Does Anyone Want to Work for the Federal Reserve?
With Caleb way way out of town, I’m finally able to talk about the Fed. In this case, I figured I’d make it useful for those of you looking for non Big 4 careers but unsure where to start.
The Fed has money. Your salary, were you to use your accounting degree to work there, would come out of the money they allegedly return to Treasury each year as “profit,” so they can pretty much make up any number. A luxury Uncle Ernie just doesn’t have.
This is just my personal experience (having dated an accountant who worked at the SF Fed in a former life), to qualify you probably have to have a sick attention to detail (I won’t go so far as to use the word anal but you get it), enjoy a rigid schedule (he would get up at 3 in the morning every work day) and possibly play too much WoW (self-explanatory). I know several of you who read this site that completely fit that bill, so read on and see if you want to get on this sweet money gravy train:
As the central bank of the United States, the Federal Reserve’s mission is to provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system. For us to succeed in meeting this public mandate, we depend on the expertise, judgment, integrity, and dedication of employees with various skills, backgrounds, and training. As a Federal Reserve staff member, you will play a critical role in accomplishing this mission.
You can finally use your Masters for something useful in exciting areas like Financial Analyst/Bank Examiner, Bank Supervision and Regulation, or Consumer and Community Affairs.
Individuals interested in a career as an analyst should have a degree in business administration with concentration in accounting or finance, and experience in financial analysis as it relates to banking. Knowledge of the laws and regulations governing banks and bank holding companies is preferred. A master’s degree is required for most higher-level positions.
That’s at the Board, where they still have to pretend to be government. But the regional banks need number-crunchers too, so if you are in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Kansas City, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, San Francisco or St. Louis, check with your local regional Fed bank to see what’s available. There are also smaller branches in places like Salt Lake City, Portland, Baltimore and Houston, they may need some warm bodies to count the beans or supervise said counting of beans.
The New York Fed in particular has some exciting openings in Financial Institution Supervision and Audit worth checking out if you’re close or considering a move to that market.
Here’s a decent (if slightly outdated) report on Fed bank pay to give you a general idea what they’re working with. According to Glassdoor, a Senior Accountant at the Boston Fed makes around $70k, although from what I’ve read from others, starting pay at the Fed is significantly lower than Big 4 starting salaries in comparable markets.
Fannie Mae Hoping the Third CFO Is the Charm
Susan McFarland will be the third CFO at FanMa since the company entered conservatorship nearly three years ago.
In case you lost count, the U.S. taxpayer has thrown $86 billion at the company but Suz is still “incredibly excited to join the Fannie Mae team and to help lead the company into the future.” Mmmmhmmm. [WSJ]
Wanted: Auditors for Inventory Count Who Won’t Get Queasy at the Sight of a Few Dead Chickens
Did I say a few?
The Alabama Poultry and Egg Association estimated that five million chickens probably died in the tornadoes, which slammed the northern part of the state, where the industry is centered.
Not to worry though, you’ll still be able to get your McNugget™ fix:
That alone isn’t enough to disrupt chicken supplies nationally. The state usually produces about 21.5 million chickens in a week. The U.S. produces roughly nine billion chickens annually.
Storms Destroy Hundreds of Poultry Houses [WSJ via JDA]
KV Pharma Names New CFO; Hunt for Auditor, Signs of an Internal Control System Begins
The AP reports that K-V Pharm named Tom McHugh as their new CFO today which is good news for KV but could be some serious bad news for Tom.
As you may recall, things haven’t been as good as you could ask for over at KV this year – directors, auditors and executives are all bolting for the door and someone has to make a run at this thing. One of those lucky ducks is Tom McHugh:
K-V Pharmaceutical Co. on Thursday named Chief Accounting Officer Thomas McHugh as its new chief financial officer, replacing Stephen Stamp after three months.
The company said McHugh becomes its CFO effective immediately. McHugh served as the company’s interim CFO from September 2009 until April 2010. He was named chief accounting officer in February.
So it sounds like Tommy probably knows the place well enough but he still gets to fix all this:
“Material weaknesses have been identified and included in management’s assessment in the areas of entity-level controls (control awareness, personnel, identification and addressing risks, monitoring of controls, remediation of deficiencies and communication of information), financial statement preparation and review procedures (manual journal entries, account reconciliations, spreadsheets, customer and supplier agreements, stock-based compensation, Medicaid rebates and income taxes) and the application of accounting principles (inventories, property and equipment, employee compensation, reserves for sales allowances and financing transactions).”
And find an auditor! Since KPMG quit, the hunt is on for a new one, so hopefully there’s someone in St. Louis willing to help them out because…the NYSE kinda, sorta took notice that the company didn’t file their 10-K on time and well, that’s a no-no. Just ask Koss.
So the good money is probably is riding against Tom but we’re rooting for you buddy. Turn this ship around!
Job of the Day: Bank of America Needs a CFO But Not Just Anyone Because This Is a Pretty Major Gig
Brian Moynihan is shopping around for a CFO and he needs a good one ASAP. The Post reports that Moynihan will go with someone from outside BofA so that means you’ve got a shot! Now before you get ahead of yourself and think you’re the BSD to turn this ship around, consider some of your responsibilities.
You’ve got to be the numbers jockey for the biggest bank in the known universe that is constantly being given the stink-eye by Tim Geithner, Barack Obama, Ken Feinberg, et al., plus an angry American populous that will not hesitate to call you names and picket your house. Oh, and you may or may not have to move to Charlotte. Maybe that’s not a sticking point for some of you but if you don’t like NASCAR then we’d suggest passing on this one.
See? Trying to come up with a good and willing candidate will not be an easy task. After all, getting someone to takeKen Lewis’ chair wasn’t exactly a piece of cake and CFO is actually a real job.
Naturally, soon-to-be former KPMG Chairman Tim Flynn comes to mind but Moynihan may want to go with some with a little less sweater vesty and he doesn’t really have the mane to match. Former Lehman CFO Erin Callan is busy hanging out with firefighters and Andy Fastow is still unavailable. Better put a call in to Robert Half.
Serious search party [NYP]
Ex-Bank of America CFO Is in Cuomo’s Crosshairs
Wanted: Accounting Manager, Enforcer Experience a Plus
A source passed along a job opportunity for a company in Miami that needs an accounting manager. Doesn’t sound out of the ordinary but that there’s a little bonus in it for you if you can make it 365 days:
Accounting Manager – Pre IPO Company- Hospitality Industry
Compensation: $90,000 – $100,000 + Bonus and other incentives (Free European Cruise after 1 year of employment)
Nice, right? There may be a bit of a catch though. Here’s part of the job description:
We are looking for an exceptional finance professional/ CPA who has very high ethics, strong interpersonal skills, loyalty to the company and to the President, someone who is very honest, trustworthy, hands on, very good with budgets, managing a complex debt structure, very good with complex capex projects, able to watch receivables like a hawk and not shy away from tough collections: able to work quickly and flexibly with cash flows and related dynamic Manage large outsourcing contracts/ contractors manage all expenses create reports for the Board and finance.
So based on the above, we’re thinking that not only must you be a master of double-entry accounting, you shouldn’t be afraid to break some kneecaps in order to convince some deadbeat customers to pay up. Do all this for one year, and you will have earned yourself a nice little vacation. Qualified applicants should get in touch and be prepared to demonstrate your abilities.
Nightmare Client of the Day: Lady Gaga
As you are all aware, there are some hella-suck clients out there for accountants. Demanding clients, unorganized clients, asshole clients, etc.
Then there are the clients that just don’t give a damn about how much money they may be throwing around.
Today’s example is none other than Lady Gaga and the nightly extravaganzas she puts on.
For some reason LG strikes as the sort of client that would show up with all her receipts in shoeboxes but in her case, there would be hundreds of shoeboxes and they’d all be fabulous.
The ‘Bad Romance’ singer – who describes her stage show as “ostentatious and over-the-top” – is making a heavy loss every night she performs on the North American leg of her ‘Monster Ball Tour , which has so far overspent by £2m (€2.2m) even though every concert is sold out.
The massive costs have been run up by her elaborate stage design, costumes and props, including the giant bath she used while making a promotional appearance on UK TV talent show ‘The X Factor’.
A source said: “The concerts are losing money hand over fist because they’ve spent a fortune on pricey costumes, technical equipment and elaborate set designs. She spent £500,000 (€550,000) on one stage alone.
“But Lady Gaga gets what Lady Gaga wants. Her wardrobe is huge and she wants to shock – and that costs serious money.”
There are many — including our friends at Fashionista — that say the woman is an “utter genius” and that genius simply cannot be denied.
Fair enough but accountants, being the practical creatures that they are, would not stand for such irresponsible behavior. From the sounds of it however LG’s accountant seems to accept the notion that the woman is an artist, bottom line be damned.
If you’ve got ideas on how to keep her spending under control, we’re all ears but personally, if she walked up to us (sans pants naturally) we’d have a helluva time saying no.
You Don’t Have the Worst Job in the World
Because we know that many of you feel that way on a daily basis. But nope, sorry. Dealbreaker tells us about the prosecutors in the Stanford case piecing shredded documents back together. If your job sucks worse than that, tell us about it because…WHOA.