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Are Accountants at a Higher Risk of Experiencing Workplace Violence During Busy Season?

Seems like logical conclusion, right? Okay, it’s not the post office but yeesh, have you noticed the bitter Bob in the cubicle next to you? Is he approaching the breaking point? Busy season sucks after all and who knows when he’ll eventually crack:

Is our suggestion that accountants might be more likely to snap a little overblown? Maybe. But read this description from AccountingWEB before you blow us off:

You are sitting at your desk on a sunny Thursday afternoon. Your company is experiencing some hard times, and there have been layoffs company wide. A co-worker has been part of the layoffs, and is very distraught. The co-worker may have known layoffs were eminent, and thought it would never happen to them. All of a sudden, the co-worker pulls out a gun and starts shooting up the office!

Sound familiar? Of course! We imagine that someone throwing their 10-key at your head is more likely scenario but violence is violence. The article cites OSHA stating that 2 million people are victims of workplace violence every year but what’s even more exciting/troubling is the BLS survey that “70% of workplaces don’t have any type of violence prevention program in place.”

The solution? Training of course! AccountingWEB breaks it down like this:

“Train managers and supervisors on how to detect the early warning signs of potential violence” – In other words, you know that guy who says ALOUD he’s thinking about punching the next person that asks him a stupid question? You should probably should have a word with him.

“Tell employees that the firm wants to know about any threats or incidences, and that they are extremely serious about handling these problems.” – Naturally it helps if your company follows through on “serious about handling these problems” part. In other words, the guy swinging the sledge around should be tarred and feathered and then fired in front of the entire company. The proceedings should be broadcast internally for those that can’t attend in person. It’s simply not enough to fire the person. Public humiliation is imperative so people get the picture that this shit won’t be tolerated.

“Implement a zero tolerance policy in the handbook relating to workplace violence” – And by zero tolerance, we’re talking no noogies, wedgies, open handed slaps, arm slugs, bloody knuckle contests or even berating someone to the point that they develop an eating disorder.

Violence in the Workplace: Are You Next? [AccountingWEB]

Today in IRS Resistance: Ohio Man Bulldozes His Own House

What’s the saying about trends? We can’t remember it but after the suicide attack on the IRS last week, we now bring you a less violent but equally ineffective middle finger to the IRS.

Terry Hoskins, of Moscow, Ohio had IRS liens slapped on his carpeting store and other properties. Apparently he used his personal residence as collateral on the business and these other properties, leading his bank to foreclose on his home. Hoskins wasn’t okay with that:

Whether Terry the Bulldozer was looking to get a Facebook following out of this, isn’t entirely clear. But we will give the guy credit; even if he did this to himself by putting up his personal residence for some bad business deals, he’s got pretty creative for the sake of making a point.

“I made a bad business decision. Fuck you IRS! Up yours, RiverHills Bank! You think I’m not serious? I will rent heavy machinery to prove my point. I will make my loved ones temporarily homeless. I will go on a local NBC affiliate to talk about it. How do you like me now?”

Unfortunately, the timing couldn’t be worse. If that attention whore Joe Stack hadn’t gone on his little flight, Terry could be enjoying Joe the Plumber-esque fame right now. Next time, Terry.

Five Things That Make Busy Season Suck

Here it is the second week of February and we’re concerned that many of you are working too hard. We’re guessing that many of you are already having nightmares about your senior/manager/partner putting condiments all over your work and then eating them while you watch in horror.

However your busy season is going, we here at GC decided to put our heads together to give you a list of some of the things about busy season that make it such a bitch; not to remind you of them but to let you know that we feel your pain. These appear in no particular order and were created by our own sick minds so if anything is missing you’ll have to point out the omissions.

Gaining weight – Unless you’re a die-hard gym rat, your exercise regiment has probably been paired back significantly. Combine that with the all the cheap soda and takeout you’re eating on a nightly basis, that button on your pants is hanging on for dear life.

Losing sleep – As we mentioned, work dreams seem to be part of many accountant’s busy season routine. Maybe it isn’t dreams for you; maybe you just wake up at 3 am thinking about the meeting you have coming up that day and you can’t get back to sleep so you throw on the business casual uniform and get to the office at 4 am to start your day. OR maybe you’re just working so many hours that the time between your departure and arrival times at work have shortened precipitously.

Your busy season plan has been completely shot to hell – There’s a some saying about a road, intentions and Hell or something that we can’t remember but it basically means however good your plans were they probably hit a snag somewhere along the way and now you’re scrambling. When we asked our Tweeps about their busy seasons we got one response “it’s all about planning and execution.” Right. That execution is the tricky part.

You’ve somehow ended up in an unexpected relationship – The busy season bitch if you will. Let’s not pretend it’s not happening people. One of you made an awkward advance and now you’ve got a situation on your hands. Whether it’s someone on your team or a client contact, more often than not, this ends badly. A band aid breakup is needed.

Hours – Face it; this is the cause of all your pain. Regardless of what your teams do to make things bearable, the hours are just a bitch. Sitting on your ass, in front of that computer, listening to the person next to attempting to burp quietly while sucking down five sodas a day is about to drive you postal. Of course there are the sickos out there that somehow gear up every day to put in another 14 hours but those demented bastards plug in when they go home.

Deadline Watch: The Tardy Client

box of receipts.jpgA little over 24 hours from now, anyone that is currently up to their asses in 1040s will grab the nearest person and try to shameless make out make out with them like it’s V-J Day.
Between now and then however, a client will call some of you DEMANDING that you complete their return that has a dozen K-1’s and a mind-numbing AMT calculation, before the midnight deadline. Oh, and they don’t want to pay any tax.
You, typically being the mild-mannered accountant, just up and lose your shit on this unsuspecting client, who then realizes their tardiness is the cause of this little conundrum, not your lack of a magic wand.
Congrats! You’ve successfully convinced a client that they’ll be filing late, paying a penalty and hereby suck at life. They deserve it anyway, asshats. Feel free to discuss your favorite delivery of last minute bad news to clients and enjoy the next 24 hours, 1040 trolls.

Problem of the Day: Tattle Tale Emails

bored.jpgNo doubt your firm asks you do things that inevitably find their way to the back burner, that you forget about, or just plain don’t want to do. Mandatory ethics training, “crucial” CPE courses, office-wide pep rallies, etc.
By the time you’ve received the tenth email reminding you of the “mandatory ethics training that will ensure that you remain in compliance with firm policy and demonstrate [insert your firm’s name here] commitment to ethics” your urge to say “TO HELL WITH IT” has easily overtaken any intent you had on completing the training in the first place.
More, after the jump

Your aloof attitude, as you’re all acutely aware, is NOT APPRECIATED. Because of your lack of commitment, most firms find it totally necessary to email anyone that you’re remotely connected to, including the partner in charge of your firm/office informing them of your slacker attitude.
You know the type. Your name, next to something to the effect of “not in compliance/attendance” being sent around to inform everyone that your commitment to your firm is clearly in question. Someone obviously surmised that this was the best motivation for you to get your shit together if you want to remain a part of this awesome place to work.
Often times, you’re not even made aware of your non-compliance and one of your goody two-shoes friends sends you an email, “You know you’re in trouble for not going to the town hall meeting, don’t you?”
Just before you consider doing what EVERYONE is expecting you to do (read: freak the f*ck out), you calm everyone down by saying, “Yeah, my bad.” And hopefully it hasn’t gotten to the point where you’re meeting with a very gruff and passive-aggressive partner that drones on about the importance of the CPE/meeting/training in question, because that’s just awkward.
Discuss the stonewalling, and then your firm’s preferred method of tattling on the riff-raff in the comments.

If I Get Asked to Work One More Weekend…

lumberg1.jpgWe got pointed to this article in the World’s Finest News Source from last week and frankly, we thought it might sound familiar to some of you:
More, after the jump

dozens of minor policy changes, coupled with his easily cowed personality, have gradually served to make each work day an unbroken series of degrading humiliations…In addition to the single small raise [you] received and the loss of various benefits that have almost imperceptibly contributed to his professional impotence, [your] good nature and work ethic have made [you] subject to domination by both his superiors and peers…Though [you have] been stripped to little more than a neutered shell of [your] former self, [you have] reportedly started carrying out pathetic, completely unnoticed acts of rebellion in an effort to preserve some shred of what [you] believes to be [your] dignity.

Another example might be, say, eery silence.
Or this, courtesy of tip we received:

EY only gets Christmas Day and New Years Day off for the holidays…not even christmas eve…Considering they cant roll vacation time, it is just a firm way of getting people to burn vacation they cant take because their chargeable hrs and utilization will go down

We’re not sure how other firms handle the last week of the year, which tends to be worthless, but if you’re working, trying to remain chargeable that week, that’s enough to make you feel trampled on. And since accountants seem to be gluttons for punishment, they have a tendency to put up with it. But hey, if we’ve got it all wrong, let us know. Just putting it out there.
So if you’re getting walked all over and you get a kick out taking home post-it notes and printer paper for personal use, this post is for you. Try to keep it together.

We Have Just the Thing to Cheer You Up

A few of you have poopy diapers out there (you’re not alone). Maybe you got let go yesterday. Maybe your blood sugar is low. Maybe you’ve haven’t gotten laid in long time. Whatever the case may be, we feel for you. The best thing that we can recommend is for you is to participate in something that falls into the category of stupid fun.
So we’re kindly reminding everyone out there to participate in our naming of the new-not-really-mega firm that will exist post the speculated merger we mentioned on Monday.
This is your chance to focus all your energy on coming up with a sexually suggestive name for this new firm. You can either participate or continue to wallow in your own excrement. Your choice.

Option A: Eat Dead Frog, Option B: Pay Legal Fees

We here at Going Concern appreciate it when people embrace their bitterness but sometimes we have to give special attention to someone that goes above and beyond the run-of-the-mill cynicism. Like this gem in an 8-K filed by Expeditors International:

When you come from a frame of reference, as we do, where $0 spent on legal expense would be the most preferred alternative, having to predict anything beyond that, by its nature, would become inherently and incredibly biased towards our own wants, desires and expectations. To us, this is somewhat akin to being asked to predict how many minutes after being force fed a dead frog we would throw-up…and the operative word is “force,” as we’d never elect to do either on our own.

Sheesh, somebody needs a hug. The rest of the excerpt, in all it’s drippy sarcastic glory is at