July 17, 2018

Accounting News Roundup: PwC Trial Moves On; No One Likes the AMT; Wells Fargo Keeps KPMG | 03.16.17

kpmg auditors pcaob partners conspiracy

PwC on trial

Although the big news in the MF Global/PwC trial was the judge’s rejection of the firm’s motion, the Wall Street Journal also noted that one of the key players also testified yesterday:

On Wednesday, Linda McGowan, the chief PwC audit partner on the MF Global account, testified about her work vetting the accounting treatment for the Eurobond transactions. She said she conferred with a colleague, Frederick “Chip” Currie, regarding the RTMs and their treatment as sales in MF Global’s financial statements, for “10 to 15 minutes” in January 2010.

During his opening statement, Daniel Fetterman, a lawyer for MF Global, told the jury that during depositions Mr. Currie couldn’t recall that conversation taking place. Mr. Currie hasn’t yet testified.

I haven’t attended this trial so I can’t give you a first-hand sense of how things seem to be going, but it’s been suggested to me that, now that the firm’s Hail Mary has gone unanswered, the only thing left for them to do is settle this thing.

If PwC truly has had enough and isn’t interested in seeing this through, my suggestion is that they announce the settlement some time tomorrow afternoon when a mixture of basketball fans and St. Pat’s revelers start hitting their stride.

Everybody hates the AMT

This New York Times story discusses why no one likes the alternative minimum tax. In short, the AMT was supposed to “ensure that the richest taxpayers were not able to skip out on paying altogether.” It hasn’t really done that. Only 20.5% of taxpayers earning $1 million or more pay any AMT.

Wells Fargo

American Banker reports (subscription required) that the bank is keeping KPMG as its auditor “even though the accounting giant failed to detect rampant sales abuses.”

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The latest Meet This Firm video features Ryan & Wetmore, a firm based in the DC area. You can see all their open positions here.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Greg Kyte’s Exposure Drafts cartoon looked at the fight over the Andersen name. I wrote about the judge rejecting PwC’s motion in its trial with MF Global. In Open Items, someone is asking about GPAs.

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.