This is a serious post

Georgia-Pacific Accountant Found Shot to Death; Husband Charged with Murder

Unfortunate story from the Atlanta Journal Constitution today who reports that 25 year-old Madison McLester was shot to death over the weekend. Ms McLester worked at Georgia Pacific in the financial reporting group and was active in the company’s recruiting at Georgia State University.

Police say McLester, 25, who got married last month, was shot to death by her husband early Sunday.

The 2007 GSU grad was found in her southwest Atlanta home; she had been shot several times.

Around 4:40 a.m, authorities responded to a call about a woman being shot, Atlanta police spokeswoman Officer Kim Jones said. They found her husband, Minchillo McLester, walking nude in a nearby park, where he was arrested, police said.

The couple had apparently just returned from a Halloween party.

Michillo McLester, who turned 29 Saturday, was later charged with his wife’s murder. There is currently no motive. We’ll keep you updated.

Busy Season Interns: Don’t Waste Their Time

Continuing with the busy season theme, let’s touch on everyone’s favorite coffee jockeys, the interns. This isn’t prime season for interns at accounting firms but we know there are a few lucky (?) teams out there that have an extra set of hands on deck.

Getting serious for two, this time of year, everyone is under pressure to get things done and if you happen to have an intern on your team, they either make your job infinitely easier or they are the bane of your existence. If you fall into the latter category, why is this the case?

It’s pretty easy for you to conclude that the blade of grass tapping you on the shoulder every ten minutes is the person at fault but a lot of times, interns get thrown into bad situations where they end up working for seniors or managers that are so swamped (or helpless) that they can only think about their own workload while there’s a 21 year old that needs something to do (besides looking through menus and making copies).


Since accounting firms put so much effort into recruiting the next wave you’d think that this enthusiasm would spread to teams like the Plague. Unfortch, there are many that see interns as an annoyance during this time of year because, “I have so much work to do and I don’t have time to handhold interns” and we think that’s bullshit.

We’re not saying that there aren’t bad interns out there. And we’re not saying you’re not busy. We know better. But if you gave that intern something meaningful to do instead of whining about how busy you are, they might make your life a speck (or a few) easier.

And interns need hand holding because they’re interns. Don’t forget that up until this point, they’ve been wearing sweats 24/7 and that you used to be just like them. Experienced team members should take this time to utilize them in a meaningful way and not as gofers. If you’re one of those teams that needs a gofer, at least squeeze some meaningful work somewhere so they can learn something and they probably won’t mind the gofering as much.

Yeah, it might take some effort on your part but it’s definitely worth your time to mentor these future associates. If you give them some challenging work now and show them a little bit of appreciation for their efforts, they’ll run through walls for you later.

KPMG Haiti Relief Effort Details

We finally nailed down some specifics from a trusted source on KPMG’s efforts to assist with Haiti relief.

The Americas Region (U.S., Canada, Central and South America, and Israel) have contributed $300,000 to the efforts so far, with a total goal of $500,000. These are the combined contributions of the both the firm and its employees. The International firm has pledged $500,000.

All contributions are going to UNICEF and Save the Children.

If you’ve got updates on your firm’s efforts or if you would like to notify us of what your firm is doing to assist the efforts in Haiti, email us at tips@goingconcern.com

Earlier:
We Knew Accounting Firms Were Helping Haiti

Tax Changes for Haiti Donations Is Bad Legislation. So What?

charlie rangel.jpgNot surprisingly, the House passed H.R. 4462 earlier today in order to accelerate charitable donations made for the relief efforts in Haiti. The bill was sponsored by Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and Dave Camp (R-MI).
We pointed out the thoughts of Howard Gleckman over at Tax Vox this morning and our contributor, Joe Kristan chimed in agreement earlier over at Tax Update Blog:

When something bad happens, politicians reflexively reach for the tax code. They should put it down and back away slowly…As bad as Haiti is, it’s not the first disaster ever, and one more change to the tax law isn’t going to solve that sad country’s problems. Of course, the proposed changes are more about politicians making a show of concern than actually accomplishing anything.

While our sentiments are with these two tax gurus, let’s not forget that every single member of the House of Representatives is up for re-election in less than 10 months. No one was going to vote against this bill. The Senate will pass it and the POTUS will sign it.
Noting that the bill is bad policy misses the point. We’ve all gotten used to Congress making the tax law progressively worse, so is it really necessary to mention that two-thirds of taxpayers don’t itemize deductions and thus, won’t see any benefit at all on their 2009 tax returns?
Those two-thirds of taxpayers don’t think about the standard deduction when they donate money to anything. It’s not about solving the problems of the mind job of the IRC, it’s about encouraging people to do what they can to help.
Save the bitching about Congress for [insert anything else].
Haiti Tax Relief [TaxProf Blog]
hr-4462.pdf

(UPDATE 2) We Knew Accounting Firms Were Helping Haiti

Thumbnail image for thumbs up2.jpgWe just had to ask. In response to our post from this morning we’ve received several emails about what firms have done so far in the response to the devastation that was caused by the earthquake in Haiti:
Deloitte – The firm contributed $100,000 to the Red Cross and Deloitte professionals are encouraged to donate to either the Red Cross/International Response Fund (immediate disaster assistance) or to the United Way Worldwide Disaster Fund are for long-term relief efforts. Donations will be earmarked for Earthquake Recovery.
Moss Adams – The Firm is matching 100% of employee contributions up to $100,000. As of today, partner and employee contributions amounted to $30,000 and the firm is matching these contributions with $30,000 donations to both the Red Cross and World Vision.
Ernst & Young – The Firm has created the “Ernst & Young Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund” and donated to $100,000 to get things started. All the funds donated by the firm and its professionals will go directly to Save the Children, Doctors without Borders, and Partners in Health.
BDO – Jeremy Newman posted today on his blog about the firm’s efforts, including the office in The British Virgin Islands.
Grant Thornton – The firm is matching employee contributions up to $50,000. The funds will be donated to the Red Cross and The Salvation Army.
McKonly & Asbury – Scott Heintzelman — The Exuberant Accountant — along with his fellow partners and employees are working with Hope International to raise funds for the relief efforts. A spokesperson for the firm told GC that the firm is expecting to raise several thousands dollars.
Crowe Horwath – Matching employee contributions up to $50,000. All funds are going to the Red Cross and UNICEF.
Keep us updated with your firm’s efforts and we’ll continue to post them.

A Quick Word About the Wyclef Jean Foundation Controversy

alg_singer_wyclef-jean.jpgThere has been lots of donations made to several organizations since last week’s earthquake in Haiti and Wyclef Jean’s Foundation, Yele Haiti was one of the most prevalent charities raising funds.
As you may or may not be aware, there has been a good deal of coverage of the foundation’s financial problems and this has caused many to think twice about which charity they donate to.
After all the criticism, Gawker now has video of Wyclef Jean admitting that his charity, Yele Haiti, has made “mistakes”. These mistakes range from late filing of its tax returns to the foundation paying expenses on behalf of Jean’s production company (go to The Smoking Gun for more details including the 2006 Form 990).
From a tax standpoint, if you donate and you itemize, you can take the deduction (AGI limits apply and you best keep those receipts), however, as some have pointed out, choose wisely. It is natural to want to donate in times of crisis and if you want that money to go to its best use, then be do some research and make sure you know how the money will be spent.
Wyclef Jean Charity’s Funny Money [The Smoking Gun]