Accounting News Roundup: KPMG’s Revenue and Spending $1M on ‘Game of War’ | 12.13.16

Revenue recognition

As we mentioned the other day, the FASB has said it might take a time-out from new standard development projects. One of the reasons are asking for a breather is none other than the new revenue recognition standard which will be keeping people plenty busy. The Wall Street Journal's Tatyana Shumsky reports that with just about a year to go, lots of people are still procrastinating:

Just 15 companies in the S&P 100 have so far disclosed how they plan to make the transition to the new accounting standard, according to a Wall Street Journal review of most recent quarterly filings.

Finance executives say they are working on plans to tell investors more about how the rules will affect their business, but admit they are in uncharted waters. “You literally have to take a clean sheet of paper and start from scratch,” said Lara Long, vice president for corporate accounting and reporting at agricultural-equipment maker AGCO Corp.

Whoa. No wonder people are putting it off. I think if I had to go back to pencil and paper, I'd just quit.

KPMG revenues

Last but not least, (well, it is least among Big 4 firms) KPMG announced revenues of $25.42 billion for its fiscal year 2016. The firm reports this as 8% revenue growth in "local currency terms" but when compared to its FY 2015 performance in US dollars, it's only 4% growth. Growth by function was as follows: Audit: 0.89%; Advisory: 6.5%; Tax: 4.7%. Again, that's in USD terms, which the firms don't like because the numbers aren't as big.

Accountants behaving badly

As I've mentioned here on occasion, what accountants spend their embezzled loot on is a never-ending fascination for me. In the case of Kevin Lee Co, he sets a new bar for accountants whose spending habits fall into the "like no tomorrow" category. Co embezzled nearly $5 million from his employer, Holt, a heavy machinery company, from 2008 to 2015 where he served as controller. During that time he sprung for, among other things, season tickets to the Sacramento Kings and San Francisco 49ers, plastic surgery, a golf club membership and one other item of note:

Easily the strangest expenditure was money spent on playing “Game of War,” a smartphone game that is considered a freemium app — referring to a game that costs nothing to acquire but requires monetary purchases in-game. In other words, if you want better weaponry or some such within the game, you can purchase it.

The average paying player spent $550 on the game in 2015, according to VentureBeat.

Co spent approximately $1 million.

I don't know anyone who plays Game of War so I don't really understand the appeal. I'm sure part of it is the hope that Kate Upton will appear out of nowhere to express gratitude for your efforts. In any case, Co has been ordered to pay $4.5 million in restitution and will probably serve time. Ars Technica has the whole plea agreement. It's a doozy.

Previously, on Going Concern…

I wrote about an EY computer bag that's for sale on Craigslist. Bryce Sanders wrote about making an impact at a nonprofit. In Open Items, a non-traditional student seeks advice.

In other news:

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