July 21, 2018

Accounting News Roundup: Lecturing Auditors; Accounting for Celebrity Taste; C Corp Fever | 02.23.18

MPs turn fire on KPMG and Deloitte partners over Carillion [FT]
There was an auditor flogging in the U.K. with the usual theatrics: “I would not hire you to do an audit of the contents of my fridge, because when I read it, I would not know what was actually in my fridge or not,” one MP said to a KPMG partner.

Kardashian slap shows hole in Snap’s accounting [Reuters]
It was a Jenner, actually.

Reality-star-model-cosmetic-maker Kylie Jenner wiped more than $1.5 billion from Snap’s wobbly market capitalization on Thursday after she questioned the usefulness of its main product, disappearing-message app Snapchat. Influential fans can attract users, and repel them if they publicly flee. Balance sheets don’t capture that kind of asset, but maybe they should.

“Kylie Jenner is no accountant – but she could teach the bean counters a thing or two,” the column goes on. Sure, sure. I mean, if your company’s value is highly dependent on the whims of superficial, vapid pseudo-celebrities, then figuring out how to account for that might be worthwhile. I think that might also be a sign that you don’t have much of a business, but maybe I don’t appreciate a celebrity opinion like I used to.

Pass-Through Businesses Are Rethinking Their Status in Wake of Tax Law [WSJ]
With the top corporate tax rate at 35 percent for so long, organizing as a C corp was not a real option for the vast majority of businesses. Now that that rate has plunged to 21 percent, the choice becomes trickier. “We are telling people that it makes sense to reconsider doors that have historically been closed,” an EY partner said.

Nothing Dull in the Taxation of the Boring Company’s Planned Hyperloop [BNA]
If pods are going to zoom from DC to New York at the speed of sound, there will be some interesting tax quirks to resolve since some states exempt rail equipment and “rolling stock” from sales tax while others do not. But, there is a matter of “many engineering and financial hurdles still to overcome, [so] it is probably a bit premature to be worrying about use tax on hyperloop pods.”

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Previously, on Going Concern…

Why Does (and Why Should!) Data Analytics Matter to Accountants? (This post is brought to by the University of North Carolina Master of Accounting Program)

I mentioned that the IRS doesn’t appreciate it when tax pros tell their clients to call the preparer hotline.

From the archives: Even More Tax-Related Violence: Wife Shoots at Refund Hogging Husband

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.