You may recall that last year we launched Going Concern March Madness: The Coolest Accounting Firm, in an effort to give you a break from your spreadsheets and grossly outdated email management software. It proved to be quite popular so with that in mind and since it's brackets season, we're doing it all over again. Plus, it just seemed like the right thing to do. Yes, the mere idea of a "cool accounting firm" could be considered a paradox, but after careful consideration, "douchiest accounting firm" or "lamest accounting firm" or "nerdiest accounting firm" might perpetuate the stereotype that you are so desperately trying to shed. Accordingly, we opted for "cool" again, insecure accountants be damned.
Last year we saw a number of interesting story lines that included a global effort from Reznick Group, a Big 4-less Final Four, and Rothstein Kass emerging as the coolest firm for 2011. We're hoping for similar drama this year, so let's get right to it.
First things first. A look at the bracket:
To determine seeds for coolness, we've used Vault's 2012 Prestige rankings again, which I think we'll all agree, is about as an accurate measure as we'll find. Vault's rankings did not include the newly combined CliftonLarsonAllen (probably because it wasn't a story), but the predecessor firms each were in the top 16 (Clifton Gunderson 12; LarsonAllen 14), so we slapped them together, gave them the 12 seed and called it good. This allowed Baker Tilly to assume the role of the ultimate underdog against the Duke of the accounting world. Other intriguing match-ups include defending champ Rothstein Kass against Lehman Brothers' auditor and Vault 50 champ Grant Thornton against CliftonLarsonAllen. Of course "intriguing" is on the same plane as "cool" in this instance.
All of the match-ups are embedded below for your voting pleasure. Polls are open until 11:59 pm Sunday night, so that should give any underdogs plenty of time to craft emails and send them to their international offices.
So let the voting begin and don't feel like you have to be nice to your opponents in the comments. See you in round two.