August 21, 2018

Accounting News Roundup: Big Business Is Happy; The Goldilocks Zone for Tax Avoidance; Steinhoff’s Silence | 12.19.16

accounting news 121917

U.S. Businesses Find Welcome Surprises in Tax Bill [WSJ]
“If someone would have said 11 months ago, by the end of the year we’d able to produce a bill and get it to the president’s desk that does these things, skepticism would have been sky high.” That’s not Speaker of the House Paul Ryan or another GOP member of Congress; no, that’s Neil Bradley, chief policy officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And you get the distinct impression that his role in crafting this tax bill wasn’t insignificant.

Elsewhere: The New York Times tax bill calculator will help you find out how individuals fare. The outcome is less certain than that for big business.

Prepaying 2018 state income taxes is blocked in GOP bill [CNBC]
So much for that idea. Although the possibility was always considered a longshot.

Companies Can CEOs, CFOs for High Tax Rates [CFO]
Another study validates that old accountant joke. The authors write: “Specifically CEOs who do not avoid enough tax are more likely to be forced out. Unlike the effect of avoiding too much tax, the … result of avoiding too little tax holds throughout our sample period.”

It Took Five Decades to Build Steinhoff. It Cratered in Two Days [Bloomberg]
If you’re a company that discovers some accounting irregularities, a good course of action would be to talk about those irregularities. A CEO of an investment manager makes it plain: “People were expecting an explanation from Steinhoff. Instead we got nothing. In the absence of any real information, you tend to assume the worst.”

From a top accountant and political candidate to ‘drug addict’ facing DEATH ROW in Bali [DM]
File to Accountants Behaving Badly: Don’t travel with 6 grams of ecstasy and 14 grams of meth in your luggage.

Previously, on Going Concern…

We opened a safe space for all the CPA exam candidates expecting scores.

In Open Items, a Big 4 tax associate asks about moving to a local firm “with some real estate specialization,” and if that will ” make myself marketable whenever I decide to look for that new position?”

In other news:

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See something we missed? Have a tip, correction, comment, or complaint? Email us at [email protected].

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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.