November 13, 2018

Accounting News Roundup: More Details on Deloitte Hack Emerge and ‘Change Tax Law!’ | 10.10.17

deloitte steinhoff south africa

Deloitte hack

A couple weeks back we learned that Deloitte had been the latest mega organization to suffer a cyberattack. At the time, I wrote this:

It always seems like when a scandal hits a huge company, they play it down, only to discover a week or two later that the bad event was worse than they thought. If a professional services firm suffers a breach because someone failed to use two-factor authentication, I think a fair number of people would question everything they had to say about the situation.

Here’s The Guardian right on cue this morning:

The hack into the accountancy giant Deloitte compromised a server that contained the emails of an estimated 350 clients, including four US government departments, the United Nations and some of the world’s biggest multinationals, the Guardian has been told.

Sources with knowledge of the hack say the incident was potentially more widespread than Deloitte has been prepared to acknowledge and that the company cannot be 100% sure what was taken.

The report states that the U.S. Departments of State, Energy, Homeland Security, and Defense were exposed, as well as the Postal Service, National Institutes of Health, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Fifa. Plus, “four global banks, three airlines, two multinational car manufacturers, energy giants and big pharmaceutical companies,” and a partridge in a pear tree.

In response, Deloitte is sticking by its original “Nothing is fucked here, Dude” stance:

Deloitte did not deny any of these clients had information in the system that was the target of the hack, but it said none of the companies or government departments had been “impacted”. It said “the number of email messages targeted by the attacker was a small fraction of those stored on the platform”.

The Guardian‘s sources say Deloitte’s “public position belied concern within the company about exactly what had happened and why.” Which, I believe, is the express purpose of corporate PR offices.

I don’t know where this story goes next, but let’s check back in two weeks from now.

Change tax law!

Legislative wizard Donald J. Trump is shouting ideas again:

This is highly technical policy making by Donald Trump standards, so I’ll go out on a limb and say that he doesn’t know that the NFL abandoned its tax-exempt status in 2015.

Previously, on Going Concern…

In Open Items, someone is asking about a bad grade in a non-accounting class.

In other news:

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How to find the “best and brightest” [CPA Success]
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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.
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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

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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.

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[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.