In case you missed it because no one really cares, the eggheads over at the AICPA have been engaged in a feud with the pot-stirrers over at H&R Block, presumably because the AICPA thinks more average Joes should engage the services of a large accounting firm to process their 1040s rather than some guy named Tom who took a tax class at community college. Come on, Tom, everyone knows preparing taxes is some wizardry taught only at Hogwarts School of Business.
Given the rise of DIY tax prep, perhaps the AICPA should also write a stronger-worded letter to every American citizen who thinks they are just as good as a licensed CPA at plugging numbers into a box and adding them up. Come on, America, you aren’t qualified to do taxes either!
You’d think recruiting Jon Hamm for a sexy ad campaign would be enough to send the AICPA scrambling for a way to shut down those bastards at H&R Block once and for all. How dare Block use that ridiculously handsome man to peddle tax preparation! Perhaps the AICPA can get the guy who played Pete Campbell to throw on the Benjamin Bankes suit for a repeat of the AICPA’s ultra successful men’s room urinal campaign.
When this catfight with the AICPA was reaching its climactic finale last year, H&R Block CEO Bill Cobb responded to the AICPA’s pettiness by letting them know that not only did he not plan to stop running the ad they found to be an affront to their CPA-ness, but he was increasing the ad buy.
What you, and perhaps the AICPA, may not know is that H&R Block has another secret weapon: kittens.
For years now, Block has offered a non-profit partnership whereupon they make a $20 donation to a partner charity for new clients. Have you ever seen those videos of the California woman who lives with 1,000 cats? Of course I know her, because we cat ladies — much like CPAs — are notoriously reclusive except when roaming in packs with our own kind. Anyway, her organization Cat House on the Kings is one such Block partner, and is encouraging its supporters to pick Block so they, in turn, can get a few bucks to feed all those mouths.
The AICPA really has an opportunity to innovate here and come up with incentives of their own but we all know they’ll just keep writing petty ass letters about how butthurt they are. Meanwhile, H&R Block gave back $780,840 through this program last year alone, which is more than the average CPA can say. I bet Barry Melancon doesn’t even give to the United Way for jeans Friday.