Accounting News Roundup: Deloitte's Record Fine; PwC Partner Pay Looking Good in UK; One Week Until September 16th | 09.09.13
Deloitte fined £14m for conflict of interest over MG Rover [Guardian]
Deloitte, one of the UK's largest accountancy firms, has been fined a record-breaking £14m for a conflict of interest that occurred when it advised MG Rover Group and the Phoenix Four directors who bought the British carmaker before it collapsed. It is the largest fine issued by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the body that regulates accountants, which has also given Deloitte a severe reprimand. Maghsoud Einollahi, a former director of the accountancy firm, was fined £250,000 and given a three-year ban from accountancy.
PricewaterhouseCoopers U.K. Says 2013 Profit Rose 1.8 Percent [Bloomberg]
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s U.K. partnership said profit rose 1.8 percent for the year ended in June, with its consulting and tax-advisory businesses reporting the most growth. Earnings increased to 740 million pounds ($1.2 billion) from 727 million pounds in the year-earlier period, PwC U.K. said in an emailed statement today. Profit per partner rose 4 percent to 705,000 pounds from 679,000 pounds. Consulting revenues rose 9 percent to 478 million pounds, while sales from advising on taxes increased 3 percent to 680 million. Assurance, which includes PwC U.K.’s auditing practice, still accounts for the biggest portion of the firm’s business and grew by 1 percent last year to 969 million pounds.
Pay of PwC partners is back at pre-crisis levels [Guardian]
The pay of partners at PwC, one of the UK's leading advisory firms, has returned to pre-banking crisis levels with the average profit per partner rising to £705,0000 in the current financial year. The 4% rise in the profits for partners in the year to the end of June came during a period when the Competition Commission was investigating the audit profession and the industry faced scrutiny about tax planning services for major companies.
President of Mexico Proposes Tax Overhaul [NYT]
Pressing ahead with plans to reshape Mexico’s economy, President Enrique Peña Nieto proposed on Sunday a sweeping overhaul of his country’s tax system, intended to collect billions of dollars to finance new social programs. In a speech from his residence, Mr. Peña Nieto described the broad outlines of his plan, which would eliminate many loopholes and exemptions that favor the richest Mexicans. He proposed new taxes on capital gains, carbon emissions and soft drinks, and increased income taxes for those making over about $39,000 a year. Still, he said, his proposal was “good news for Mexican families,” because the revenue it would generate would pay for a new universal pension for all Mexicans over 65, a new unemployment insurance scheme and more spending for schools and infrastructure.
Men Dressed as Super Heroes Rescue Kitty From Burning House [Gawker]
Batman and Captain America, since you're wondering.
Joe Kristan reminds us that there's one week to go until the corporate filing deadline. [Tax Update]
From JK "File late and it’s a penalty of $195 for each K-1 on the late return. That can add up in a hurry."
The NFL Is Back: The Tax Consequences Of Sports Gambling [Forbes]
Tony Nitti is "willing to bet [...] that you’ve never taken the time to learn the tax consequences of your gambling activities." His post should help.
Feral pig pinches multiple six-packs of beer and runs riot at Pilbara camp sites [ABC]
It is believed the animal has drunk up to 18 cans of beer at the DeGrey River rest area, east of Port Hedland, over the past few days. Fionna Findley from Main Roads says the animal has caused a nuisance, ransacking bin bags left in the area by clean-up crews. "They bundled up the rubbish in liners and then they attend to other rest areas nearby, and when they returned it was all ripped apart," Ms Findley said. "And when they were talking to some of the road users that were parked over for the night, I think they were camping actually, they said the pig stole their beers, drank them and then afterwards proceeded to tear apart the bin liners. [...] "It was last seen near the river itself, under a tree," Ms Findley said. "I think it's nursing its head today."
Footnotes: Is the Tax Avoidance Party About to End?; FAF Far Past Due Date; The Path to Partner | 09.06.13
Moody, Famiglietti & Andronico is looking for audit managers in Tewksbury, Mass. [GCJ]
Plan at G-20 Is to Tighten Global Rules on Taxes [NYT]
Creating a "Chainsaw" List of Excel Worksheet Functions [AWEB]Schwidetzky: The 'John Edwards S Corp Tax Shelter': Is the IRS Winning the Battles But Losing the War? [TaxProf] The IRS is losing the S corporation comp war? [Tax Update] Man finds dead snake in 18-pack of Bud Light [NYDN] The Financial Accounting Foundation Has Outlived Its Usefulness (As if it Ever Was) [Accounting Onion] What Young Accountants Want to Know about the Path to Partner [AWEB] This is the weirdest quarterly earnings report ever filed ”Look at our track record over the past 20 years—no mental degradation has occurred!” [Quartz] Guy Tattoos Random Stranger's Face on His Ass for a Really Dumb Reason [Gawker]
Apparently the Life at Deloitte Twitter account has been busy tweeting other people's links to the Deloitte study we wrote about earlier this week, but of course no Going Concern love. We're going to assume this is due to our unruly comment section and not at all a reflection on our journalistic integrity or total lack thereof.
We especially thought it was fascinating that Life at Deloitte chose to call attention to the following article from Philly.com:
One black woman who was surveyed said she straightened her hair for work and wore weaves instead of her natural hair because she felt it was more acceptable.
One gay respondent said he wouldn’t wear certain outfits to work because he feared it was “too gay.”
More than half of the respondents admitted to hiding their affiliation; behaviors associated with their identity, culture, or group. For example, one Asian respondent said, “I try to stay away from work that is stereotypical of Asian[s], (i.e. math).”
The article does NOT explain which "certain outfits" are "too gay" so I'm just going to leave that to you all to imaginate.
Now, maybe LaD decided this take was better than our very literal interpretation of the press release which highlighted the straight white guys and not the minorities in its title (so racist, man, even the press release is anti-inclusion) even though the study itself found 94 percent of blacks, 91 percent women of color, 91 percent LGB (what, no T? How non-inclusive) and 80 percent of women respondents admitted to "covering" in the workplace.
If we're talking about diversity and inclusion, wouldn't it be slightly more appropriate to focus on the groups that do the most covering and not the straight white guys? Just sayin.
It's an extraordinarily unproductive day here in Denver so Open Items is more welcome than usual this week.
If you're new to this new happy fun time hour, this is your chance to discuss whatever you like. Did we miss any stories this week? Any tax folks got issues with 9 days until the corporate filing deadline? Are you student anxious about recruiting season? Are you a recruiter dreading recruiting season? Discuss it here.
Have a great rest of the day and thanks for your continued support of Going Concern.
Accounting News Roundup: Skipping Business School; Tax Messi Gets Cleaned Up; Non-CPAs Help CPAs Make Money | 09.06.13
Payrolls in U.S. Rose Less Than Forecast; Jobless 7.3% [Bloomberg]
The gain of 169,000 workers last month followed a revised 104,000 rise in July that was smaller than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 96 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an August increase of 180,000. Unemployment dropped to 7.3 percent, the lowest since December 2008.
Timing of Profits Spurs Debate on Accounting in IRS Code [Bloomberg]
Two approaches to corporate accounting are squaring off in Congress’s plans to change the Internal Revenue Code, and the outcome may have a big impact on some types of businesses, Bloomberg BNA reported. Farms and professional services businesses such as engineering and accounting firms are pushing for greater use of the cash method of accounting, which counts income when it is actually received and expenses when they are actually paid. Accrual accounting, by contrast, counts income when an order is made and an expense when goods are received. Congress is weighing the biggest changes to the tax code since 1986, looking to cut rates, eliminate deductions and simplify the rules. Lobbyists have been pushing to save breaks for everything from retirement savings to credit unions, and representatives from industries from engineering to steel have been weighing in. The House Ways and Means Committee proposed new rules in March for when businesses can use cash accounting. After a plan to expand its use and impose new limits on which companies can use this method, the committee signaled more adjustments may be on the way when a bill is introduced in coming weeks.
Starting a Company? Skip B-School [WSJ]
A number of programs, from General Assembly in New York to Starter School in Chicago, have cropped up recently to cater to people seeking to launch their own companies or join fledgling ones. Offerings are à la carte and the mission is stripped down. The idea, founders say, is to give students just enough instruction in everything from coding to marketing and operations to get an idea off the ground. Increasingly, these programs are attracting college graduates who might otherwise attend business school to master the art of creating businesses or polishing investor pitches. Although these schools make up a sliver of the business-education market, for certain students they may be emerging as a faster, cheaper rival to the two-year M.B.A.
IRS watchdog: Agency should take second look at problematic returns [The Hill]
A new watchdog report released Thursday found that though IRS examiners may identify problems with one return during an audit, they fail to follow up and examine other returns by the same taxpayer to see if that issue repeated itself and more taxes could be recouped. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration looked at a sample of 102 audits conducted by the IRS in which taxpayers had understated their tax bill by at least $4,000. The IG then looked at returns filed in other years by those same taxpayers, and found similar problems in 43 of them.
The Story of Tax Analysts [Tax Analysts]
Yeah, those people who sued the IRS have been doing this awhile.
Footballer Messi Scores Hat Trick, Clears Tax Debt As Season Rolls [Forbes]
5 million euros was all it took.
CPA Firm Owners Make A Lot Of Money [AWEB]
FYI: "[I]t really bugs me when CPA firm partners (client service partners NOT the managing partner) belittle or ignore the value of the managing partner, the firm administrator, administrative professionals and other non-certified, functional area leaders. The management/leadership team (MP and the non-CPA professionals that actually manage the operations, sales, marketing, human resources, technology and administration of the firm), if they are doing a good job, make all the partners a lot of money."
Teens Check Out 'Kind of Attractive Girl,' Realize She's Being Kidnapped [Gawker]
"It's me and another guy, so we're checking out the girl in the backseat because, we're like, 'OK, she's kind of attractive,'" Arias said. "And then, all of the sudden, you know, the guy is turned back, looking at us."
Footnotes: Nice Bosses Can Be Bad; An EY Partner's Workout Habits; Why BDO's Football Team Sucks | 09.05.13
Man Pays Tax Bill With Thousands Of Single Dollar Bills To Protest 'Stolen' Money [Forbes]
Here's a nice story about a film production accountant who became a screenwriter. [TW]
Your nice boss may be killing your career. [HBR]
A Closing Window for Some Same-Sex Couples to File 2012 Tax Returns [TaxVox]
Grover Norquist has run out of things to say about taxes. Temporarily, at least. [@GroverNorquist]
Amazing fact: if all the time spent shaving was employed properly we could build 47 Empire State buildings a month.Or something like that.
— Grover Norquist (@GroverNorquist) September 5, 2013
More than you ever wanted to know about an EY's partner's workout and nutritional habits. [Crain's]
Man Steals Date's Cellphone for Refusing to Go Halfsies on Bill [Gawker]
Found this gem on Reddit:
I have a recruiters reception coming up soon where I will meet many recruiters from various firms.
I'm only a student so my accounting knowledge is limited to textbook material.
What type of questions do you ask?
Although we've covered this before (repeatedly, at that), it is that time of year so might as well touch on this all important subject once again for all you fresh-faced newbies out there who can barely hold a conversation.
First -- and most important -- throw that "textbook material" right out the door. No recruiter gives a shit which ASC is your favorite and you're just going to come off like some sick robotic brown-noser if you're spouting off the crap you just learned in accounting class at a recruiting event.
DO: Have an opinion on current accounting events just in case but use it only if you are prompted. Chances are the recruiters will want to talk about anything BUT accounting.
DON'T: Regurgitate everything you just learned in intermediate accounting. No one cares.
Second, two things are always appropriate to discuss at any professional event: sports and the weather. Several things are NEVER appropriate: politics, money, controversial topics, money, the annoying things your drunk roommate does, money... you get the idea.
DO: Ask the recruiters how they spent their summer.
DON'T: Open your conversation with "so, how much money will I make at your firm?" or bring up hot button topics like, say, bombing the crap out of Syria.
Third, remember that your job here is to show that you're going to be a great guy or gal to work with. Since no one wants to work with a robot and/or know-it-all jackhole, the key is to be personable, interesting and somewhat intelligent without scaring people off.
DO: Be genuine. Practice making small talk with strangers if you're really bad at shooting the breeze.
DON'T: Be a suck-up. While you should be able to say why you'd like to work at their firm (even if it's a BS answer like "I appreciate the firm's commitment to diversity and inclusion"), you don't want to overdo it by blowing a bunch of fake smoke up the recruiters' asses.
Fourth, while you're being genuine, you don't want to be too genuine. As Braddock once pointed out, just because "99.99997% of Beta Alpha Psi members join the society because it looks good on a résumé," don't actually admit that to recruiters.
DO: Be real.
DON'T: Be so real you freak people out.
Lastly, if you run out of things to talk about, remember that everyone loves to talk about themselves. So you can always ask the recruiter about themselves and their experience within the firm. Remember though, while I like to say there are no stupid questions, only stupid people, that doesn't quite apply here. Asking stupid questions that could easily be answered by 3 minutes of Googling for the sake of asking questions is a waste of everyone's time.
As always, the peanut gallery is encouraged to drop their wisdom in the comment section.
“Many companies either have operations across multiple countries or interact with companies outside of their home country,” says Shannon. “Given this interaction, it’s very important to have consistency and standards to compare professionals to best contribute to the success of the business. The CGMA ensures that there is a standard of excellence and quality in what we do, no matter the type of business or the country in which we are working.” BARF. If you can comprehend that last paragraph then, by all means, translate this buzzgarble for us in the comments. Maybe what you really need is to find some living, breathing CGMAs to mix it up with so you can educate yourselves on its value because it appears no one knows what the hell it's for, not even AICPA Leadership Academy grads: That’s the case [i.e. undecided] with Heather Zundel, CPA, director of Internal Audit for Presbyterian Healthcare Services (PHS) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. [...] “I am unclear on exactly how this designation will help in my role at PHS, but I think that it may be a lack of education on my part,” she says. I have news for you Heather in Albuquerque, your lack of education is not hurting you at all. You will be no more clear on how the CGMA will help your role at PHS after reading every last press release put out by the AICPA spin machine on the subject. Then there's this: “I know that I tested some very appealing tools that the AICPA was considering adding as an incentive to the CMGA, so I admit that I need to learn more.” Greg warned us about the possibility of the turd going cold exactly one year ago today. So maybe this "open an account with us, get a free toaster" is a sign the CGMA is frozen solid. [AICPA]
In this week’s episode of Accounting Career Conundrums, a reader ponders leaving her job at a large firm with less than a year of experience. This inquiry boils down to a simple question: How soon is too soon? Alas, Google does not have the answer to this question, so I will take it on.
As a side note, if you search “how soon is too soon” Google promptly provides answers to the burning questions related to your personal lives, such as how soon is to soon to: have sex, say I love you, move in, and take a pregnancy test. But I digress. As always, send us your short and sweet career inquiries to email@example.com. On to this reader’s question:I graduated last year and I did what I was supposed to do - I got a job at a large firm. I didn't expect to like it, but I didn't think it would be this terrible. I have realized I have absolutely no desire to be promoted to do even more work I dislike. I'm sure most people will tell me to suck it up and get through 2 years, but I don't even want the type of career that comes from working at a large firm - I'd much rather have a regular old small company accounting job that lets me leave right at 5 or even better - just work part time. I plan on staying at home when I have kids anyways. Money is not really an issue - I'm fortunate to have a husband who makes considerably more than me and he actually likes what he does. And he would prefer I take a pay cut if it means I could be at home more and not hating my job. Its difficult to get up everyday when I don't care about the type of career this job could get me, so basically I'm wondering, is it really dumb to leave my first job after less than a year? What kind of job could a CPA with less than a year's work experience even get? I hate to break it you but this is not the first time I have heard this story. (And I hate to break it to myself that I am sure it won’t be the last.) Why, oh why, do the most brilliant accounting majors knowingly enter into positions they know will suck? Haven’t y’all heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? If you predict something will suck, the moment you walk through that door your brain will collect evidence to prove you are right: The training sucked. The client and my supervisors are dicks. The computer software is slooooooooow. Blah, blah, blah. Wah, wah, wah. Rather than looking to what type of job a CPA can get with one year of experience, I invite you to look inside and figure out how you are getting in your own way of job (and, for that matter, overall life) satisfaction. How soon before you start listening to that inner voice that predicted you would not like this job? How soon before you enjoy waking up in the morning? How soon until you start living the life you want instead of the one you think others have in mind for you? And, believe me, I get where you are coming from. People thought I was cray, cray when I turned down an offer for a fulltime job at a Big 4 firm. But after a summer internship in audit, I knew that job would suck the life out of me and I said no thank you very much (but the trip to Disneyworld was fun!). That was the right move for me, and to do it I had to put aside my fears about what others would think about me. In other words, I would NOT recommend that you stick it out. If you choose to stay and be miserable, then I would think you are dumb. Now I ain’t saying you a golddigger, but you ain’t messing with no broke husband. If you don’t need the terrible job for the money, what stands in the way of you going out to get the job you already see for yourself -- “a regular old small company accounting job that lets me leave right at 5 or even better -- just work [on a] part time [basis]?” I suspect the answer is you and the shoulds. Addressing the shoulds, which are likely those fears of what people will say about a CPA who does not work at a large firm for at least two years, can be a scary prospect but what sounds scarier is leading a miserable life. As the sage philosopher Drake once said, “YOLO.” How soon until you start living the life you want?
- Drive and energy
- High initiative and personal responsibility
- Internal locus of control
- Tolerance of ambiguity
- Low fear of failure
- Moderate risk taking
- Long-term involvement
- Money as a measure not merely an end
- Use of feedback
- Continuous pragmatic problem solving
- Use of resources
- Self-imposed standards
- Clear goal setting
- Get Passionate
- Be Bothered By Efficiency
- Take on More Risk
- Brainstorm More
- Don’t Limit Your Dreams
- Instead of “Get Passionate” it’s “I love doing this so much I’d do it for free” or “Call me crazy, but I am really into [this].”
- Instead of “Be Bothered By Efficiency” it’s “That sucks. I can do that better.”
- Instead of “Take on More Risk” it’s “I ain’t skerd. I ain’t stupid neither, but I ain’t skerd!”
- Instead of “Brainstorm More” it’s “I have ideas for DAYS.”
- Instead of “Don’t Limit Your Dreams” it’s “Go big or go home.”
Accounting News Roundup: Insulting New York's Wealthy; State Taxes and Migration; No Love for OCI | 09.05.13
IRS Rule Leads Restaurants to Rethink Automatic Tips [WSJ]
An updated tax rule is causing restaurants to rethink the practice of adding automatic tips to the tabs of large parties. Starting in January, the Internal Revenue Service will begin classifying those automatic gratuities as service charges—which it treats as regular wages, subject to payroll tax withholding—instead of tips, which restaurants leave up to the employees to report as income. The change would mean more paperwork and added costs for the restaurants—and a potential financial hit for waiters and waitresses who live on their tips but don't always report them fully.
Wealthy New Yorkers Call De Blasio’s Tax Plan Offensive [Bloomberg]
“It shows lack of sensitivity to the city’s biggest revenue providers and job creators,” said Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, a network of 200 chief executive officers, including co-Chairman Laurence Fink of BlackRock Inc. (BLK), the world’s biggest money manager. Days before next week’s primary election, de Blasio, 52, has seized the lead decrying economic inequality. After 20 years of Republican and independent mayoral rule during which crime rates and welfare rolls plummeted and parks, stadiums, shopping, tourism and luxury apartments and office towers rose up, de Blasio speaks of a “Tale of Two Cities,” where almost half of New York residents are poor or struggling. De Blasio’s new frontrunner status has renewed attention to his tax-the-rich idea, with opponents saying the plan hinges on unlikely support from the state legislature. Finance executives say it may hurt the local economy and drive out the wealthy, who already pay a disproportionate share of income levies.
Back To School: Tax Breaks For Cyclists And Other Commuters [Forbes]
Get on your bike and ride.
Income Migration: What Does It Really Mean for States? [Tax Analysts/Cara Griffith]
The decision of where to locate is not done in a vacuum. It is the result of many factors, income tax burden being only one of those factors. Employment, family connections, and quality of public services (in particular education and health care) play roles as well. Migration solely because of tax policy is uncommon and likely restricted to the very rich. But this does not excuse bad tax policy. Good state tax policy dictates a stable system with a broad base and low rates. High income tax rates can cause a small, but wealthy portion of the population to leave and can directly affect small businesses. We have the federal government to worry about income redistribution and business regulation. States should focus on tax systems that will create competitive business climates.
Narrow Net-Income Reporting Can Misguide Investors: Study [CFO]
[P]ublicly held companies typically give the non-net-income portions of comprehensive income much less prominence than earnings. The "key focus for measuring financial performance remains with net income," according to a new report by the Georgia Tech Financial Analysis Lab. Net income, however, excludes what's known as "other comprehensive income" (OCI): gains or losses stemming from foreign currency conversion; cash-flow hedges; securities that are available for sale; and pensions and other post-retirement benefits. And that can confuse investors, according to the study, which looks at the elements of OCI for the S&P 100 companies from 2010 to 2012 . "Because net income excludes gains and losses that are often quite material, evaluations of financial performance based on net income may be misguided," its authors state.
Detroit woman's good deed rewarded with $5,300 tax bill. Diligent, comprehensive record keeping saves the day [DMWT]
Good news out of Detroit?
Man Buys Promoted Tweet to Complain About British Airways [Mashable]
Are Some Americans Paying Federal Income Tax They Don’t Owe? [TaxVox]
Opposition Mounts to Lease Accounting Changes [AT]
Idaho's Tax Commission is trying to get sales taxes out of a 12-year-old fruit stand. [ISJ]
The AICPA continues the CGMA blitz. [AICPA]
Check out this sweet profile of my pal and Maryland Association of CPAs Chair Byron Patrick. [CPA Practice Advisor]
Exclusive: JPMorgan subject of obstruction probe in energy case [Reuters]
Jonathan Weil has a funny today: "There's an amusing line in this notice yesterday by the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The regulators told banks they should "not rely on the provision of extraordinary support by the United States or any other government" when drafting their so-called living wills. Those are the documents that describe how they could be dismantled if necessary in a crisis. In other words, when writing up the plans that assume they will die, they're not allowed to assume that they won't. Go figure." [Bloomberg]
Founder of $3 billion hedge fund busted in prostitution sting, it is unclear how many investors will *cough* pull out. [CNBC]
Just FYI, you little money-grubbing monkeys, there are jobs out there that pay better than yours after just two years of college. Oh the humanity! [CNN Money]
Diversity, as you all know, is critical to the success of any major company's efforts to appear as though they care about something other than making money.
You might hear something like, "We celebrate diversity at our firm because it's the right thing to do, yada yada yada, but it's also good for business."
Okay, so it's still about money.
Anyway, accounting fims have had lots of success making inclusion an integral part of their "we care about stuff" messaging; so much so that they get recognized for their efforts, chat with influential people, and even train people how to be more inclusive-y.
Yes, you might remember back in March when we were introduced to Deloitte University's Leadership Center for Inclusion. Here's what that was all about:"One of the primary goals of the Leadership Center for Inclusion is to fundamentally redefine what inclusion looks like in the workplace," said Smith. "This is not just about programs or initiatives; it is the leadership issue of our time." 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. Great. Wonderful. With that in mind, here's what DU has in store for us today:
A new study from the Deloitte University Leadership Center for Inclusion and law professor Kenji Yoshino indicates widespread instances of "covering," the process by which individuals downplay their differences relative to mainstream perceptions, in ways costly to their productivity and sense of self at work. Three out of four (75 percent) research participants state that they have covered their identity; and, surprisingly, half (50 percent) of straight white male respondents report hiding their authentic selves on the job.
"Covering" is a wonderful euphemism, isn't it?
What exactly are they covering? Here's a hit list:
- Appearance: avoiding aspects of self-presentation -- including grooming, attire, and mannerisms -- identified with their group
- Affiliation: avoiding behaviors identified with their group
- Advocacy: avoiding engagement in activities on behalf of their group
- Association: avoiding contact with individuals in their group
Straight white males are "covering" these things? How, exactly? By not listening to O.A.R. at work while wearing a wrinkled blue button-up shirt and going to lunch with any of their straight white male co-workers?
The press release goes on to explain that the "groups that are historically under-represented are "blacks (94 percent), women of color (91 percent) LGB (91percent) and women (80 percent)" was expected but the straight white guys thing was not.
Okay, fine. But if this study tells us anything, it's that nearly all work environments have managed to get a large portion of their people to avoid embracing the things that make them different from everyone else. What does that leave us? I guess it would result in a bunch of business casual clad drones who either talk shop or make idle chit chat throughout the day, conforming to whatever the organization has in mind for its ideal employee. In other words, a typical accounting firm.
I'm no expert, but that seems like the EXACT OPPOSITE of what you'd want.
Of course one could look at this way -- if you (yes, you) aren't comfortable being authentic at work, and you (yes, you) aren't comfortable being authentic at work either, and I'm not comforable being authentic at work, then we're all being inauthentic together! And that's something, I guess.
This Way to CPA has stooped to a new low, insulting children. Sure the little snot-nosed brats aren't very smart but do we really need to say that out loud?
We all know the youth of America is pretty doomed as is but I'm fairly sure little kids saying they want to be CPAs when they grow up is one of the signs of the Apocalypse.
"And I saw another mighty intern come down from heaven, clothed with a wrinkled blue shirt: and a smart haircut was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of loafers: And he had in his hand a Financial Accounting book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven audit committee members uttered their voices. And when the seven audit committee members had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven audit committee members uttered, and audit them not."
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Accounting News Roundup: Brits Going After Olympus; FASB Panel Pushes Back on Lease Proposal; Dress (like the Boss) for Success | 09.04.13
British fraud agency to prosecute Olympus over accounting scandal [Reuters]
Britain's fraud agency will prosecute Olympus Corp (7733.T) and its British unit Gyrus for falsifying accounts, the Japanese medical equipment maker said on Wednesday, dragging a $1.7 billion accounting scandal back into the spotlight after it erupted nearly two years ago. Olympus plunged into the red and its share price tanked after details of massive hidden losses were discovered late in 2011, but it has since swung back into profit and Sony Corp (6758.T) paid 50 billion yen ($500 million) to become its biggest shareholder this year.
Deloitte kicks off "Team USA Road Show" of Olympic athletes [AT]
"The 'Team USA Road Show' demonstrates Deloitte's focus on strengths-based leadership and the high performance culture many students today seek," said Patty Pogemiller, director of Deloitte Services and talent acquisition leader, in a statement. "Olympians and Paralympians are exceptional talents who stretch themselves, thrive as leaders and turn passion into reality. These qualities make them strong ambassadors of our culture and ideal motivators for students to ignite their own careers."
FASB Panel Says Ditch Lease Accounting Proposal [CW]
FASB's Investor Advisory Committee met with FASB last week to explain their concerns over the complexity of FASB's pending proposal to require new accounting for lease contracts that would bring all leased assets and their related liabilities on to corporate balance sheets. IAC told FASB the current proposal would produce information that would not necessarily be all that helpful or important to users of financial statements. “Overall, the idea that liabilities related to leases is something that would be helpful to investors -- it's definitely the right idea to get more transparency on that,” said David Trainer, CEO of New Constructs and a member of the IAC. “However, I think the complexities of the underlying activity make it almost impossible to create a one-size-fits-all solution that we can just put on the balance sheet. The most decision-useful information is to enhance disclosure to let analysts who, given their multiple potential interpretations, can do with it what they wish.”
Could dressing like the boss lead to a promotion? [Telegraph]
More than half of employees said they were influenced by what their managers wore to work, while 61 per cent said dressing like their colleagues created a better and more productive work atmosphere. And managers are not immune to the flattery of workers copying their clothing and style choices, with 68 per cent admitting staff with a similar look to them gained brownie points and were more on their radar.
Gen Y managers perceived as entitled, need polish [CNBC]
Generation Y managers are widely perceived as entitled, and score significantly lower as hard-working team players in newly released research from EY, the global firm that includes Ernst & Young LLP. That's especially striking since members of Gen Y, or the millennial generation, which EY defines as people aged 18 to 32, are moving into management at a rapid pace. Some 87 percent of Gen Y managers in the EY survey took on a new management role, between 2008 and 2013, compared with 38 percent of Gen X managers and just 19 percent of those aging baby boomer managers. Gen Y workers, including managers, now make up about a third of the U.S. workforce, according to Karyn Twaronite, EY's Americas inclusiveness officer. And at EY itself, which hires thousands of young recruits every year, Twaronite says the workforce is almost two-thirds Gen Y.
Baker Tilly completes RSM Tenon acquisition [Accountancy Age]
Baker Tilly has completed the acquisition of RSM Tenon's trading operations. The acquired firm will continue to trade under its own name "for a short period of time" until it operates under the single Baker Tilly brand. The jobs and employment rights of RSM Tenon's 2,300 partners and staff, across its 35 offices, wil be unaffected.
Man wears sign apologizing for threatening police [WKYC]
Richard Dameron, 58, threatened police during 911 calls and then skipped out on his punishment. Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Pinkey Carr ordered him to hold a sign this week outside of the Second District police station in Cleveland. The sign reads, in part: "I was being an idiot and it will never happen again." He told Carr he couldn't show up to his last court appearance because he didn't have a ride.
Gartner needs Senior Reporting Analyst in Stamford, CT. [GCJ]
The former Burberry accountant who bilked the fashion house to fund a BMW X5 -- among other things -- has been ordered to pay back £113,658.17 between Burberry and his other former employer, Hackett. That $0.17 is going to be a pain. [Vogue]
S&P calls U.S. lawsuit retaliation for stripping 'AAA' rating [Reuters]
For my tax-hating conservative friends, here are the 10 states with the highest gasoline taxes. [ABC]
Inquiring minds want to know: how do you pass the time when you're waiting for your CPA exam score? [NJSCPA Exam Cram]
"When the partner says something without realizing its slightly inappropriate double meaning..." Really, aren't we all 12 year old boys on the inside? [HSWAFM]
Your office for-money fantasy football league is (pretty much) legal, kinda. [Above the Law]
Republicans Are Confused About Their Leverage in the Debt Debate [Tax Analysts]
According to Francine McKenna, broker-dealer audits are still broken. [re: The Auditors]
The SEC is warming up to the idea of social media as a viable way to deliver material information to investors but it's going to be awhile before your favorite public companies are tweeting forward-looking statements. [CFO.com]
Sacred Heart to launch master’s program in accounting Famous last words:The demand for qualified accounting graduates is at an all-time high, and the AICPA survey indicates that nearly 90 percent of public accounting firms estimate that they will maintain or increase the number of graduates hired in the future. All signs indicate that this is the right time to add a master’s in accounting program.” [Fairfield Sun]
Welcome to a special Tuesday after Labor Day edition of To Whom It May Going Concern, our infrequent feature of the best (read: worst) and worst (read: best!) tips and feedback we get from readers. Have a tip or feedback for us? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop something in the tips box. All messages on are on the record unless stated otherwise.
It's the first day back after a long holiday weekend which is nearly as eventful as the first day before a long holiday weekend, so it dawned on us a little cheap entertainment may be in order. Luckily, we were handed the feedback from this year's GC Reader Survey this afternoon and it does just the trick.
We got plenty of people saying nice things like "love it" or the tepid "[It's] occasionally entertaining," or "it's the tits" and we appreciate those, but we think you'll enjoy these more interesting comments.
Let's kick things off with someone who obviously put a lot of thought into their response:
At the risk of pissing off firms even more you have to stop being so sterile and provide more detail wherever possible. so many of the articles that would be otherwise compelling where people are looking for name, rank and serial number read like the home page for AOL which is wickedly lame in trying to get your curiousity piqued to click on the story, "the website this intern visited that changed her life at work" and then there's very little in terms of detail. There's reasons for not disclosing certain information which is totally understandable but to say you heard that one firm is firing a partner because of improprieties and leave it at that is not worthy of reading - it happens all the time. The only time you get into detail is when something is already in the public domain and newswires. You need to be cutting edge where people read your articles, forward them and mention - you're not going to believe this...You don't want your website to be as boring as the poor accountants that read it... better investigative reporting, more cutting edge news, pick it up a notch.
We got one personnel suggestion:
Get rid of Caleb. He's a tool.
As well as content ideas:
Needs a forum
Too many adds. When I get ot home screen an immediately have a pop up without a "X-out" option... that is bullshit. Won't be returning to the website if that is the case going forward.
Here's some community management advice:
Please encourage the posting of substantive comments and discourage (to the extent possible) the disruptive and crude, pointless remarks. Some of the threads have really valuable input, while most are destroyed by frustrated/angry people who don't seem to like their lives.
There are potential stalkers:
Kudos to Adrienne for her fiery articles and dry humor...love it! Someday, when I get my CPA license, I'd love to go to the Maryland CPA day and meet her in person.
And honest expressions of regret:
I only read your articles with fun sounding titles/images because I am immature like that. Thanks for being both informative and sympathetic towards people who dislike their careers.
A nonsensical insult:
Collin is kinda weird. Hard to imagine him auditing anything other than his shoes....
An accurate critique:
I think Adrienne Gonzalez is RUDE! (and uses vulgar speech)
Someone is outright confused:
Often, I can't even tell what the topic of an article or discussion is.
And of course more than a few people don't like our attitude:
Snark is good but sometimes you're sacrificing important information just to achieve cheap snarkiness.
Stop being so bitter! It's depressing
[Y]our jaded mentality toward the profession is often over the top and just comes off as annoying.
If you didn't get the chance to leave feedback in our survey, you can do it below or email us.
Thanks for your continued support of Going Concern.
Remember this chart from last month?
— Rick Telberg (@CPA_Trendlines) August 15, 2013
Yep, the one where EY!'s deficient audits blast off like rockets into Syria. It's the kind of info that doesn't make any of the new EY! glossy marketing materials, but could be unsettling for anyone concerned about audit quality (whatever that means).
HOWEVAH! We're sure marketing teams at the Black and Yellow knew about IPO market share in 2013 well before Audit Analytics tweeted about it:
Auditor market share for 142 IPOs in 2013: EY (35%), PwC (24%), DT (13%), KPMG (10%), GT (5%), BDO (5%), other (8%).
— Audit Analytics (@AuditAnalytics) September 3, 2013
In case the most current deficiency rates had escaped you, here they are again:
- Deloitte 25%
- KPMG 34%
- PwC 39%
- EY 48%
Reactions? Certainly none of surprise.
Accounting News Roundup: Grant Thornton's Latest Acquisition; IRS Probes Will Drag On; Taking a Professional Sabbatical | 09.03.13
McKinsey & Co. Isn’t All Roses in a New Book [DealBook]
It often goes unmentioned, but McKinsey has indeed offered some of the worst advice in the annals of business. Enron? Check. Time Warner’s merger with AOL? Check. General Motors’s poor strategy against the Japanese automakers? Check. It told AT&T in 1980 that it expected the market for cellphones in the United States in 2000 would amount to only 900,000 subscribers. It turned out to be 109 million. The list goes on.
Grant Thornton Acquires MarketSphere's Oracle Solutions Business Unit [GT]
Looming fiscal fights threaten IRS probes [The Hill]
Republicans on Capitol Hill are acknowledging that the fall’s looming fiscal fights could peel attention away from their investigation into the IRS’s singling out of conservative groups. [...] “The committee has a wide span of issues on its plate, but we can walk and chew gum at the same time,” Sarah Swinehart, a spokeswoman for House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), told The Hill. “These investigations take a long time, and we’re under no illusion that this will be over quickly.”
You're Probably Wrong About Millennials [HBR]
One of those misconceptions is that millennials are "entitled," a word that has become synonymous with Gen Y in the management ranks. "I believe that they expect many things to come easy before the work has been put in," says Dean Lawyer, Regional Director of Business Sales for T-Mobile. Contrary to what managers say, Gen Y's are work horses and have a persistent hunger to discover new experiences, take advantage of opportunities and push the boundaries.
How to Plan a Sabbatical-Style Career Break [Lifehacker]
Just what you need after a long holiday weekend.
Rialto Unified accountant stuffed money in her bra [San Bernadino Sun]
Judith Oakes, 48, resigned from her job as accountant for the school district’s Nutrition Services Department the day after her Aug. 8 arrest on suspicion of grand theft, embezzlement and burglary. Police allege that Oakes had been stealing money from the district since June, possibly longer. [...] Derek Harris, the school district’s risk manager, called police on Aug. 7 after Oakes’ supervisor, Cindi Stone, told him she saw Oakes on video surveillance on at least two occasions concealing large amounts of cash in her bra, according to the affidavit, filed Wednesday in San Bernardino Superior Court. Thousands of dollars in student lunch money passed through Oakes’ hands daily as it was collected from district schools and sent to her to inventory and deposit into the district’s bank account. Daily bank deposit slips dating back to June, obtained in the initial stages of the police investigation, noted a discrepancy of $2,000, according to the affidavit.