I dunno about you guys but for most of my working life, I’ve been conditioned to start checking out some time in mid-November. There’s the usual scramble around, oh, October to “tie up loose ends” and then everything from there is a drunken stumble to the new year. Obviously this timeline doesn’t work if you’re one of the unlucky few many with October 15 deadlines, month-end closes that don’t give a shit about your plans, or New Year’s Eve inventory counts. But for the rest of us, the last quarter of the year is definitely DGAF time.
One pattern I noticed early on in my CPA review days way back in the day was the fourth quarter rush to complete exam sections that should have been sat for months ago. You know how it is, you start the year all set for a fresh start, but then there’s some deadline or milestone or your wife pops out a kid or your crippling alcoholism throws you in the hospital for a few days… whatever, you get it, life happens and gets in the way. Next thing you know the leaves are falling and holy shit, it’s November already? Where did the year go? Well, down the toilet, but that’s neither here nor there, now’s the time to cram in all the stuff you put off for the entire year. This explains why it’s so hard to get your preferred CPA exam testing dates and/or locations in the fourth quarter, because everyone else did the same thing you did and fucked off the whole year.
It appears, if my inbox is any indication, that the PCAOB is taking a cue from procrastinating CPA exam candidates and trying to tie up innumerable loose ends during this otherwise lazy time of year.
And who can blame them? They’ve been called out for phoning it in this year but to be fair, they’ve also been dealing with a board shake-up and non-stop badgering from pundits over audit quality or lack thereof.
I say good for them. Please just don’t do anything big next week, we’re off and I plan to play PS4 in a perpetual blackout for that entire week, thx.
Further reading: PCAOB Appoints New Director of Enforcement and Investigations [CFO Mag]