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PwC’s Summer Break Works, Says Tim Ryan

From a recent CNBC article on company-wide vacation breaks to foster employee well-being: Feeling revitalized is what many employees and their employers both want. Starting this year, accounting and consulting firm PwC is giving its 60,000 U.S. employees two annual company-wide, week-long breaks — one in July and one in December — in addition to […]

EY Changes Its Vacation Policy, Oh and BTW They’re Not Paying Out Accrued PTO If You “Leave”

In a nationwide email to staff today, EY announced that they’re tweaking their vacation policy. Although it’s framed as a switch to “flexible” time-off, the biggest change is that — excluding states in which this practice is illegal — the firm will not be paying out accrued PTO to individuals who leave or are fired […]

Reminder: You Have to Entertain Yourselves Awhile Longer

Don't forget, our editor is away on vacation, returning on Friday. Use this time to talk amongst yourselves in the comments, post an Open Item or dig through our archives. And if you have tips or stories that you'd like us to cover, send us an email directly. Things will be back to normal on […]

Why You Should Try to Make New Business Contacts on Vacation

Vacations are meant for relaxing and unwinding. They aren’t extensions of the office. You want to forget about work for awhile. FYI: The average American may get sixteen days of paid leave, yet four days is the average length of a vacation. Over a quarter of Americans get no vacation time. Let’s assume you take […]

Programming Note

Our editor will be taking time off from today until next Thursday, June 30th. During his absence there won't be any Accounting News Roundup posts or newsletters but you can expect to hear from our regular contributors including Bryce Sanders, Megan Lewczyk, Leona May and Greg Kyte will drop in, too. You can still send […]

Reminder: Please Take Vacation So You Don’t Die

Grant Thornton recently offered its employees unlimited vacation time, which is a problem. The worry –- as Caleb is right to note — is that GT employees will take less PTO than before. If GT really got serious about employee health, and forced people to take vacation, they wouldn’t be the first place to consider […]

Use All Your Vacation Days, Even If It Means Making Less Money

Last week, we linked to this WSJ article about how some companies are getting their employees to take time off by paying them. The mere idea of this is ludicrous, but this is America and if there's one surefire way to get Americans to do something, including use paid time-off that's part of their benefits package, it's […]

Studying for the CPA Exam at the Beach Isn’t Really an Option Since Most Candidates Have Jobs

A recent article by the New York Times is widening the massive canyon between accounting grads and law grads by reminding everyone just how different life is for would-be lawyers. Granted, with something like a 106% unemployment rate for new law grads and 100% utilization of new accounting grads1, it makes sense that a select […]

Deloitte Consultant Inadvertently Finds Peace on Vacation

Barbara Adachi, a principal in Deloitte Consulting’s human capital practice, started creating a stricter separation between vacation and work when she was in Patagonia on vacation several years ago. Her BlackBerry didn’t get reception there, she said, “and I had no choice but not to check it — it was very freeing.” [NYT]

Gone Fishing

I’ve been working in the UK for the past week which explains the extra typos since I’ve been in a jet-lagged, cider-infused haze since I arrived. While in Londdon, I happened across this street performer who, oddly, had the KPMG logo on his costume. As you may know, these guys and gals aren’t much for conversation so I couldn’t get the story behind it but he offered this pose for £2. With any luck, he’s an auditor in the London office but I doubt my luck is that good.

ANYWAY, after two years of being chained to my desk and staring at my laptop, I’m taking a few days off (seven to be precise) starting Monday. I know, I know. Unacceptable. But after some arm twisting, TPTB figure that some vacation would give me a chance to relax and it offers them some reprieve from my kvetching about EVERYTHING. Plus when the country defaults on Tuesday I thought it might be safer to be in a Paris bistro while the rest of you fight over scraps in the streets.

While I’m trying to navigate various European cities, you’ll be left in the very capable tattooed hands of Adrienne. She’s been given strict instructions to simply keep her hands on the wheel but I imagine she’ll be relishing in the opportunity to not have her six extra “fucks” cut from her posts.

I don’t have to remind you that she commands respect and I won’t be here to protect you if she gets aggravated, so kindly email her with your tips, gossip and story ideas while I’m away. DWB will also be pitching in a little extra and we’re very excited to bring Joe Kristan back as well.

So thanks for your support and if I happen to not return, you can assume I ran off with a French girl and will live the rest of my days reading anything but accounting news. Cheers.

Charlie Gasparino: Someone’s Holiday Vacation Is Holding Up the Ernst & Young Settlement Talks

The Fox Business Network ace reporter is saying that Cuomo & Co. would like to settle this thing up ASAP (a “quick scalp” before AC goes to Albany) however it is definitely not happening this week because, “According to people at Ernst & Young […] one of the lead investigators in Cuomo’s office is on vacation.”

Also interesting is that Chaz reports that E&Y thought there wasn’t going to be such a rush to get this thing settled but now everyone is all worked up because the story got leaked.

As for the SEC stuff, we don’t know what to make of it since there’s been hardly any news about talks between E&Y and the Commission. Francine McKenna told us that Gaspo “got a lot of smoke blown up his tush,” which is typical for reporters who cover Big 4 firms once in a lunar eclipse on the winter solstice.

Four Ways Accountants Can Battle the Slow Summer Days

Good afternoon and Happy Thursday, people. For the sake of your sanity I decided not to write about LeBron James and his impending decision*. Today I wanted to focus on something that is plaguing all of us right now – the summer months.

What the devil are you talking about, Daniel?

You heard me, my accounting cohorts. The summer months are traditionally a down time for most public accounting professionals due to the accounting cycle combined with the influx of extra hands on deck (i.e. peppy interns). The lack of significant workloads during July and August can be enough to drive even the most motivated accountant to the breaking point of boredom.

Here are a few tips to get you through the days ahead once you reach the max weekly usage on Pandora:

Five before 5 – Things never feels slower than when there seems to be nothing to accomplish through the course of the day. Avoid the “I did nothing for 8 hours” by setting out a list of five things to accomplish during the day, trivial or not. List items can include everything from contacting your scheduler or manager about the fall client schedule or rolling forward workpapers in preparation for the 2010 year end. Creating the list the night before will also help set the tone for your morning routine.

Volunteer – The effects that volunteering has on one’s mind and well being are well documented. In short – it’s good for you. Check in with your local HR rep or watch out for the monthly emails about volunteer opportunities. Want to look outside of your firm? is a wonderful resource.

Mentor an intern – See that bright-eyed and bushy-tailed intern in the cubicle passing time by reading through 10K’s on the SEC website? Do their internship experience a favor and walk them through one of your clients’ workpapers. Carving out time in your day to explain the steps and processes documented in your work will help them better understand what they can expect in the future. Anything you can do to expand their exposure beyond cas rec’s is an accomplishment; and trust me, they’ll remember and appreciate the fact that you took the time to explain the process.

Get out of the office – If nothing else cash in a chunk of your vacation days and take a week off. Even if you don’t travel, use the time to catch up your personal life. Read a book, sleep for 16 hours, I don’t care. Just get away from the office and turn off your Monday-Friday mindset.

*That said, I hope he comes to New York