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Aronson, LLC Spent $100,000 to Give iPads to All of Its Employees

[caption id="attachment_52044" align="alignright" width="260" caption="Excitement is relative."][/caption]

Has your firm shown you any appreciation lately? Made you feel loved? Did you have a single reason to be thankful for anything last Thursday? For some, the answer is a resounding “Hell no.”

This is not the case at Rockville, Maryland-based Aronson, LLC who shocked the pants off all of their 200+ employees with iPads at their annual meeting.

Why would a firm would do this, you ask? Is management trying to a prevent a winter exodus? Was it a banner year for the firm and they opted to spread the wealth around? Maybe. But right now they’re going with “appreciation” and a anniversary:

Aronson LLC, the Mid-Atlantic region’s premier public accounting and consulting firm, surprised its staff at its November Annual Meeting by handing out over 200 iPads, one for each and every Aronson employee. The company’s offering, valued at nearly $100,000, was made both to celebrate the firm’s 50th Anniversary (coming in 2012), and to demonstrate appreciation for the employees’ dedication and hard work.

Motives notwithstanding, it beats kick in the shins. All non-Aronson employees may commence envious bitching as they see fit.

[via Aronson]

(UPDATE) Thanks for Taking the Going Concern Fall Survey

We got a few emails asking about the iPad drawing so in order to get everyone to calm down, you’ll be glad to know that we’ve picked a winner.

But since no one wants their name to be in lights on this here fine publication, we won’t be sharing the name with you. UPDATE: Perhaps in an effort to wring some out of the readership, our winner has given us the go-ahead to publish their name. Your iPad envy should be directed at John Bialick, who works at Rothstein Kass in Roseland, New Jersey. Congrats, John! Just know that if you didn’t get an email from me telling you that you’re a winner, that means you’re a loser. Unfortunately, the rest of you are still losers. Not in life (unless you still can’t pass the CPA exam) but simply in this particular contest. This is just a quick word of thanks to everyone who took the survey and don’t worry, we’ll throw a chance to win more goodies at you someday.

Thanks for your continued support of Going Concern.

Did You Get a Steak Dinner and an iPad To Join Your Accounting Firm?

Hey kids! Have you heard? The accounting industry is on fire! Don’t all pile in at once, now, let’s make a nice single file line toward the piles of cash, work-life balance and cash prizes! Yes, cash prizes!

You see, Crain’s New York decided to publish a piece over the weekend called simply “CPAs are getting hired,” which leaves little room for interpretation. While there’s no denying you all have survived the recession far better than your brethren in the doomed and overpopulated field of law, it comes off as a bit irresponsible in my mind for Crain’s to make it seem like firms are so desperate for good help, they’re giving out iPads and cash.

It’s no wonder, then, that employers are aggressively working on quality-of-life issues and recruiting incentives. At the Metis Group, perks include flexible work hours, a firm-sponsored kickball team and full company payment to prepare for and take the CPA accreditation exam, according to Managing Partner Glenn Friedman. The firm also gives out iPads for stellar performance.

In Ms. Teibel’s case, she hadn’t even been hired when the generosity began. Before she started with Berdon in January 2011, the firm had paid the $4,000 it cost her to prepare for the CPA exam. And before the interview process, Ms. Teibel had been wined and dined by Berdon partners.

“All that attention truly meant a lot to me,” Ms. Teibel said. “In an economy like this one, I’ll feel secure for years to come.”

Ha! Ms. Teibel is in for one hell of a rude awakening long after the partners have written off that steak dinner and traded ass-kissing and CPA review books for long hours and endless piles of busywork.

In reality, $4,000 will barely cover the cost of a year of Becker classes and one exam attempt for each section, so what happens if she doesn’t get it done in a year and needs to repurchase review materials? Or what if she fails a section? Or all four? Sure it’s nice to have your review course paid for but the truth here is that few candidates actually pass the first time through, and my experience with candidates who had courses paid in full was that they tended to do worse on the exam than candidates who had to scrape together their own hard-earned Federal Reserve Notes to buy review materials.

And what’s this about work-life balance? Is there a memo I haven’t gotten? As far as I can tell, based on completely non-scientific analysis of the comments many of you leave here, the slave drivers haven’t let up on you guys and have no plans to do so any time soon. If you’re actually good at your job, expect to be worked into the ground as your expertise and talent are a commodity the firms are more than happy to burn. But hey, enjoy that free iPad.

I recommend reading the Crain’s piece in its entirety, if for no other reason than to scoff and wonder in what parallel universe this takes place and try to figure out how to transport yourself there immediately.

Between this and the Yahoo! fluff piece awhile back, if I were a 20 year old wondering what to be when I grew up, this number-crunching gig might seem like the only viable option in these uncertain times.

Prepare for the bum rush of ankle-biters, kids. Or at least start working on your kickball skills.