• Accounting News Roundup: Deloitte Legal, EY Boomerangs and Praying for the Pass-Through Deduction | 01.10.18

    By | January 10, 2018

    Deloitte muscles in on legal services in UK [FT]
    Oh, looky what we have here, another Big 4 firm splashing its way into some press about legal services. Deloitte is “applying for an alternative business structure licence” which allows non-law firms in the U.K. to offer legal services. And wouldn’t you know it, Matt Ellis, the managing partner for tax and legal, admits that this kinda sorta means that they’re wandering onto law firms’ turf:

    “We’re planning to use our technology and advisory skills to transform legal services and help address many of the challenges lawyers . . . are facing in today’s increasingly complex legal environment,” said Mr Ellis.

    Although he added that Deloitte was not seeking to replicate a traditional law firm, he acknowledged that its legal offering “may threaten some players” that rely on work outsourced by corporate counsel.

    Isn’t this fun? I’m really hoping for Deloitte to launch a law firm in the U.S. this year to keep up PwC and thereby completely contradicting Cathy Engelbert’s comments from only 3 years ago.

    EY adds tax advisory firm serving real estate and high net worth individuals [EY]
    Imagine working at a Big 4 firm, developing a great reputation and respect among clients and then going off to start your own wildly successful firm. Then imagine selling your wildly successful business to your former Big 4 firm. That seems to be the gist of EY buying San Diego-based RPR Partners.

    Robert P. Regnery and Kenneth R. Van Damme II, both previous EY professionals, are returning to the firm after having built their independent tax advisory practice. This new team significantly expands EY’s resources of private client service and real estate professionals.

    This has to best Big 4 boomerang experience you can hope for. And I’m sure the acquisition of the firm has more to it than just wanting a guy named Van Damme back on your team.

    Accountants hit by phase-outs under new tax law [AT]
    Although it’s been reported over and over, it seems that some accountants still aren’t over the fact that they’ll phase out of the 20 percent pass-through deduction that was part of the new tax law. While some service businesses might be able to find loopholes to qualify for the deduction beyond the phase-out limit, it’s doubtful that accountants will be so lucky. Dean Zerbe, former tax counsel for the Senate Finance Committee said, “They can get out their prayer rug. They’re not going to be qualifying. That’s clear.”

    FTB v. Hyatt: Get Your Popcorn Ready [BNA]
    If you enjoy a decades-long tax dispute look no further than Gilbert P. Hyatt and the California Franchise Tax Board. “What began as a routine audit by California became over the last quarter-century a law school case study for the ages.”

    Is Bitcoin a Scam? [FraudBytes]
    South Carolina Professor Aaron Zimbelman eliminates other possibilities to conclude that “the way in which individuals are most likely to profit from bitcoin has many of the hallmarks of a scam.”

    Previously, on Going Concern…

    In Open Items, Big 4 or bust?

    From the archives: Here’s Some Shit You’ll Hear Accountants Say During Busy Season

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