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FASB Simplification Initiative

Over the last few years, the FASB has been touting its "simplification initiative" to make it easier for issuers to prepare the financial statements, and easier for users to understand the financial statements. But what I've noticed in almost every single one of these new accounting pronouncements and updates is that the "simplified" accounting/reporting is […]

What made this CPA go on a shooting rampage?

Meet Daniel John Jones, California CPA #82859 and inmate #AV7086 at California State Prison Solano, where he's doing 40 years to life. Last Friday, a California appeals court upheld Jones' 2013 conviction for second degree murder, ensuring he won't be out in time for 2017 busy season. How could it have come to this for a member […]

Looking For Collaborators Who Are Strong On Tax Provisions

I write on taxes for and have written some posts on the misunderstanding that financial articles tend to create about tax provisions.  I'd like to go a little deeper and also discuss the earnings adjustments that major companies might have in the event of major rate changes next year. My problems is that my […]

Independence & Roboadvisors

All – Has anyone have any experience with Robo-advisors and Independence. I know the big fours all have some sort of "broker feed" where it links up to your brokerage account, so they can "monitor" your trading activities.  Has anyone ever used the broker feeds with a robo-advisor (i.e. Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, Acorns, Betterment, etc.) […]

Auditing Cash

Hello, I don't have much experience as an auditor, but how important is it for cash to reconile to the bank? I am working on an audit and note that our client hasn't been able to fully reconcile to the bank. The difference is below materiality, but above the trival threshold (can you put materiality […]

California Competes Tax Credit

Does anyone have any information on whether this program has been a success? From what I hear in industry it has been a huge hassle and waste of time to complete. Can anyone provide any personal experiences with their company or experiences with peers on whether this program has been seen as a success or a […]

Tax Implications of Wade to Chicago?

So if Wade spurned the heat's 2 year $40M for the Bulls 2 year $47M offer, how much will that cost him in state & city income taxes.  Will his $12M / year in endorsements be sourced to Chicago now?  Is it possible that this decision is actually going to cost him money?  Do NBA […]

Will the IRS lose its battle against weed sellers?

If you like tax and weed, have a read: Then riddle me this: does the IRS have a chance of winning its case against Harborside Health Center?

Suspected Fraud Should Always be Questioned

I learned about something today that I feel I could have done something about but didn't, and I want the rest of you to keep my story in mind if you ever run across a similar circumstance.  Several years ago, as my father-in-law began taking over the financial affairs for his aging and ailing father, […]

The sexy side of accounting

Can you help me with sexy and funny accounting pick up lines like "let's get fiscal between the spreadsheets" ? 

Did Hulk Hogan’s forensic accountant calculate his damages correctly?

Going Concern readers are probably familiar with the Hulk Hogan sex tape scandal and the $150 million in damages that a Florida jury awarded the Hulkster last month after he sued Gawker. But you may not know that a forensic accountant/valuation expert played a key role in determining the amount of the award. The expert […]

What happens if Sarbanes Oxley is repealed?

As the current presidential election cycle grows more heated, I've taken a closer listen to each of the presidential candidate's stance on many of the federal regulations (e.g., SOX, Dodd-Frank) that the Big Four audit practices are dependent upon for revenue. Most Republican candidates are proposing an immediate repeal of SOX, Dodd-Frank, and related legislations. […]

Survey on Going Concern’s Survey

From time to time, Going Concern publishes some really crappy surveys, to you, their beloved audience. These surveys are ultimately a huge fail in that they a.) never ask interesting questions such as, "if your significant other was a firm, who would they be more like?" or "which GC contributor is the most likely to […]

Anankastic personality disorder

Do you have anankastic personality disorder? If so, you have a promising future in public accounting. Here's a description of you by Dr. Neel Burton, M.D. in Psychology Today: "Anankastic PD is characterized by excessive preoccupation with details, rules, lists, order, organization, or schedules; perfectionism so extreme that it prevents a task from being completed; and devotion to […]

Question from a nonresident/alien

Asian guy here. Just passed the CPA exams here in my country, but plans to work somewhere else. US is definitely the best option, but I have to take the exams again because my CPA certification is not recognized there. And I only have a non-working visa. So in addition to passing the exams, I […]

Celebrate Diwali in the office?

We have a rotator from India currently on our team and Diwali is coming up next week.  From what I know (which isn't much) it's a huge holiday in the Hindu culture, similar to Christmas in America.  The guy has no family here so he said he's just going to work through it but our […]

Do Millennial Accountants Golf?

Here's one from the mail bag: Hi,I wonder if millennials give a s#!t about golf. Recently, I went to lunch with my associate and the Controller of our client. During lunch, the Controller asked if we play golf; when we both said no, he said "you guys should start practicing". That got me thinking of […]

Return to Big 4 for Seasonal Work After Leaving for Industry?

Here's someone whose thoughts ended up in our inbox: I would be interested to hear what people are paid and think of the idea of going back to Big 4 audit as a seasonal employee after leaving for industry…

CPA Firms Using Employee Monitoring Technology

Has anyone heard of CPA firms using software that saves screenshots and records keystrokes and mouse-clicks from employees' computers? Apparently, this software is getting popular in the tech industry, and it sounds like something the partners at CPA firms would just loooooooove! It generates reports that let managers track the peons' hours and productivity and […]

Sending a photo of yourself to a firm.

This might be one of the strangest questions Going Concern has ever received, but is there a protocol for sending a picture of yourself to the firm that is recruiting you? I'm going to a recruiting event this week, and they requested a "photo of yourself and a copy of your resume". I figure taking […]

The most a$$hole way to book PTO?

What is the most asshole way to book PTO? I was thinking if you know you're going to quit book it every MWF for 4 weeks, who will only want you for Tues and Thurs? Or book it then at last minute cancel it so no one assigns you? Book it in the middle of […]

Giving two week notice just before going on firmwide training

Anyone done this? Wondering if they'll cancel my hotel room.

What’s your favorite activity during training?

I am talking about during the training section. Going out to the bar, drinking, and hitting on colleagues from other states is a given.

Offer a range in salary negotiations

If you wring your hands when an interviewer asks, "What are your salary expectations?" a new paper out of Columbia found that offering a range will give you a better chance at getting a bump. Via Science of Us: You can't draw perfectly straight lines between this sort of study and real-world negotiations, of course, […]

Who cyber-stalks their clients?

So since my audit work is done, I now am helping out the tax people get their returns processed in the office. One of the wealthier ones we started cyber-stalking, and it turns out she is mega-wealthy from multiple great grandfathers, who apparently invented books, air, oil and things like that.  Found her on Facebook,  […]

Anyone ever flip out on someone else at work?

With reporting deadlines around the corner/last week's corner, tensions have been running particulary high around my office.  Today I witnessed a partner yell at a senior so bad on a conference call they started crying.  This sparked my curiosity, have any of you ever lost your shit on a dumb 1st year or been the victim […]

Using PTO before quitting

What's the best way to go about using my unused PTO before going to another job? 1. Go on PTO then give the notice while I'm out 2. Give notice and say I'll officially terminate employment after I use up PTO 3. ???

Excuses for interviews

Please share your excuses used at your current employer to escape for an interview. I feel the real challange lies when you've had that "doctor's appointment" on Monday and you get called back for a 2nd interview. Do you have another "doctor's appointment" later in the week? Bonus points if you've ever been caught in […]

Going overbudget

Hello everyone, I wanted to get your opinion/experience on job budget and going overbudget. I have been working at a CPA firm for a year now as an associate. It's my first public accounting job. I don't have a lot of experience under my belt, only 5 years working in various small business settings before […]

SNL is turning 40

I dare say that most of us went through a period – probably in middle school into high school – where we watched SNL and thought it was fucking great.   It is also likely that we all tried to watch SNL when we got older and thought that it was AWFUL.    Anyway, that […]

Which actor would you most like to hear perform a dramatic reading of accounting rules or the IRC?

Would you want someone like Ian McKellan or Patrick Stewart? Christopher Walken? Oscar Isaac? Or, for the ladies, maybe Jennifer Lawrence? Keira Knightly? Natalie Portman? Maggie Smith? If you're thinking more nostalgic, you'd go with Dustin Diamond or Molly Ringwald? The possibilities are endless so please provide a rationale for your choice.

What your firm really needs is some fun

You know what your office needs? A giant ball pit. Barring that, what do you do to make your office fun? Sassy Post-It notes? Intern olympics? Staring out the window listlessly competitions? Do tell.

Let’s Discuss: The Worst of Eating in the Audit Room

We've all witnessed some weird/gross food consumption in the audit room as we eat a majority of our meals these days staring at our computers. I've had to listen to a staff slurp down noodles every morning for breakfast this year. Share your food related stories here.  

What’s pissing you off this week?

Lets vent about all things related to working in the accounting world. I'll start.  My senior was supposed to have planning all signed off last week so partner could review this week.  I need to finish my review in between.  The senior hasn't made any progress and didn't even come in on Saturday. So, I'm […]

Super Bowl!!!

What's everyone doing for the super bowl?  Who's got to work on Sunday?   Who's going to win?

What current songs cause you to fly into an inexplicable rage?

If I hear that Ariana Grande song "Problem" one more time, I am going to hurt somebody. What song is making the 'bad-you' come out?

Can cigarettes make your career go up in smoke?

Ed. note: cigarettes are bad for you, mmkay? Hi everyone, I'm a University student who has interned at a Big 4 firm and subsequently accepted an offer. Unwisely, I occasionally indulge myself in a cigarette, usually only in social settings with certain close friends.  I'm a very self-conscious smoker who works to hide my habit. […]

What do accountants want for Xmas/Winter Holiday Gift Giving Season?

I noticed that the Open Items section is pretty dead right now so I figure I'd ask. Serious answers, trolls, and witty replies are welcome. Entertain me!  

Has anyone here been selected for a CPE audit?

Just curious. Came across this old post on AWeb and it made me wonder just how often this really happens. Have you been audited? Or how about a cousin's friend's sister's Managing Partner you heard about?

Pro/Cons of Auditing Different Types of Financial Services Client

When compared to each other, what does everyone feel are some pros and cons of auditing Hedge Funds, Private Equity Funds, Broker-Dealers, Fund to Funds, etc? Which type would you rather audit and why?

Staying in shape

Alright, so I've got an internship lined up at B4. I'm excited for the free food that will be constantly flowing, although concerned as to how I'm not going to gain 50 pounds while eating it all. Is it possible to stay in shape eating out all the time? Any tips? At my current job, […]

Has personalized marketing on the internet gotten out of control?

I was perusing one of my social media accounts while avoiding doing anything productive today, and came across this little gem.  I mean, the colors are wrong, but seriously?  What is the craziest accounting firm themed ad you have had the priveledge of seeing?  This advert courtesy of [removed]…ensuring I will never buy from them. […]

Office Weight Loss Challenge

Fellow GC'ers: My office is looking to do a 'Biggest Loser' type of weight loss challenge.  Ideas that are being thrown around right now are $20 buy in, weekly weigh ins, $1 per pound gained in any 1 week, winner is determined by largest percentage of original weigh in lost. Has anyone participated or organized […]

Let’s Talk About (Possible) Inappropriate Advances at the Office

Someone alerted me to this Another 71 thread and I feel like you guys can help — or at least point and laugh. If you have an A71 account, please by all means chime in over there. Here's the question: I'm a man in a Audit team with all my colleagues being women and the […]

Will My Bad Credit Affect a Job Opportunity in Industry?

I know most of you think bad financial desicions are a sin worse than murder but I have made a ton of mistakes. I am currently a senior in audit and have bad credit. Due to numerous unexpected expenses and my wife being out of work, I am behind on credit cards. Nothing big enough […]

How the hell do I get out of Florida?

So I recently interned at a Big 4 firm in a city in Florida. I am 22 years old, and appalled that I actually STILL live here. I went to a mediocre Florida public university, from which, all our students get pushed into the office in which our university is located. I tried very hard […]

Stressing about Background Check

All, I am supposed to be starting at a midtier firm in the next month or so, but I am alittle worried now. I am moving to a different city in the next few days and my college friends and I went out last night for one last hurrah before we go our seperate ways. […]

FYI: Comp threads have been organized in one place

If you are looking for all the compensation threads in one place (as yet, there are only two), we put a "Comp Watch '14" section on the right sidebar just below the webinars/Open Items list. That way you don't have to search and they stay on the front page for easy access. Oh, and friendly […]

Big 4 audit associate — found out not eligible to sit CPA exam

Hi, I am an audit associate from a big four firm. I just found out I need additional hours in order to meet the requirements to sit the CPA exam in my state.  1. What is the best way to resolve this issue and inform the firm? 2. How are they likely to react/handle this […]

Industry specific accounting tips & cpe

I recently made a move to the healthcare insurance industry in which I don't have prior experience. Can someone recommend any web pages with industry specific accounting and audit tips… Also any CPEs specific to healthcare industry accounting are welcome…

Programming Note: We Will Now “Feature” Comments

Disqus has allowed mods to feature comments for awhile now but we haven't done it to date mostly because we didn't want to rock your boats too hard with anything new seeing as how you guys can be so change-averse. Or we just didn't feel like it. Whatever. Well, we're going to start doing it […]

Phone Plans

Do you use two phones – one personal and one for business? or just one for both? and why?  I'm trying to decide what I'd like to do and could use some suggestions.

What are accountants doing after busy season?

Now that another tax season is on the books, we wanted to find out what accountants do after April 15th. We asked the Business Advisory Professionals group on LinkedIn and here are the responses we received:  • "Take a vacation and ride my Harley" • "Take a long week off then assess the season and […]

Celebrate Haiku Day with your Big 4 Haiku

I have a few to start: I try to make friends –  Become rung in the ladder. You're welcome bro.   Busy season blues Management pissing me off God this beer is good.   Work-life balance myth? Me and my friends disagree; Jack, Jim, and Johnny.   Not sure why alcohol started to play such […]

Famous Literary Works For Accountants

Rate Expectations The Great GASPE The LIFO Pi King Arthur And His Knights Of The Round T-Bill NTR's Game The Grapes Of Math Who Moved My Threes? COGS-22 Cain And ABIL (Yes my Canadianness is showing…sorry)   Your turn!

“Why you should learn to nap like a pro”

Discuss: Companies like Google, Ben & Jerry’s and Zappos are unapologetic about their pro-napping stances, but a majority of businesses have yet to jump on the siesta bandwagon. If naps haven’t become a part of your daily routine, you might want to reconsider. Forty-three percent of Americans aged 13 to 64 say they rarely or […]

Finish The Phrase: “Strategy&”

Every time I hear "Strategy&" I feel like it's an unfinished sentence.STRATEGY AND WHAT? WHAT IS IT?GC community, I feel we should take it upon ourselves to finish the sentence for PWC.Feel free to just add a word after the ampersand (like this: Strategy&Booze) or include a tagline as well (like this: Strategy&Booze: What could […]

Let’s Chat: Best Excuses You Get From Your Lazy/Unorganized Clients

We are quickly approaching the first deadline of tax season for some, so while your individual clients still have time to put things off, your corporate clients might be driving you nuts. Those of you in tax, consider this your open thread for bitching about clients. Give us your worst, your weirdest, your most frustrating… […]

Here’s Your Friday Open Thread for the Week of 3/7

Is it Friday already? Seems like just yesterday it was… Thursday. Well, we're back here in Open Items so you zany folks can let it all go; your frustrations, your dreams, your questions, your complaints, your random observations on the sociology of public accounting. WHATEVER! Anything goes. Have at it, kids.

Here’s Your Friday Open Thread for the Week of 2/28

Happy Friday, kids! Should you have any grievances to air, do so here. Or discuss anything else, up to you.

Rothstein Kass Acquisition Rumors Survey

The Rothstein Kass acquisition rumors story has been hot since we posted it on Monday. And with 15k+ pageviews and over 200 comments, it's not showing any signs of slowing down.  At the request of a reader, we pulled together a brief survey for those directly affected by the situation. It won't take long and […]

What happened to the /r/accounting subreddit???

They used to post useful career questions, and now it's all about comparing actual slavery to Big 4. Don't get me wrong, I get that it's never been a serious subreddit. But all I see on it today is this thing about slavery compared to public accounting and a lot of questions from college students […]

Best recruiter interactions/stories

It's reaching that time in busy season when the recruiters begin to feed on the weak and weary.  We all know that recruiters are not the brightest bulbs, but sometimes they can offer a glimmer of hope, if not absolute salvation.  I've heard a lot of funny stories about peoples' interactions with recruiters.  What's your […]

Clients From Hell

Adrienne and I have been enjoying this site today and it got me thinking that it would make for a perfect thread. Whether it's the business owner who comes by with ski boot box filled with receipts, the controller who always loses the PBC list, or closetalker with coffee breath, we want to hear the […]

What’s your 401k plan like?

Just curious.  We recently switched to a new 401k provider with much higher fees, so I'm wondering what the rest of you guys have: Firm: Local firm, less than 50 employees Match: 4% employer match, vests immediately Investment options: Plenty of investment choices, but even the index funds have extremely high fees (1% or more). […]

Difference between 1231 and 1245 property

Can anyone give me a simple, straightforward way to differentiate between 1231 and 1245 property?  I don't mean the treatment of gains/losses, I'm just talking about being able to identify which category something would fall into.  I know there are other types (1250, etc.), but the definitions of 1231 and 1245 seem to overlap somewhat.

Friday Open Items: Valentine’s Day Edition

Go ahead and discuss anything and everything you like. Or nothing at all. Really I don't care. I mean, I care but, well, you know…

Personal effects all over your work area… annoying?

Maybe it's just me, but I like for my work area to look neat, efficient, and business-like.  It already gets messy enough without pinning crumpled pieces of preschool art, dogs, cats, and whatever else all over the place.  When I come by your cube to ask you about something, what am I supposed to say […]