June 24, 2018

Accounting News Roundup: Andersen Fires Back at Andersen | 06.15.17

Arthur Andersen & Co.

Andersen vs. Andersen

Just when you thought Andersen Tax was having its way with its French rival, Arthur Andersen & Co., in the battle over the firm’s name, AA&Co. has issued a press release declaring its intent to sue Andersen Tax in the U.S., Brazil, and India. I’m quoting at length here (translated from French) because it’s too incredible not to share:

Since its operational reopening on 1 March 2017 with members in 16 countries and 26 offices, the new ARTHUR ANDERSEN & Co. network has been subjected to various hostile and serious maneuvers as well as fierce, defamatory and Denigrating on behalf of the American company ANDERSEN TAX LLC, its representatives and its accomplices.

Members legally affiliated to the ARTHUR ANDERSEN & Co. network in the United States, India and Brazil have been forced, under the constant threat and harassment of ANDERSEN TAX LLC, to stop using the ANDERSEN brands, , “ARTHUR ANDERSEN” or any other name with the name “ANDERSEN”.

The maneuvers perpetrated by ANDERSEN TAX LLC have come to light in proceedings in France, India and the United States, by transmitting false and misleading documents to the Judges likely to deceive all professionals, registrars National brands and courts.

In view of these extremely serious acts which reaffirm the absence of any rights legitimately acquired by ANDERSEN TAX LLC on the historical marks “ARTHUR ANDERSEN” and “ANDERSEN”, the French company ARTHUR ANDERSEN & Co., on instructions from its President Mr. Stéphane Laffont-Réveilhac, referred the following questions to the Tribunal Correctionnel de Paris by way of a direct criminal summons against ANDERSEN TAX LLC and its President, Mr. Mark L. Vorsatz, the Attorney General of New York in Manhattan, Attorney General of Bombay in India, Prosecutor General of Sao Paulo in Brazil, Attorney General of Willemstad in Curaçao in the Netherlands Antilles.

As wonderful as that is, the release ends with a flourish, featuring this breathless quote from Mr. Laffont-Réveilhac:

Officers of ANDERSEN TAX LLC deliberately cheated and lied by abusing the public, Judges, ARTHUR ANDERSEN Elders, their own employees and correspondents around the world while outrageously disparaging the ARTHUR ANDERSEN & Co. network, its Affiliated members and its managers.These fraudulent, shocking and perfectly inexcusable maneuvers are in total contradiction to the historical values of ARTHUR ANDERSEN, which the directors of ANDERSEN TAX LLC are claiming, and our network will emerge stronger from these We are free and proud of the work accomplished with my Associates to restore ARTHUR ANDERSEN’s excellence worldwide.

This is all happening in the wake of court victories for Andersen Tax around the world as the rightful owner of the Andersen name and trademark. Andersen Tax called this latest press release, “an attempt to distract attention from the fact that the group claiming to be Arthur Andersen & Co (formerly QJMB), indeed has no valid rights to the Andersen name.”

At this point, I’m mostly curious as to how long AA&Co. can keep this up. I can’t imagine that international trademark disputes are cheap to litigate.

Obamacare taxes

According to several reports, the Senate may keep some of the taxes under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) in its version of a replacement bill to avoid making massive cuts to Medicaid. The most likely to stay is the net investment income tax, “which imposes a 3.8 percent surtax on capital gains, dividends and interest” on individuals that have income that meet the set thresholds for modified adjusted gross income.

Accountants behaving badly

Although the vast majority of accountants appearing in this space have, or are accused of, taking money from others, today we feature a young man who was serving a legit function, it just so happens, it was part of an illegal business:

Alexandro Velasquez, 20, acted as an accountant for his uncle’s drug business, according to prosecutors, counting the proceeds of cocaine and marijuana sales and sending the funds Mexico.

There’s probably a number of employers that would be willing make use of Mr. Velasquez’s accounting experience within the confines of the law, but they’ll have to wait until he’s released from prison.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Adrienne Gonzalez wrote about LinkedIn creeps. In Open Items, an internal audit offer.

In other news:

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Accounting News Roundup | 01.21.10

How to find the “best and brightest” [CPA Success]
This may be a better topic for the friendly HR professional but figuring out who these future accounting rock stars are before they show up on their first day is “more art than science”, as Tom Hood notes.
Popular to some old-school thought, GPA does not always indicate who’s going to dominate in the real world and “soft skills” — besides being a terrible term — are in more demand than ever.
Help The The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago Help Haiti [Re: The Auditors]
The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago is having a drive today and since Francine’s friend is the CFO, we’ll be glad pass around the news:

One of my oldest and dearest friends, Guillermo Becerra, is the CFO of the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago. I asked him how I could help him, and the Red Cross, during what must be an incredibly busy time post-Haiti earthquake.

“The Chicagoland community will come together on Thursday, January 21 to give to the American Red Cross as we help the people of Haiti recover from the catastrophic earthquake that devastated their country last week.
The Chicago Helps Haiti media relief drive begins at 5 a.m. and lasts until 11 p.m. Nearly every TV and radio station in our area will be promoting this fundraising effort throughout the day. You can help too, by giving via phone or online, and sharing your thoughts here, on Facebook or Twitter, and by asking others to give.
To give from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. CALL 1 (877) 565-5000 or visit www.chicagoredcross.org/haiti

Plus, we’re guessing that if you give, your 2009 tax return isn’t much of a concern.
If Your Password Is 123456, Just Make It HackMe [NYT]
The Times is concerned that you have a shitty password which puts you at a huge risk of being hacked by someone sitting in their parents’ basement.

Imperva found that nearly 1 percent of the 32 million people it studied had used “123456” as a password. The second-most-popular password was “12345.” Others in the top 20 included “qwerty,” “abc123” and “princess.”

You know who you are, ye with stupid passwords. Also, don’t even think of changing it to “654321” because that drops in at #19.

Accounting News Roundup: Haiti Relief Passes Senate; Accounting Job Surge? CPAs Basically Control People’s Lives | 01.22.10

Senate votes for faster tax breaks for Haiti gifts [WaPo]
As expected, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation yesterday that allows taxpayers to deduct donations made for Haiti relief efforts. You have until the end of February to donate so that it may be included on your 2009 return.

Maybe it’s bad legislation but we’ve been over that.

CPA Jobs Set for Surge. But When? [CPA Trendlines]
That’s the question, isn’t it? Rick Telberg, who has done a great job of tracking the Bureau of Labor Statistics on accountants, points out that while the latest BLS forecasts a 22% increase (279,400 jobs) by 2018, there’s no indication that it’s happening now:

[M]any tax, accounting and finance professionals are still slogging through the Great Recession. The Association for Financial Professionals, for instance, reported that about one in four respondents say their organizations will contract in 2010. At the same time, a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey of private companies found 43 percent of CEOs and CFOs still budgeting no expansion over the next 12 months to 18 months. The data just seem to reinforce economic uncertainties and a weak outlook.

The BLS is looking past the past the recession for the jump in opportunities but just when the hell will that be? Just because the economy isn’t contracting currently, doesn’t mean it won’t in the future and this “recovery” has been tepid at best.

Theismann to CPAs: You Are the Conscience of America [Web CPA]
Joe Theismann gets it. He knows that without all of you out there in CPA land, your clients don’t stand a chance. They’d be finished. Finished!

“You’re the conscience of America,” Theismann told conference-goers. “You are the survivors in tough times. With accountants, I’m not looking for someone to file taxes and do my financials. I can do that myself online. In your position you can basically control people’s lives.”

So get out there and control somebody’s life. Joe Theismann is expecting it.