Since our friends out east are already battening down the hatches for snowmaggedon, let's kill this Friday afternoon pronto. If you want to get updates on this conversation, just hit the blue follow button below.
Ed. note: We're observing Martin Luther King. Jr. Day so posting will be limited. If you see a story you want to discuss, feel free to post it in Open Items. Deloitte chief’s new year memo is a classic in demotivation [FT]We've noted before that Punit Renjen sometimes says ridiculous things. And then keeps saying […]
Hi fellow bean counters, I'm a little frustrated and just need to rant and also ask a couple of questions. I've been in public accounting for four years and about to be in my fifth tax season. The firm I work for is a small regional, with two offices and about 50 employees. Our focus […]
Top Wall Street Lawyer Slams Regulatory Environment [WSJ]If you enjoy stuff like this: Rodgin Cohen believes the false notion of "regulatory capture" is causing all the problems between banks and the government. Why Leaders Lack Emotional Intelligence [Entrepreneur]For starters, they need to get some sleep. Apologize Quickly If You Send an Embarrassing Email [HBR]This should […]
Contributor note: if you have a question for the Going Concern audience at large (including the useless dbags) or our team of accounting drop outs and degenerates, please get in touch.
Here’s a tip if you guys are thinking about submitting a question: it helps to know your motivation if you are asking for our advice. It’s difficult to tell you what you should do without knowing why you’re trying to do it, unless you’re asking us an obvious question like “should I take X position to make way more money?” because in that situation we obviously assume you’re in it for the money. There’s nothing wrong with that.
That said, this indentured serv So let’s commence to helping.
I’m currently working for a large mid-size firm as a Staff II and will become a Senior I next year on a relatively large public client. However, I’ve been debating whether or not I should follow up on opportunities to work at a Big 4 firm if it means I have to wait an additional 2 years to become a Senior I?
I know from my friends currently working in the Big 4 firm that new hires work for 3 years at the staff level before being promoted to Senior I. In addition, I may also slip one level from Staff II back to Staff I when I change firms. I’d essentially be 2 years behind my peers as a result of going to the Big 4 so I don’t know if making this switch would help or hurt my career. Is it really worth losing that much time in order to get the Big 4 name on my resume? Should I wait until next year in hopes that I could be recruited as a Staff III instead?
Surely I’m not the only one struggling with this decision, does anyone else have experience with this problem?
Thanks and Best Regards,
-Staff II(?) Auditor
Well, Would-Be Staff II, as you are probably already aware, the Big 4 item on your résumé is going to blow any of that mid-tier nonsense you’ve got going now out of the water (don’t get butthurt, mid-tier-ers. It’s not personal). The actual practical application of what you’re learning at a mid-tier firm versus what you might learn at the Big 4 is irrelevant here; it’s all about marketing yourself, and you’re better equipped to do that with bragging rights slapped all over your work experience. You’re pretty much only going to get those rights from the Big 4.
That isn’t to say you can’t gain valuable experience from your current employer, so it comes down to what you want to do career-wise and in what time frame you would like to accomplish it. Have you passed the CPA exam already? Are you itching to get out of public altogether? It’s pretty hard to try and push you in the right direction without knowing what that direction is. What do you want out of your career? Money? Prestige? Experience?
Why did you start mid-tier in the first place? Are you happy where you are? Do you enjoy the work and feel fulfilled? What is it you think Big 4 can offer that you aren’t getting at your current firm?
If I were you, I would wait it out, gain additional experience, keep those Big 4 contacts and try to make the jump when you have a little more leverage. The more secure you get in your skill set, the better equipped you’ll be to leverage that experience into a more ideal gig with a Big 4 instead of starting at bottom a level above the clueless interns.
I would also have a candid conversation with whomever you’ve been speaking to at the Big 4 about your concerns. Don’t come off as a money-grubbing, work-averse dick but definitely express an interest in being involved with work on par with what you’ve been doing with your firm, not taking a step back. Feel free to embellish whatever paperwork you’ve been assembling up until this point into a full-blown PCAOB-compliant masterpiece.
I’m sure any number of mid-tier grunts who read this site religiously can talk you out of making the jump, and for good reason, while others will tell you to jump now and worry about how quick you ascend the Big 4 ladder later. A smaller firm allows you a better chance at truly learning your trade instead of simply going through the motions and checking boxes; think of mid-tier as stripping at the pole as opposed to mopping up the floors. You probably won’t put stripping at the pole on your resume but you’ll be gaining practical experience you can segue into a better opportunity.
I’m not clear on the opportunity you’re after here. Can you clarify?
For many of you in public accounting, the idea of becoming a partner in your firm is either a career aspiration or a thought that borders on lunacy. A few might fall in between those two spectrums but if you ask most people, they’ve got a pretty definitive answer on the “do you want to be a partner?” question.
Awhile back we received a message from a former Big 4 rank and file who had some thoughts on the matter:
When you enter Big 4 as an associate, the assumed goal is to make Partner. This seemed like a great goal at first, kind of like making it to the 12th grade in high school, or getting a degree (or two) from a good college. Or maybe even being voted in as the President of your sorority or fraternity. Take your pick. It’s the culminati ed work, dedication, a little luck and a dash of favoritism from the Powers on High. However, the more I worked in B4, and the more I saw the “pyramid” continue to rear its ugly shape, I became appalled that anyone could WANT to be Partner.
We’ll just briefly chime in here to say that equating high school graduation to making partner is a bit of stretch (and we let a lot of things go). We know lots of people that graduated high school that could barely operate velcro sneakers.
Back to the rant:
The obvious reasons why someone would want to make Partner? Money, fame, money, power, money. Let’s be honest, it’s pretty much just for the money. But at the cost of what? More often than not: a tough family life (perhaps divorced, an affair or five, missed family dinners), working on the weekends, hardly seeing your kids due to work (e.g. weekend working, wining and dining clients, etc), and – the part that disturbed me the most – the fact that you are making your money from the “blood, sweat, and tears” of the miserable little minions working til all hours of the day and night for YOUR profit. I honestly don’t think that I could ever, in good conscious, become a partner, knowing the levels of stress I (directly or indirectly) put on my little “worker bees.”
Okay, time to jump in – to insinuate that partners (and aspiring partners) are simply motivated by money is silly. For starters, most partners will never pull down the salaries that the Jim Turleys and T Fly of the world are pulling down. Secondly, there are plenty of people working in public accounting – believe it or not – that really enjoy the auditing/tax/advisory work they do. If this is something an individual is aspiring to do long-term, having some skin in the game (“your profit”) is a worthwhile goal.
As for as personal lives go – more than 50% of human beings that get married end up getting divorced, so that’s weak and most partners (at least in our experience ) are not the lady-killer/man-eaters that you describe.
Perhaps it is this mentality alone that makes me wholly unfit to ever be a partner or even a C-suite bigwig. Perhaps being a female I see the dog-eat-dog corporate world at a level that is far too emotional and compassionate.
But then again, who knows? Perhaps, hypothetically, by the time I finished the long uphill journey to Partner, clawing my way to the top, I would be so engrossed by the money and power that I wouldn’t have the time or space in my thoughts to think of the “little people” that were making my money-making factory churn. I would be immune to their complaints, responding with, “Stop your whining. We’ve ALL been there before. Just keep putting in your time, and everything will turn out okay.”
“Engrossed by money and power”? Now we’re getting ridiculous. This is public accounting, not an über-competitive hedge fund or the hallowed walls of the U.S. Capitol.
Once you make partner, the struggle is just beginning. Being at the top of the totem pole for an individual team might seem like a powerful spot but it’s anything but. The politics reach a whole new level when you make partner that most of us can’t even imagine. So, while you may think that partners consider staff and managers “little people” many of them probably feel like little people as well. Plus, they have significant (and sometimes grossly unrealistic) expectations placed on them, so any pressure you’re feeling, they’re likely feeling it as well.
Partners are still human and they have to make hard decisions that affect people directly and most of them are consciously aware of this. How each of them handles that responsibility is obviously different but you make them sound like soulless robots and that’s simply not the case.
So what’s the motivation, partners? If our reader is right, then proceed to tell us your stories of fame and fortune (yachts, trips to Monaco, et al.). But if you want to set the record straight then we invite you to level with the haters out there.
The Partner Track: Open Thread
Yesterday we shared with you some motivational words of wisdom from Deloitte. Today the firm is stepping it up a notch, not just offering words, but a PowerPoint presentation informing the troops about Winter 2010 C.P.R. (Cash, Prizes, & Rewards). The long/short is that Green-Dotters will be eligible to win gift cards starting tomorrow, once in February, once in March, and a grand prize on March 31st.
While we’re impressed with this particular method of distraction/motivation, the best part is that there is a key slide that includes an admission that they know, that you know, that your life is temporarily over:
Whether your slim chances of winning one of these gift cards is worth A) your skin not seeing a ray of sun for three months B) not having any semblance of a social life or C) your significant other screaming “That’s it! It’s so over! You can sleep at the f—ing office if you like being there so much!” has to be determined by you and you alone.
Big accounting firms like doing surveys. We’ve often thought about the motivation behind the constant surveys and further wonder if firms ever josh the numbers around out of a personal vendetta against its rivals, enemies, former clients, etc.
Deloitte’s survey that states that American consumers are planning on spending less this back-to-school season causes us to speculate as to why the Big D would do such a survey? It’s a nice little press release we suppose. Shows that the firm is plugged into the current state of the economy, etc., etc. But then we got to thinking about how Heelys, the obnoxious shoes with wheels, recently dumped Deloitte because their fees were too high in favor of Grant Thornton.
Far be it from us to speculate about the temperament of a Big 4 accounting firm when it has business swiped away by a second-tier firm but isn’t it possible that Deloitte is bitter about the whole sitch? Isn’t it possible that Deloitte is merely putting out this survey as a way to scare consumers out of spending money on back-to-school junk like Heelys?
Back-to-School Shoppers Plan to Spend Less, Save More [Bloomberg]
Since Monday when the SEC announced it had fined KPMG $50 million for not one but two scandals involving auditor misconduct at the firm, I’ve been thinking about which scandal is worse. Is it KPMG audit partners stealing confidential information from rogue PCAOB employees in order to better the firm’s audit inspection scores OR is […]
Once upon a time, our former dear leader Caleb — who is not exactly known as the pinnacle of red-blooded, sports-loving American male — got the bright idea to gift the accounting profession with its very own March Madness competition. Although it was wildly popular those first two years, it also ended in embarrassment for […]
Congratulations, kiddos, you made it through the first quarter. I’m sure there were many victories, failures, and breakdowns along the way but so goes the ballad of CPA exam domination. March 19 marks the 1/4-way point for CPA exam scores this year. As we round the bend into the second quarter, I’d like to remind […]
We’ve been talking about robots taking your jobs for years now, always coming to the same conclusion that AI won’t make skilled CPAs, auditors, and other higher-level accounting professionals redundant. Phil the bookkeeper who has been doing taxes out of a beauty salon backroom in a podunk strip mall may not be so lucky, but […]
It’s OK to admit it–you want to work from home. But if your boss forbids it or limits your remote work time, what’s an accountant to do? If you’re lucky, you work for an employer that embraces remote work and flexible work-from-home policies. If you’re tragically unlucky, your company is resisting the remote trend and forbidding […]
Robert Kuehler and Alan West have a few things in common: both are CPAs, both started their careers in public accounting, both have accounting degrees, and both went back to college—not as a student or professor but as a state university controller. As associate vice president/university controller at the University of Colorado, Kuehler oversees a […]
Joel Konts was told over and over again during college that if he didn’t sit for the CPA exam and work for a public accounting firm after he graduated, he wouldn’t have the best of luck making a career in accounting. “I also knew that if I didn’t go for my master’s degree right after […]
Employment-at-will. It’s a lovely sentiment; if you don’t like it, quit. Easy. But, all jobs require you to do things that aren’t your cup of tea. Once you sign an offer letter at your accounting firm of choice, your schedule will be decided months in advance by the scheduling overlords (i.e., whichever unlucky partner or […]
As a freshman at Syracuse University, Chris Sluty knew his buddy and fellow Syracuse accounting major, Michael Whitmire, would start his own business one day. “I remember telling Mike, ‘Let me know when you start something, and I’ll be there,’” Sluty recalled. And Sluty was right. After they graduated from Syracuse in 2006, Whitmire went […]
If it wasn’t for Fred Butterweck, CPA, this article may not have come to be. I was introduced to Butterweck, corporate controller of New York-based Clickspring Design, who worked for six years at PwC, via email as a potential source for the industry articles I’d be writing for Going Concern. During our email conversation, he […]
SEC Accountants Voice Resource Constraints [CFO] SEC Chief Accountant and budding motivational speaker Wesley Bricker spoke about the constraints in the OCA at the AICPA Conference on SEC and PCAOB Developments. OCA’s staff of 50 responsibility stretches across financial reporting and auditing for issuers, but also trying to assess the effect of new technology like […]
I’ve always been jealous of workers in professions who get automatic breaks built into their schedules. Teachers are more excited when school is out for summer than the students. But, did you know that public accounting has a pseudo-equivalent? Seasonal work. Whether it is audit or tax, there are lots of jobs floating around this […]
Our featured job this week is a Senior Accountant with Santora CPA Group in Newark, Del. Position: Senior Accountant Location: Newark, Del. Employer: Santora CPA Group Requirements: BS degree in Accounting (or Business Administration); An active CPA license (or be actively pursuing it); At least 3-5 years of recent public accounting experience; Proficiency in income […]
Hello Fellow GC’ers, Please take some time from tick-marking your audit evidence to answer my question, and by all means, charge these next 15 minutes to the client. Anyways… I just started my career in public, and while going through 50 page GAAP checklists seems interesting at the moment, I’m afraid that in a few […]
Please enjoy this sponsored content from Beech Valley Solutions. I’ve never been water-boarded (I keep begging my wife…), but I’m guessing it’s a lot like busy season. I’d say just about anything to make it stop…like, “maybe I should get my MBA?”. Should you? Maybe (probably not). It truly depends on a series of questions […]
More courtroom fun with PwC Last summer, PwC spent a few weeks in court defending itself in a $5.5 billion lawsuit brought by the bankruptcy trustee of Taylor Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. For a mega audit firm to go to court over the failure of one its clients was quite a rare and exciting […]
Back when I was a tax associate, my colleagues and I would watch the Hoops and Yoyo “It’s Sarcastic Wednesday.” The part that cracked me up the most was when they say, “I’ll do large amounts of free work for a slice of pepperoni!” But why is it so funny (but not really funny at the same time)?
PwC's settlement On Friday we learned that PwC had had enough fun fighting the lawsuit brought by the Taylor, Bean & Whitaker bankruptcy trustee, settling the case for an undisclosed amount. We speculated that perhaps PwC finally decided that the risk of losing the case was far too great to keep going, however, some people […]
Should you stop asking for raises? Obviously a lot of you are still obsessed with merit increases, as our compensation posts are still, by far, the most popular content on this site year after year. But for those people who don't focus on salary as their main motivation, are they doomed to the poor house? […]
Please enjoy this sponsored content from Gleim CPA Review. Some titles and designations we receive when we are born: son, daughter, sister, brother. But most of the distinctions we desire in life demand more effort. Usually, the greater the cost of a designation, the greater the benefits, and that is definitely the case with the […]
Deloitte and crowdsourcing In the past, we've been somewhat critical of Deloitte, and accounting firms in general, of trying to be all things to all people. That is, mega accounting firms have this tendency to stick their toe into a lot of different services, but it's never been clear to me why they want to […]
Here’s an interesting bit of news that dropped in our inbox earlier: EY is offering lump-sum pension buyouts to former employees. There are conditions, of course. To be eligible, an individual must have left the firm prior to January 1, 2016 and won’t be receiving benefits as of June 1, 2016 when the opt-in period begins.
Brand is one of those business concepts that everyone knows about but few understand. When people talk about the Apple BRAND every murmurs approvement and nods as if to say, “That’s a strong brand!” but they’d have a hard time explaining why.
One of the topics that we occasionally discuss around here is the Big 4 expanding into professional service areas that you wouldn't expect for an accounting firm. In the US, we've seen PwC and Deloitte build enormous digital agencies and just last month, EY announced a partnership with Adobe that will "expand [the firm's] digital […]
Please enjoy this sponsored content from Gleim CPA Review. No matter why or when you intend to pass the CPA Exam, the best way to maintain your motivation is to establish a CPA Exam study schedule. The benefits of creating a CPA Exam study schedule are numerous, and the process is simple, so use this […]
Auditor supervision Believe or not, auditing a multinational company isn't nearly as fun as it sounds. If the company has significant international operations, that requires another group of auditors to be involved, sometimes of a different firm. The oversight and review of those supplemental auditors by the lead auditors isn't always easy or well understood, […]
VR accountingA tipster sent us a link to the strangest idea I've heard so far about how to make accounting less boring: virtual reality accounting. Here's how one of the guys building it described it in the interview: The concept is it's an app that helps boost the productivity of any accountant that's trying to […]
In honor of throwback Thursday let me take you on a journey down memory lane to reminisce about Office Space, a light hearted and irreverent comedy starring Ron Livingston and Jennifer Aniston. Spoiler alert! (Actually, if you haven’t seen the movie during the last 17 years I don’t feel bad.) Peter, played by Ron Livingston, […]
Monsanto to Pay $80 Million to Settle Charge of Improper Accounting [NYT]Do you remember the matching principle? You know, one of the most basic guidelines in accounting that says that expenses should be recognized in the same period as revenues? It rings a bell, I'm sure. Monsanto seems to have had some trouble remembering it, […]
I woke up in shock on my first day of freedom after leaving my Big 4 job. I leaned toward my nightstand to check the time on my iPhone. Wait, what?! My phone had been wiped. Panic set in first. When did I last back it up?
Hi all, I am curious about under what circumstances firms offer signing bonus or agree to add signing bonus. My guess is it is used for: 1) a substitute for a higher salary 2) an extra motivation to the job seeker for accepting offer from firm A instead of B when he/she is in high […]
Punit Renjen: Discovering the thinking behind Deloitte chief's demotivating new year email [Independent]If you haven't had enough Punit Renjen takedowns over his vapid email from last week, then here's another: Writing such mumbo jumbo can surely be barely any more enjoyable than reading it. And if it is meant to motivate staff to work harder […]
After pay, what's most important to young job seekers? Deloitte's Millennial survey says… https://t.co/SW0ddPwjMw pic.twitter.com/JP4nzI8yrC — Deloitte (@Deloitte) January 22, 2016 [via @ChrisHooper87, Earlier]
Email. It's the most annoyingly omnipresent element of our working lives. When trying to enjoy the holidays, a nice vacation or even a relaxing Sunday evening, many people can't get the image of an overstuffed inbox out of their minds. During my last couple of busy seasons, I remember the dread I felt waking up […]
A Progressive Way to Replace Corporate Taxes [NYT]People are worried about inversions, tax avoidance and the eroding corporate tax base. The story goes that all these companies could spend their energy curing cancer, building flying cars, sending rockets to Mars, etc. rather than working on elaborate schemes to dodge taxes. Legally, of course. Anyway, here's […]
Unfortunately, we're all back to being adults today. On the bright side, at least wasting time on Going Concern is work related. To ease you into 2016, I recommend thumbing through the Editor's Picks I dug up and also Leona May's inventory count horror story. And if you need something to look forward to, know […]
The News Roundup is taking the day off today so that we may bring you a quick refresher of the notable stories from the past year. Since motivation is in short supply this week, you'll forgive us if your favorite story didn't make the cut. Enjoy the recap. KPMG has "the talk" with its employeesBack […]
Back in October, we discussed whether the CPA exam would ever become an optional within CPA firms. The reason the topic even came up was due to the fact that while the number of accounting students continues to increase, the number sitting for the CPA exam hasn't kept up, either declining in some years or staying flat.
The Surprising Relationship Between Taxes and Charitable Giving [WSJ]It's not all that surprising, really. Especially the people who give generously and like to play it like they don't care about the charitable deduction, when in fact, they really, really, really care about the deduction, as a survey from Indiana University found: According to the survey, […]
Finance Chiefs Get Ready for New Rules [WSJ]Revenue recognition, lease accounting, insurance contracts and taxes are all on CFOs' to-do lists for 2016 and beyond. Hillary Clinton Plans a Corporate ‘Exit Tax’ [WSJ]Despite Treasury's attempts to discourage inversions, Hillary Clinton's plan "would go further, requiring companies to pay U.S. taxes on deferred foreign earnings if […]
It's Friday which means we've lost all motivation to work but need to avoid shopping on Amazon. If we missed a story or you want us to discuss something specific, drop us a line, mention it in the comments or yell real loud. Both Greg and Leona are joining me this week, but time's a […]
I'm catching up on my reading and lo and behold, here's another CHANGE IN ACCOUNTING IS SO FAST article. It's only been [counts fingers] a few weeks since we last touched on the topic, but we can't waste a good crisis, can we? No, we cannot. This particular piece is based on a speech by […]
Here's one those fraud cases I just can't get my head around. Sean Weaver, 33, a former principal with Ryan, LLC pleaded guilty today to a $20 million tax scheme. He ran the whole thing by himself out of the firm's transaction tax practice group. The FBI press release states that he was in charge […]
It’s true! You can get a great job without using a headhunter. And you should consider doing it. Here’s why: The thousands of dollars in recruiting fees your employer pays could affect your starting salary, bonus and promotion potential. There’s some motivation for you! Not so many years ago, there were two really good ways to connect […]
Barclays Selects KPMG As Auditor, Replacing PwC [WSJ]PwC and its predecessor firms have audited the bank since 1896. KPMG will take over in 2017. EU accounting rules could mask onset of another financial crisis [FT]IFRS 9, which would require banks to assess risk of loan default "over the first 12 months," is not impressing many […]
Companies Avoid Paying $200 Billion in Tax [WSJ]The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (aka Unctad) estimates, "that almost a third of all overseas investments—amounting to $6.5 trillion—have been routed through 'conduit countries' before reaching their destination “as productive assets.” While there are other reasons for channeling investments through a country other than their […]
According to my halfassed research, the oldest person in the world is Jeraleen Talley. She’s 115 years old, and her hobbies include sleeping, eating hog’s head cheese, and not dying. And, as the defender of the title “World’s Oldest Person,” she’s the reigning champ in the world’s longest-running death sport. Keeping her title is […]
‘Lowballing’ a continuing threat to firms, claim analysts [Accountancy Age]DUMB. DUMB. DUMB. "Last year, top ten firm Baker Tilly claimed that lowballing pricing competition was one of the factors behind its £8.6m reduction on pre-tax profits." How successful people work less—and get more done [Quartz]If you're working more than 55 hours a week, you're wasting […]
It's mid-March and, aside from brackets, the thing on many accountants' minds is finding a new job. This is especially true if you're still in public accounting and you've just survived a brutal busy season. If you're considering a move and talking about it with someone at your firm, it's likely (s)he will try to […]
While countless CPA exam candidates are likely still shaking off their celebration hangovers from yesterday, you're one of the lucky few who failed. Perhaps just barely, perhaps spectacularly. Whether it's a 60 or a 74, it blows (although, arguably, a 74 blows harder than a 60). We've previously discussed what to do after you've failed […]
Father wins sex discrimination case after request to work part-time rejected [Telegraph]A PwC manager named Erik Pietzka couldn't convince his firm to arrange a flexible schedule for him: "Mr Pietzka asked bosses at the firm whether he could take two days off work a week to spend with his daughter, as seeing her involved a […]
BuzzFeed will let anyone and their mama post on their platform, including myself (see: 13 Things Only People Who Are Human Will Understand). Not wanting to be left out of the fun, EY has partnered (read: paid) with BuzzFeed to feed their carefully crafted message — in gif form, no less — to unsuspecting young […]
From The Wall Street Journal June 9, 2002: PwC Consulting became the latest consultancy to flee headlong from the tarnish on the once-sterling accounting profession, announcing it will change its name to Monday when it completes its separation from accounting company PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. PwC Consulting, a management-consulting and technology-services business, announced in March that it […]
These links are non-denominational. Open Items Choosing Between 2nd Tier and Large Regional Firm AccountingWEB What Happens When Accountants Get Religion AWEB Forums Qualities of a Great Accountant The Queen's AccountingWEB Scottish tax: Can meltdown be avoided? BusinessZone Keep calm and carry on: A business guide to managing stress & achieving a work/life balance HRZone 10 ways to make your employees […]
Booz Allen sues Deloitte for stealing proprietary info to 'lift out' an entire team Two federal contracting heavyweights are embroiled in a lawsuit, with Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. accusing Deloitte Consulting LLP of using stolen proprietary information to recruit an entire team of employees and then target Booz Allen’s contracts and clients. [FedBiz via Washington […]
ICYMI, PwC US Chairman Bob Moritz was in Washington today talking about flexibility and diversity and the importance of trustworthy fonts in autumnal color schemes at the White House Summit on Working Families (I made that last one up, obvs). On his panel, this happened: Bob Moritz, chairman of PriceWaterhouseCoopers: when we switched to unlimited […]
We were busy little bees on Pinterest today. OK, honest truth is we blew off the afternoon making cynical CPA exam motivation images on Recite, which is AMAZING. Warning, if you go to Recite, you might end up there half the day. [Pinterest] Calvin Darden Jr. Charged With Multimillion-Dollar Fraud Calvin Darden Jr., son of […]
Back when I worked in HR for a public accounting firm, it was common to receive and send out requests for best practices in employment policy. Such information is often shared freely across non-competing firms all in support of advancing people initiatives within the profession. Most often I was (and still am) a Go-Giver in […]
This is the final post in the PhD series from Dr. Emelee, who is a Big 4 refugee in the process of obtaining his PhD. You can find his previous posts here. Happy trails, Doc! Once you finish the PhD and become an Assistant Professor at a university, it’s time to start working toward tenure. […]
You may not have heard of the term “toxic leadership” but my guess is that most, if not all, have experienced it.
J.P. Morgan 'Whale' Fine Put at Over $900 Million [WSJ]Jamie Dimon will be glad this is over: "The Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve and the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority are expected to charge the company with poor controls surrounding the giant bet, which ultimately cost the […]
What?! You never heard of the 'hot dog tax'? You need to ketchup! In reality, the hot dog tax was not a tax on hot dogs per se as Kelly Phillips Erb fires things up: In 1971, New York managed to push through a law which imposed a state and city sales tax to restaurant bills that […]
COSO Issues Updated Internal Control-Integrated Framework and Related Illustrative Document [COSO]Authored by PwC under the direction of the COSO Board, the updated Framework is expected to help organizations design and implement internal control in light of many changes in business and operating environments since the issuance of the original Framework, broaden the application of internal control in addressing operations […]
As you've probably heard by now, the head of the IRS's tax-exempt organizations divison, Lois Lerner, apologized on Friday that the agency targeted 501(c)4 organizations with "Tea Party" and "patriot" in their names. Lerner said this was not done out of political bias, because, as we all know, those words don't hold any political overtones. […]
If I have to read ONE more of these, I am going to scream. Here's the latest from PwC: A new report released today, PwC's NextGen: A global generational study, reveals that enhancing workplace flexibility and equity between work and home is one of the keys to improving job satisfaction among Millennials. According to the […]
In the last five years, Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, has spent $11.5 million lobbying the federal government. One of the things they're lobbying against is something called "return-free filing." Never heard of it? That's weird. It's been successfully implemented in Denmark, Sweden and Spain, and only one of those countries is on the verge of financial […]
The other day I asked my wife if she'd be mad if I started a new religion. I clarified that she would not be required to join my new religion; I just wanted to know if I'd have her support. She didn't really answer. Not out loud. But her nonverbal message was as clear as an auditing standard that was clarified in the Clarity Project1. What she wasn't saying was either (a) she'd be pissed if I really did it, or (b) she'll tolerate my stupid questions, or (c) she'd be shocked if I could get more religious followers than I have Twitter followers2.
What a fine thing for the Manhattan U.S. Attorney to announce on a Friday afternoon that it had reached at settlement with Ernst & Young over its tax sheltering activities: Ernst & Young LLP will pay $123 million to settle a U.S. tax-fraud probe as part of a non- prosecution agreement, according to a statement […]
All busy season long, we'll be discussing exit opportunities for those of you feeling like overworked Chinese slave labor counting down the days from your cubes. Remember, there is life after public accounting, even if it doesn't feel like it now. If you've made a break for it and are living the life of your […]
If you and some cohorts are fed up with walking the straight and narrow, be advised that a recent study by Ernst & Young discovered something that may help assist you in making your future fraudulent endeavor a wild success: Phrases such as “nobody will find out”, “cover up” and “off the books” are […]
In today's there's no way we could completely mock this and feel good about ourselves news, Phil Mickelson and his hat did something awfully nice at last night's Monday Night Football game between the Chargers and Broncos, even if things didn't quite go as smashingly as the post-game press releases made it seem. You see, […]
In the blood-thirsty world of public accounting, people will do anything to get ahead. While there are a few out there who realize that a life of cubicles, impatient clients, out-of-date laptops, and elaborately designed pivot tables does not constitute life or death, there are many people who spend years of their lives believing otherwise. […]
Welcome to the latest edition of Recruiting Advice: Take it or Go Screw Yourself. Have a question about recruiting season? Email us at email@example.com and put "Recruiting Season Questions" in the subject line. One programming note – for those of you who are on the hunt for full-time offers this year, be sure to email […]
At the end of last month the CPA Consultants' Alliance released a white paper on succession planning and leadership. Okay, it was mostly about leadership; succession planning was thrown in there to scare old people into reading it. Succession planning has gotten boring. It's been everywhere in the accounting press for years. A boomer can't […]
Deloitte partner Daniel Pirron's suicide is terrible. Anyone that has had to cope with a loved one taking his or her own life knows the helpless feeling you have in the aftermath of such a tragedy. If someone at your company committs suicide, the emotional level is obviously different but it is no less shocking regardless […]
Don't wanna work? Just wanna to bang on a drum all day? Okay, but the noise may result in you being escorted out by security. Best to ask us about something that's been bugging you. Shoot us an email and we'll keep you out of trouble. Hi, this isn't a tip but can you do […]
A reader sick of the clichés suggests we open the floor to discuss some overused phrases that should be retired immediately. Let's think outside of the box here, circle back and think big picture. The use of the phrase "reaching out" should be immediately discontinued! It's old jargon that people are totally sick of hearing. […]
Does everyone remember Barry Salzberg's article in Forbes that finally shed light on the elusive wants and needs of the Gen Y digital ninjas? I know everyone was probably thrilled to finally understand what it is Millennials want since we've all been sitting here scratching our balding gray heads trying to figure it out. Anyone […]
Someone who's a little short on billable work felt compelled to share this with us on the tip line: The girl who sits next to me just got her REG score and passed. Of course there could be any number of reasons that this person would share this news with us. Among them: 1) In […]
Former BDO CEO and wolfpack leader Denis Field has won a new trial on charges of tax fraud thanks to a juror in his trial who lied about her alcoholism and, oh…pretty much everything: U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan today overturned the convictions, ruling that the presence of Catherine Conrad, who was Juror No. 1, […]
SGOCO Group, Ltd. issued a press release this morning to let everyone know that Grant Thornton's Chinese affiliate decided to take a walk on May 14th. They disclosed this with the SEC around 10 am on Friday, but with the Facebook circus going on, no one noticed. What's interesting is that the company filed Form […]
Are you considering wasting my time instead of wasting your own when you should be studying for the CPA exam? Do you get off on degenerates criticizing you? Just need a good old fashioned AG talking to? Get in touch and I'll help you procrastinate by answering questions you could ask Google. I was wondering […]
Ernst, audit clients cut lobbying ties-records [Reuters, Earlier]Ernst & Young's lobbying unit is no longer listed as a lobbyist for three major U.S. companies, all of whom were 2011 audit clients of the accounting giant. The deregistration follows questions raised by two U.S. senators in March about whether the dual relationships crossed auditor independence boundaries. Documents […]
Last month we learned that Virgnia Spidle, the Chief Accountant for the City of Birmingham, Alabama, was fired a second time by her employer. The grounds for the first dismissal were racism, which a personnel board dismissed. Not one to be dismayed by awkwardness around the office, Spidle returned to her job only to be […]
Earlier we discussed how Warren Buffett's secretary and glory hog, Debbie Bosanek, has become a poster child for all of us that have effective tax rates higher than those of wealthy dudes like her boss and GOP Presidential cyborg Mitt Romney. This has caused a number of people to freak out and start wondering aloud how […]