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Report: PwC Boston Holiday Party Is Wicked Awesome

This time of year, many a capital market servants look forward to blowing off a little steam at the annual holiday (aka Christmaskuh, Festivus, et al.) party. Last year, the festivities made a comeback after a couple of years of more restrained celebrations. Ernst & Young’s New York office even threw a party at Cipriani’s the week Andrew Cuomo handed down his civil fraud lawsuit. And in case you’re skeptical that the get-drunk-dance-like-an-idiot-go-home-with-a-co-worker party have made a comeback, this post from Socialite may be the latest proof:

Want to talk about “work hard, play harder“? The auditors, tax specialists and consultants at PwC have got that down to a science!

2000 people + Marriott Coply+ open bar + gambling + dancing = Ballin’ time

We’ve been to some corporate Holiday parties in our day, but this one definitely takes the cake. And why wouldn’t it… we’re guessing they threw down well over $500K to host that.

Since we’re not hip to the costs of corporate holiday ragers these days, it wouldn’t be fair to dismiss this guesstimate outright. And it’s not exactly clear how Socialite got all these details but it sounds pretty similar to the KPMG Christmaskuh party I attended in 2008 (sans gambling) which was the waning days of the big holiday blowout party.

ANYWAY, Socialite then outlines a number of reasons that you, local Bostonian, should be at this shindig next year, including some “Secret Grand Prize Giveaway” which they speculate is “a small yacht” but in reality, it’s more likely to be a pair of cool shoes.

For any mini BoMos in Boston, does this sound like the party you went to? Is $500k in the ballpark or would you put it in the seven figure range? Feel free to speculate at this time. And if your party tops this one, email us the details (or an invite).

There Are a Lot of Hungover, Newly Chartered Accountants in Canada Today

We like to cover the international scene as much as we can but it can be tough sometimes when NO ONE EMAILS US. If you’ve got some from north or the border, south of the equator or across an ocean, simply email us at tips@goingconcern.com and we’ll spice things up around here with some international flair.

I only bring it up because this morning a Canadian reader informed us that today is a big day up north.

I’ve noticed the content on GC is nearly entirely CPA-focused, even though there’s plenty of readers from north of the border! I realise this is likely partially due to the fact that Canadian readers aren’t helping contribute enough. In an effort to help spread the love, I provide the following:

As a bit of background to our system, Canadian Chartered Accountants (CAs) must pass a single national final exam called the Uniform Evaluation (UFE). The UFE is a three-day national exam held once a year in September. The results are then released nearly three months later, usually on the first Friday of December (today!). It’s generally tradition for all the writers (and those that support them) to head out to the bar the night before to help ease the anxiety of checking the results in the morning, which leads to a lot of cheerful new CAs with hangovers today. This tough day of work at my firm (and many others) consists of champagne breakfast with colleagues, lunch with the partners and the office heading back to the bar by 3pm.

Congratulations to all the new CAs!

Scores are officially released at 12 pm so if you’re waiting to enjoy some Mimosas until you get the official word, that’s your choice but either way, you can use this post as a thread for your pre-noon-newly-minted-CA-partying purposes.

Going Concern Is Throwing a Party for Beta Alpha Psi Annual Meeting Attendees

Good morning, capital markets servants. Aren’t you glad there are still capital markets to serve? For now, anyway. Despite the doubts around our economy, we have a nice little offer for the future capital market servants who are attending this year’s Beta Alpha Psi Annual Meeting here in Denver. There are details after the jump but basically all you need to know is that it is tonight, attendees will be on a rooftop, there will be free refreshments, and attractive bar and wait staff will be catering to your requests.

So if you’re at this year’s meeting, join us at Spill located at 1410 Market St. in Denver, starting at 6:30 with open bar (beer, wine and well liquor) and appetizers until 8:30. I’ll be around chatting with various people so feel free to awkwardly interrupt to say hello; you never know, you might be getting me out of a bad conversation. Show up to eat, drink and mingle with your fellow attendees.

Fair warning, however, some of our sales people will be milling about chatting up exhibitors and apparently they have a reputation for being “loud” and “unprofessional” but you should know that only means they are FUN. So, unless you have a problem with that it’d be wise for you to show up. Hope to see you there.

An Accounting Director, Who Really Needs a Drink, Needs Advice on His Next Career Move

Ed. note: Have a question for the career advice brain trust? Email us at advice@goingconcern.com.

Advice gurus,

I’m a Accounting Director (upgraded staff accountant really) at a small non-profit. I’ve been with the org since getting out of college 2 years ago. My firm loves me but I’ve decided to switch, mainly because I’m not liking the AD position. First because come close of the year and January, I pretty much want to drown my life in as many Guinesses as I can find. 80+ hours per week just sucks after a while and my org doesn’t let me drink. 🙁 Second is personal – I’m wanting to be closer to family and friends.

I took the AD job because I thought it would put me well on my way to a CFO job down the road. So my question is this, are there other good ways to get to that end without going AD, Controller, CFO or something similar? Do I just need to suck it up and keep being an AD for a few more years before I can move to a controller position? Finally, if I take a staff accountant position how does that look? Thanks.

-Can’t wait to drink again

Good afternoon Guiness,
If being a CFO is your goal, you need to assess the qualities and skillsets that CFOs in your industry possess. Consider a few things when doing so:

1. Get Your CPA – There’s no denying the importance of getting the three letters next to your name. As you progress you in career, having a CPA will keep doors open for you. Read up on Adrienne’s great CPA coverage if you don’t know where to start.

2. Lose the title – You’re still very young in your career, so my advice to you is to worry less about titles and more about opportunities that open doors and expose you to a variety of accounting responsibilities. This is meant as no offense to you and your career thus far, but a staff accountant at a large corporation most likely sees more complicated accounting issues than say, a charity bookstore. Roll up your sleeves and challenge yourself.

3. Location – before you have a spouse, kids and a mortgage, get back to where you want to be. It will be easier to find a staff-level job than a specialized, more technical job that you’ll be qualified for five years from now. And call your mother, she misses you.

4. It’s not like Mad Men but… – The liquor store sells the little nip bottles for a reason. It’s a scientific fact that whiskey helps ease the frustration of 80+ hour work weeks.

May the drink-at-work Spirits be with you,
DWB

Analysis: The Business-Social Pitfalls of The Summer Pool Party

Now that we’re officially in the dead of summer, there is ample opportunity for your team or firm to have barbecues, happy hours on the patio and if you’re really lucky, a pool party. Barbecues and happy hours are fairly simple events to master. Don’t eat too much; don’t drink too much. Overindulging in either will no doubt lead to some sort of embarrassing scenario that brands you a pig or a souse. particularly flattering.

The pool party on the other hand, presents a different dilemma entirely. Of course that will still be refreshments served and you should do your best to not wolf down hot dogs like Joey Chestnut or shotgunning beers. This will only lead to cramps in the deep end of the pool and perhaps an accidental drowning. Again, these are mortifying situations that should be avoided.

One problem that you may run into is that your gracious host may have children that are of an age where clothes are considered optional. A recent investigation has found this is acceptable depending on the child’s age, so try not to pull a Larry David later back at the office after you get an eyeful.

The second issue of importance is that of the swimming suit. On the one hand, it’s silly to pass up an opportunity to enjoy a swimming pool on a hot summer afternoon, so you best bring it if the opportunity presents itself. For those of you tempted to pull the “I can’t swim” card, I have a suggestion: LEARN. FAST. Nobody likes a party pooper and your story of nearly drowning in four inches of water in the backyard pool as a child isn’t fooling anyone.

As for the suit itself, herein lies the biggest challenge. For gents, it’s simple – stick with board shorts. You may have legs like a god but if you strut around this fiesta by a pool in Speedo you will be mocked (most likely behind your back) and rightfully so. Similarly, if you’ve reached the age where you’re comfortable with your body despite how the rest of the universe feels, this is downright offensive. People are eating for crying out loud.

The situation for the ladies, as is typical, it’s more complicated. On the one hand, bikinis haven’t considered been risqué since that crusty old partner was in short pants. However there still is contingent of society that frowns on the two-piece. From The Careerist:

One woman partner at an Am Law 100 firm in New York thinks it’s a no-win situation for most women: “I don’t think anything good comes from parading in a bathing suit in front of one’s colleagues, and certainly would question the wisdom of wearing a bikini in a business social context–no matter how young or fit one may be.” But if you must wear a swimsuit, she says, she’d opt for “a modest racing suit and a cover-up right to the water’s edge.”

Lawyers, like accountants, are a conservative lot so you could easily replace “Am Law 100” with “Big 4” and you’d have the perspective of a stuffy New York CPA. Thankfully, our friends in the west are not so prudish:

An entertainment lawyer in L.A. thinks it’s silly to be so self-conscious: “If I was 29 and had a rocking bod, I wouldn’t hesitate [about wearing a revealing suit]!” She doubts that looking “too good” is ever a career killer. “I think it depends on how you look in a bathing suit,” she says. “If you look good, go for it; if not, cover up.”

So how’s that for some honesty? It’s already been established that men in the accounting profession are pigs so there’s very little to lose if ladies decide to rock the bikini. The guys are judging you regardless. Why? Because they’re assholes. Accordingly, I stand firmly with our entertainment lawyer. Know your body and suit up accordingly.

You may have differing opinions on the matter which you’re invited to discuss them below and do share any pool party anecdotes that strike you as appropriate.

Accountant Reaches New Heights of Stupid Behavior After Drinking and Driving

Where I come from, some of my friends had a saying, “There’s only one way to drive drunk…FAST!” Obviously this is dumb. Forget the fact that drinking and driving is dumb but exceeding the speed limit while drinking and driving is exponentially dumber. Inevitably this type of behavior will get you pulled over, at which point the opportunity for more dumb behavior presents itself. On the one hand you could simply jump out of the car, flee the scene, losing your shirt in the process because it will probably slow you down, only to be tackled, cuffed and babbling the Branded theme song in the back of a police cruiser. Another option would be to literally manifest the phrase “cop-slugging drunk.” And yet another option is to do what Alison Brookes did and opt for a more affectionate approach:

A driver who kissed a cop in a bid to avoid a parking ticket ended up losing her licence – after he smelled booze on her breath. Chartered accountant Alison Brookes, 51, planted the smacker on the police officer’s cheek after he spotted her parked on double yellow lines in Didsbury. But the officer got a whiff of alcohol – and arrested her. Brookes, of Fenwick Drive, Heaton Mersey, admitted drink driving and was banned for 14 months at Manchester Magistrates’ Court. Court chairman Stephen Terry told her: “Perhaps kissing the officer was a bit of a giveaway, but that’s by the by.”

Have you been drinking madam? Accountant failed breath test after she gave traffic cop a kiss on the cheek [MEN]

So You Think Your CPA Can Dance?

One thing I’ve always loved about the Maryland Association of CPAs is that they aren’t afraid to shake things up, do what everyone else isn’t doing and, uh, break out into a dance routine in the middle of a dinner reception.

Remember the “big surprise” they were planning for the 2011 CPA Summit? Here it is, enjoy:

How Are You Celebrating the End of Busy Season?

I’ll tell you how I’m celebrating – continuing my successful string of years not celebrating. Adrienne? She’s experimenting with home remedies for a stomach flu. But never mind our problems, you guys have somehow survived the January to April stretch without going nuts, assaulting someone and successfully avoiding awkward sexual advances (the latter two sometimes happening at the same time). That means you deserve to celebrate; whether or not that’s on company dime is another question.


Back in the KPMG days, I attended a pretty good throw-down at the Central Park Boathouse for the Financial Services group but that was in the spring of 2008 when the Bear Stearns embers were still hot and everyone who worked on the Citi still thought they worked for a great client (that’s what I was told, anyway). In 2009, end of busy season soirees were a much more muted with individual team celebrations because the world had basically just ended.

Last spring it sounded like it was more of the same. Nothing too out of control and individual teams were left to celebrate how they saw fit. Of course with a successful fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2011 looking good, firms may be ready to jump into the ostentatious end of busy season blowout parties once again. Maybe your partner(s) is/are taking you to Peter Luger’s; maybe it’s an intimate evening at the his/her home where some entertainment will be provided (hopefully from inside the firm). Or maybe it will just a drinks and awkwardly dancing the night away. We can’t possibly know since we don’t get invited to such things (at least officially), so discuss your plans, send us your invites or come up with your own ideas about how to best celebrate getting your life back.

PwC Introduces Cleverly-Named Fortnightly Social Function

I overheard – and by that I mean someone sent us the gchat – the following conversation that occurred earlier today regarding friendly get-togethers that will be going down at 300 Madison starting next Thursday.

[Someone at PwC]: From my good friend [Someone else at PwC]
[Someone at PwC, quoting an email]: Take a break. Unwind. Catch up with your coach or colleagues. Enjoy refreshments. Play a game. Right here in 300 Madison at our new Post work Connections. Designed to show appreciation for everything you do — and to provide a place for you and your colleagues — to meet and get to know people. It’s a place to just have fun! Post work Connections will be open every other Thursday, from 5:00-8:00 p.m., in 300 Madison’s deck/cafeteria, from March 24 – June 16. We look forward to seeing you at our grand opening on March 24. Give it a try. There will be beer, wine, soda, snacks, games — and raffles for prizes! Get caught in the act of having fun at work! Hope to see you there!
[Someone at PwC]: Note that post work connections starts with PwC
[Someone who knows someone at PwC]: Good lord
[Someone who knows someone at PwC]: That’s epic
[Someone who knows someone at PwC]: Is the “post work connections starts with..” comment theirs or yourts
[Someone at PwC]: Mine
[Someone who knows someone at PwC]: Love it.

Personally, I’m mostly curious about the “games” aspect of these events. Are we talking Risk™? Beer pong? Scrabble™? Or we talking an Angry Birds round-robin tournament? Regardless, we’ll be interested to hear how these Thursday ragers will go. Keep us in the loop.