December 12, 2018

Accounting News Roundup: Big Auditors, A Tax Situation and United | 04.11.17

Big auditors

Accounting Today reports on the latest numbers out of Audit Analytics on public company auditors. And congrats to EY, the audit-yiest of the auditors:

Big Four firm Ernst & Young maintains its top spot in the rankings of auditors of public companies, with over 250 public company clients more than its nearest rival, according to a recent study.

In Audit Analytics’ Who Audits Public Companies – 2017 Edition, which was just completed, EY totaled 947 public companies, followed by fellow Big Four firms PwC, KPMG and Deloitte & Touche with 696, 665 and 642, respectively.

For those scoring at home, the seven largest firms — Big 4 + BDO, Grant Thornton, RSM — audit 96.5% of the large accelerated filers.

A tax situation

A couple of years ago, when the Department of Justice charged Jersey Shore star Michael Sorrentino with tax evasion, most people shrugged and said, “Sounds about right.” Last Friday, the DOJ expanded on their indictment of Sorrentino and his brother Marc, which also seems about right:

According to the superseding indictment, Michael was a reality television personality who gained fame on the television show “The Jersey Shore,” which first appeared on the MTV network. Michael and his brother Marc created businesses, such as MPS Entertainment LLC and Situation Nation Inc., to exploit Michael’s celebrity status. The superseding indictment alleges that the brothers conspired to defraud the United States by not paying all federal income tax owed on approximately $8.9 million that Michael earned between 2010 and 2012. It is alleged that the brothers filed or caused to be filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) false tax returns that understated gross receipts, claimed fraudulent business deductions, disguised income payments made to the brothers and to others and underreported net business income. As part of the conspiracy, the brothers also allegedly commingled funds among business and personal bank accounts and used the money from the business bank accounts to pay for personal items, such as high-end luxury vehicles and clothing.

I’m sure the Sorrentinos socked plenty of money away to pay defense attorneys for precisely this kind of….oh never mind.

People are worried about IRS phone scams

Nah, everything’s fine now:

Indian police said on Saturday they had arrested the suspected mastermind behind a call center scam run out of a Mumbai suburb that targeted thousands of Americans and netted more than $300 million.

Sagar Thakkar, 24, also known as Shaggy, was arrested at Mumbai’s international airport in the early hours of Saturday after he flew in from Dubai, Mukund Hatote, a police officer on the case, told Reuters.

Good job everyone.

United

Years ago, when I was still serving the capital markets, I was flying back to New York after visiting friends in Colorado. I had a layover in Chicago and, of course, United oversold the flight and needed volunteers to give up their seats. They were offering the usual — free meals, hotel, a $400 voucher — but also seating in 1st Class for the first flight out the next morning. I wasn’t in a hurry to get back to work (life at KPMG wasn’t so great at this time) so I emailed my manager and said I would be in late. No problem. I happily took all the loot and even had a free beer for breakfast on the flight home.

The weirdest thing about the whole United-violently-dragging-a-passenger-off-a-flight debacle is that no one wanted an $800 voucher. I get that some people — including the doctor they dragged off! — needed to get to where they were going, but there wasn’t a single miserable CPA on that flight who wanted to avoid work for just a little bit longer? You have to seize these opportunities when they come your way.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Marsha Leest wrote about political opinions when choosing an employer. And people who want to get out of paying taxes should suffer more humiliation than an IRS tattoo.

In other news:

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Layoff Watch ’10: Ernst & Young January Edition

Confused doesn’t even begin to describe what were feeling. We are hearing tons of rumors about layoffs in the Ernstiverse this week.

We’ve heard rumors from Denver to the East-Central (fka North-Central) and New York FSO. This includes both client serving professionals and support staff. We have already confirmed that two admins were let go earlier this week in New York.

The timing is especially strange since, you know, it’s January and in some offices the mandatory hours have already rolled out. Even if it were only support staff being let go, the timing is still unheard of. Why wait until January to let people go when having cuts in November? Maybe it’s just us but if we had survived that November cut, we would have thought that our job would be safe until at least the spring.
And since the roundtables seem to be SOP you wouldn’t think they would be anything to worry about but they definitely have people talking and wondering what will go down.

So far, Ernst & Young has not responded to our request for comment.
If you hear anything about your office get in touch in with us and discuss in the comments.

E&Y’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award Just Got a Little More Prestigious

Jim Turley3.jpgFrom what we can tell, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award is a BFD. If the other Big 4 have their own versions of this award, we sure haven’t heard of them.
And even if Deloitte were to start handing out the Uncle Dangle Vigilante of the Year award, it would pale in comparison to the EYEY because, now, a past winner is going to be on The Real Housewives of New York City.
Jennifer Gilbert won her EYEY in 1998 for her business, Save the Date, “A dedicated force of event planners who are in tune with the constantly evolving world of corporate events.” She’s even in the EYEY Hall of Fame. Jesus, this thing has a HoF?
J Dawg has to be bursting over this. Shamelessly up on his desk fist pumping, Tiger Woods style. A soon-to-be reality TV star that, God willing, will name drop E&Y every chance she gets on cable would be the best thing that ever happened to the firm. Sorry, NASCAR HoF.
The Real Housewives of New York Adds a Second New Non-Housewife [Gawker]