September 21, 2018

Deloitte Surpassed $43 Billion in Global Revenue in Fiscal Year 2018

The numbers are in, the press release is out, and the words “exceptional,” “unrelenting,” and “quality and distinction” were used by Deloitte’s No. 1 cheerleader, Global CEO Punit Renjen, to describe the firm’s 2018 fiscal year. I have no doubt that Green Dots around the world yesterday celebrated (i.e., sat half asleep at their desks) […]

WTF

NASBA Tweets CPA Exam Scores Are Up, Lies

It has been a strange week on Twitter for professional and semi-professional public accounting bodies the last few days, but NASBA has officially taken the crown from the AICPA for Twitter snafus. In case you missed our earlier discussion, @AICPA got hacked by Bitcoin scammers. At publication time, the scammers still have control of @AICPA. […]

retro computer

The AICPA’s Twitter Totally Got Hacked by Bitcoin Scammers

So, I’m the first to admit I don’t know shit about blockchain, nor do I care. But I do know that public accounting firms are anxious to appear far more tech savvy than lil’ ol’ me and have been wasting a lot of time and effort talking about the transformative powers of blockchain. We’ll include […]

EY Global Revenue Up 11% in Fiscal Year 2018

Here we go, folks. It’s that time of year when we start seeing the Big 4 firms releasing their global revenue numbers for the most recent fiscal year. And EY is first out of the gate. According to the numbers Mark Weinberger and company want the public to know about, fiscal year 2018 was a […]

Where, Oh Where, Is KPMG’s 2016 Inspection Report?

KPMG’s 2016 inspection report has still not been published by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and the PCAOB won’t say why—or if the report will ever see the light of day. Compliance Week reports: The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board published its 2016 inspection results for Deloitte in December 2017 followed by reports for EY […]

PwC to Hold Moment of Silence in Remembrance of Botham Jean

PwC will observe a moment of silence throughout all of its U.S. offices later this week in honor of Botham Jean, a 26-year-old risk assurance associate in the firm’s Dallas office who was shot and killed in his apartment by an off-duty Dallas police officer on Sept. 6. First reported today by Bloomberg and confirmed […]

Monopoly beauty contest card

She Didn’t Win Miss America, But Miss Missouri’s Appearance Was a Win for Accountants Everywhere

HEY did y’all know an accounting major appeared on Miss America 2.0 last night? Yeah, I wouldn’t have known either were it not for an astute GC reader excitedly tweeting us the news. Miss Missouri is an accounting major. She automatically has my vote. @going_concern #MissAmerica2019 — Pat Sheridan (@accountingninja) September 10, 2018 Waves HI, […]

How Do We Fraudulently Boost Revenues for Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

If you’re going to get busted for using fraudulent accounting practices to artificially inflate your company’s revenues, you might as well make it worth your while—or at least worth the fine you’re going to have to pay to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC levied fraudulent accounting charges against Tangoe, formerly a public telecommunications […]

English pub

Starting in October, You Can Grab a Pint at a Real English Pub After the CPA Exam

Congratulations, unlicensed U.S. expats in Europe, beginning October 1 you no longer have to head to Bahrain to take the CPA exam. According to an announcement from the AICPA, NASBA, and Prometric, nine Prometric locations across the pond will offer CPA exam testing for qualified applicants. Bristol, London, and Manchester (England) Edinburgh (Scotland) Cork and […]

CONFIRMED: Public Accounting Firm Partners Are Filthy Rich

Hear that squeaky, rattling sound? That’s a partner pushing a wheelbarrow full of cash through the hallways of your firm. Accounting Today has some highlights from the latest Rosenberg MAP Survey, which includes this tidbit: This year, the survey found that income per partner increased to $441,000, or 3 percent higher than last year. However, […]

So Is Charles Rettig Going to Be the Next IRS Commissioner or Not?

Good morning/afternoon, GCers. We hope you had a nice, relaxing Labor Day holiday. Last week, while I was driving to Binny’s Beverage Depot to pick up some Pipeworks Ninja vs. Unicorn IPA to drink over the holiday weekend, I was wondering why things have been quiet lately regarding the confirmation of Charles Rettig as the […]

How Are Public Accounting Salaries Stacking Up for 2019?

It’s the end of August, which means Starbucks is already slinging pumpkin spice lattes, Oktoberfest and pumpkin beers are now on the shelves of your favorite bottle shop, the college football season is about to kick off, and Robert Half and Accounting Principals have released their latest salary guides for accounting and finance professionals. Both […]

NBA Player Zaza Pachulia’s Former Accountant Pleads Guilty to Identity Theft, Probably Never Will Have Basketball Clients Again

In dubious accountant news, Randy Usow of Mequon, Wis., has agreed to plead guilty to one count of theft of government property and one count of identity theft after stealing more than $800,000 by submitting fraudulent tax returns in the name of NBA player Zaza Pachulia and his wife, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Pachulia, […]

Congrats, Tax Managers, You (Barely) Made Glassdoor’s List of the Highest-Paying Jobs in the U.S.

Glassdoor recently came out with its new ranking of the top 25 highest-paying jobs in the United States, and it was slim pickings for accounting-ish positions. Keep scrolling, scrolling, scrolling down until you reach No. 24, where you’ll find tax manager sandwiched between cloud engineer and data scientist. Tax manager has a median base salary […]

Woman and child at a park

PwC Has Broken Into the Cringeworthy World of Mommy Blogging

When you think of PwC, what comes to mind? Coveted internships? Bob Moritz’s hot dad glasses? Totally screwing up the one job they had at the Academy Awards? Well, get ready for PwC’s latest venture: blogging about period cramps. That’s right, y’all, PwC has ventured into mommy blogging. Once solely the domain of Scentsy-pushing stay-at-home-moms […]

PCAOB Told SEC ‘Hold My Drink,’ Went All Enforcement-Crazy on Accountants in 2017

2017 was a banner year for the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board when it came to enforcement actions against accountants. For the Securities and Exchange Commission, not so much. The PCAOB finalized 35 enforcement actions involving “accountants”—otherwise known as CPAs employed by SEC registrants, auditors, and audit firms—last year, up from 28 in 2016, according […]

Broker-Dealer Audits Are Still Sloppy, But Hey, Auditor Independence Violations Are Down, So That’s Something

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board released its report on 2017 inspections of broker-dealer audits on Aug. 20, and once again, there was some disappointing news for those who champion audit quality. According to a PCAOB press release: In this inspection period, the PCAOB inspected 75 audit firms and reviewed portions of 116 audits and […]

Exxon Mobil May Have Escaped an SEC Penalty Over Climate-Change Accounting But Not a Class-Action Lawsuit

Earlier this month, we reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission ended its two-year accounting probe into how Exxon Mobil Corp. calculates the value of its assets and whether the oil and gas company failed to alert investors about potential climate-change risks. The SEC decided to take no enforcement action against Exxon Mobil, but investors […]

Government Auditors Say the Institute of Internal Auditors Is Making a ‘Big Mistake’ By Phasing Out the CGAP Credential

The Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP) is one of three specialty certifications that are being phased out by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA)—and several government auditors who hold the CGAP aren’t very happy about it. “I’m disappointed but not surprised by the IIA’s short-sighted decision to phase out new applications to the CGAP,” Chris […]

Cath of Portlandia

We Need to Talk About This Fleece Vest Situation, You Guys

We’re a little late to the party here but a recent WSJ article addressed a critical issue impacting servants of capital markets: fleece vests. Jacob Gallagher writes: The fleece zip-up vest, the capstone of a new corporate uniform, lurks in air-conditioned corporate cubicles across America. It covers the sweating backs of nervous interns ordering supersize […]

A curious cow

PwC Is Getting Into the Exciting World of Fraudulent Meat

We’ve talked a lot over the last few years about accounting firms biting off more than they can chew, with ever-growing consulting arms and now even legal services, but this one takes the cake. The Telegraph reports: The accountancy firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PWC) is developing an edible signature with an agent used in spices and […]

PwC fdic colonial

U.K. Watchdog Blasts PwC for ‘Incomplete, Inaccurate, and Misleading’ Audit of BHS

In a leaked Financial Reporting Council report, the U.K’s accounting watchdog hammered PwC for bungling the audit of BHS, which resulted in “incomplete, inaccurate, and misleading” statements being made about the now-defunct retailer’s financial situation just before it was sold for £1, according to Accountancy Age. The article states: According to the leaked report, which […]

Another Former KPMG Employee Gets Into Trouble for Insider Trading

You can add Daniel Senn to the list of current and not-so-current KPMG employees and representatives, such as Scott London, Andrei Postrado, Thomas Avent, and Phil Mickelson (but not his KPMG hat), who have either been accused of, or found guilty of, insider trading. Senn, a Klynveldian auditor from 2007 to 2013, was convicted of […]

Ex-Manafort Accountant Given the Pink Slip After Testifying

We can’t say we’re shocked by this turn of events. From Bloomberg: Paul Manafort’s former accountant was fired from a Virginia firm after she told the court she was aware that Manafort’s tax returns contained false information. Cindy Laporta testified Friday [Aug. 3] in the government’s case against the former Trump campaign chairman, saying she […]

Report: Feds Examining Whether Michael Cohen Committed Tax Fraud

Federal prosecutors are already investigating possible crimes related to the business affairs of President Trump’s former personal attorney, fixer, and bulletproof vest, Michael Cohen, including bank fraud, campaign-finance violations, and hush payments made to cover up alleged flings Trump had with a porn star and a Playboy model. So, hey, why not throw tax fraud […]

SEC Calls Off the Dogs on Exxon Mobil

Exxon Mobil Corp. is out of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s doghouse for now, as the regulator ended its two-year accounting investigation into how the company calculates the value of its assets, as well as possible oily investor disclosures about climate change. According to a Bloomberg News report, Exxon Mobil received a letter from the […]

Iced Tea

The SEC Would Like a Word With Long Blockchain

Back in my day, it was enough to take an iconic cola brand and make a clear version to boost stock prices. Of course, that didn’t exactly work out for Pepsi in the long term either. In December of last year, New York-based Long Island Iced Tea Corp. changed its name to Long Blockchain Corp. and […]

Renowned U.K. Legal Eagles PwC Made Almost $92 Million in Law Revenues in the Past Year

You better watch your back, DLA Piper. PwC is coming for ya. From Law.com: PwC’s legal operations brought in around £70 million ($91.82 million) in U.K. revenues during the 2017-18 financial year—a figure that would have put it only just outside the U.K. top 50 based on last year’s rankings. The Big Four accounting firm, which received an alternative business […]

grant thornton uk ftse

Grant Thornton Admits 32 New Partners and Principals

This just in from the Purple Rose of Chicago: Grant Thornton LLP has admitted 32 new partners and principals, and promoted 29 to managing director, effective today. Specifically, 20 new partners and 12 new principals are members of the class of 2018. Here’s how this year’s numbers compare to previous years’ new partner/principal promotions at […]

BDO

A 4.2% Increase in Revenue Must Give BDO USA All the Happy Feels

Nearly two months after announcing that 37 new partners would be joining the firm, BDO USA put the word out that its revenue for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018, grew by 4.2% over the previous year. BDO USA’s self-reported revenue of $1.47 billion, which was announced on July 31, exceeds last year’s revenue […]

dog fails to catch ball

Audit Leaders Verbally Reaffirm Commitment to Audit Quality Since We Couldn’t Tell From Crappy Audits Lately

Last week, seven hotshots in the world of accounting and auditing stepped up and put their name on a statement “reaffirming” the profession’s commitment to audit quality. As my headline so subtly suggests, it’s a good thing someone said something because honestly it’s kinda hard to tell they’re serious given all the audit scandals, PCAOB […]

workplace by facebook accounting

Does Workplace by Facebook Live Up to the Hype for Accountants?

Over the last few months, Facebook has been relentlessly pushing its Workplace by Facebook platform, expanding the app’s feature list while ramping up its marketing. Its most recent PR blitz occurred this past June, as Facebook unveiled the company’s new Workplace for Good program, touting free access to Workplace Premium for nonprofits and educational institutions among […]

Unpopular Opinion: Women Make Terrible Leaders

Welcome to Unpopular Opinion, a new semi-regular series on Going Concern addressing topics impacting the accounting profession from the contrarian perspective. Have an unpopular opinion to share? Get in touch. Note: opinions are not necessarily mine.  Diversity and inclusion are hot-button issues not only in accounting but in the business world at large these days, […]

Here’s Your Open Thread for PwC Compensation (2018)

So, yeah, the whole “putting the 2018 PwC compensation thread in Open Items” thing didn’t go too well. After just two responses (thanks to SlowlyDying1065 and Franchise) and a minus-27 vote rating, this thread had become a dumpster fire. But now that we’ve resurrected the article comment section, we’ve taken this discussion out of Open […]

Michael Stevenson Latest to Bid Adieu to the PCAOB

Another one bites the dust. This time it’s Michael Stevenson, longtime Public Company Accounting Oversight Board deputy general counsel. Stevenson, who joined the PCAOB in 2003, had served as deputy general counsel since March 2007, according to a July 24 PCAOB press release that announced his departure. During that time, Stevenson “provided legal counsel in […]

You Bitched, We Listened: Comments Are Back Open

No, this isn’t a prank. It’s true. The comment section on all Going Concern articles is once again open for business. We saw the diatribes and polls on Twitter, we read the pissed-off emails, we noticed the lack of activity on Open Items. You were upset when we took away comments in May. We get […]

Top 5 Virtual Communication Apps for Remote Accountants

If you like to work remotely, you’ll need to use virtual communication apps to stay in touch with workers and clients, keep everyone on the same page, and ensure key benchmarks are being met on time. But with the wealth of virtual communication app options available, how do you know which ones to choose? We […]

Setback in Court For Ex-KPMG Execs, As Judge Refuses to Toss Out Counts in PCAOB Inspection Info Leak Case

As Mick Jagger sings, “You can’t always get what you want.” What three former top KPMG executives and two former employees of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board—who are accused of participating in a scheme in which confidential PCAOB inspection information was shared with the accounting firm—wanted was for their conspiracy and wire fraud counts […]

EY Promotes 747 New Partners Worldwide

We here at Going Concern have been anxiously awaiting the new EY partners announcement, and it finally came today. The 747 new partners worldwide in the class of 2018 is the most in three years. So, I suppose fireworks were in order: Today we're proud to celebrate our 747 diverse new partners around the world […]

Changing the Big Audit Model: Where Might the Regulators Go?

In the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s litigation against PwC over its audits of the failed Colonial Bank in Alabama, Judge Barbara Rothstein has loosed a second blast—her decision of July 2 fixed damages at $625 million for the liability spelled out at length in her decision last December. Appeals will come, making premature any crystal […]

Earnings Forecasts Look Sunnier When You Put GAAP in the Shade

More and more of the largest companies in the United States are using their favorite nonstandard accounting metrics to forecast earnings, and as long as the Securities and Exchange Commission allows it, they’ll continue to do it. For example, Newell Brands Inc., which makes Sharpie markers and Rubbermaid containers, forecasts that a key measure of […]

Report: Deloitte Employees Want the Firm to Cool It With ICE

Deloitte employees are circulating a petition saying they have “moral objections” to the Big 4 firm providing consulting for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and are asking management to sever ties with the immigration agency, the New York Times reported on July 12. According to the petition and internal emails obtained by the New York Times, […]

KPMG U.K. Chairman Taking Heat for Defending Carillion Audit

An article published today by The Times in which KPMG U.K. Chairman Bill Michael defended the firm’s audit of Carillion is getting some reaction on Twitter—good for the newspaper, bad for Michael and KPMG. The article states: The chairman of KPMG has hit back at MPs in charge of the inquiry into the collapse of […]

Big 4 U.K. Leaders Ready to Wine and Dine With Trump This Evening

Unlike some business leaders who are worried that attending an invitation-only dinner with President Trump later on tonight during his visit to the United Kingdom will damage their reputation, Big 4 U.K. leaders seem more than willing to break bread with the commander in chief. Trump, who has already arrived in the United Kingdom after […]