October 20, 2018

Accounting News Roundup: Working to Death and KPMG South Africa | 10.06.17

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Working to death

It’s October now, which means some of you are working like crazy to meet the deadline on the 15th…er, 16th. That’s fine, Godspeed, serve those clients, etc. etc., but also remember that working yourself too hard can have consequences:

Miwa Sado, a young journalist for Japan’s state-run broadcaster, spent the summer of 2013 frantically covering two local elections in Tokyo.

Over the course of a month, she clocked 159 hours of overtime. She rarely took weekends off. She worked until midnight nearly every night. On her birthday, June 26, she emailed her parents, who thought she sounded weak.

Not quite a month later, just days after the second election, she died of congestive heart failure. She was 31.

The case — the latest high-profile example of karoshi, or “death from overwork” — came to light only after the broadcaster, NHK, announced it this week.

Yes, this was a journalist, and yes she was in Japan, but we’ve talked about accountants succumbing to karoshi in the U.S. before. And with workaholism culture alive and well in startups, dropping dead due to overwork is not outside the realm of possibility.

So, hey! If you’re heading into this October deadline homestretch, get some rest if you’re feeling exhausted. Eat some healthy food. Go for a walk without your phone. Talk to a friend. Hug your partner. Whatever! Anything that will prevent you from literally working yourself into the ground.

How’s KPMG South Africa doing?

Not so good! AVI Ltd., a distributor of consumer goods, is the latest company to kick the firm to the curb over its ties to a graft and corruption scandal there:

AVI, which has a market value of 34 billion rand ($2.5 billion), becomes one of the largest South African companies to drop KPMG after Munich Re of Africa, Sasfin Holdings Ltd., Sygnia Asset Management and Hulisani Ltd. announced they will stop using the firm’s services. The country’s biggest banks and largest insurer are also reviewing their continued use of KPMG.

It’s unclear if KPMG will have to pull up the stakes in South Africa, but this unraveling is quite a thing to witness.

Brought to you by Accountingfly

The featured job of the week is an M&A Accounting Manager with Pipaya in Vienna, Va.

Joey Havens, the managing partner of Horne, wrote about future-ready client service.

Previously, on Going Concern…

I mentioned the story of an EY employee who was shot in Las Vegas. In Open Items, someone is asking about corporate tax jobs.

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.