5 Crazy Fraud Stories You Would Never Believe (If They Weren’t True)
From Russian government assassinations to multimillion-dollar blood-testing scams, there’s never a shortage of surreal fraud stories to rock the financial industry each year. And each year, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) hosts the ACFE Global Fraud Conference to bring to life these hardly believable (yet true) financial cases by way of those who […]
Hear How Malaysian Money Illegally Financed a Hollywood Movie at the ACFE Global Fraud Conference
Clare Rewcastle Brown was in Malaysia investigating deforestation when she uncovered a corruption scandal that would lead her to Hollywood, the U.S. government, Las Vegas, diamond jewelry, rare art, and more.. 1MDB, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, was set up to stimulate the country’s economy. Instead, it became a personal bank account for the country’s elite. […]
Oprah Offers Vaguely Inspiring Words to Intuit’s Devout Followers
Last week, Oprah gave the keynote address at this year’s QuickBooks Connect Conference probably because Intuit understands that people need to heal spiritually after using QuickBooks Online. Don’t get me wrong. I love Oprah. I’m a total sucker for quasi-spiritual bullshit. And apparently Intuit is, too. But Oprah speaking to a group of accounting software […]
How I Learned to Stop Hating Networking and Love Mary Schapiro
A few months ago, my boss sent me to a business conference to learn technical stuff but mostly to network. If someone had told me years ago how much networking and ass-kissing the accounting profession actually involves, maybe I would have rethought my career path and become a statistician or something. The only thing I […]
Save the Date: AICPA Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments
As Going Concern's official Washington correspondent (read: the one who lived in an awesome condo in the DC hood), it's up to me to head home next week to cover the AICPA Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments from December 9 – 11. I know, you're as excited as I am about this JUST […]
You Might Actually Want to Attend the AICPA’s E.D.G.E. Conference
E.D.G.E. stands for Evolve, Distinguish, Grow and Emerge – four key elements to ascend into your career as a CPA – and is a brand new, three day conference to give emerging CPAs an edge on their career development. Topics include refining your leadership skills, positioning your personal brand to get the results you want, and making the transition to a managerial role. Attendees will receive updates on tax, accounting & auditing, as well as financial/estate planning, and will have the chance to network with leaders in the profession as well as their peers.
The next generation of CPA leaders have the opportunity to refine and enhance their skills at the debut E.D.G.E. Conference, scheduled for Aug. 10-12 in New Orleans.
The three day event is the first AICPA conference geared towards emerging CPA leaders and is targeted at practitioners in public accounting and business and industry with 5-15 years accounting experience. Attendees will learn the strategies they need to distinguish themselves as leaders, how to grow their personal brand and will ultimately emerge with a leadership skill set to help further their career and steer the future direction of the profession.
“During the early stages of their careers, CPAs are often so consumed with the technical aspects of their jobs that they don’t receive training for the skills they need to get to the next levels,” said Allison Harrell, conference chair and senior audit manager, Thomas Howell Ferguson, P.A. “The E.D.G.E. Conference is structured to combine forward looking technical sessions with presentations that develop the soft skills that emerging leaders need if they want to take the next step in their career.”
With an agenda which boasts a wide range of topics covering six different focuses, attendees will receive a comprehensive educational experience tailored to their needs. In addition to technical sessions on tax, audit and accounting, attendees will get practical information on career advancement and training on how to refine their interpersonal and communication skills.
“This conference is a great opportunity for any CPA who wants to take the next step in their career but isn’t quite sure exactly how to go about it,” said Paul V. Stahlin, CPA, AICPA chairman. “I’m looking forward to meeting the next generation of CPA leaders and sharing my thoughts on the issues that are shaping the direction of the profession.”
The conference offers attendees an opportunity to learn from experts in the accounting profession and features over 30 sessions to choose from, including presentations from:
Ernie Almonte, CPA.CITP, CFF, partner, DiSanto, Priest & Co.
Tom Hood, CPA.CITP, CEO Maryland Association of CPAs
Brian Kush, CPA, CLC, president of Moxie Partners
Donny Shimamoto, CPA.CITP, founder of IntrapriseTechKnowlogies LLC
Paul V. Stahlin, CPA, AICPA chairman
The E.D.G.E. Conference will be held from August 10-12 at the Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans. The cost is $620 for AICPA members, $920 for non-members, which is the early-bird price, expiring on June 26th .
Here’s video of Donny Shimamoto (who we were honored to meet last month at Spring Council) talking about why the E.D.G.E conference is a great idea for everyone from senior partners to new hires. Find out more from the AICPA.
Going Concern at the ACFE Fraud and Conference Exhibit
Next week I’ll be attending the ACFE Fraud and Conference Exhibit in San Diego where many forensic and fraud sleuths will be enjoying each other’s company and one-upping each other with stories on how many criminals they’ve busted over the years. It looks like you can still register so if my presence is the dealmaker for you, then I suggest you get on this.
John Walsh, the host of America’s Most Wanted will be giving a keynote although I’m a little confused as to what he’ll share with people that comb through ledgers for a living. Anyway, if you want to get in touch with me at the conference or while I’m in San Diego, you can email me, DM or @ me on Twitter or shoot me a message on LinkedIn or Facebook. I promise I’ll respond at some point especially if you offer to drive me to the beach or buy me an old fashioned in the Gaslamp Quarter.
And if you’re not in San Diego or attending the conference, don’t worry, I’ll be on a regular posting schedule so there will be the regular dose of inflammatory nonsense coming your way.
Russian Spy Who Attended CFO Conference Was That Annoying Person You Can’t Shake at Such Events
Donald Howard Heathfield is “Defendant #4” of the eleven alleged Russian spies and it turns out that he was playing pretty true to the part of a go-getter executive looking to network his ass off.
CFO reports that “prodigious networker” Heathfield attended the CFO Rising Conference that was held in Orlando in March and he was well remembered by some of the other attendees. Not only for his persistence (we’re imagining really aggressive handshakes, name tag prominently placed, business cards in a holster) but for his just plain weirdness and his ginormous business card:
“I met him early on in the conference, and he was very persistent in trying to reengage,” recalls John Kahn, CFO of a private-equity-backed portfolio company. “I didn’t reengage with him. He just seemed slightly strange.” Kahn still has Heathfield’s business card, which folds out to twice the size of a normal business card and contains a somewhat inscrutable description of the company’s mission: “Future Map gives leaders a synthetic ‘big picture’ of anticipated future. Future Map helps building proactive collaborative leadership cultures.”
Frankly, the “inscrutable description” doesn’t sound that much different from all the other hustlers out there but whatever. Supposedly this was extra, extra inscrutable, even by business conference standards. Anyhoo, another attendee just found DHH to be flat out annoying:
He started talking to me, and I couldn’t shake him,” says Frank Quigley, CEO of CFO Publishing, who remembers Heathfield approaching him in a hallway outside the meeting rooms and seeking introductions to specific conference speakers and attendees. “There was no doubt in my mind when I saw his photo that I recalled the encounter and the persistence of it, and the vagueness of who he was.”
Obviously Mr Quigley did not have any pre-arranged signals to get him out of bad convos. HUGE MISTAKE.
Back to our Russian friend – if you visit his LinkedIn page you’ll see that he keeps it similarly inscrutable with a past position being, “Partner at Global Partners, Inc.” and specializing in “Comprehensive management of Risks and Uncertainties, Anticipatory Leadership, Building of Future Scenarios, Development and Execution of Future Strategies, Capture of Strategic Opportunities, Global Account Management.”
Considering his use of buzzwords, we’re not surprised at all that he was able to blend in so well. No word on the prevalence of acronyms but despite what people are saying, he was more like them then they could possibly even realized.
Spies Like…Us? [CFO]