June 18, 2018

Accounting News Roundup: Employee Turnover and Tax Reform Delays | 05.18.17

accounting-news-robert-half-turnover

Employee turnover

A recent Robert Half survey found that 42% of workers are considering quitting their jobs in the next year. The number is even higher among people aged 18-34, with 68% saying they’re likely to change jobs in the next twelve months.

What’s most interesting, though, is management’s understanding — or lack thereof — of why people want to leave. The survey found that the number one reason CFOs believe people will leave was “Limited opportunities for career growth or advancement” with 27% of them citing it. Only 14% of workers chose that reason. Not surprisingly, workers said “Inadequate salary and benefits,” was the main reason, with 39% of them choosing that as the cause for people wanting to leave. What’s even more telling is that 25% of workers said “Unhappiness with management” as a reason for turnover, while only 13% of CFOs cited it.

I wonder if CFOs (or executives in general) look at results like this and then just grumble, “People focus on the wrong things,” when it seems that they’re the ones who lack the awareness to understand why they misunderstand their own people. For whatever reason, these CFOs assume most people are like them. That is, they want a path forward to continue advancing until they reach some professional summit. What’s obvious is that most people aren’t like them.

Most people don’t necessarily want to be in charge or feel the need to be consistently moving up in the world. They simply want to be compensated well, and they want management to listen to their concerns. And management doesn’t appear to understand that.

How’s tax reform coming along?

Not well! Back in February Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said they wanted to have something done by August, and then he kinda backed off on that timeline last month. And now we’re here:

“I think people are beginning to settle in and come to the realization that this is going to be a long ride,” said Ken Spain, a former National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman who lobbies for businesses on tax issues. “The hope was to get something done by the end of 2017, but this could slip to 2018.”

Members of Congress have quietly started to modulate their ambitions. Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, said on Tuesday that passing tax cuts “this Congress” was more likely than revamping the tax code this year. Representative Kevin Brady, Republican of Texas and the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, who still hopes to get something passed in 2017, has stopped publicly setting monthly goals.

Of course, 2018 is a mid-term election year and, ugh.

Elsewhere in tax reform fantasy: Trump Tax Plan, if It Emerges Intact, Would Dull Munis’ Allure

Accountants behaving badly

I’m always fascinated by the timeline of embezzlement schemes, especially those when the perpetrator doesn’t waste any time. Here’s a story out of New Orleans, La. about Angie Cambre, who has been accused of stealing $940,336 in less than five years from a printing company.

Cambre was hired in August 2011 by the company, which specializes in printing fliers, manuals and other materials geared toward the automotive industry.

Between November 2011 and June 2016, Cambre embezzled the money via a series of about 3,300 wire transfers made without the company’s knowledge or authorization, according to court documents.

Through the transactions, Cambre moved payments from company bank accounts to accounts under her control, taking the money for personal use, the indictment alleges.

Based on this, Cambre took about three months to get the lay of the land and then spent the next four years and [counting on fingers] eight months making 3,300 wire transfers to accounts she controlled. That’s a pretty impressive run given the prep time she had.

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Previously, on Going Concern…

I asked if any of you were suffering under your own version of Donald Trump at your job.

In other news:

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Barclays in Sanctions Bust [WSJ]
“Barclays PLC agreed to pay $298 million to settle charges by U.S. and New York prosecutors that the U.K. bank altered financial records for more than a decade to hide hundreds of millions of dollars into the U.S. from Cuba, Libya, Iran and other sanctioned countries.

Monday’s settlement agreement of criminal charges is an embarrassment for Barclays, which became a major player on Wall Street by snapping up the collapsed U.S. operations of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008 and has been trying to burnish the U.K. bank’s reputation on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean as a good corporate citizen.”

Cashing in on cleantech [The Guardian]
“While E&Y claims to be the first to set up a practice specifically for cleantech, in recent years PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, KPMG and E&Y have all launched dedicated practices for sustainability and climate change.

Steven Lang, who leads the cleantech division in the UK and Ireland, recently explained the attraction to Business Green: ‘We’ve seen major amounts of capital flowing into clean energy and clean technology and governments increasingly want to use the sector as a driver for international competitiveness.

‘The drivers are there for this to be a major growth area over the next five years.’ ”

GM IPO filing expected Tuesday [Reuters]
It’s like you never left, GM. “General Motors Co has completed the paperwork for an initial public offering, and timing of its filing with the U.S. securities regulators rests with the board of the top U.S. automaker, sources familiar with the process said on Monday.

The initial prospectus, expected to be for $100 million, is likely to be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, two people said, asking not to be named because the preparations for the IPO are private.”


IASB details recruitment process for Tweedie replacement [Accountancy Age]
“In a newly created section of the IASB website, the body has outlined the process it has followed since September 2009, as it searches to replace chairman Sir David Tweedie, who steps down in June 2011.

Among the documents is a letter sent to the European Commissioner’s office on 3 December, 2009, from Sir Bryan Nicholson, who has led the IASB’s recruitment process.”

Woman due in court for pie attack on US Sen. Levin [CT]
“A woman accused of hitting U.S. Sen. Carl Levin in the face with an apple pie during the Armed Services Committee chairman’s constituent meeting in northern Michigan is due in court.

Twenty-two-year-old Ahlam M. Mohsen of Coldwater will be arraigned Tuesday. She is being held without bond after being arrested Monday on a felony charge of stalking, and misdemeanor counts of assault and disorderly conduct”

Apple?

Facebook Partnership Is Proven by $3,000 Check, Lawyer Says [Bloomberg]
“The western New York man suing over claims he owns 84 percent of Facebook Inc. has a copy of a $3,000 cashier’s check his lawyer says is proof of a contract with Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg.

The purported 2003 check is made out to Zuckerberg and dated three days before Paul Ceglia claims the two men signed a contract, according to the attorney. That agreement, Ceglia said in court papers, entitles him to control of the world’s biggest social networking website.”

Conference To Debate Future Of Fannie, Freddie [NPR]
Euthanasia seems like a good option here.