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September 24, 2023

Accounting News

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Accounting News Roundup: ‘I know the details of taxes better than anybody. Better than the greatest C.P.A.’ | 12.29.17

Ed. note: This is the last ANR of 2017. See you back here on January 2. During the hiatus, submit questions and nightmare inventory counts to Open Items. Guess who? I know the details of taxes better than anybody. Better than the greatest C.P.A. [NYT] Who’s the Center of Attention at Holiday Parties? Your Tax […]

Accounting News Roundup: Loophole Hunting, The Worst Job in Tech, The Accountant = Batman? | 12.28.17

Ed. note: ICYMI, we’re taking a breather this week, but there will be the occasional year-end listicle, and Open Items stands ready for your questions. Drop us tips and links at [email protected]. In a Complex Tax Bill, Let the Hunt for Loopholes Begin The Internal Revenue Service had to warn retailers that cutting keys doesn’t make […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Property Taxes, Full-Strength SEC, Remote Jobs | 12.27.17

Ed. note: As is our holiday tradition, Going Concern is working on a reduced schedule this week, so posts will consist of abbreviated news roundups and perhaps a perfunctory year-end listicle or two, but not much else. If you see any stories worth covering or want to complain about how much you’re working thanks to […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Accountants Are Busy; There Will Be No Postcard Tax Returns; Crypto Tax Prep | 12.22.17

A busy accountants is a happy accountant. Ed. note: The Accounting News Roundup will be off next Monday and Tuesday, returning Wednesday. While things are quiet, send tips and links to [email protected]. And remember Open Items is like 7-11.   Tax Bill Is Great for Accountants — Unless They Have Holiday Plans [NYT] Yesterday, we mentioned […]

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Accounting News Roundup: AICPA Disappointed That CPAs Are Left Out of the Tax Cut Party | 12.21.17

AICPA Reacts to Congressional Passage of Tax Legislation [AICPA] It sounds like AICPA President, CEO and porg rancher Barry Melancon is none too pleased about CPA firms being left out of the tax cut party. [T]he AICPA is very disappointed by lawmakers’ decision to exclude CPAs from the measure’s treatment of pass-through entities. Congress should have […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Big Business Is Happy; The Goldilocks Zone for Tax Avoidance; Steinhoff’s Silence | 12.19.16

U.S. Businesses Find Welcome Surprises in Tax Bill [WSJ] “If someone would have said 11 months ago, by the end of the year we’d able to produce a bill and get it to the president’s desk that does these things, skepticism would have been sky high.” That’s not Speaker of the House Paul Ryan or […]

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Accounting News Roundup: In Final Tax Bill, Real Estate Wins, Accountants Lose | 12.18.17

File Your Taxes on a Postcard? A G.O.P. Promise Marked Undeliverable [NYT] The promise of a simplified code will go unfulfilled: “It leaves nearly every large tax break in place. It creates as many new preferences for special interests as it gets rid of. It will keep corporate accountants busy for years to come. And […]

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Accounting News Roundup: 11th Hour Tax Bill Changes and Deficient Audits Across the Globe | 12.15.17

Several Republican Senators Press for Late Changes in Tax Bill [WSJ] Senator Marco Rubio (Fla.) is threatening to not vote for the bill if it doesn’t expand the child tax credit. Senator Mike Lee (Utah) is also undecided, while Senators Susan Collins (Maine), Bob Corker (Tenn.), and Jeff Flake (Ariz.) are not sure things at […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Big Deals, Bribes, and Indifferent Investors | 12.14.17

House, Senate Republicans Reach Deal on Final Tax Bill [WSJ] The text of the bill is still being written, but in short: the top individual rate landed at 37 percent; the corporate tops out at 21 percent; pass-throughs get a 20 percent income deduction. A compromise over the SALT deduction is in the works; rather […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Oh, the Tax Games You’ll Play and New PCAOB Members | 12.13.17

For Pass-Through Businesses, Let the (Tax) Games Begin [WSJ] For law, accounting, and other service-oriented pass-throughs feeling left out of all the tax cut fun, rest assured that some of your counterparts are already making plans to get in on the action by splitting their businesses in two.  “[Tom] Wheelwright’s accounting firm is considering separating […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Treasury’s One-Page Wonder; Unhelpful H.R.; ‘Sheer Curiosity’ | 12.12.17

Trump administration explains details of how tax plan would pay for itself, immediately gets attacked for assumptions [WaPo] No one is buying the conclusions of a one-page memo that expects the tax plan to generate a full percentage point more of economic growth than the Congressional Budget Office estimated. “One percentage point of higher growth […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Workers vs. Owners; KPMG Quits Liberty Tax Audit; Fraud and Strippers | 12.11.17

Tax Plans May Give Your Co-Worker a Better Deal Than You [NYT] The tax bill puts wage earners, currently about 80 percent of the working population, at a big disadvantage. “So a decorator, an artist or a plumber would have a higher tax rate than an owner of a decorating business, an art shop or […]

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Accounting News Roundup: BDO’s Revenue, FIFO, and a Missing Crook | 12.08.17

BDO Network Announces Global Revenues Increase to $8.1 Billion [BDO] Bravo Delta Oscar’s global haul is quaint compared to what Big 4 draw in say, the U.S., but the Financial Times reports that BDO’s global CEO Keith Farlinger cares not one iota about that: “We are not looking to become part of the ‘Big Four’. […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Negotiations on Tax Bill and EY’s Next U.S. Managing Partner | 12.07.17

Senate Votes to Begin Tax-Overhaul Negotiations With House [WSJ] Among the items on the bargaining table: reinstating the medical expense and SALT deductions, and fully repealing the alternative minimum tax. Conferences have no inkling how they’d pay for those changes, however. Elsewhere in now-that-we’ve-read-this-tax-bill news: “Holy crap, what’s this?” Only 1,700 Estates Would Owe Estate […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Masters of Ledgers, Irregularities, Tax Bill Winners and Losers | 12.06.17

SEC Accountants Voice Resource Constraints [CFO] SEC Chief Accountant and budding motivational speaker Wesley Bricker spoke about the constraints in the OCA at the AICPA Conference on SEC and PCAOB Developments. OCA’s staff of 50 responsibility stretches across financial reporting and auditing for issuers, but also trying to assess the effect of new technology like […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Auditor Fraud, the AMT Lives, and Grant Thornton’s Golf Deal | 12.05.17

Audit Firm Charged With Fraud Relating to Auditing of Penny Stock Companies [SEC] File to Accountants Behaving Badly: They just made the numbers up. “The SEC’s Enforcement Division alleges that Anton & Chia LLP and its accountants ignored numerous indications of fraudulent financial reporting by three of the firm’s audit clients – microcap companies Accelera […]

Accounting News Roundup: Tax Bill Passes Senate and Judgment Calls on Revenue Recognition | 12.04.17

Senate Passes Sweeping Revision of U.S. Tax Code [WSJ] The Senate tax bill passed early Saturday morning, 51-49, with Tennessee Senator Bob Corker the only Republican voting against it. There were all kinds of last-minute goodies thrown in for special interests, including wealthy real estate developers. Weird! The Senate and House bills now go to […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Tax Bill Hits a Speed Bump, Anti-Excel Backlash, and RSM in Canada | 12.01.17

Republican Tax Bill Hits Snag Over Deficit Concerns [NYT] Remember when Republicans said that these tax cuts would pay for themselves? Hahaha, no, just kidding. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates, even when taking into account economic growth, the tax bill would still add over $1 trillion to the deficit. So now, Republicans have to […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Senate Debates Tax Cuts and PwC Takes Some Bitcoin | 11.30.17

Corporate Tax Rate in Flux as Senate Votes to Open Debate [WSJ] As the Senate bumrushes towards a vote on its bill, a lot of things remain up in the air, including the corporate tax rate which some now want to be set at above 20%. Also, “As of Wednesday evening, they didn’t yet have […]

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: A Fishy Tax Plan and The War *on* Talent | 11.28.17

If you spent your Giving Tuesday budget on Cyber Monday, at least donate some time to catch up on your reading. The 3 False Promises Of The GOP’s Tax Plan [Forbes] Tony Nitti picks apart three common arguments in favor of the tax plan making its way through Congress: 1) That the tax cuts will […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Anti-Excel CFOs and Deloitte Digital Gets Bigger | 11.27.17

It’s Cyber Monday, so in between your holiday consuming sessions, try to catch up on some reading. Stop Using Excel, Finance Chiefs Tell Staffs [CFOJ] The battles lines are fierce in a debate straight out of a Ben Wyatt Parks & Rec storyline. Consequences of Proposed Changes to the Net Operating Loss Rules [BNA] Under […]

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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 [email protected] 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: Shoebox Accountants and Skeptical CEOs | 11.20.17

Put your back Intuit Here’s a strange thing that Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit and taker of weird selfies, said recently: “Anyone who wants to stay in the business of, ‘Send me your shoebox, and I’ll type it in, and I’ll charge you by the hour,’ I think those will be the ones who will […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Bad Chatbot Names and Everyone Hates the Tax Plan | 11.17.17

Put your back Intuit QuickBooks is synonymous with small business accounting software. This is great for Intuit, as people can’t think about doing their bookkeeping without thinking “QuickBooks.” On the other hand, the brand is so pervasive that infects everything else it does (see: QuickBooks Capital). And now that the company has gotten around to […]

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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: Slow-walking Revenue Recognition and Poor Millennials | 11.15.17

Slow-walking revenue recognition People have been dreading the new revenue recognition rules that go into effect later this year for a while now. FASB delayed the rule once and, sure, maybe the extra time was necessary, but it also managed to prolong the agony. One guy, you may recall, is worried enough that he wants […]

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Accounting News Roundup: EY’s Hiring and a Bad Yelp Review | 11.14.17

EY’s hiring As we’ve discussed, Big 4 firms like to boast about how many people they hire. For most of their history, they’ve been hiring accounting majors, but that seems to be changing. Here’s EY’s head of recruiting talking to Accounting Today: “We continue to see demand grow for many of our services, and while […]


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 […]

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Accounting News Roundup: “Small Business” and ‘You’re going to get killed in this bill’ | 11.09.17

“Small business” Politicians love to trumpet their support for small business. And it’s no wonder, small businesses are all around us, so groveling to them makes for an easy ploy. The Republican tax plan includes a 25-percent rate for pass-through entities, which many people equate with “small business.” Unfortunately, the vast majority of small businesses […]

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Accounting News Roundup: KPMG South Africa, Intuit Loans, Paid-to-Click Scams | 11.08.17

KPMG South Africa I linked to this yesterday, but it’s worth discussing this Financial Times article that notes an important development in KPMG’s South Africa snafu: Barclays Africa has […] put KPMG’s role as its auditor under review in response to the Gupta controversy, pending the outcome of a regulatory investigation. However, one person briefed […]

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Accounting News Roundup: The Talent War, Tax Havens, and 20/20 Visions | 11.07.17

The Talent War I’ve noticed that there’s something hostile about how people describe the search for qualified finance and accounting professionals. Statements like, “IT’S A WAR FOR TALENT” or “THE BATTLE FOR THE TALENT IS ON” are so pervasive, I’ve been assuming for awhile now that human resource departments line up every Monday to calls […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Audit Committees, Gimmicks, and Bad Hawaiian Accountants | 11.06.17

Audit committees A recent study has found that a 1999 SEC rule requiring companies to disclose certain information about their audit committees hasn’t lived up to expectations: Before adoption of the regulation, there was no mandate on audit-committee size; independence was required of only a committee majority; and no definition of independence was provided, giving […]

Accounting News Roundup: ‘Tesla of Accounting’ and Artificial Intelligence | 10.23.17

Grant Thornton “Mike McGuire aims to make Grant Thornton the Tesla of accounting” is the Accounting Today headline, and I guess that means GT is going electric? Or will start throwing estimates to the wind? I kid, I kid. McGuire explains: [H]e doesn’t see his firm as just positioning itself against the Big Four. “Tesla […]

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: Robots and Spare Planes | 10.19.17

Robots How’s this for a creepy lede: One of Statoil ASA’s newest employees, Roberta, spends her days in the energy firm’s treasury department searching for missing payment information and sending out reminders. Her boss, Tor Stian Kjøllesdal, said Roberta’s heavy workload would improve overall efficiency in the group. Roberta doesn’t have a last name, a […]

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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 […]

Accounting News Roundup: Reverse Mentoring and GE’s ‘Confusing Accounting’ | 10.16.17

Reverse mentoring This New York Times article on millennial mentoring programs delves into the “just how perplexed some executives are by the young people in their midst.” Although it’s a little surprising to learn that some of these perplexed executives are pretty young: Melanie Whelan, 40, the chief executive of SoulCycle, holds monthly meetings with […]

Accounting News Roundup: Kiting and Backpacks | 10.13.17

Kiting Here’s a doozy: The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against former senior officers of Mexico-based homebuilding company Desarrolladora Homex S.A.B. de C.V. for their roles in the company’s $3.3 billion accounting fraud. Homex settled SEC charges earlier this year without admitting or denying allegations that it reported fake sales of more than […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Hack ‘Impact’ and The ‘Accountant’ Brand | 10.12.17

Hacks Earlier this week, The Guardian reported more details on the hack of Deloitte’s email server. The story listed several U.S. government agencies, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and many unnamed multinational companies as being “made vulnerable.” In that account, “Deloitte did not deny any of these clients had information in the system that was the […]

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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: More Details on Deloitte Hack Emerge and ‘Change Tax Law!’ | 10.10.17

Deloitte hack A couple weeks back we learned that Deloitte had been the latest mega organization to suffer a cyberattack. At the time, I wrote this: It always seems like when a scandal hits a huge company, they play it down, only to discover a week or two later that the bad event was worse […]

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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: Working to Death and KPMG South Africa | 10.06.17

Working to death It’s October now, which means some of you are working like crazy to meet the deadline on the 15th…er, 16th. That’s fine, Godspeed, serve those clients, etc. etc., but also remember that working yourself too hard can have consequences: Miwa Sado, a young journalist for Japan’s state-run broadcaster, spent the summer of […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Yes Robots and Sexually Oriented Business Fees | 10.05.17

Robots The Institute of Management Accountants, proving again that an accounting trade group can have a sense of humor about itself, released a new ad earlier this week. This time it took on the coming robot apocalypse: Are they sure that no robots will be sitting at the big conference table with the humans? Will […]

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Accounting News Roundup: PwC Revenue, Sustainability Standards, and Sacred Cows | 10.04.17

PwC revenue Hey, great job, everyone: PricewaterhouseCoopers recorded $37.7 billion in global revenue in its most recent fiscal year, up 5% from the previous year in U.S. dollar terms, the Big Four accounting firm said Wednesday. Revenue for the year ended June 30 rose 6.5% when holding exchange rates constant, as PwC prefers to measure […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Big 4 Fines, SEC Hack, EY and Equifax | 10.03.17

Fines & Punishment Paying financial penalties is a cost of doing business for Big 4 firms. That cost of doing business has been more expensive of late, most notably the U.K.’s Financial Reporting Council fines of PwC this year and the PCAOB’s $8 million fine of Deloitte Brazil from late last year. Still, some people […]

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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: Tax Reform; GM Dumps Deloitte for EY; Fax Machines | 09.28.17

How’s tax reform coming along? The Trump Administration is making progress on tax reform, people. Back in April, officials released a one-page set of bullet points. Yesterday, after months of hard work, Trump and Congressional Republicans presented “Seven pages of general highlights and a disturbing absence of detail” according to Tony Nitti. No matter how you […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Procrastinating Accounting Standards and Tax Reform Details | 09.27.17

Procrastination In a recent speech, SEC Deputy Chief Accountant Sagar Teotia had some advice for companies that have been dragging their feet on the new accounting standards: For those companies that may be in the earlier stages of your implementation efforts, I would encourage you to significantly ramp up your efforts. There is still time for […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Accountants Worry About Technology, Change, Et al. | 09.26.17

Accountants are worried about technology, change, et al. If you haven’t immersed yourself in the collective anxiety of the accounting profession lately, I highly recommend this Accounting Today column. There are a plethora of quotes to choose from, but Grant Thornton CEO Mike McGuire has a good one: “Our industry is being disrupted by accelerating […]

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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 […]

Accounting News Roundup: Big 4 vs. Big Law; SEC Hack; EY Hiring in Orlando | 09.22.17

Big 4 vs. Big Law Yesterday we learned that PwC would be launching a law firm in the U.S., but that might just the beginning. A recent report from ALM Intelligence states that “Within 10 years, the Big Four could easily become the largest players in the legal industry.” That same report found that nearly […]

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Accounting News Roundup: PwC Launching a Law Firm in U.S. | 09.21.17

PwC Law Over the past few years, we’ve discussed the Big 4 stomping around Big Law‘s turf. It’s mostly been happening abroad, but last year, I thought out loud that it would only be a matter of time before the Big 4 firms were offering legal services in the U.S. And now, oh, hey look, […]

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Accounting News Roundup: KPMG and South Africa; More Occupational Hazards | 09.20.17

KPMG and South Africa Earlier this summer, Ukraine gave PwC the boot over some bad auditing. It was a humiliating moment but by no means a major blow to the firm as the inability to conduct business in Ukraine will not severely hamper PwC’s business. KPMG is facing similar threats of expulsion from South Africa, […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Youth, Student Loans, and Occupational Hazards | 09.19.17

Youth As a young(er) professional, I remember being frustrated by my lack of experience. Being young was great, being relatively poor was not, so I needed more experience so I could make more and not be poor. Of course, gaining more experience meant losing my youth, which was a hard trade-off. These days, I’m more […]

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Accounting News Roundup: EY Doesn’t Screw Up the Emmys and Taxing Fantasy Sports | 09.18.17

Award shows Even before the Emmys aired last night, people who watch award shows were probably wondering: “Can the accountants screw it up again?” Of course, EY tabulates the Emmys, and before the show, the Television Academy President seemed confident that everything would be okay: “Our accounting firm is Ernst & Young,” [Hayma Washington] said […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Deloitte’s Numbers and KPMG South Africa’s Resignations | 09.15.17

Deloitte In the past, we’ve poked fun at Deloitte’s tendency for boasting. For awhile there, the firm liked to claim that it was more exclusive than Harvard, but then again, so are a lot of things. One of the firm’s other frequent brags is that it hires lots of people. Only Donald Trump goes on […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Air Force Jet Requests, Hair Solicitation, and Essence | 09.14.17

Plus, Deloitte made some money last year. Work perks (?) Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the guy in charge of tax reform: Secretary Steven Mnuchin requested use of a government jet to take him and his wife on their honeymoon in Scotland, France and Italy earlier this summer, sparking an “inquiry” by the Treasury […]

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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: SoFi, Competitive Poaching, and Accounting Firms Can Do Anything | 09.12.17

Just slowly dying over here. SoFi Late on Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported that fintech unicorn SoFi had been dealing with a workplace culture issues, specifically, allowing an environment that is openly hostile and sexually improper towards women. This included the former CFO, Nino Fanlo, who: would commonly make comments about the physical appearance […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Sarbanes-Oxley and Tax Reform Sans Trump | 09.11.17

Mike Pence is hoping he gets to sit down soon.  Sarbanes-Oxley Back in July, we noted a hearing on Sarbanes-Oxley where a slew of witnesses, including New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley, spoke about its “great cost on corporate America” and that its “benefits are not entirely clear.” The requirement that companies comply with […]

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Accounting News Roundup: The [dot]CPA Domain and Insider Trading | 09.08.17

What’s the AICPA up to? “Congressmen concerned about misuse of .cpa domain” is an Accounting Today headline and sure, I suppose some members of Congress don’t have anything better to do. The issue in this case is that the AICPA has been trying to secure “.cpa” as a generic Top-Level Domain (“gTLD”) string for a […]

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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: EY’s Revenue and Canadian Friendly Faces | 09.06.17

EY’s revenue The firm formally known as Ernst & Young announced its global revenue yesterday and it was $31.4 billion. That’s 6% more than last year’s $29.6 billion, but that’s not stated in the firm’s press release. No, the growth EY shares is 7.8% “in local currency terms” because in EY’s better working world, you […]

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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 [email protected] or create a post in Open Items. Workaholism Accounting firms have long had a […]

Accounting News Roundup: PwC and Steven Cohen; Auditor Inspections | 08.31.17

How’s PwC doing? Meh, probably about the same. Although since August is traditionally a slow month, you’d think a behemoth accounting firm could manage to stay out of the news. But I think it’s fair to say that this is no ordinary August, and 2017 has not been an ordinary year for PwC. The latest […]


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: The Black Box of Auditing and Deloitte’s U.K. Revenue | 08.29.17

The black box of auditing A classic complaint about PCAOB inspections is that they don’t add value to the audits they review. Sure, a warm fuzzy feeling might creep into someone’s belly if they know that an auditor is auditing the auditors, but many people want something measurable. For those that fall into that group, […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Tax Reform Progress: ‘They’re nowhere. They’re just nowhere.’ | 08.28.17

How’s tax reform coming along? The lede from this Bloomberg article tells you all you need to know: President Donald Trump is planning to kick off one of the most important sales pitches of his presidency this week — getting Americans fired up about rewriting the U.S. tax code. But there’s no plan to sell. […]

Accounting News Roundup: Should Lawyers Run Big 4 Firms? | 08.25.17

Come on, people. Not in your eyes. Should lawyers run Big 4 firms? Now, before you start throwing tomatoes, hear me out. This Harvard Business Review article shares the results of a study that found that lawyer CEOs have a knack for something you’d already assume they have a knack for: [L]awyer-run firms experienced 16% […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Audit Regulation and Wealthy Olds | 08.24.17

Even cats are embarrassed at the U.S. Chamber’s sorry turnout. Audit regulation Last week, I mentioned that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who has never met a regulation it didn’t like, sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission asking them to reject the new expanded auditor’s report rule. Accounting Today reported yesterday that […]

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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: CEO Fallout, Tax Reform Hopes, KPMG and Wells Fargo | 08.18.17

CEO fallout What did we learn this week? Well, I think one thing we learned is that when the President of the United States fails to pick a side between white supremacists and people protesting white supremacists, most CEOs need a few days to say, “We can’t be associated that guy.” And on the one […]


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: PwC’s Big Fine, U.S. Chamber’s Last Stand, #QuittheCouncil | 08.16.17

PwC As we’ve noted, 2017 has been a rough one for PwC across the globe. Bloomberg reports that it’s gotten only slightly worse, as the U.K.’s Financial Reporting Council levied its largest fine in its history against the firm: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP was fined 5.1 million pounds ($6.6 million) for misconduct over its audit of RSM […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Most CEOs Sticking With Trump and Cheap Fonts | 08.15.17

CEOs and Trump Yesterday, I wrote about Mark Weinberger, EY’s Global CEO, and that he should resign from President Trump’s Strategic and Advisory Council. Since I wrote that post, two more CEOs — Under Armour’s Kevin Plank and Intel’s Brian Krzanich — resigned from the manufacturing council, the same one that Merck’s Ken Frazier left […]

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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: Charitable Deductions and Bad Passwords | 08.08.17

How’s tax reform coming along? Felix Salmon writes about the folly of the charitable deduction, and by extension, why the Trump Administration’s suggestion to raise the standard deduction is a good idea. A larger standard deduction means lower taxes for many people, and it also means fewer taxpayers itemize deductions, which means complying with the […]


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: BDO’s Revenue and The Pot Industry Needs Better Internal Controls | 08.03.17

BDO revenue BDO, the accounting firm most likely to pie its top performers, announced its fiscal year 2017 revenue haul yesterday. They U.S. firm brought in $1.41 billion, an increase from $1.29 billion last year. The firm states that its revenue has more than doubled from $683 million in 2013 to this year’s mark. Accounting […]


Accounting News Roundup: EY Screws Up Its Own Awards and Cryonic Preservation Trusts | 08.02.17

EY Oh, brother. EY has caused a bit of a ruckus in New Zealand by excluding a huge story involving one of its clients from the nominations for its business journalism awards: Journalist Rebecca Macfie quit the judging panel saying it was clear that one entry was not going to be recognised “because of the […]


Accounting News Roundup: Short Tenures and Obvious Scams | 08.01.17

No one’s texting. Incredible. Short tenures You see it every year — one or two new employees at a Big 4 firm flame out after two weeks or a few months on the job. This usually manifests in one of two situations: The new employee realizes he or she has made a big mistake. The […]

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 vs. China; Ukraine vs. PwC; Psychic Readings | 07.27.17

PCAOB vs. China Paul Gillis notes that the PCAOB’s ban of Crowe Horwath Hong Kong means that “[the] 22 US listed clients (mostly microcaps) must find new auditors (and most of its employees must find new jobs).” But also, that the PCAOB chose an easy fight: While I think the PCAOB is right in its […]

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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: Bike Taxes and ‘Chipped’ Employees | 07.25.17

Bike taxes My initial hot take when I saw this Tax Foundation article on Oregon’s new bike tax was — OREGON MUST HATE FREEDOM. And if you cruise the web, a lot of Oregonian bike riders are plenty miffed by the $15 tax “on the purchase of bicycles with a retail price of $200 or […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Poker, Embarrassments at Work, and The Beatles’ Accountant | 07.24.17

What are you doing with your accounting degree? Although it’s been said that “Poker’s an honest trade” I don’t recommend that most of you try to capitalize on your accounting education this way: A New Jersey man with a degree in accounting is this year’s World Series of Poker champion. Scott Blumstein won the series’ […]


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: Deloitte Scraps Its Diversity Groups | 07.20.17

Deloitte I linked to this yesterday, but the news that Deloitte is scrapping its affinity groups for “inclusion councils where white men hold important seats at the table” was…surprising? They explained it this way: “We are turning it on its head for our people,” says Deepa Purushothaman, who’s led the WIN group since 2015 and […]


Accounting News Roundup: Lottery Tickets, Tax Reform Navigators, and Change Indexes | 07.19.17

Lottery tickets One other remarkable thing that came out of yesterday’s House Financial Services subcommittee on capital markets hearing re Sarbanes-Oxley was noted by Francine McKenna in her write-up at MarketWatch: In a hearing on Tuesday of the House Financial Services subcommittee on capital markets, Rep. Warren Davidson, a Republican from Ohio, compared the stock […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Professional Skepticism and Work Texts on Sundays | 07.18.17

Professional skepticism In part one of a pair of Tom Selling posts about professional skepticism, he tries to get to the essence of what the ol’ cliche of the auditing world means: Skepticism is to have doubt as to the truth of something. But how much doubt? The PCAOB’s standards state that the auditor should […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Non-competes and Marijuana Accounting Jobs | 07.17.17

Non-competes This New York Times story reports on Idaho’s unusual place within a major labor issue: The Gem State is more accommodating to non-compete agreements, making it easier for businesses to sue employees who leave for a competitor. Non-competes have always struck me as a strange tactic; in a way, it’s a business’s way of […]