You’ve Got a Deal!

Should an “Acting Senior Manager” Take a Job with Grant Thornton That Promises a Transfer?

Welcome to the Holly Jolly Hump Day edition of Accounting Career Emergencies. In today’s edition, an “acting” senior manager is being recruited for a gig with GT in a Mid-Atlantic office with the promise to transfer to another office after the upcoming tax seasons. Can he trust GT to make the deal happen?

Worried that your career (or bonus) is in jeopardy because your firm is in a bit of a jam? Not sure how to approach a potential dance partner? Caught in an awkward situation that involves hookers and cash but it’s really just one big misunderstanding? Email us at [email protected] and we’ll do our best to right these wrongs (or at least make you feel better about them).

Back to the actor:

I have 8 years experience in tax compliance as an acting senior manager on a large client. A former co-worker is recruiting me for a [Mid-Atlantic] GT tax position as a senior since I have no CPA. They are willing to have me work in [Mid-Atlantic] until 09/11 and then allow me to transfer to another office after 9/11.

My interview will be next week and will be with [Mid-Atlantic] partner and the partner from the office I want to transfer to. My questions for the group are the following. Does anyone know what the staffing is like in the tax group in [Mid-Atlantic]? (i.e. all new staff or good experienced people) Does GT pay well? My current salary is $98,000. Can I trust them to honor their word about transfering me after 9/11?

-Acting Senior Manager

Dear ASM,

We have to say, this is a very odd situation you’ve got so we’ll do our best to help you out. For starters, why don’t you have a CPA license? We’re sure there’s an explanation but an 8 year vet of the business with no CPA strikes us as odd. Written exam too scary? You’ve got a JD and figured the CPA wasn’t necessary? Perpetual BEC failure? Whatevs. Secondly, we’re get the impression that you want this job mostly for the transfer, so we’ll skip the “climbing down the corporate ladder” lecture.

Now, then. We can’t speak to the staffing situation in the office you speak of but it would be shocking if all the staff at GT south of Philadelphia and north of Raleigh were completely incapable of doing their jobs (if we’re off base, please share). The pay at GT will be fine but your work experience is a big bargaining chip. Use it wisely and be ready to lay out why your extensive experience should result in more money for you.

As for taking the word of GT partners, it’s a pretty good sign that a partner from your desired office will be there for your interview. Also, what motivation would anyone have by going back on this deal? Would they really give you the job only to betray you less than a year later? This strikes us as unlikely. Staffing needs are always up in the air so for them to give you this opportunity seems us as a pretty exceptional deal. Regardless, we’d ask to get something in writing. Chances are this has already happened, as we assume some of these discussions occurred over email but something official would be ideal. If they balk, then you’ve got cause to question their sincerity. Good luck.

Oh, and get your CPA for crissakes.

Alan Grayson Attempts to Explain Why He Doesn’t Support the Tax Cut Deal

The only problem is, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell (an unabashed Democrat who supports the deal) IS NOT HAVING IT.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Some favorite moments:

• “I use that term specifically, ‘caved in.'” – Because that’s what Dems do, baby!


• Circa :54 – any use of the term ‘pernicious’ is welcome in our book; Some bald guy is shaking his head incessantly; Arianna Huffington looks like an amused heiress (which is what she always looks like).

• At 2:27 – Larry officially starts flipping out.

• “You are WRONG, sir.” – Grayson is already fanning the heat with his hands at this point.

• “When you’re out of office in January and watching this from the sidelines.” – Too soon!

• At 3:25 there’s an audible sigh by Grayson that gives us the impression he can’t keep from laughing.

• “BE AN ADULT ABOUT THIS CONGRESSMAN!”

[via BI]

Some People Are Ready to Vote for a Caribou Killer in 2012, If Necessary

According to of reports, there is a tentative deal on tax cuts, with all of the current rates being extended for two years in exchange for an extension of unemployment benefits.

That has a few people upset with President Obama (notably, the “liberals,” whoever that is):

Daniel Roche, a 2008 Deputy Field Organizer in Nevada for Mr. Obama, is quoted in an email from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee saying that if the president “capitulates on this, there really is no point in voting for him in 2012.”

“The difference between voting for a Republican and voting for someone whose default negotiation strategy is rolling over and dying whenever the Republican Party says mean things is marginal,” he said. “This should be a ridiculously easy fight to win.”

Accounting News Roundup: Bankruptcy Examiner to Investigate WaMu Failure; Ex-KPMG Tax Principal Pleads Guilty; UK Inspector Says Audits Need ‘Significant Improvement’ | 07.21.10

WaMu Shareholders Win Court Investigation of Biggest U.S. Bank Failure [Bloomberg]
WaMu gets their very own Anton Valukas! Colorful claims to come? “Shareholders of Washington Mutual Inc. won court approval of a new investigation of the biggest U.S. bank failure, further delaying the company’s effort to reorganize in bankruptcy.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary F. Walrath in Wilmington, Delaware, agreed that an examiner should be appointed to review WaMu’s assets, including the value of a potential lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for their role in the 2008 collapse of Washington Mutual Bank.”

Ex-IRS agent pleads guilty [WaPo]
John Venuti was also with KPMG from 2002 to until this past January. WaPo reports that he was a “tax consultant and principal.”

“According to the plea agreement, Venuti did not file federal tax returns from 2001 to 2006. Each year, though, he requested and was granted a six-month extension, and made a total of $97,060 in payments along with the extension requests. Authorities said he owes more than $789,000 in back taxes.”

Reckitt to Buy Durex Maker SSL [WSJ]
“Pushing further into the lucrative over-the-counter medical market, U.K. consumer-goods firm Reckitt Benckiser PLC agreed on Wednesday to acquire health-care-product company SSL International PLC, in a deal that values the world’s biggest condom maker at £2.54 billion ($3.88 billion).”

FASB Reveals Second Attempt at Standard on Contingencies [Compliance Week]
“The standard differs from one the FASB published in June 2008, which called on companies to use some conjecture and provide estimates of possible outcomes. Corporate counsel in particular buried FASB with objections that the proposed approach would force disclosure of privileged information, especially by giving legal adversaries access to information that would compromise the outcome of disputes. The current proposal steers clear of any requirement for companies to make any predictions or estimates about possible outcomes.”


FTSE 100 audits require “significant improvement”, inspectors find [Accountancy Age]
“Auditors have also been accused of altering documents before handing them to regulators and putting cost savings ahead of quality, in the review by the Audit Inspection Unit (AIU).

The report raised a number of concerns following its inspection of 109 audits from AIM and the FTSE 350.

The report also found some cases where partners signed audit reports before the audit was complete and one instance when an auditor tried to alter an internal file after the AIU requested it. Auditors had also changed internal materiality thresholds, which effectively reduced their workload, and had also not applied enough scepticism to internal asset valuations.”

Deloitte Tax Sells Deloitte Investment Advisors to Aspiriant

Don’t panic! DIA only has 40 professionals serving 450 clients so the band isn’t breaking up. Although, maybe this is a segue into Barry Salzberg’s shopping spree. Who’s to say?

Whatever it means, both c happy with how the deal turned out.


Deloitte’s Chet Wood: “We determined that divesting Deloitte Investment Advisors is in the best interest of DIA, our professionals and our clients. As part of the Aspiriant organization, the business will have greater latitude for growth through offering additional services and pursuing its own marketplace interests.”

Aspiriant’s Rob Francais: “This acquisition is another step in our long-term growth strategy to ensure that Aspiriant remains a leading independent wealth management firm that is well-positioned to serve the needs of wealthy families for generations to come. The employees at Aspiriant and DIA share the same high standards and values; we are truly cut from the same cloth, and we welcome this exceptionally skilled team to Aspiriant.”

So. D Tax is happy to free up some cash; Aspirirant is happy to get some exceptionally skilled cloth. Carry on.

BPR:

NEW YORK, July 19 /PRNewswire/ — Deloitte and Aspiriant today announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Aspiriant Investment Advisors, a subsidiary of Aspiriant, a leading independent wealth management firm, will acquire Deloitte Investment Advisors LLC (DIA), a fee-only registered investment advisory group owned by Deloitte Tax LLP. The transaction is expected to close in September 2010, subject to customary approvals and closing conditions. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

DIA commenced operations in 1998 and is comprised of approximately 40 professionals. The group provides investment advisory services to individual and institutional investors and currently has approximately $2.9 billion in assets under advisement for more than 450 clients.

After a review of strategic opportunities for the business and an analysis of regulatory considerations, Deloitte Tax concluded that divesting DIA provided the best opportunity for the group’s future growth.

“We determined that divesting Deloitte Investment Advisors is in the best interest of DIA, our professionals and our clients,” said Chet Wood, chairman and chief executive officer of Deloitte Tax LLP. “As part of the Aspiriant organization, the business will have greater latitude for growth through offering additional services and pursuing its own marketplace interests.”

“This acquisition is another step in our long-term growth strategy to ensure that Aspiriant remains a leading independent wealth management firm that is well-positioned to serve the needs of wealthy families for generations to come,” said Rob Francais, chief executive officer of Aspiriant. “The employees at Aspiriant and DIA share the same high standards and values; we are truly cut from the same cloth, and we welcome this exceptionally skilled team to Aspiriant.”

Once the transaction is completed, Aspiriant will serve approximately 800 clients through eight offices in the U.S., and have more than $7 billion in assets under management and advisement.

“We are confident that our expanded team and geography will enable us to deliver additional benefits to clients through a broader range of investment and financial planning services, as well as increased depth of management and investment talent,” Francais added.

KPMG Acquires Grant Thornton’s Supply Chain Advisory Services Practice

KPMG’s Advisory practice will take over Grant Thornton’s Supply Chain Advisory Services practice, the firm announced today, in a deal that closed on July 16th. The purchase includes “the addition of 23 highly-skilled, experienced professionals to KPMG” and the firm will also take over the existing projects “at select Fortune 500 companies.”

This is certainly appears to be a nice little boost for KPMG’s Advisory practiceclear whether this will be a big part of the advisory practice or an area for potential growth in jobs and revenues, TPTB seem pretty excited about it (see boilerplate after the jump).


But we think the more interesting aspect of this particular deal is the strategy of Grant Thornton. Back in January when Stephen Chipman gave his first firmwide call to the troops, he discussed many things including the not so subtle warning that some people would not be “joining us on the next stage of our journey.” That’s a pretty clear message but nowhere in the message to the firm was the slightest indication given that this, dare we say, firesale would be occurring.

This is the fifth major move that we have covered involving Grant Thornton just this year. We have reported on sales of GT’s Albuquerque, Honolulu offices as well as the closure of the Madison and Greensboro offices.

This is the first sale of a practice that we have covered and KPMG is the largest firm to be involved in one of these transactions. Moss Adams purchased GT’s Albuquerque office and partners in the Honolulu office purchased the practice to become an affiliate of PKF.

Perhaps this part of the journey was too sensitive to share with the troops or maybe it was communicated in code that could only be deciphered with a secret book with all the definitions OR maybe the majority of people at GT weren’t paying attention to anything SC said unless it included the words “compensation,” “promotion,” or “bonus.” We can’t really say.

That being said, we are still hearing rumors of other office sales by GT. Nothing we’re permitted to share with you now but if you are aware of any talk about a possible sale in your city, get in touch with us. And if you’ve got thoughts or knowledge on this particular deal – from the perspective of either firm – share below.

NEW YORK, July 19 /PRNewswire/ — KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm, today announced it has expanded its restructuring capabilities through acquisition of the Supply Chain Advisory Services practice of Grant Thornton LLP, U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd.

The acquisition strengthens KPMG’s existing restructuring services practice in the automotive, pharmaceuticals, aerospace and defense and other manufacturing industries by expanding current capabilities in financial and operational restructuring, supply chain advisory, supplier services, technology and performance improvement. The transaction also includes Grant Thornton LLP’s Vontik software system.

“As organizations continue to reinvigorate their focus on growth, they are facing unprecedented pressures to transform their finance and operations functions,” said John Veihmeyer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, KPMG LLP. “This acquisition will enhance KPMG’s ability to help businesses address the four key drivers of business transformation: people, process, risk and control, and technology.”

The transaction, which closed on July 16, includes the addition of 23 highly-skilled, experienced professionals to KPMG. KPMG will also take over existing Grant Thornton LLP projects at select Fortune 500 companies.

“As the already strong demand for large scale transformation and restructuring assistance continues to grow, this acquisition helps us provide the functional breadth and depth needed by large organizations across several key industry sectors,” said Mark A. Goodburn, Vice Chairman and Head of Advisory, for KPMG LLP. “It’s also consistent with our continuing strategy to build superior large-scale transformation capabilities to serve the world’s top organizations.”

“Adding these tactical, operational restructuring and supply chain skills to KPMG’s strategic market position is a great fit, at the right time,” added Drew Koecher, partner and head of restructuring for KPMG LLP. “With the addition of this group, we broaden and deepen our client base and add to our already extensive advisory capabilities to serve businesses as they transform their business models to be successful in this new economy.”

Unfounded Rumor of the Day: Fired Koss VP Had Garage Sales at Her Desk

Or something like that. Guest 28 put it out there that Sue Sachdeva was flipping those designer threads to fellow employees for low low prices.
On the one hand, maybe the two employees on leave that worked for Suze were the bargain shoppers. On the other, how hard up for extra money was this woman? Maybe she just wore it out once with the tags on and said “I don’t love it”? Can anyone in the Milwaukee area that hasn’t already gone to happy hour confirm this? Get on the horn.

Apparently $2 Mil Is Enough to Keep Deloitte in Dallas

DTa.jpgEarlier this year, the Deloitte Dallas and Irving offices were ready to copulate and move the combined digs to Irving. Apparently this was going to save the two offices bookoo dollars.
Problem for the City of Dallas is that if a big shot spendy tenant like Deloitte bolts, Dallas’s Central Business District would not be good, especially since the vacancy rate is already high. The City pondered this and came to the conclusion that offering Deloitte a $2 Million “economic development grant” should convince them that moving to Irving is the WORST IDEA EVER.
More, after the jump


Not quite sure what Deloitte will do with that money (our suggestion is for more donut giveaways) but here’s the back scratching they’ll do for the City, according to the Dallas Observer:

Subject to City Council approval of the proposed economic development grant, Deloitte LLP has agreed to execute a 10-year lease extension at 2200 Ross Avenue (Chase Tower) beginning 2011 and will:
•Commit to maintain a minimum of 1,111 jobs at this location
•Ensure approximately $19.9 million is invested for tenant improvements

So it looks like Deloitte is down for this but we’re not exactly sure how they came up with 1,111 for the minimum number of jobs. At the very least, it’s kind of a cool looking number.
Regardless of the figures, we doubt that Deloitte would be taking the $2 mil if wasn’t going to be a good deal for them. So greasing Deloitte to keep them in Dallas seems to be a good deal since, “[the City of Dallas] believes the $2 million investment will yield $31 million in ‘net city fiscal impact.'”. So, yeah. Not too shabby.
However, we’re guessing that more than a few people in Irving that might be a little bent out of shape about this, so if you’ve got any more information on this deal, let us know.
When Deloitte Did the Math, It Needed $2 Mil From Dallas, Or Else It Was Going to Irving [Dallas Observer]