November 13, 2018

Accounting News Roundup: Tax Charges, Irregularities, and Xerox Stories | 02.01.18

accounting news facebook microsoft tax charges

Another typical, lazy dog, expecting a handout.

Tax Charges Pile Up As U.S. Companies Report Earnings [WSJ]
Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Facebook all took hits to their deferred tax assets, which, as we’ve noted before, is NBD. Analysts are ignoring the effect anyway, but the write-offs are in the billions, people are bound to notice. I’ll just leave this here, again: “This is a very, very trivial problem to have, the opposite of a problem really.”

UK building distributor SIG says 2016 profit overstated, shares fall [Reuters]
Whenever a whistleblower complaint leads to a discovery like, “a number of accounts [being] overstated, ‘in some cases intentionally,'” you’re going to have a bad time. SIG says it’s working with their auditor, Deloitte, to figure out what’s going on but also hired KPMG “to conduct a review of financial reporting.”

Steinhoff board and management don’t know how accounting scandal happened [ANA]
Christo Wiese, the former chairman and one of Steinhoff’s largest shareholders, says precisely what no one wants to hear: “[W]e really do not know how this has happened.” He went on to try throwing Deloitte under the bus:

He was at pains to point out that the auditors who pointed out the irregularities in the 2017 financial statements had been the same company “paid handsomely” to do previous audits, the integrity of which are also now been questioned.

Deloitte, FWIW, is on record that they did the right thing.

Remembering Bert Padell, the Accountant Who Got Hip-Hop Paid in Full [Vulture]
Mr. Padell, who died on January 21st, “was the music industry’s Yoda.” He started his career as a batboy with the New York Yankees, where he met Joe DiMaggio, who later became a client, but became best known for working with hip-hop artists including Run-DMC, Sean Combs, Notorious B.I.G., and many others.

What’s the Craziest Thing You’ve Ever Found in a Xerox Machine? [NYT]
I’m old enough to remember spending an inordinate amount of time at the Xerox machine, making copies of prior year files that were needed for current year files. Making copies (in your best Richmeister voice) was, by far, the most tedious task for a young accountant. SALY, amirite? I never found anything crazy in a Xerox Machine, certainly nothing as significant as the Pentagon Papers, but since accountants have a love/hate relationship with the Xeroxing, there might be a decent yarn or two out there.

Previously, on Going Concern…

I noticed that some cryptocurrency traders are just now getting familiar with taxes.

From the archives: Drones Set to Disrupt the “Ideas Accounting Firms Won’t Pursue” Niche

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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

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.