December 10, 2018

Accounting News Roundup: AICPA Lobbying; Cisco Repats Some Cash; Stealing from Cub Scouts | 02.15.18

accounting news pigzilla aicpa lobbying

AICPA CEO Melancon sheds light on tax reform lobbying [AT]
If you were worried that AICPA President, CEO, and curling enthusiast Barry Melancon didn’t carry water for large accounting firms during the tax reform debate, rest easy:

The AICPA was unable to dissuade lawmakers from excluding large accounting firms from the 20 percent pass-through deduction available to other types of companies after hearing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin say accounting firms probably wouldn’t be able to get the tax break.

“We immediately jumped on that,” said Melancon. “We had meetings at Treasury. I signed a letter that really took the secretary on, and basically took the administration on being biased to the manufacturing and construction sector, as [opposed] to the service sector of the economy. All of you are probably well aware of this, but clearly the growth engine of our economy for the past couple of decades has been the service sector. In the end, we were unable to fully win that day.”

So naturally, they had a hand in making the 20 percent deduction as complex as it is, including “changes in the phase-in rules to make them more workable.”

Cisco to Bring $67 Billion to U.S. After New Tax Law [WSJ]
The company said it would spend the cash on raises for its employees and building its business…LOL, just kidding: “Cisco plans to spend much of the newly repatriated cash on share buybacks and dividends, it said Wednesday while reporting earnings, amounting to about $44 billion over the next two years.”

Cub Scouts in Hales Corners had financial problems before learning their treasurer had ripped them off [MJS]
File to Accountants Behaving Badly: You should probably find another line of work. Milwaukee area accountant Michelle Zweigler is accused of stealing $15k from a local Cub Scout troop, and wasn’t exactly trying to hide it:

Zweigler, pack treasurer from 2013-’16, said she had reimbursed herself for charter fees she had paid with her own money. But a check of records showed otherwise — withdrawals from the Scout pack’s account and deposits directly into Zweigler’s personal bank account, often on the same day, the complaint said.

To make it even more obvious, “Another member of the pack said he was told by Zweigler that she was using the stolen money to pay her bills,” and her 2015 bankruptcy revealed liabilities of $444k and assets of $11k.

Previously, on Going Concern…

I offered a last-minute Valentine’s Day idea for accountants.

I also wrote about PwC selling its Public Sector business.

In Open Items: Advice for a mediocre student.

From the archives: Busy Season Problem Du Jour: The Kleptomaniac Co-worker

In other news:

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You Know That Guy Who Panhandles on Your Block? He May Be a CPA.

Anybody out there looking to help their fellow CPA, who’s down on his luck?
The Wall St. Journal is reporting that the former BDO Seidman LLP CEO, Denis Field may have to pay back a portion of $180 million that is being sought by prosecutors in the tax shelter case that involves Field and six others.
Natch, everybody has denied wrongdoing. The charges include conspiracy and tax evasion. Good luck with that.

Prosecutors Seek Ex-BDO Seidman CEO, 6 Others To Forfeit $180M

Partners at Grant Thornton are Just Getting Lazy

Grant-thornton-logo.JPGGrant Thornton is really making our lives easy today: “Grant Thornton has agreed to pay nearly £6,000 in fines and costs after it failed to correctly sign off 43 audit reports.”
Measly fine, obv but 43 audit reports? And a incorrectly signed off report is one that, “had not been signed off by a responsible individual of the firm”.
So apparently the Brits have got their interns signing off on the audits. Gold star for you today, GT.
ICAEW fines Grant Thornton over audit sign-offs [Accountancy Age]