*waits anxiously for Becker press release saying 42 of the 39 winners prepared for the exam using Becker products*
The AICPA has announced 2012 Elijah Watt Sells Award winners or, as the haters call them, the overachievers who got a cumulative average score above 95.50 their first attempt. More than 92,000 candidates sat for the CPA exam in 2012; these 39 candidates are the best-scoring of all, securing year-long bragging rights and a lifetime cool LinkedIn item.
Jill Aoki (Utah), a Utah State University graduate with a triple BA in Accounting, Finance and Economics, and a Master of Accountancy, is employed with Ernst & Young LLP in Salt Lake City.
Blake Applegate (Illinois), an Indiana University graduate with a BA in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy, is employed with KPMG in Chicago.
Bradley Bowen (Texas), a Texas A&M University graduate with a BA in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy, is employed with Ernst & Young LLP in Dallas.
James Braun (Texas), a University of Texas at Austin graduate with a BA in Business Administration and a Master of Professional Accountancy, is employed with Ernst & Young LLP in Houston.
Alan Burton (Kansas), a Fort Hays State University graduate with a BA in Accounting, is employed with Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball, Chtd. in Great Bend, Kansas.
Andrew Buss (Minnesota), a Hofstra University graduate with a BA in Accounting, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in New York.
David Canedo (Wisconsin), a University of Wisconsin – Madison graduate with a BA in Accounting and a Master of Professional Accountancy.
David Carlson (Massachusetts), a Bentley University graduate with a BA in Accounting and an anticipated Master of Financial Planning in August 2013, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Boston.
Devin Davidson (Washington), a Brigham Young graduate with a BA in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy, is employed with Davidson Farms LLC in Basin City, Washington.
Angel Davis (Oregon), a University of Oregon graduate with a BA in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy, is employed with Precision Castparts Corp. in Portland.
Dodge Docheff (Missouri), a University of Central Missouri graduate with a BA in Business Administration and a Master of Accountancy, is employed with BKD, LLP in Kansas City.
Codie Dull (Wisconsin), a University of Wisconsin – Madison graduate with a BA in Business Administration and a Master of Professional Accountancy, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Milwaukee.
Martha Everett (Michigan), a University of Michigan graduate with a BA in Business Administration and a Master of Accountancy, is employed with Plante Moran in Clinton Township, Missouri.
Alan Gnegy (Virginia), a West Virginia University graduate with a BA in Accounting, is employed with Pillar Innovations LLC in Grantsville, MD.
Michael Gorter (Minnesota), a Dordt College graduate with a BA in Accounting and Finance, is employed with Deloitte and Touche LLP in Minneapolis.
Yun Guo (North Carolina), a Minzu University of China graduate with a BA in Economics and Finance and a Master of Accountancy from Wake Forest University, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in New York.
Laura Hilby (Iowa), a Buena Vista University graduate with a BS in Accounting and Corporate Mathematics is employed with McGladrey LLP in Des Moines, IA.
Stephen Hruby (Ohio), a John Carroll University graduate with a BS in Business Administration and Accounting is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Cleveland.
Kevin King (Indiana), an Indiana University graduate with a BS in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy, is employed with Ernst & Young LLP in Indianapolis.
Tyler Kleppe (Wisconsin), a University of Wisconsin – Whitewater graduate with a BA in Accounting and a Master of Professional Accountancy, is employed with Smith & Gesteland, LLP in Madison, WI.
Veronika Krasteva (Florida), a University of Miami graduate with a BA in Business Administration and a Master of Accounting, is employed with Deloitte & Touche, LLP in Miami.
Brian Krogol (Florida), a University of Florida graduate with a BS in Accounting and a Master of Professional Accountancy, is employed with Grant Thornton in Miami.
Anthony Lemon (Utah), a Utah State University graduate with a BS in Accounting and a Master of Accounting, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Salt Lake City.
William McGauran (Virginia), an American University, Washington D.C. graduate with a BS in Accounting, is employed with Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP in Arlington, VA.
Andrew Napolitano (California), a University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) graduate with a BA in Business Economics, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP in Los Angeles.
Eliza Nesvog (Washington), a University of Washington graduate with a BA in Business Administration and a Master of Professional Accountancy, is employed with Ernst & Young LLP in Seattle.
Bradley Ostendorf (Minnesota), a Minnesota State University – Moorhead graduate with a BS in Accounting, is employed with McGladrey LLP in Minneapolis.
Brighton Ranney (Missouri), a University of Wisconsin – Madison graduate with a BS in Computer Science and a Master of Accounting, is employed with Moneta Group in Clayton, MO.
Glenn Rice (New York), a Hofstra University graduate with a BA in Accounting, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP in New York.
Anthony Salomone (New York), a Boston College graduate with a BS in Accounting and Finance, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP in New York.
Brent Schmidt (Ohio), a Miami University – (Oxford Ohio) graduate with a BS in Business Accounting, is employed with BKD, LLP in Cincinnati.
Kimberly Shriver (Georgia), a University of Georgia graduate with a BA in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy, is employed with Ernst & Young LLP in Atlanta.
Mark Stankevitz (Massachusetts), a University of Chicago graduate with a BA in Economics and a Master of Accounting from Boston College, is employed with Grant Thornton, LLP.
Jennifer Tindle (Texas), a Southwestern University graduate with a BA in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy from Vanderbilt University, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Houston.
Mingyuan Wang (Illinois), a Beijing Language and Culture University graduate with a BA in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is employed with Constantin Associates LLP in New York.
Kevin Warbis (Ohio), a Miami University graduate with a BS in Accounting, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Columbus, OH.
Adam Wright (Texas), an Austin Community College graduate with a BA in Business Administration, is employed with the Texas State Auditor’s Office in Austin.
Po-Feng Yu (Colorado), a National Taiwan University graduate with a BA in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is employed with Deloitte & Touche LLP in Taiwan.
Ning Zhu (Texas), a Georgetown University graduate with a BS in Business Administration, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC in Houston.
We would extend our congratulations to these lovely, hard-working individuals but we are pretty sure they have better things to do with their time than hang out here with our kind.
Going Concern March Madness: Busy Season Survival -- Food & Beverage vs. Technology, The Sweet Sixteen
If you picked upsets in your NCAA Mens bracket and all the favorites in your GCMMBSSF&BvsT bracket, then you're in pretty good shape today. My hunch is that you went for the opposite strategy.
While favorites Excel and coffee had no problems and the wins by Bagels and Key Shortcuts were very satisfying, the loss by Someone Else's Hotpocket from the Freezer was devastating. DEVASTATING.
But the best thing to do when you suffer a big loss is to just move on with the winners you have left. And unless you don't drink caffeine, booze, use Excel, or have a taste for Chipotle then you should have a couple of dogs left in the fight.
Anyway, let's get to this before you forget how empty your life has been without brackets.Food & Beverage In the second-round match-up of coffee vs. the boss letting you drink until you puke and picking up the tab doesn't get me too excited. I really don't see coffee having too hard of a time here, but I've been wrong about something at some point in time which means, at least in theory, that I could be wrong about this. Anyway, if you think about it, every once in awhile, the boss will throw a happy hour and it sucks. Coffee, on the other hand, rarely lets you down. Even when it goes cold, you just put ice in it and -- BOOM -- delicious iced coffee. See you in the Elite Eight, coffee. web survey Technology Excel vs. DVR is a far more interesting match-up. DVR has a great chance to knock off the vulnerable Excel. The mother of all spreadsheet applications, as was rightly pointed out in Round 1, can be clunky and you definitely can't use it to photocopy your ass. DVR, as I understand it, will do only as it is instructed. If you want the marathon of Teen Mom 2 to sit on there for week until you're ready to destroy a massive amount of your hope in humanity, then it will do precisely that. With this in mind, Excel has to be going into this with a little apprehensive. survey hosting
Food & Beverage
The Candy Drawer. Chipotle. One could get you to double over in the middle of meeting with severe abdominal pain while the other will send you running into the bathroom to make it a biohazard. Only one can power you through to the end of busy season, and straight into Type II diabetes or morbid obesity. FUN!
Key shortcuts had a tough battle holding off mouse in the first round while spellcheck cruised past busy season legend paper shredder.A lot of us take key shortcuts and spellcheck for granted and some don't even use them at all. I'm not even sure another win here will gain either of them any respect. Whatever. Where's the booze?
Speaking of which, we'll get to the bottom of the bracket tomorrow. For now, get to voting.
As stupid as this tip is, there is actually some science-y stuff at work here. Psychologists have long known that changing your preferred study location can improve retention.
So get up and take those books into the can; not only can you squeeze in a little multi-tasking, you could potentially gain at least an extra hour of study time each day (we've said this before but just leave empty Chipotle bags on your desk, no one is going to interrogate you about your copious restroom time).
[teaser pic via ATL]
Accounting News Roundup: Deloitte and Roland Berger Rumors Return; Death of the Death Tax; An Excel RPG. Yep. | 03.26.13
Deloitte in advanced talks to buy Roland Berger: paper [Reuters]
Deloitte is in advanced talks to buy Germany's Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said in its Tuesday edition without citing sources. The paper said Roland Berger Strategy Consultants is said to have informed its 250 partners about the planned sale adding that other accounting firms were also interested in bidding for the German consulting firm.
Some are dying to know.
Kraft Mac & Cheese Is Nutritionally Equivalent to Cheez-Its [MoJo]
If GCMMBSSF&BvsT had an NIT version, I'm sure these two might be in it.
Survey: Half of workers didn't notice end of payroll tax cut [The Hill]
According to Bankrate, six in 10 households making under $30,000 a year noticed the change in the payroll tax. Roughly 40 percent of more middle-income families – those making between $50,000 and $75,000 a year – were aware the tax cut had expired. This epic accountant turned your dull Excel spreadsheet into an awesome RPG [TNW]
I suppose the important question is, what took so long? Wait no longer.
Suit Offers a Peek at the Practice of Inflating a Legal Bill [DealBook]
Something tells me there could be an accounting version out there.
Man's Car Ends Up On Neighbor's Roof [AP]
A Southern California man's car ended up on his neighbor's roof in an unusual accident over the weekend. Glendale police Sgt. Sean Riley tells City News Service that the driver lost control Saturday afternoon on a driveway in an area where homes are arrayed on a steep hillside. The vehicle ended up on the roof of the next house down the hill. Riley says the driver reported he had a mechanical failure.
Dell Founder Said to Weigh Switching to Blackstone Offer [DealBook]
NACVA Merges CVA and AVA Valuation Credentials [AT]
BYU did their brackets according to academic prolificity again. [BYU Accounting, 2012, 2011, 2010]
Auditors required to modify New York City form [JofA]
PwC returns as Schroders auditor “As part of the process to confirm the independence of the audit firm prior to making a recommendation to shareholders, KPMG advised the company that it did not meet the regulatory requirements for independence for all relevant Group companies,” Schroders said. [FT]
Many Execs See CFOs as Poor Operators [CFO]
How to Attract New Partners from Inside and Outside Your Firm [AWEB]
A Bizspeak Blacklist Are you on the same page as the sacred cow that got thrown under the bus in seamless integration? [HBR]
Unfortunately, there's no indication that the culinary secrets will be shared any time soon:
Representatives from Fortune 500 companies, government, non-profits and academia examined the evolution of inclusive workplaces at the recent launch of the Deloitte University (DU) Leadership Center for Inclusion. The more than 250 attendees discussed a wide range of inclusion issues including minority recruiting, veteran hiring, attracting and retaining lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender talent, and growing the number of women in science, technology, engineer and math (STEM) fields.
The DU Leadership Center for Inclusion will host training programs, lectures and special events for Deloitte professionals, clients and thought leaders to further the dialogue on inclusion and share leading practices. In addition, the Center will foster innovation by expanding the understanding of inclusion through stories and discussions, which disrupt the traditional views of diversity and work-life fit.
Earlier this year, a DC judge threw out the IRS' ability to regulate unlicensed preparers and then, in a bit of added insult, when another judge denied the agency's request to suspend the injunction. Anti-regulation types were happy; the IRS was sad. Despite the setback, you kind of knew that the Service wasn't going to take this lying down:The two leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and ranking Republican member Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, have begun developing proposals for reforming the U.S. Tax Code, including giving the Internal Revenue Service the clear statutory authority to regulate tax preparers in case the IRS loses its appeal of a recent court case invalidating its Registered Tax Return Preparer regime. Right now these are just "proposals", but it kinda sounds like the plan is to make sure there's very little room for error: The legislation would “ensure that the IRS has authority to oversee paid preparers by providing clear statutory authority for the IRS to regulate tax return preparers if the IRS loses its appeal in the Loving case.” “Due to tax law complexity, taxpayers increasingly rely on third parties to prepare their returns, thereby increasing their exposure to preparer misconduct or error,” said the discussion paper. “In 2011, the IRS started regulating tax return preparers by requiring registration and imposing minimum competency standards. The District Court of Washington, D.C., recently ruled (Loving, No. 12-385 (D.D.C. 1/18/13)) that the IRS lacks the authority to regulate tax return preparers. If the IRS does not prevail in its appeal of the Loving case, it will lose an important tool to increase tax compliance and protect taxpayers from unethical tax return preparers.” Sounds like a heads-we win-tails-you-lose contingency plan. [Accounting Today]
With only three weeks until April 15th, some of you might like to be reminded that there are other people out there who are going through busy season pains just like you are. Unlike you, they have taken their suffering to Twitter and smartly labeled their problems as #CPAproblems which allows us to share them all with you.
We'll keep you updated as the big day approaches.
Apparently a post I wrote last week came off as though I was criticizing the former Deloitte grunt who found her real joy in porn. In fact, I was celebrating her awakening.
She isn't the first industry refugee and she won't be the last. As many of you are chomping at the bit looking for a way out while trudging closer to the end of busy season, it's worth looking at all of your exit opportunities.
In an episode of LOGO's That Sex Show (sorry for my bad taste in TV, they run RuPaul's Drag Race AND 16 and Pregnant, I can't get enough), Miss J Alexander admitted to being a former accountant.
Surely you know Miss J? Miss J!
This right here went the accounting track. Girl I am not joking, this. For all we talk about professional conduct and fitting into the mold and not rocking the boat, this was attracted to accounting.Trivia
After modeling in Tokyo for three years, he settled in Paris.
Was a runway model for Jean-Paul Gaultier in New York City.
Went to school to be an accountant.
Met Monique Pillard then-president of Elite Model Management when he was doing drag. She sent him to Tokyo to model.
Born Alexander Jenkins in South Bronx, J. Alexander initially dreamed of becoming an accountant. However, after realizing that the job was too confining and after meeting the then-president of Elite Model Management Monique Pillard, he decided that he belonged to the fashion industry.
So you see, kids, there is always a way out. It's just up to you to find it. Or some other inspirational bullshit. Although it sounds like Miss J didn't even get to the point many of you are at as we speak, which is probably a good thing.
Accounting News Roundup: Ethics and Tax Loopholes; The IRS Star Trek Video Is Amazing; 'The difference between me and a CPA is a simple test.' | 03.25.13
A Tax Lawyer’s Quandary [NYT via TaxProf]
From the NYT Ethicist: "Q: I am a tax lawyer. Is advising wealthy companies of ways to reduce their tax bills through sophisticated legal structures ethically permissible? The structures take advantage of legal loopholes in the tax legislation. A: The ethics of specific professions create unique realms of responsibility. In the same way that a defense attorney is ethically obligated to give his client the best possible defense — even if he’s convinced of the individual’s guilt — your principal responsibilities lie with the company hiring you. You need to do your job to the best of your abilities, within the existing rules. You should, however, voice your moral apprehension about the use of such loopholes to the company you represent.
U.S. Seeks Answers in Liechtenstein on Tax Cheats [Bloomberg]The U.S. has asked Liechtenstein to hand over data on foundations that may have been used to hide untaxed American money from the Internal Revenue Service, a step that may threaten Swiss banks. The U.S. wants to know the number of foundations set up by fiduciaries -- lawyers, accountants, financial advisers and asset managers -- for American taxpayers, according to a letter sent by the Department of Justice to authorities in the Alpine principality. A “formal request” to fiduciaries will follow, the DOJ said.
Chinese Create Tax-Free Zone for Art [WSJ]
A Chinese state-owned company is aiming to stoke the country's cultural sector with a tried-and-tested industrial model that has worked in the past for China's manufacturing industries: Create a tax-free zone for companies in the arts-and-entertainment world. Located adjacent to Beijing Capital Airport, the planned Beijing Freeport of Culture is the brainchild of Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group, a conglomerate owned by the Beijing municipal government. The Freeport, expected to partially open next year, promises warehouses for art storage, offices for companies involved in everything from luxury goods to software design, and production facilities for film and television.
"Space: the final frontier. These are the voyagers of the Starship Enterprise Y. Its never-ending mission is to seek out new tax forms. To explore strange new regulations. To boldly go where no government employee has gone before."
IRS Lifts Veil on Star Trek and Gilligan’s Island Videos [AT]
The Gilligan’s Island video provided filing season training for 1,900 employees in the IRS’s Taxpayer Assistance Centers in 400 locations.”This example of video training alone saved the IRS about $1.5 million each year compared to the costs of training the employees in person,” said the IRS. “This approach reflects a newer IRS model of using video to dramatically save on training and travel costs,” the IRS explained. “Using video provides a more cost-efficient way of doing business than face-to-face meetings.”
PwC Appoints Pat Alford as Managing Partner of the Fort Worth office [PwC]
Replacing David Evans.
For Aspiring Forensic Accountants and Fraud Investigators [Fraud Files]
For the enterprising sleuths out there.
PricewaterhouseCoopers resigns as Ambow auditor [AP]
The auditor for Ambow Education has resigned due to concerns over an investigation into claims of financial impropriety made by a former employee, the company said Friday. [...] PricewaterhouseCoopers Zhong Tian CPAs Ltd. sent a letter to Ambow stating that it was concerned that the investigation may not be getting the necessary resources and time.
Grand Rapids comptroller applicant who withdrew now may be back in [Michigan]
A Certified Public Accountant who withdrew his application for city comptroller shortly after submitting it last month now is open to being considered for the job. [...] The two current applicants – former State House candidate Andrew Garlick and former school accountant Andrew Morse – each said they plan to remain in consideration for the job. Morse, who lost his job as Wyoming Public Schools accountant last summer, sent commissioners an e-mail Tuesday afternoon stating that “the difference between me and a CPA is a simple test.” He wrote that his experience in school accounting and his education “qualifies me to sit for the exam,” per state law, and he’d take the test if that’s what commissioners want.
IRS Warns Tax Pros to Safeguard Taxpayer Data [AT]
Internal Audit Shines Brighter with Boards [CFO]
GT and BDO told to buck up professional scepticism Serious concerns have been raised about some of Grant Thornton and BDO's listed company audit work in a review carried out by the profession's watchdog. In a series of check-ups of the firms' work, the FRC's review team found roughly a third of audit engagements inspected in need of significant improvement, with both firms taking flack for a lack of professional scepticism. [Accountancy Age]
Ernst & Young’s multiple Nortel roles shrouded in mystery [FP]
Ex-Deutsche Bank Accountant Gets 3 1/2 Years for Tax Fraud [Bloomberg]
Accounting Under FASB's Credit Loss Model: Too Much of an Audit Challenge? [BloombergBNA]
New York Budget Includes Tax Subsidy to "The Tonight Show" [TF]Man Staged Knife Attack To Impress His Date: Police Jeffery Tyler Siegel, 26, and a woman told police that a man wearing all black approached them Saturday night and told Siegel, "You can go, but your girlfriend stays," according to ABC News. The woman ran away, but Siegel said he stayed to fight. The attacker "slashed" Siegel twice with a large knife before running off into nearby woods, KAIT-TV reported. Suspicions rose when police found no trace of the suspect, even after a two-hour search. Siegel was also "reluctant" to come in for questioning on Monday, according to a Jonesboro police report obtained by KAIT. When he did show up, he eventually confessed to planning the whole attack in hopes that it would improve his chances with his date. He also admitted that his cuts were self-inflicted. [HP]
This came through the twitters this week and apparently we weren't the only ones who liked it:
— Jonathan Emerson (@_JonEmerson) March 21, 2013
Er... daredevil kid in a helmet? What exactly is the problem here? Did he try to mount a 2 foot plywood ramp just moments after this photo was taken, thereby getting his first taste of the importance of risk assessment? And what's with that pansy ass handlebar grip? This kid will never be a CPA unless he learns to grab on with both hands and pedal like his life depends on it, pfft.
Side note: #CPAproblems is actually a fascinating hashtag. Keep tweeting, people.
It's been awhile since we've written anything on Campbell v. PricewaterhouseCoopers but this announcement from the plaintiffs' attorneys seemed worthy of sharing with you all:On March 1, 2013, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals entered an order denying defendant PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's petition for an early appeal of the District Court's order denying class decertification. This means that we will be heading to trial on behalf of the certified class of California Attest Associates. In fact, the District Court Judge, Honorable Lawrence K. Karlton, has now set a Scheduling Conference for April 8, 2013, at which time we anticipate the Court will establish the final pre-trial schedule and (hopefully) set a trial date. We will update the website with the trial schedule following the April 8th hearing. The initial motion to decertify the class action occurred on November 29, 2012, which was denied by Judge Karlton. Less than a week later, on December 5th, the Court set a Scheduling Conference for February 4, 2013 but then on December 7th, PwC appealed Judge Karlton's ruling. Based on the statement from Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff above, obviously the Scheduling Conference did not happen. Why? Well, it's kinda funny. On January 24th, Senior District Judge William Shubb initially denied PwC's request to delay the conference. Besides the firm's decision to appeal the denial to decertify the class action, lead counsel for the firm Daniel Thomasch was not available on February 4th. Judge Shubb was NOT impressed with either of these excuses and wrote the following in a couple of footnotes:  Defendant advises the court that the appellate filing was made pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(f). The court assumes, without deciding, that defendant was not required to notify this court of its request for leave to appeal, however sensible it would have been to do so. Given that the appellate filing is the basis for the relief defendant seeks, it would have been the better practice for defendant to let this court know about the filing around the time it was made.  It would have been the better practice, in any event, to let the court know about [Thomasch's] conflict around the time the court's order issued scheduling the conference. A few days later, Judge Karlton let it go and vacated the February 4th conference, allowing the postponement. What does all this mean?
It means that PwC doesn't seem too eager to go to court. And why not? They can afford to drag this out as long as they possibly can. We'll see what happens after the conference on April 8th and update just as soon as we know the details. In the meantime, here's more of our coverage of Campbell v. PricewaterhouseCoopers and a discussion of whether or not you should join a class action.
I could watch this all day.
Busy season is like war. Okay maybe not, but it's hell anyway. There are no rules on how you survive it, but you MUST survive it. And if that means taking that last slice of pizza and hiding it in your drawer for later then by God, YOU MUST TAKE THAT SLICE OF PIZZA. Oh, Pete was late getting to the team lunch and didn't get to eat? TOO BAD. You're going to want that cured meat and refined flour in about 3 hours when you'll need your 4th wind.Day 1 of GCMMBSSF&BvsT is underway and there is still time to vote if you were too busy skipping work yesterday to get around to it. But the rest of us need to keep things moving, so let's do that now. I love #6 vs. #11 because there is always the expectation of an upset and then the #6 seed comes along and DESTROYS the #11. There's nothing like a bunch of people's expectations being shattered. Food & Beverage Bagels vs. Donuts is a classic match-up. Back in my Klynveld days, I had a client that had a decent cafeteria with above-average bagels. Whenever I felt like I couldn't make it another day, I'd start my morning with an Everything bagel with lox cream cheese because that is the best bagel/cream cheese combination in the history of the world and I don't give a damn if you disagree. On the other hand, have you ever had the chocolate old fashioned donuts from Starbucks? If not, drop what you're doing and go get one. I will not fault you if you prefer Dunkin' or KrispyKreme or Lamars. They're all incredible. Just go get a donut and it will make your Friday infinitely better. Just finish voting first. survey services Technology
Science -- Science! -- says that surfing the web is good for productivity. But some "professionals" simply don't understand the importance of cruising the Internet for a few minutes every hour so you can continue kicking ass and taking names. In order to avoid having to explain science to these rubes, the privacy screen comes in quite handy. Unless people are in the habit of sitting in your lap to check up on you, the privacy screen proves quite useful especially when you're staying up-to-date on the most important happenings in the accounting industry. Yes, sometimes a little scan of Going Concern is just the thing you need to remember how NOT to survive busy season or how to say goodbye to everyone prior to busy season so you don't have to survive it at all. Plus, Greg is good for a laugh. survey services
#3 vs. #14 is always exciting because it's the first real chance at an upset. Usually those #3 seeds don't deserve the spot in the first place and the scrappy #14 proves it. Also -- Harvard can suck it.
Food & Beverage
There are nights during busy season when you're working away and then you stand up to stretch and realize that you've managed to stay later than everyone. The cleaning crew has been gone for hours. There's not another SOUL to be found. It's like some bad post-apocalyptic movie. And just like any awful "Am I the only one left on Earth?" movie, you are forced to eat things that don't closely resemble food. The epitome of late-night crap at the office is undoubtedly the Hot Pocket. During some of those long nights I would reach points of such hopeless frustration that I would march into the kitchen and grab the first thing in the freezer that my hand touched, throw it in the microwave and consume posthaste. The whole process -- from freezer grab to final swallow -- usually took less than 90 seconds. BUT! Did I grab my Hot Pocket? Hahahaha. No! I don't actually purchase Hot Pockets; I just eat other people's Hot Pockets out of emotional need. For some of you Hot Pockets are how you survive busy season; for the rest of us, Hot Pockets are how we hate busy season. Either way, it's so bad it's good.
The #7/#10 match-up is really forgettable. So much so that I don't remember what I wanted to say about it.Food & Beverage When I first started in public accounting, I worked for this manager who drank Dr. Pepper. Lots of it. During the throes of busy season I think he drank six of them a day. How his teeth never fell out is beyond me. Anyway, that was his thing. He hated coffee. He wasn't a smoker. He drank soda. God, did he ever. Nowadays, soda has plenty of competition for people who want caffeine but wouldn't allow coffee in their toilets. This competition is mostly in the form of energy drinks and, as we've seen, sometimes one energy drink isn't enough when it's crunch time. surveys & polls Technology These days, everything begins with the Internet. Time was though, that we were forced to stick ethernet cords into our computers to access the series of tubes. Thank God those days are over. WiFi allows you to get work done in places you never dreamed of. Even if Mother Nature forces you to leave your desks for a safer environment, WiFi is there to make sure you can stay billable. And while WiFi is great and all, sometimes only pleasant musical sounds in your ears provide the focus you need to power through. Sure, we get a lot of music from the Internet these days, but if the web imploded on itself tomorrow, you'd ask your parents to dig out their Walkmans and Hall & Oates cassettes so you could get some work done. YES YOU WOULD. panel management
In the #2 vs. #15 you're expecting a blowout. But...yeah, it's usually a blowout.
Food & Beverage
Booze. Whatever form you take it in -- two cold beers on the train ride home, a bottle of red with the wino outside the office, or the Prohibition whiskey from your desk drawer, few things get you through busy season like a little hooch to take the edge off when you've had a rough day. Alternatively, if you are still young at hear -- that is, you follow all of Mom and Dad's rules -- Pop Tarts from the vending machine are probably more your speed.
Accounting News Roundup: The Can Is Kicked; The Tax Reform Holding Pattern; Who's Anti-Reply All? | 03.22.13
House averts government shutdown, backs Ryan budget [Reuters]
The U.S. House of Representatives eliminated the threat of a government shutdown next week, approving on Thursday a stop-gap funding bill that temporarily eases partisan tensions after months of bitter fights over budgets. In a rare show of cooperation, the Republican-controlled House voted 318-109 to approve legislation that keeps government agencies and programs funded through the end of the fiscal year on September 30. The debate over how to shrink U.S. deficits now shifts to rival budget plans from Republicans and Democrats for the 2014 fiscal year starting on October 1.
BASF Lowers Mid-Term Profit Goals on New Accounting Standards [Bloomberg]
BASF is adopting the new accounting rules, called IFRS 10 and 11, a year earlier than required. The Libyan exploration arm Wintershall AG, which was fully included in the books, and BASF’s joint venture with Sinopec in China, which was partially included, will now only be reported under the so-called equity method. That means that the sales from those units won’t be reported, while their share of net income is included in Ebit. “The new targets are purely a result of the accounting changes,” Manfredo Ruebens, head of BASF’s finance department said today at a press conference. The new rules stipulate that you can consolidate a unit if you actually control it. “It doesn’t just go by voting rights anymore,” he said.
A groundbreaking new study concludes that the rich became permanently richer and the poor permanently poorer from 1987 to 2009. Five economists, including one from the U.S. Treasury and two from the Federal Reserve, used data from nearly 34,000 working age households’ 1040s, W-2s and Social Security records to tease out how much of the much discussed rise in income inequality in the U.S. might simply reflect more volatility in earnings, with families having good and bad years. Their unhappy conclusion: almost all of the rise in inequality is life-long. Tax reform on hold in Senate amid fight over deficit reduction [The Hill] Prospects for tax reform in Congress are in limbo because of a fight over whether the effort should raise revenue to reduce the deficit. The dispute has held action by the Senate Finance Committee, which has not begun preliminary work on overhauling the tax code. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is undecided whether it should proceed if Republicans do not agree up front on how much revenue should go to deficit reduction. Please Don’t Reply to All [AWEB]
It can get some people upset, don't forget. Lululemon Sheer Yoga Pants Undetected Until Bend-Over Test [Bloomberg] Analysts asked Chief Executive Officer Christine Day how employees were handling returns, whether the company was changing suppliers and how the pants made it out of the factory in the first place. “The truth of the matter is the only way you can actually test for the issue is to put the pants on and bend over,” Day said on today’s conference call. “Just putting the pants on themselves doesn’t solve the problem. It passed all of the basic metric tests and the hand-feel is relatively the same, so it was very difficult for the factories to isolate the issue, and it wasn’t until we got in the store and started putting it on people that we could actually see the issue.”
Footnotes: Lots of Losses Coming for Lululemon; Lots of Laughs in Utah; Lots of Missing Chicks | 03.21.13
Lululemon Expects More Write-Offs on Pants The company said it expects write-offs to reduce its revenue by another $45 million to $50 million over the rest of the year, mostly in the second quarter. That follows a hit of $12 million to $17 million in the first quarter, which ends in the spring. [WSJ]
UK Dropping Corporate Rate to 20 Percent, Half the US Rate [TF]
Forensic Accountants and the Private Investigator License [Fraud Files]
If you're in the vicinity of Ogden, Utah and like to laugh, go see Greg Kyte tell some jokes in the flesh this Friday and Saturday at Wiseguys. Leave the kids at home. [Wiseguys]
Tax penalty relief for some who file for an extension [DMWT]
Camp Floats Biggest Tax Shift to Partnerships in 60 Years [Bloomberg]
200 chicks stolen in Ashburnham, farmer says “It was just very strange,’’ Kopley said. “There were power tools and the generators right next to the pen, and they stole the chicks.’’ The case of the missing chicks has baffled many, including police. “Right now we do not have suspects,’’ said Lieutenant Todd C. Parsons. “There is not much to go on.” [BG]
You Are Not Alone: R. Kelly Joins Taxpayers Who Have Lost Homes Due To Foreclosure [Forbes]
The KKK Attempts to Redeem Itself By Handing Out White-Bread Sandwiches at Charity Event [Gawker]
As you all may or may not recall, last summer we profiled a rising porn star who may or may not have gotten her start at Deloitte. We have yet to confirm that she did come from the green dot but we do know that she's still enjoying her post-public accounting career change, as per this recent profile in LA Weekly [we need not warn you the article in its entirety is NSFW]:
An only child, James grew up and attended high school in a Chicago suburb, then graduated from DePaul University – which bills itself as the largest Catholic college in the nation – with a double major in accounting and finance. The petite brunette then got her CPA and took a job in the public sector.
"I was this young, ambitious girl that really wanted to please her family, and do really well, and be successful," she says.
But James was miserable.
"I would go in to work on Sunday at 4 p.m. because my manager decided that some paper required more meticulous authorization," she says, "and I would come home bawling my eyes out. I hated putting in that much work for something that did nothing for me, for anyone else, that was all just paperwork."
You know it's bad when you'd rather take it up the ass than file one more piece of meaningless paper. I'm sure there's some brilliant comparison I could make here between figuratively taking it up the ass for "The Man" and literally on camera but I'll leave that one to you guys.
She started off very innocently shooting a few scenes and eventually knew she had to choose between public and, er, public:
James shot about ten more scenes in Chicago before she knew that she had a decision to make. "It was time to start thinking about where this was going," she says. "Every shoot you do brings you closer to another person finding out who you might not want to know."
Well aware that she either had to go all in or give it up, James made the choice that would change her life – porn, she concluded, was more than a way to let loose after her divorce or to escape the stress of her day job.
Unlike leaving public for private, a CPA-turned-porn star has to be realistic about their long-term career opportunities. James has already thought about this:
James wants to perform for as long as she can, but she harbors no delusions. She knows that the time will come when people "don't want to see you naked," she says, adding, "I'd like to start building a more diversified portfolio. Eventually I'd like to have my own company, and do my own shooting. Something where I could keep my own books."
Her former life, though, is over. "You have to be OK with the fact that when you do this, you can't go back," she says.
I guess this mean she's an inactive CPA, then?
With PwC CAKEgate in the rearviewmirror, the PCAOB appears to have taken a look around and decided it wants to tidy up a bit by shuffling around its auditing standards. Naturally, Doty & Co. like to run things by everyone first...everyone who has an opinion anyway:The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has scheduled an open meeting for 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 26, to consider issuing for public comment a proposal for the reorganization of PCAOB auditing standards. Under consideration is a potential framework for reorganizing the Board’s existing interim and PCAOB-issued auditing standards into a topical structure with a single integrated numbering system, along with certain implementing amendments to its rules and standards. The proposed reorganization is intended to present the standards in a logical order that generally follows the flow of how one conducts an audit. The proposed reorganization also is intended to help users navigate the standards more easily. [PCAOB]
Class actions against the world's largest corporate auditing firms are spreading globally as governments bolster investor protection laws in countries where the Big Four firms have previously not faced substantial legal risks. Even as class action lawsuits dwindle in the United States due to court rulings and legislation, the number of countries allowing these kinds of suits has grown to more than 20, including recent additions Italy, Poland and Mexico. [...] "Class action litigation can drive up costs to the breaking point fairly quickly," said Ed Nusbaum, head of 6th-largest audit firm, Grant Thornton International. "The U.S. firms have adjusted for this, but as class actions move around the world, there's a huge risk," he told Reuters. [Reuters]