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September 28, 2023



No, I'm not writing a David Bowie tribute. But it seems appropriate that I have some news about changes to our newsletter today. This will be the last edition of the Between the Spreadsheets. It's been a good run, but it's time to retire it. Now, don't fret, fans of GC email, we have plans […]

We Can’t Fake Enthusiasm

Unfortunately, we're all back to being adults today. On the bright side, at least wasting time on Going Concern is work related. To ease you into 2016, I recommend thumbing through the Editor's Picks I dug up and also Leona May's inventory count horror story.  And if you need something to look forward to, know […]

Believe it or not…

Between the Spreadsheets is off today (i.e. I'm not writing anything in this space) but will return next week. If you haven't been on Going Concern in a while, where've you been? Cruise the front page for what's new and drop in on Open Items if you feel the need to ask a question or […]

Fewer Managers, #AuditorProud and Star Wars

It's hard to be productive this time of year. All the HOLIDAY HYPE keeps our attention away from work and 2015 is not an average year. With the return of Star Wars returns on Friday, holiday hype gets a hyperdrive. And I am not immune it. In general, though, I'm a fan of hype. The […]

Busy Season’s Greetings

Now that it's December, it's easy to focus on the distractions of the holidays and the impending busy season. Since we're acutely aware of this fact down here at the ol' blog factory, we adjust our editorial whims to suit the season. Last week, Leona was in the midst of a Biggest Loser binge, so […]

But Who’s Counting?

It's the Monday after Thanksgiving which means that we've all risen from our tryptophan comas to embark on a quest to find the cheapest HD TVs on the internet. It's also the last day of November which means there are only 31 shopping days until next busy season. Oh, you weren't counting? Sorry about that. […]

We’re All ‘Janice in Accounting’ This Week

Now that we've reached the fourth week of November, we're firmly in #DGAF territory. Maybe it's not the Janice in Accounting level of, "I'll be eating your clearly-marked Noosa Yoghurt," #DGAF, but with Thanksgiving only a few days away, most of us who are working are having a hard time caring about much of anything. […]

Oprah Brings the Oprah to Accountants

It's not every day that Oprah makes an appearance in the accounting world. So when she popped up at QuickBooks Connect recently, our man Greg Kyte jumped right on the story. Alright, he didn't jump right on it, his post appeared a few days after Oprah's talk but since Greg admitted that he's a "total […]

Crazy Ideas

People are worried about the accounting profession. Or at least that's the impression I get from articles I read nearly every day. Change is so fast and BIG and uncertain so I think I get why people worry, but I'm less certain about why they keep worrying. Part of what I try to do around […]

Interesting* Accountants Wanted

In the last few days we've featured new posts from two of our popular regular contributors, Leona May and Chris Hooper, but we also welcomed Jim Peterson, a friend to us over the years, into the fold as well. I like featuring the writing of others on Going Concern so if you have big ideas […]

What’s in an Accounting Firm’s Name?

Name Days aren't really a thing in the US, but maybe we should mark the occasion for accounting firms since so many have been changing theirs in recent years. Mergers, acquisitions and rebrandings all give firms a fresh start with a look and maybe a lot fewer letters. The latest is RSM (aka McGladrey) whose […]

Students, Meet Firms; Firms, Meet Students

It's Meet the Firms Week over at our sister from another mister, Accountingfly. It all starts this afternoon when Greg Kyte and I yuk it up over how students can avoid landing their public accounting careers in the toilet. There are plenty of webinars this week, which you can register for here, featuring accountants who […]

Gone Fishin’

I'm off this week, but managed to wrangle some content from our contributors to fill the void in my absence. There's stuff from Greg Kyte, Chris Hooper, Leona May and our friends at Accountingfly. Do me a solid and keep them occupied or write something up for Open Items. I'll be back next week.

How About a Vacation Bonus?

Last week, we learned that Grant Thornton was jumping on the lavishly generous benefits bandwagon. The GC peanut gallery crowed cynicism as usual, but my own skepticism came with a suggestion: paid paid time-off! That's not a typo. My thought is that because unlimited PTO usually results in less time taken away from work, GT […]

Big 4 Bright Ideas?

Last week we covered a couple of Big 4 firms that were experimenting with some new ideas. As usual, the reception was mixed. For starters, PwC announced that starting next year nearly half of its staff would be eligible for $1,200 student loan assistance for up to 6 years. It got a lot of media […]

Well, That Got Lively

Presidential candidates love nothing more than a good photo op. Although it's rare that one would find its way into the pages of GC, that did happen last week and, OH DEAR. It centered around the Internal Revenue Code, something near and dear to many of you, not as a target of your affection, necessarily, […]

Cryptic Accounting

I waste a lot of time on the internet. Alternatively, I discover a lot of weird and interesting things on the internet. Many of these things have nothing to do with the internet, ergo, I can't in good conscience share them with you because it doesn't exactly fall within my job description. However, when something […]

The Accountant Doth Protest Too Much

If you assumed that comments submitted for accounting, auditing or tax proposed regulations were too boring to read, man, you are missing out. I dug through more than a dozen comments on the PCAOB's proposal to disclose audit partner names and, for the most part, the comments were harmless and relatively interesting. However, I find […]

Protecting The CPA Shield

I spent last week in Florida meeting my new overlords. And since new bosses want to talk to you and stuff, I didn't have much time for actual work. In times like these, I lean on my friends, like Paul Gillis and Greg Kyte to pick up the slack. One of Greg's posts, that just went […]

Hey, We’re Over Here!

For once, Going Concern is in the news. Of course there were interesting events last week that didn't include us, including an accounting firm takeing countermeasures to the Ashley Madison data dump, Snapchat's QuickBooks and lots and lots of compensation discussions. But really, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that we recently found a […]

The Culture of Guilt

Last week I wrote about guilt in accounting firms. Part of it went like this: Accounting firms were built on guilt! It's part of their culture! Generation upon generation of partners talking about paying dues, mandatory 60-hour weeks (that doesn't include the 20 you ate!), bending over backwards in the name of "client service," timesheets […]

Hey, You’re Still Here

Last week, I gave a shout-out to the people who write for this here fine publication. This week, I should recognize the people who read this here fine publication. Without you, readers of GC, I wouldn't have a job. And you've kept me in my job for over 6 years. With any luck, your rabid […]

A Little Help From My Friends

I took the day off on Friday to travel to parts unknown. Alright, maybe "unknown" is a stretch; I went into the mountains to avoid civilization and showering for a few days. It was great! During my absence, Professor Paul Gillis and Leona May chipped in with excellent posts on polar opposite topics: Executive MBAs […]

A Midsummer Workday’s Time Killer

The best reason to go to work in late July is the commercial air conditioning. That is a fact. But a close second (for accountants anyway) is reading the summer scuttlebutt on Going Concern. Money, miserable performance reviews, money, questionable career choices, money, skill development and, oh yeah, money.  It's usually enough to fill the non-billable hours […]

Please, No Gifts

It's a fun time of year 'round the ol' Going Concern. For starters, today is our 6th anniversary. It's weird to think that I've had a longer career as a blogger than as a CPA, but I'll take it. I also like this time of year because people email us begging for compensation threads. We […]

It’s the End of the Accounting World as We Know It

It's always fun when a new writer dips a toe in the turbulent Going Concern waters. Last week we welcomed Chris Hooper to the fray. He's from Adelaide, South Australia, a partner at his firm and an accounting futurist. And like any good futurist, he's predicting the end of the world, the accounting world, in […]

Not Safe For Accountants (NSFW)

On days like these, I feel that it's best to dispense with anything too heavy and get right to the important stuff — NSFW videos! Have you seen Rihanna's new video? It's a revenge fantasy on her former accountant. Or that's what people are saying anyway. I mean, it's not exactly subtle. But that's what […]

Accounting for the Future

I wrote about the accounting profession's future last week. It looks…interesting, let's say. I can't say "bright" because that implies that shades would prove useful for seeing what's really there. Predictions are difficult. Sure, you can say accountants will never stop eating hours or Donald Trump won't become president, but when it comes to envisioning […]

Do the Right Thing (Accountant Edition)

I'm not ready for the next Presidential election. I probably said the same thing 4 years ago.  I managed to survive that election and unless all five of Mike Huckabee's supporters trample me to death, I'll survive this one. The other possibility is that Donald Trump's accountants took affront to my appeal to their altruism, they […]

Small Firms Have a Big Problem

At the AICPA's Practice Symposium/Tech+ Conference last week, it was revealed that the biggest concern for small accounting firms is staff retention. This might befuddle some since the enrollment and graduation numbers of accounting majors have been growing for years. But really, it's not that complicated.  Both experienced and new accountants have options and "work for […]

Talk Amongst Yourselves (You Pick the Topic)

I'm at the AICPA Practice Symposium and Tech+ Conference this week. This year, just for fun, they've thrown in the Association of Accounting Marketers Summit and the Association for Accounting Administration National Practice Management Conference. Yes, I'm fighting the three-headed dragon of accounting conferences.  Which is why I'm getting torched and asked for everyone to talk amongst […]

New Partners, Robots, and Hell

Where else can you read the scuttlebutt of PwC partner promotions, robots, and accountants being cast into a lake of fire? Nowhere but Going Concern, I tell you.    Diversity, CPA exam drop-outs, loyalty bonuses. The only thing missing was the FIFA scandal.   Which we got to today.   Yes, last week’s stories ran […]

Don’t Worry, We Got This

What's the secret to getting through the first day back from a holiday weekend? I wish knew.  If you're like me, you're at the mercy of something interesting happening so that we can write about it. In the world of accounting no less. Most of you aren't like me so I suppose that's not helpful […]

So Who’s the GAASMAN?

As a young, stupid person, I thought vanity license plates were cool. This delusion caused me to get plates that said "DOGG," (the origin of this is too long to go into) for a brief period of time. I was rightly mocked by my friends, their parents, teachers, enemies, the regulars who came into the bar where […]

Treat Vacation Like Avocados

ICYMI, I was away last week and in my absence the accounting world did not, I repeat — DID NOT — tilt off its axis.  During my week of leisure, we had three excellent pieces from contributors on dead social security numbers, MBAs, and sexual harassment. Those managed to whet your appetites enough so I […]


I'm on vacation this week. That means I'm writing this in the past even though you're reading it in the present, which in my world, is the future. Time is funny. For the past three weeks I've been anxious about this vacation, thinking, "HURRY UP AND GET HERE."  And now it is and I want […]

Who Wants a Promotion?

Getting ahead. It's important to a lot of people. Okay, it's important to everyone. In accounting firms that usually means working toward a promotion. But if you know what the next level entails, would you change your mind about whether you want it?  Maybe…not? If you've ever got a brutal wake-up call from the experience, you'll […]

Life After April 15th — Great? Or The Greatest?

Whether April 15th is a real deadline for you or not, it's a milestone. The best part, of course, is that you have time to do important things like reflect, consider new career paths, and look for opportunities in unexpected places. And don't forget, those vacation days aren't going to use themselves.  However you're spending the […]

IRS Recognition Week

April 15th is on Wednesday so over the past week there have been many tales of our nation's most essential and reviled (or is it essentially reviled?) agency — the IRS.  Whether it's reports from the front lines, comparing the Service to crucial anatomy or wondering if irony could be a recruiting strategy, the IRS is on a […]

Spilling Beans on Bean Counters

We don't know what we don't know. Until someone tells us!  Large accounting firms are notoriously secretive about how their businesses are run. Every so often we'll get an inside look at the inner workings and that's always fun because I'm sure they'd prefer we'd rather not know. Last week, we discovered an a couple of […]

You Need Overtime

I love a tie. No, not the neck or bow variety — although I can pull off both — I'm talking about a draw. A stalemate. A kiss-your-sister.  I think it's because both sides have to live with the disappointment that they weren't good enough. There's something so satisfying when neither side wins. Maybe because ties […]

The Battle Royale of Busy Season

I don't need to tell you why March is such a great month, but I'll rehash anyway. There are universal loves like longer days and warmer weather, but for the public accountant, March marks a different kind of beginning that goes beyond saying adios to winter. March means that the trepidation of another busy season begins […]

Accounting’s Anchovies | 03.16.15

We all have secrets. For example, my favorite pizza topping is anchovies. That's right! I can ruin any pizza pie with one word to its maker. It is a power that I do not wield lightly. Now, I could share this information with the world, but the result of this fact being known would likely […]

Springing Forward to the End of Busy Season | 03.09.15

In case you haven't noticed, we've been combing Twitter the last few weeks to find the best (or is that the worst?) of busy season problems. From nightmares about spreadsheets to a completely jacked up circadian rhythm, things are getting rough out there. Of course, no more rough than previous busy seasons. In years gone […]

Lawyers v. Accountants: The Battle of Our Time | 03.02.15

Lawyers and accountants are like the Hatfields and McCoys of professional services, only with more teeth and fewer guns. This age old rivalry has only heated up in the last decade or so, with accountants having no trouble finding jobs in post-recession America and their law school counterparts still backed up in the pipeline waiting […]

Keep These Two Out of Your Oscar Pool | 02.23.15

If I were someone who watched movies, I'd have something fascinating to say about the Oscars last night. However, that isn't the case so the best I can say is that fake baby in American Sniper was totally cheated out of Best Supporting Fake Baby. The real winners last night were PwC's Brian Cullinan and […]

Working in a Winter Wonderland | 02.17.15

We sincerely hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday yesterday, if such a thing was available to you. As you may have noticed, we had the day off which worked out nicely considering the skies opened up and finally dropped a glorious covering of fluffy snow across my neighborhood and beyond all day yesterday. I'm always […]