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Some KPMG Employees Are Asking ‘Where’s the Beef?’

It was brought to my attention earlier today that at this time last year, KPMG had announced their Summer Blast which included everyone’s favorite Klynveld tradition: a package of Omaha Steaks. But in 2011, we’re only a few short days away from the Memorial Day weekend and so far, no such communication has occurred.

If the House of Klynveld has, in fact, down away with spreading the flesh around, there could be a number of reasons for it. One possibility is that Phil Mickelson still isn’t touching the stuff and won’t have any company endorsing him encourage the consumption of meat. The other reason could be that the firm has to save the extra cash for Tim Flynn’s retirement party. Of course it could also be that information coming out of partner exit interviews indicated that they were getting tired of hosting BBQs for employees. Of course, this is all speculation on our part but all seem plausible.

If you have your own theories, are otherwise privy to the meat info, getting antsy for your package or have other ideas for Summer Blast 2011, tell us below.

Tim Geithner: We’ll ‘Take a Run’ at Tax Reform Before the Election

Eraserhead doppelgänger Tim Geithner has said that tax reform is coming but you shouldn’t really expect things to get started before Labor Day. If we’re lucky For starters, this tax stuff is complicated and secondly, this debt ceiling discussion is all the rage right now:

Geithner said the Obama administration hopes to take up the issue of tax simplification before the presidential election in 2012 but he signaled the issue is on hold for now. “I think realistically this fiscal debate we’re having is going to dominate our preoccupation for the next couple of months,” Geithner said in response to a question after remarks to the Harvard Club in New York.

But don’t worry, since the GOP has made it abundantly clear that raising taxes are off the table, the administration will definitely call attention to their uncooperative attitude well before the election:

Geithner said the administration would like “to take a run at doing this ahead of the election. That means we’ve got to start but we also need to get this fiscal stuff on a better trajectory.”

Geithner says overhaul of tax code must wait [Reuters]

How Long Should an Accountant Wait to Start an Embezzlement Scheme After Landing a New Job?

For Michelle Lynn Shelton, who is accused of taking $760k of her employer’s money, the answer is “NOT LONG!”

Detectives launched their investigation in December after another accountant, who was filling in while Shelton was away from work, discovered the apparent transfer of a large amount of money between two personal bank accounts, police said. Police said the company conducted an audit and contacted police. Shelton started working for the company in June 2007 and the evidence suggested she began diverting funds two months later, police said.

Bonus Watch ’10: Some McGladrey Employees Are Getting Impatient

Last month, we shared some bonus news with you courtesy of McGladrey that included a couple of extra days off (including tomorrow), access to baby/pet/parent sitters and yes, there is money involved.

Maybe because there are only less than two shopping days, some people are getting impatient:

Well, it’s the morning of our last day of work before the holiday break and employees still don’t know if they are getting a holiday bonus. It was stated to us bonuses are back but no communication has been sent out. What are they waiting for? Many people are on vacation already since we are off Thursday and Friday. Is Santa going to deliver it to each of us individually?

You think they could communicate that. Or maybe you have to be a hot shot partner to get a bonus. I for one know I will be pretty pissed off if there is no bonus, especially after the company wasted all that money on a 144-foot cake that went to waste earlier this year.

They can talk about how great we all are and what we have to do in the coming years but it’s all hogwash if they don’t give us a bonus. I know one thing, Steve Tait [former President of RSM McGladrey] would have made sure we got bonuses…will C.E.?

– Disgruntled in McGladrey Land

We have three main points here:

• Ranting about “no bonus” after a lengthy email from C.E. Andrews and Dave Scudder explaining that there would be bonuses could easily misconstrued as “psychotically cynical” but perhaps there have been broken promises in the past. If so, we haven’t been made aware of this.

• The email C.E. and Scuds stated “the pool will grow based on our year-end performance,” and “In January, we will be introducing a new program to provide real-time recognition and monetary rewards,” so maybe “nice” is virtue in Minnesota but “patience” obviously isn’t.

• We hate to break this to you but Santa Claus will not be delivering your bonus. Santa Claus is not real.

At Least One Ernst & Young Employee Is Less Than Thrilled with the Firm’s Efforts at Mid-Year Bonuses

As previously discussed, a few people are getting impatient with the lack of mid-year comp surprises at Ernst & Young and KPMG. While KPMG seems to be chewing on the idea, we couldn’t help but notice the lack of any word out of E&Y.

We had concocted several scenarios, including the firm paying people large bonuses in exchange for absolute silence but we immediately dismissed this idea as “idiotic” since Big 4 types can’t resist getting chatty when it comes to money. But the lack of kvetching is what we found to be most perplexing.

Until today that is! Finally, someone has had it with the efforts (or lack thereof) of E&Y in response to Deloitte, PwC et al. We may wrong but since there’s less than two shopping weeks left until Jesus of Nazareth’s birthday, people are, as is typical, a little irritated (something which, we’ve never really understood, this is a great time of year). Case in point – the observations we received from “Ernie Guy” in the midwest:

I recently read your article discussing the fact that E&Y and KPMG are lagging in their variable pay efforts. Well E&Y Midwest thinks they have solved the problem, but they haven’t. It seems that their response to PWC’s recent generosity is simply more of the same. They have “enhanced” the recognition program so that gift card awards can be given in more denominations (instead of just $50 or $100 they can now be $50, $150, $200, $300, $400, or $500). However, this doesn’t seem to do much as the next level of award already was eligible for $500-$2000 amounts.

It’s a completely ad hoc process anyway, and does not at all ensure that high performers are rewarded for their work. On top of it all is the fact that I’ve heard that many award nominations have been pending approval for the last month. How great would that be if a bonus meant for Christmas (and remember, they are mostly gift cards, which would be ideal for Christmas shopping/gifts) doesn’t arrive until January 17th!

Needless to say, I AM ANNOYED.

Ernie Guy

We’d add more here but it doesn’t seem necessary. Discuss the efforts of E&Y to date and if there is a pleasant holiday surprise coming your way, email us the details.

Michel Barnier: EU Is ‘Impatient’ with SEC, FASB Pussyfooting Around on Accounting Standard Convergence

Michel Barnier is certainly doing his damnedest to make a name for himself by virtue of the accounting standards convergence and scrutinizing the role of auditors.

Accountancy Age reports his latest soundbite at a speech in Washington today, telling “leaders” that while their efforts to converge international accounting standards and U.S. GAAP are admirable, that he and the entire continent of Europe are getting sick of the stalling.

“I appreciate that the US authorities have made progress towards convergence, but in the EU, we are getting impatient.”

Apparently Mr Barnier has had enough with this little dance going on between the FASB and the SEC. The FASB has been punting to the SEC fairly regularly and we’re all aware of the SEC’s tendency for inaction, so maybe Barns figured that a Frenchman calling out Americans on their own turf would help move things along.

Barnier tells US that Europe is “getting impatient” on accounting convergence [Accountancy Age]