roundup: Facebook vs. IRS and Non-GAAP Disclosure Committees | 07.29.16

IRS doesn't like Facebook's stalling  Earlier this month, the Department of Justice sued Facebook over IRS summons related to its sale of rights to intellectual property to its Irish subsidiary. This week, Facebook released its earnings, announcing 2nd quarter profits of $2 billion, which is pretty good news for them. But they also had some […]

Accounting News Roundup: Management Accounting and ‘I figured I could get a job.’ | 07.14.16

Management accounting Now that the AICPA and CIMA are merging or whatever, the incumbent management accounting organization, the Institute of Management Accountants, seems to be working double time on some things. Namely, an exposure draft of a "proposed Management Accounting Competency Framework." The purpose of this framework is to "fill the skills gaps for accountants […]

Accounting News Roundup: More on Those (Alleged) PwC Vegas Bachelor Parties; Pokémon Go and the IRS | 07.13.16

DWP vs. PwC Last week we mentioned that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power modified its lawsuit against PwC to include some pretty juicy allegations. DWP claims that PwC personnel threw "lavish bachelor parties" in Las Vegas that include prostitutes, bottle service, a cabana party, etc. The usual, really. What's curious/hilarious about these […]

Accounting News Roundup: EY and Facebook; Tax Exemptions for the Dead | 07.08.16

EY and Facebook The Department of Justice sued Facebook yesterday to "enforce IRS summonses" related to the company selling its rights to intellectual property to an Irish subsidiary. The lawsuit said that in 2010 Facebook Inc sold the rights to exploit the Facebook platform outside the United States and Canada to Facebook Ireland Holdings. The […]

Accounting News Roundup: Padded Résumés and a Shopping Addiction | 07.07.16

Padded résumés and politics Early last month, we briefly discussed Florida Senate candidate and former Deloitte auditor Patrick Murphy's padded résumé. Here's what I wrote at the time: Yes, state hopping to sit for the CPA is lame. Murphy's claim of "several years" experience as a CPA is a stretch at best. And claiming two […]

Accounting News Roundup: Salacious Accusations Thrown at PwC and KPMG’s Head of Brexit | 07.06.16

DWP vs. PwC Last year, the City of Los Angeles' Department of Water and Power ("LADWP") sued PwC for "fraudulently misrepresented how it could help launch the DWP’s new billing system." Now, just last week, DWP amended its complaint to accuse some of the firms' managers for "authoriz[ing] inflated time records to earn payments for […]

Accounting News Roundup: Standardizing Non-GAAP and Fraud Takes No Vacations | 07.05.16

Non-GAAP worries I spent the better part of two weeks away, but I see that people worrying about non-GAAP accounting never take a break. This morning, we have an article that focuses on the troublesome issue of defining what a non-GAAP metric is: [T]here is no accepted standard for what CFOs should add or exclude […]

Accounting News Roundup: Big 4 Consulting and The Best CPA Firm for Women | 06.10.16

Big 4 consulting If you've been paying attention for awhile now, you probably noticed that Big 4 firms have built some robust advisory (read: consulting) practices. This is interesting because, not that long ago, people were pretty unhappy about the then-Big 5 putting a lot of focus on consulting. Sarbanes-Oxley came along and ended the […]