October 23, 2018

Accounting News Roundup: PwC’s New Envelope Safeguards and Changes to State Tax Rates | 01.23.18

Accounting firm adds 6 new rules to prevent Oscars envelope gaffe [AP]
The Academy Award nominations were announced this morning, but PwC’s Tim Ryan had a little reveal of his own, sharing the new rules the firm put in place to avoid a SALY #EnvelopeGate. Naturally, the new rules center around “envelope rituals” that should prevent a simple human error which, the Academy CEO gently reminds everyone, can have MASSIVE consequences:

Film academy chief Dawn Hudson said that after reviewing the relationship between the two organizations, and given that the voting and secrecy around the Academy Awards were never compromised, the academy chalked up the envelope mistake to simple human error.

“Still, it was a big human error, and it was a very public human error,” Hudson said.

Ultimately, academy officials and board members decided not to “throw out 83 years of flawless partnership over this, while huge, one human error,” she said

Try to work “while huge” into your interactions today.

Researchers find quarterly reporting leads to corporate myopia [AT]
Rahul Vashishtha and Mohan Venkatachalam of Duke University and Arthur G. Kraft of the Cass Business School of City University London found that “when new regulatory mandates forced companies to increase the frequency of their financial reporting, they reduced their annual capital investments by around 1.5 to 1.9 percent of their total assets.”

Changes to 2018 Rates for Corporations and Pass-Through Entities [BNA]
At least a dozen states (and counting) have made changes to their corporate income, franchise, and other business taxes in the wake of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Ex-accountant repays restaurant group $81,000 after embezzlement plea [MLive]
File to Accountants Behaving Badly: I can help you with that. Jane Clark of Portage, Mich. pleaded guilty to stealing between $50k and $100k from her employer, EMA Enterprises, a restaurant group. The funny thing is, prosecutors weren’t exactly sure at first: “Kenneth Barnard, Kalamazoo County assistant prosecutor, said the actual amount of the embezzlement was less than $100,000, and said that some items were double counted when Clark was first charged. Barnard said he, EMA Enterprises owners and Clark’s defense attorney, Gary Mouw, went through the documentation, which showed the amount embezzled was legitimately under $100,000.”

Previously, on Going Concern…

I wrote a couple of posts about the indictment and civil charges (well, mostly the indictment) against six accountants, including five former KPMG employees. The first one is the “what you need to know” version; the second effort has all the gory details.

From the archives: Use Excel to Keep an Eye on Your BMI This Busy Season

In other news:

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Funny homeless guy sign

You Know That Guy Who Panhandles on Your Block? He May Be a CPA.

Anybody out there looking to help their fellow CPA, who’s down on his luck?
The Wall St. Journal is reporting that the former BDO Seidman LLP CEO, Denis Field may have to pay back a portion of $180 million that is being sought by prosecutors in the tax shelter case that involves Field and six others.
Natch, everybody has denied wrongdoing. The charges include conspiracy and tax evasion. Good luck with that.

Prosecutors Seek Ex-BDO Seidman CEO, 6 Others To Forfeit $180M
[WSJ]

Partners at Grant Thornton are Just Getting Lazy

Grant-thornton-logo.JPGGrant Thornton is really making our lives easy today: “Grant Thornton has agreed to pay nearly £6,000 in fines and costs after it failed to correctly sign off 43 audit reports.”
Measly fine, obv but 43 audit reports? And a incorrectly signed off report is one that, “had not been signed off by a responsible individual of the firm”.
So apparently the Brits have got their interns signing off on the audits. Gold star for you today, GT.
ICAEW fines Grant Thornton over audit sign-offs [Accountancy Age]