August 21, 2018

Accounting News Roundup: Tax Bill Hits a Speed Bump, Anti-Excel Backlash, and RSM in Canada | 12.01.17

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Republican Tax Bill Hits Snag Over Deficit Concerns [NYT]
Remember when Republicans said that these tax cuts would pay for themselves? Hahaha, no, just kidding. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates, even when taking into account economic growth, the tax bill would still add over $1 trillion to the deficit. So now, Republicans have to find billions in revenue and guess where they’re looking: “Lawmakers are now considering alternatives, including reinstating the alternative minimum tax on some corporations and wealthy individuals, and raising the corporate rate above 20 percent after some number of years. A final vote on the bill is expected on Friday after a series of amendments are considered.”

Bonus reading: The JCT’s full analysis, including the table on page 7 with the deficit details.

Ahead of Vote, Promised Treasury Analysis of Tax Bill Proves Elusive [NYT]
Speaking of tax bill analyses, the one that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has been promising may or may not exist, but it sure hasn’t seen the light of day. This got the attention of Mass. Senator Elizabeth Warren who asked the Inspector General to look into it. “Either the Treasury Department has used extensive taxpayer funds to conduct economic analyses that it refuses to release because those analyses would contradict the Treasury secretary’s claims, or Secretary Mnuchin has grossly misled the public about the extent of the Treasury Department’s analysis,” Warren wrote to the IG.

Elsewhere in Trump Administration tax bill falsehoods, this tweetstorm from Tony Nitti covers it.

Finance Pros Say You’ll Have to Pry Excel Out of Their Cold, Dead Hands [WSJ]
Yes, there’s been a backlash to the WSJ’s anti-Excel article, so, naturally, it warranted a follow-up, and every word is a delight. “Lots of intelligent and otherwise rational people would sooner clobber you with a bat than let you separate them from Excel,” reads one line. One engineer said, “[a] battle with the actuaries” over switching from Excel to a new software, “reminded him of trying ‘to talk my dad into buying a new car.'” And here’s a scary picture: “There’s a Red Badge of Courage that people wear when they stay up all night and work a spreadsheet to get something that they think is unique and artisanal.”

Earlier: Megan Lewczyk wrote about dumping Excel in April 2016, and that got ugly, too. The WSJ should’ve known they were kicking a hornet’s nest with this one.

RSM expands to Canada [AT]
The accounting firm formerly known as McGladrey has planted a flag in Canada with an office in Toronto of 37 partners and over 300 professionals.

Brought to you by Accountingfly

The featured job of the week is a Senior Accountant with Santora CPA Group in Newark, Del.

Previously, on Going Concern…

I wrote about the number of women partners in accounting firms.

In Open Items, someone wants to hear from anyone who’s survived a performance improvement plan.

Also, another user is curious about raises from senior to manager.

In other news:

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Image: RushenbDerived: Peter Coxhead/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.