October 23, 2018

Accounting News Roundup: Tax Bill Passes Senate and Judgment Calls on Revenue Recognition | 12.04.17

Senate Passes Sweeping Revision of U.S. Tax Code [WSJ]
The Senate tax bill passed early Saturday morning, 51-49, with Tennessee Senator Bob Corker the only Republican voting against it. There were all kinds of last-minute goodies thrown in for special interests, including wealthy real estate developers. Weird! The Senate and House bills now go to conference where they will try to reconcile the differences before sending it to POTUS mouse hands for his signature.

Bonus reading: If you’re enjoying the Joint Committee on Taxation’s numbers, here are their estimated effects of the modifications to the bill. The final bill ditched the alternative minimum tax repeal, saving $173 billion, but altogether, the amendments still put the bill further in the red by $30 billion.

Judgment Calls Stalk Revenue Recognition [CFO]
Over the years, accountants have gotten used to the rules-based accounting put out by the FASB. But the new revenue recognition standard involves exercising a lot of professional judgment and “those […] continue to be challenging,” according to an AICPA official. It seems a little strange that accountants would be worried about having to make decisions, rather than following tedious guidance, but there you have it.

HKICPA piles on to PCAOB action [China Accounting Blog]
Paul Gillis notes that the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs, one of the last remaining self-regulatory bodies of the accounting profession, has an interesting disciplinary case against a firm that was banned by the PCAOB, Albert Wong & Company. Funny thing, that firm has morphed several times into different firms, and it’s most recent iteration, Centurion ZD, is NOT banned. “I think they may have pulled one over on the PCAOB,” Gillis writes.

UK audit watchdog triples size of enforcement team [FT]
The Financial Reporting Council, the U.K.’s audit regulator, had “fewer than 10 employees in 2012.” That seems a little small for an organization that has to review massive audits down by the Big 4. They have over 30 staff now, but their enforcement budget remains less than half of the PCAOB’s.

Survey says…

On Friday, we shared a survey sponsored by our partner FloQast. (You can read more about our partnership here.) The survey asks questions about your experience with the month-end close. You’ll have our undying gratitude if you could spare a few minutes to take the survey. Please and thank you.

Previously, on Going Concern…

I wrote about the PCAOB taking a breather.

Jason Bramwell wrote about the less traveled road of controller to CFO.

In Open Items, a user asks about moving from a forensics job to a small CPA firm.

In other news:

Get the Accounting News Roundup in your inbox every weekday by signing up here. You can also sign up to receive our job alerts for select cities like Atlanta and Houston.

See something we missed? Have a tip, correction, comment, or complaint? Email us at [email protected].

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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.