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Iowa Businessman Could Really Liven Up Your Accounting Firm’s Firings

If you’ve been in public accounting for a number years, you’ve certainly seen your share of colleagues get shown the door either due to work performance that was not up to par, “a slow down in the marketplace,” or engaging in office antics that are typically frowned upon. This is typically handled in a manner befitting of a professional accountant. That is, a very solemn conversation in a partner’s office with regrets, thanks for service, yada yada yada.

William Ernst (no relation, I’m guessing) is a Bettendorf, Iowa businessman that owns a chain of QC Mart convenience stores, and he was sick of his employees acting up. Fooling around behind the counter, bad language, smoking grass wearing hats. Poor clerking. To help make his point, Mr. Ernst decided to start a little contest and sent a memo to employees laying out the groundrules:

“New Contest – Guess The Next Cashier Who Will Be Fired!!!

To win our game, write on a piece of paper the name of the next cashier you believe will be fired. Write their name [the person who will be fired], today’s date, today’s time, and your name. Seal it in an envelope and give it to the manager to put in my envelope.

Here’s how the game will work: We are doubling our secret-shopper efforts, and your store will be visited during the day and at night several times a week. Secret shoppers will be looking for cashiers wearing a hat, talking on a cell phone, not wearing a QC Mart shirt, having someone hanging around/behind the counter, and/or a personal car parked by the pumps after 7 p.m., among other things.

If the name in your envelope has the right answer, you will win $10 CASH. Only one winner per firing unless there are multiple right answers with the exact same name, date, and time. Once we fire the person, we will open all the envelopes, award the prize, and start the contest again.

And no fair picking Mike Miller from (the Rockingham Road store). He was fired at around 11:30 a.m. today for wearing a hat and talking on his cell phone. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!”

Any firms considering cuts in the near to intermediate future, could really do well by this method. Although, since we’re dealing with a workforce that’s a little preoccupied with money, you’ll probably have to up the award to $100.

Firing contest by boss leads employees to quit [DMR]

Help the NJ Society of CPAs Win $10,000 For Its Scholarship Fund

Contrary to what some might claim, we actually enjoy helping when we can, especially if it means money not out of our own pockets for future capital market servants. Therefore, we’re asking you to take two seconds out of your day to help the NJSCPA win a contest.

From NJSCPA Director of Communications Don Meyer:

In our never-ending effort to convince the world that CPAs aren’t dull, and hopefully to win $10,000, the NJSCPA entered a photo in the “Great Event Photo Contest” on Facebook –

If our photo (a Society member salsa dancing at the 2011 NJSCPA Convention & Expo in Atlantic City) gets enough votes we could win $10,000 for the NJSCPA Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to high school and college students.

We’ll be encouraging (or nagging if you prefer) our members to vote for us by promoting the contest on Facebook, Twitter, NJSCPA Connect (, through email and by whatever other means we can think of.

We’re up against some big competition so we’re looking for whatever exposure we can get (hint, hint). Thanks.

Who says CPAs are dull?

You have until August 22nd to vote and can vote once a day using your Facebook profile.

Get on it!

Say Six Words About Work, Win an iPad (Serious)

Consulting, outsourcing and investment provider Mercer and SMITH Magazine have partnered to launch a new online contest called “Six Words About Work,” and plan to publish a book featuring the best contest submissions. By participating, you could win a fancy new toy!

The free contest, a new edition to SMITH’s Six-Word Memoir® series, is open to the general public and will be conducted in four phases beginning June 29 and ending in late August. Each two-week phase will feature one work-related submission topic for contest submissions. The contest topics include:

  • Why I do what I do
  • What inspires my very best work
  • The best boss I ever had
  • Biggest lesson I learned at work

The contest will be held in the US, UK and Canada. Participants will submit their Six-Word Memoirs via the SMITH website. Each country will have four winners, one for each phase of the contest, selected by a panel of judges. Winners will be chosen based on the submission’s creativity, quality and relevance to the topic. Winners will receive their choice of a new Apple iPad or BlackBerry® PlayBook™. Winners will be notified on or around September 1, 2011.
Complete rules are available at

You read that right: you can win an iPad (or PlayBook) by coming up with something clever. What could be easier?

The current challenge is to write six words about bosses (come on now, you guys can do this), of which “Evaluation conducted over vodka on ice.” is a definite front-runner. You have until August 13th to answer this one.

Get on it!

McGladrey Announces Contest Where the Grand Prize Is Caddying for a Golfer That Isn’t Natalie Gulbis

The cakehole fillers at McGladrey announced a contest last week where the winner will caddy for Davis Love III at the McGladrey Classic Pro-am. All you have to do is submit “a creative photo and short essay explaining why you should be Davis’ caddie.”

Of course you’ll have to know DL3 inside-out and upside down, just like the folks at Mickey G’s [Someone who] understands my needs, my game, and my love and passion for the game of golf.” Right. Needs like making sure that there is a fresh pair of pants available for photos should Dave win the tournament, keeping John Daly’s hillbilly ass out of earshot and verifying that the McGladrey people put “Davis Love III” on the checks.

AICPA Launches Clearly Pretty Awesome Campaign to Target High School Students

The following post is republished from AccountingWEB, a source of accounting news, information, tips, tools, resources and insight — everything you need to help you prosper and enjoy the accounting profession.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has launched the Clearly Pretty Awesome Competition for high school students to introduce them to the CPA profession.

“The CPA designation offers many rewarding career paths,” said Jeannie Patton, AICPA vice president – students, academics, and membership. “College students are graduating with degrees in accounting at historically high numbers. Decisions regarding career paths are being shaped very early, many at the high school level. It’s important that students have substantial information about accounting careers before they select their majors at colleges and universities.”

The Clearly Pretty Awesome Competition calls for students to devise a job (other than certified public accountant) using the acronym CPA, such as “curb paint applicator” or “city park accordionist.” To enter the competition, students are encouraged to visit Start Here, Go Places and register using the site’s FutureMe tool, and then submit their entries, along with an explanation as to why being a real CPA is a better option than the job they created.

A panel of judges will select the finalists on November 18 and 19. The top submissions will appear on Start Here, Go Places for public voting beginning on November 29. The AICPA will announce the winning entry on or about December 15, and plans to incorporate it in a national advertising campaign.

There will be 1st through 5th place awards:

• 1st place: A laptop for the student, $3,000 grant awarded to the student’s school in his or her name, use of the entry in the ad campaign, and a poster for school display;

• 2nd place: A laptop for the student, $1,500 grant to the school in the student’s name and a poster;

• 3rd, 4th, and 5th places: An iPod touch for the students.

The competition is open to full-time 15 to 19 year-old students who are enrolled in a high school in the 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa or the U.S. Virgin Islands. The AICPA will accept entries until Nov. 17.

About the AICPA:
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is the national, professional association of CPAs, with 369,000 CPA members worldwide in business and industry, public practice, government, education, student affiliates and international associates. It sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for audits of private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination.

The Latest Challenge for KPMG Employees

Team, KPMG has submitted a challenge to its employees in the Florida/Carolinas/Puerto Rico neck of the woods, and we felt compelled to include the rest of you, just for the sake of expanding the brain pool:

Name the Business Unit Contest
January 22, 2010
How do you describe the most scenic business unit in the nation? From the mountains and outer banks of Carolina to the Everglades and beaches of Florida and the rain forests and blue waters of Puerto Rico, we have it all!
As the former FBU and CBU business units come together, we thought it would be fun to invite each of you to participate in a contest to name the new BU. In addition to bragging rights, a prize will be awarded to the person who submits the winning name.
Remember…be creative and have fun!
Send your ideas to US-FBU CSS COMM Leadership Mailbox by Friday, January 29, 2010. A prestigious selection committee will make the final selection and the winner will be announced by Friday, February 5, 2010.

Lost of questions here: 1) It’s busy season; between reading this fine publicaion, trying to get laid, and wallowing in disappointment, who has time to come up with name for the FlorinasRico business unit? 2) Who’s on the prestigious selection committee and how did they get this cushy gig? 3) Does Phil Mickelson figure into this prize in any way, shape or form? 4) If yes, will Tim Flynn be caddying for you, Phil or both?
You’ve only got until Friday to submit ideas, so we suggest you get on this ASAP.