As we all pull up a chair at our respective dysfunctional family tables and enjoy the sacrifice of innocent turkeys and can-shaped cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving, let's all take a moment to express thanks for the things that have kept all of us (including those of us who get to write about this exciting stuff for a "living") in a job.
No single law has kept more financial professionals gainfully employed than the game-changer that is SOX, unless you count the Securities Act of 1933 and 1934, maybe. It makes for much more interesting LinkedIn profiles, has kept wonks busy arguing over its pros and cons since its inception and even helped convict a guy of a child pornography charge after he destroyed his hard drive to get rid of the evidence. Bet the old Arthur Andersen crew never saw that one coming.
There is nothing creepier than a grown man in a piggy bank costume wearing a suit. NOTHING. While he may be the creepiest mascot ever, thanks to the AICPA's Feed the Pig campaign, average Americans who ignorantly assume all CPAs do taxes have been exposed to the other side of number-crunching, bean-counting CPAs' duty to the public: education. As far as financial literacy campaigns go, you have to admit it is attention-grabbing. Creepy, yes, but attention-grabbing none-the-less.
Peter Olinto's Sweatband
I really don't need to add any commentary here. Love him or hate him, Peter Olinto has turned many a wide-eyed accounting graduate into a bona fide CPA over the years. His fans are obsessed, constantly chasing him around New Jersey for that cup of coffee he owes them, and his quotes are legendary. Even years after passing the exam, many Becker students can still spout off Olinto-isms that have been pounded into their brains.
This Photo of IASB Chairman Hans Hoogervorst
Globalization, pfft. No one photo better sums up our views of convergence than this one right here. Thanks, buddy.
600,000 Microsoft Excel Rows
While normal folk compare themselves to others using fancy cars, fat bank accounts and designer clothes, accountants compare themselves to others based on the number of Excel rows and open spreadsheets they can manage at any given time. The more rows the better and if you've got dual monitors, you're winning. We're not sure what you win, exactly, but as long as you're happy with it, that's all that matters.
Life-changing. Seriously. If you don't agree, you're probably one of those suckers still hanging on to your single measly monitor. Loser.
I may never have a use for my Reznick Rubik's cube or Deloitte Silly Putty but DAMNIT I HAVE IT ANYWAY. We aren't sure why accounting firms tend to come up with some of the lamest swag ever – firm-branded hand sanitizer aside because that is pure genius – but they love it and people love collecting it. Maybe it's because regular old Bic pens cost money and branded ones are free but whatever.
My first AICPA Council reception in Washington DC was boozy. Very, very, very boozy. I'd always known accountants could drink but could not believe just how much the accountants all around me were pounding back. I thought I was a heavy drinker until I started hanging out with CPAs and realized I've been a lightweight all these years and didn't even know it. As Stuff Accountants Like said, "from the days of the classroom to the conference room, accountants can drink. Not only can they drink, but accountants are among the most productive professionals after drinking." This is true. I tip my empty glass to all of you. *hiccup*
Messing With Interns
Harassing interns is a time-honored tradition, passed on over the years like shit rolls downhill. And once they are in the position to harass interns, they will do it too. So while interns everywhere are still searching the office for that box of tickmarks you told them to go get, let's all be thankful they exist and admire their team spirit.
Alright, I'm wrapping this up with total shameless self-promotion but really, aren't we all glad to be here at Going Concern? Some of us can hide behind the false shroud of anonymity while bashing the profession, our colleagues, our firms and ourselves, while others of us congregate around this dysfunctional water cooler just to confirm there are, in fact, professionals out there more screwed up than any of us. Love us or hate us, you've got to admit that knowing partners are afraid their staff are sharing the intimate details of compensation and firm culture with us is inspiration enough to keep doing what we're doing. With too many warm fuzzy accounting websites out there and too few that aren't afraid to talk about what really happens out there, I think we can all be grateful to have this sick little community to turn to. I know I'm thankful for all of you – even the trolls – and love that we can all get cozy and talk about the real stuff while the fluff sites are out there talking about FASB papers and audit standards. So let's all share a big group hug and head into the holiday thankful for each other and plenty of profession gossip to go around.
Happy Turkey Day, turkeys!