July 16, 2018

Accounting News Roundup: Slow-walking Revenue Recognition and Poor Millennials | 11.15.17

accounting news revenue recognition millennials

Slow-walking revenue recognition

People have been dreading the new revenue recognition rules that go into effect later this year for a while now. FASB delayed the rule once and, sure, maybe the extra time was necessary, but it also managed to prolong the agony. One guy, you may recall, is worried enough that he wants people to give it some Y2K-esque nickname so everyone catches up to his distress level.

Anyway, for the most anxious of accounting departments, you can breathe again, if only because the SEC isn’t expecting you to get everything perfect out of the gate:

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission officials indicated that they will hold off on issuing comment letters scrutinizing company compliance with the new revenue accounting standard in the early stages of implementation.

“This is a very big change, it’s very complicated and companies have put a lot of time and effort into this,” said Mark Kronforst, chief accountant in the SEC’s division of corporation finance, speaking Tuesday at the Financial Executives International Current Financial Reporting Issues conference in New York.

“What I hope is that we’re not going to try to regulate this one company at a time,” Mr. Kronforst said, echoing earlier remarks by SEC Deputy Chief Accountant Sagar Teotia.

Oh, boy. Expressing that kind of bad feeling in public almost virtually assures that they’ll be regulating this one company at a time.

Poor millennials

Bloomberg notes that Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report that millennials are deserving of some sympathy when it comes to matters of financial resources:

“They faced the rigors of the financial crisis… and have also been widely hammered by high and rising house prices, rising student debt and increasing inequality. Millennials are not only likely to experience greater challenges in building their wealth over time, but also greater wealth inequality than previous generations.”

Although I’m sure this run of bad luck will end eventually, for now, it sounds like the easiest way for a millennial to make a small fortune is to inherit a large one and piss it away on pour-over coffee and avocado toast.

SEC enforcement

The SEC has issued a slew of litigation releases this week, and they’re all pretty standard, featuring people who told investors that they’d invest their money but then just spent it lavishly and engaged in some Ponzi-ish activity.

This one stars a trio of brothers who “did not make any investments with the money, and instead simply stole the investors’ funds.”

Here’s a Georgia man who “used the misappropriated client funds as his own personal piggy bank,” telling one retiree “that he had substantial assets and access to personal funds to fulfill his guarantee when, as alleged, he had no such financial resources.”

And then there’s this weird one where a guy, Michael F. Anderson of Vail, Colo., told everyone that he was:

a retired, successful hedge fund manager who intended to day trade their funds using a proprietary algorithm. Claiming he no longer needed income and instead wanted to help friends and charitable causes, Mr. Anderson falsely told investors that he would fund his wife’s charitable organization for abused women and children

Unfortunately for the investors, the charity was a “sham entity that never conducted any legitimate business.” To make things only slightly weirder, according to the SEC’s complaint, Anderson confessed to most of the illegal activity in an affidavit on February 2nd. And even weirder than that is Mr. Anderson and his wife had divorced in 2009 and remarried on February 7th, five days after his confession.

Previously, on Going Concern…

In Open Items, someone wants to know if they should try negotiating a higher salary. Another user asks for info on EY Transaction Advisory.

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.