October 18, 2021

debates

Let’s Discuss: Auditors and The Responsibility to Detect Fraud

When I finally got around to writing about the HP/Autonomy finger pointing party yesterday, the topic of fraud detection by auditors came up as it often does in these scenarios. More specifically, the statement that "audits are NOT designed to detect fraud."   A friend of Going Concern emailed me later in the day with […]

Corporate America Encouraged By Rhetoric From Presidential Candidates

Yesterday we attempted to make some sense of President Obama's statement about ending "tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas." His was attempting to discuss corporate tax reform, although Mitt Romney had never heard of any such thing and wondered aloud if he needed to gleefully fire his accountant. Anyhoo, in the first […]

Let’s Try to Make Some Sense of President Obama’s “Tax Breaks for Companies Shipping Jobs Overseas” Statement

One other major point of contention (that relates to taxes) in last night's debate was President Obama mention of "tax breaks [given] to companies that are shipping jobs overseas." It's not entirely clear what he was talking about, so let's do our best to sort this out. From the transcript of the debate, here's what […]

Mitt Romney Left Tax Policy Wonks Feeling a Little Unsatisfied Today

Maybe you didn't hear about it, but last night Mitt Romney and Barack Obama were on TV engaging in a war of words. LOTS OF WORDS. The consensus is that Willard emerged the big victor while remaining pretty vague on details: Romney fiercely objected to Obama’s characterization of his tax plan as a $5 trillion […]

Should Big 4 Interns Be Hazed?

This is our second intern-themed post this week, which gets me thinking that some of you are neck-deep in coffee jockeys. This can be a trying time for those of you that are A) impatient B) dicks C) control freaks D) all of the above. As such, the following has probably crossed your mind at […]

Oh, Mitt Romney, How You Tease Us with Your Approximate Effective Tax Rate

As we know, inevitable GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney hasn't been too forthcoming with his 1040, basically saying to hell with tradition and his own son Tripp Kip Skip Flip MATT! suggested (jokingly but sorta seriously) that just as soon as Imam Obama released his birth certificate, maybe dear ol' dad would dig out the […]

Grover Norquist Thinks This Donald Trump Debate Is a Dynamite Idea

Perhaps you’ve heard that oafish hair transplant recipient Donald Trump is going to moderate a GOP debate. Shockingly, a number people aren’t taking this idea too seriously and for good reason! The man is rich. And busy. And important. Plus, he has young kids at home. You know how kids are. How could he possibly squeeze such an important event into his schedule? Seems impossible. Oh, and then there’s the part where he’s an egomaniac that pretended he was thinking about running for President while maintaining that the President was born on Mars or some damn place. That too.

But you know who thinks this whole Donald Debate is fabulous idea? Yep:

I am assured that Donald Trump will be a fair-minded moderator and joined by serious journalists. This contrasts with several debates that have already occurred which have been moderated by hostile members of the left wing media. I strongly urge all GOP candidates to attend this debate.

At this time we’ll presume that being MIA from the debate will not equate a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge but Mittens is skipping this circus, GGN’s choice may be easy.

[via ATR]

Why Don’t More Accounting Professors Blog?

I’ll admit, I’ve trolled Tom Selling’s Accounting Onion. From what I hear, Tom doesn’t appreciate my potty mouth but that doesn’t mean I appreciate his salty opinion any less. He hates the idea of IFRS in the U.S., which immediately endears anyone to me, and I enjoy his candid (if slightly more boring than what you all are used to here on Going Concern) tone.

So when I was in full-on troll mode and saw Tom’s recent Why Do Accounting Academics Blog Less Than Other Academics? post, I had to tweet it. Short version of theeems like every bunch of academics except those in accounting seem to blog their bookish little butts off?


Well one blogging academic didn’t like that tweet (don’t shoot the messenger, bro, I am in enough trouble for my actual opinions, I don’t need heat on account of someone else’s *troll win*) and ended up writing an entire post in response *extra troll win*. Associate Professor and Chair of Accounting & Taxation at Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business, Mark Holtzman, wrote the following on his Accounting Ethicist blog:

Last night I read the Accounting Onion’s latest post, asking “why do accounting academics blog less than other academics?” The writer, Tom Selling, offers a novel, if implausible theory:

We (accounting professors) rely on the Big-4 oligopoly to hire our students:

There are certainly tradeoffs to blogging, but they all seem to be roughly the same across academic disciplines, except for the presence of the Big Four. For some reason, that appears to be a net negative in relation to blogging opportunities.

Could it be that blogging by accounting professors is detrimental to the career prospects of one’s accounting students? I’m just asking.

I immediately tweeted that this post was not nice or true. (I then added, in a second tweet, that “Accounting professors don’t blog much because we are too busy with teaching, research and service.” That was admittedly a poorly-thought-out answer – Accounting professors are just as busy as English profs or any other area.)

First of all, Accounting Onion’s theory would suggest that somehow the Big-4 fuel an atmosphere of fear. Here’s a narrative: Accounting academics are afraid to say what they really think for fear of upsetting Big-4 recruiters, and that Big-4 recruiters would viciously retaliate against these academics by refusing to hire their students. That’s ridiculous. I think I can speak for my colleagues when I say that we’re not willing to lie (or withhold the truth) in order to get prestigious employers to hire our students.

Furthermore, I’ve worked for the Big-4 (or I should say the Big-8 and Big-6 – scratch that! I haven’t worked for the Big-4, have I?). In my capacity as a Department Chair, I know many Big-4 recruiters and employees. And we accounting professors do have a lot of far-fetched opinions. But I don’t know any recruiters or partners who would retaliate against students because of their professors’ far-fetched opinions. The Big-4 firms are very systematic about who they recruit and wise enough to hire our students in spite of us and our wacky opinions.

That said, how do we answer Accounting Onion’s question? Where are all the accounting professor-bloggers?

Here goes: I’m sorry to say that accounting doesn’t make for very interesting blogging. See any interesting tax footnotes lately? How ’bout that new FASB proposal? IFRS is already a joke – how many bloggers do we need to point that out? Here comes “Little GAAP.” Is there anything interesting to say about “Little GAAP?” And while I’m at it, have you ever seen the list of topics at a AAA meeting? There could be more accounting professor blogs, yes, but who would want to read all that cr@p?

He goes on to point out that there are notable exceptions to the rule – Going Concern being one of them – but for the most part, the gist I got was that accounting is too fucking boring to warrant dedicating one’s time and effort to writing about it. Thanks for crushing my lofty career goals and any pride I had (if I ever did) in what I actually do for a living.

Pride isn’t the only thing that makes me take issue with that. I have somehow made writing about accounting my life for the last three years so I get that it’s boring. Trust me, I am the last person on the planet who would have ever thought accounting could be interesting but then I started following the adoption of IFRS in the U.S., SEC employees’ porn problems, massive frauds and interesting police blotters starring CPAs around the country. Know what? It’s not that fucking boring. And I don’t just say that to make myself feel better about my questionable career choices.

Who would want to read about that crap? A lot of people, actually. I am amazed by the amount of traffic I get on accounting-related posts on Jr Deputy Accountant that are months or even years old. Are accountants on top of the news cycle? Well no, there is no news cycle. Thank God I have the CPA exam to write about or else I might be out of a job for as little news we get in this industry. But accountants are just as interested in opinion and information as anyone, if not more.

So? What do you guys think? Would you actually read blogs by your accounting professors?

Analysis: Corporations May Be People But They Are Definitely Not Humans

The Iowa State Fair is going strong and because Election 2012 is in full throttle, the GOP Presidential candidates have been posing for photo-ops and making statements with varying degrees of stupidity.

One of the most logical things uttered, I dare say, was done so by Mitt Romney. By now you’ve probably heard that ol’ Mitt, in between corndogs, got into a bit of a verbal joust with a few of the fair goers. Here’s the soundbite:

The statement has been examined and debated with most intelligent people coming down on the side of Romney. That is, human beings – whether it’s shareholders, employees or customers – eventually bear the cost of the taxes paid by corporations. So while a whole host of humans, including the majority Supreme Court of the United States, are stuck on this “people” thing, it’s worth noting (mostly for the sake of stupid fun) that corporations are definitely not “humans.” Maybe that’s overstating the obvious but English is complicated language and this exercise is not without its merits.

Humans, at their best, are capable of being compassionate, loving, generous and all that crap. Corporations are not. At worst, humans are disgusting, vile creatures capable of ridiculous behavior and we know this to be true mostly because of reality TV. Corporations are certainly capable of deplorable behavior but this behavior is usually at the behest of a human being’s decision.

Accordingly, let’s examine some thing that demonstrate that don’t make corporations “human.”

• Corporations don’t flash women who aren’t the age of consent.

• Corporations don’t use your bathroom and help themselves to the Goldbond Medicated Powder to an extent that you wonder if someone left the window open during a snowstorm.

• Corporations don’t eat corn dogs (humans shouldn’t either).

• Corporations can’t sign a taxpayer protection pledge.

• Corporations don’t “try out” 18 year-old women, take them over state lines and then take money in order to “protect” them.

Feel free to volunteer other examples of “human” versus “people” below but what’s important to note here is that while both humans and corporations may be people, all humans are people and it’s clear that corporations are not humans.

And if that still doesn’t help you understand the difference, just remember this – no matter the situation, for better or worse, humans are the ones who get screwed. Got it?

Grover Norquist May Have Given the GOP Presidential Candidates a Pep Talk Prior to Last Night’s Debate

The most noteworthy and damning moment of the GOP debate in Iowa Thursday was when the moderators asked the candidates to raise their hands if they would walk away from a deal that cut ten dollars from the deficit for every one dollar in tax increases. Every last person on stage said they’d reject that deal. [Atlantic]

Mitch McConnell Has Given Up on President Obama

Mr. McConnell said he concluded after the latest negotiations that the administration had “expressed a fundamental unwillingness” to agree to significant spending cuts.

“But after years of discussions and months of negotiations, I have little question that as long as this president is in the Oval Office, a real solution is unattainable,” Mr. McConnell said in a Senate floor speech. [WSJ]