September 26, 2018

Accounting News Roundup: AICPA Disappointed That CPAs Are Left Out of the Tax Cut Party | 12.21.17

accounting news chipotle aicpa tax bill barry melancon

AICPA Reacts to Congressional Passage of Tax Legislation [AICPA]
It sounds like AICPA President, CEO and porg rancher Barry Melancon is none too pleased about CPA firms being left out of the tax cut party.

[T]he AICPA is very disappointed by lawmakers’ decision to exclude CPAs from the measure’s treatment of pass-through entities. Congress should have provided parity for pass-throughs, regardless of their line of business, in order to achieve a fairer, simpler, and more competitive tax code. The AICPA pointedly and repeatedly made the case that all professional service firms – including accounting firms – should have received the new deduction. The professional services sector, a critical element of America’s economic success, has been ignored. Accounting firms play an important role in the nation’s growth and job creation and legislators erred in excluding them. Those who suggest that CPA firms can adjust to the change by reforming as C corporations do not understand that the nature of state licensing regulations make such a transition impractical, if not impossible.

The bill itself will keep CPAs working for years to come, so I suppose that’s some consolation.

ElsewhereSweeping Tax Bill Heads to Trump But Uncertain When He Will Sign

How Sarbanes-Oxley led to pricier audits for everyone [CBR]
Researchers from the University of Chicago and MIT found that private companies used audit services less and fees for nonprofits went up considerably in the wake of SOX’s passage.

Bankrate’s ex-CFO faces criminal accounting fraud charges [Reuters]
File to Accountants Behaving Badly: cookie jar reserves. Edward DiMaria allegedly “carried out a complex scheme to mislead outside auditors, shareholders and regulators about Bankrate’s financial condition.” This included accruing unsubstantiated expenses that were reversed in later periods.

Previously, on Going Concern…

I wrote about Grant Thornton’s run-in with the PCAOB; among other things, the firm gave more work to a couple of partners with a history audit quality issues.

In Open Items, a second-year Big 4 auditor wonders if looking for exit opportunities this spring is too soon.

From the holiday archives: How Kris Kringle Lost His CPA License

In other news:

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Image: proshob/Wikimedia Commons

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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.