• Accounting News Roundup: Yes Robots and Sexually Oriented Business Fees | 10.05.17

    By | October 5, 2017

    Robots

    The Institute of Management Accountants, proving again that an accounting trade group can have a sense of humor about itself, released a new ad earlier this week. This time it took on the coming robot apocalypse:

    Are they sure that no robots will be sitting at the big conference table with the humans? Will robots be content to stand idly by why the CMA humans keep screwing things the strategy and the decisions? That lack of proactive behavior won’t sit well when performance reviews come around.

    Part of the blindspot that humans have, I think, is that we believe we’re indispensable. But artificial intelligence is designed to learn things better than CMA humans can. So eventually, even if the robots are a bunch of white yes men now, they’ll perform better than CMA humans, eventually. The only thing they won’t do is eat the entire platter of danishes. The robots will never eclipse us in eating. Anyway, once we’re all preoccupied with eating pastries and drinking coffee, then the robots will enslave us and we have The Matrix. It’s hard to believe this hasn’t played out sooner.

    #TaxIsSexy

    Nothing throws cold water on anything quite like the tax law. This Bloomberg BNA post discusses various developments in Texas’ “pole tax” aka “sexually oriented business fee” including the especially tedious exercise of defining “nudity” and whether “entertainers were nude enough for the SOBF to apply.” Texas law was changed in January to explain that “some substances, such as latex and paint ‘applied to the body in a liquid or semi-liquid state,'” were not clothing.

    It only took a few months for a case to come up in court:

    [T]he regulatory change guided the ruling in Texas Comptroller’s Decision, Hearing No. 112,984 (June 27, 2017). The dancers in that case wore opaque latex tops applied in a liquid form, in addition to shorts. The petitioner asserted that the latex tops counted as clothes, meaning the dancers were not dancing in the nude and the SOBF did not apply. The department relied on the new definition of clothing to argue that the establishment offered nude dancing and was thus a sexually oriented business; the administrative law judge agreed.

    I guess these are the kinds of things that keep a tax court busy when your state doesn’t have an income tax.

    Previously, on Going Concern…

    Greg Kyte’s Exposure Drafts cartoon shows real examples of auditor pride. In Open Items, some asks, “Does anyone have experience with changing from tax to advisory?

    In other news:

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    Image: iStock/jejim

    • Commando

      I attended a few meetings at Arthur Andersen in the days. They had lots of bots.