• Here’s How the Accounting Profession’s Political Action Committees Have Been Spending Their Money

    By | September 12, 2016

    With less than two months left until Election Day, you might be wondering, “How much money have accounting firms been throwing around this election cycle?” No? Just me? Okay, then, well this should be fun.

    Here’s what Open Secrets, a website run by the Center of Responsive Politics, has for contributions by the accounting industry’s political action committees so far:

    As you see in the image, this data is based on the most recent Federal Election Commission filings available.

    The $8.1 million in PAC contributions is already more than was paid in 2014 and 2012 and the portion going to Republicans (64%) is the highest it’s been since 2006. Of the big donors (i.e. $1M+), Deloitte gave the largest portion to Republicans, about 69%.

    Each PAC has its own individual page (e.g. AICPA) that includes a summary, a list of recipients of the PAC’s money, the donors to the PAC, detailed expenditures plus other information. Twenty thousand dollars was the largest sum contributed. The PACs of the AICPA, Deloitte and PwC all gave $20k to at least one individual.

    Comparatively speaking, the accounting industry hasn't given a lot to candidates. Open Secrets lumps accounting in the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate sector, and its contributions make up just over 10% of the total contributions of $75.4 million. Of that group, insurance has contributed the most, over $26 million. None of the PACs above break the top 20, although Deloitte is close.

    We'll keep an eye on the activity leading up to Election Day, but in the meantime, feel free to peruse and point out anything interesting or discuss the activity in general.

    • Makes sense. They make the partners contribute a set amount each year so that money has to go somewhere.

      • Really is that legal?

        • If they publicly said they had to do it, no. Suggesting it strongly for the betterment of the firm at partner meetings and trainings is not.

      • Andrew Y

        That is false. Nothing is mandatory.

        • Sick insight. They might not be mandatory but its pretty close. If the firms arent telling these guys what to contribute why are they all the same amount. Link below.

          https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgave2.php?cycle=2016&cmte=C00107235

          • Andrew Y

            Believe what you want to believe. It isn’t mandatory. Figure out what I’m saying here.

            • SouthernCPA

              I get what you are saying. “mandatory”.

            • N.E.R.D.

              “It isn’t mandatory” just like working overtime in season isn’t “mandatory”.

            • Andrew Y

              It isn’t mandatory. I don’t give to our PAC. What can I tell you. It may be different in some places. It probably was different 15-20 years ago. I’m just telling you one persons experience.

            • dumpus

              it’s not “mandatory,” its “suggested.” or “strongly recommended.” or “every one of your peers will know that you don’t want to chip in to help keep this pirate ship afloat so if you want to be known and passively ostricized as ‘that guy’ well that’s your prerogative.”

    • AaronBalake

      “firms donated money to politicians”

      Okay. Thanks for the article describing a fancy pivot table with numbers. However, I supposed I don’t need to point out how uninteresting this article is. The lack of comments do that for me.

      • Steve Dave

        @disqus_bca7XQUaGq:disqus should comment on every thread!!!!

        • AaronBalake

          Nice try, Caleb.

          • Steve Dave

            I’m neither Caleb nor Colin…