September 21, 2018

Industry

Tesla’s Chief Accounting Officer Nopes on Up Outta There After Just a Month on the Job

Tesla is having a tough time hanging onto a chief accounting officer, you guys. Dave Morton joined the company in early August after a stint as CFO of Seagate Technology. The day after Morton joined Tesla, CEO Elon Musk tweeted that he was thinking about taking the company private and buying out investors at $420 […]

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 […]

startup accounting job

Get an Accounting Job with Startup Perks–Minus the Startup Risks

Looking for a job in the accounting field where you’ll get to interact with a wide variety of clients, gain a foothold in the ever-expanding tech market, and enjoy the benefits of a startup lifestyle without the fears of working for an unstable company? If that sounds appealing, FloQast may have a position for you. […]

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 […]

New Leases Standard About to Really Blow Up Drug Store Chains’ Balance Sheets

We are T-minus 155 days away from financial executives at U.S. public companies saying a couple of Hail Mary’s, keeping their fingers and toes crossed, and hitting the “go” button on adopting new accounting rules for reporting leases. Accounting Today reported that two popular drug store chains top the list of Fortune 1000 companies with […]

what is a homebuilder

What Is a Homebuilder, and Why Should Accountants Work For One?

I’m interviewing Megan Scheiderich, director of internal audit at PulteGroup. If you didn’t know, PulteGroup is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious homebuilders. So I have to open the interview with THE question. One of those questions you dread asking because the answer is so obvious and self-evident. But you have to ask […]

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 […]

Big 4 CMA

Does the Big 4 Value the CMA Certification?

When talking about certifications prized by the Big 4, everyone sounds like a broken record: the CPA, the CPA, the CPA, and just to mix it up, sometimes they mention THE CPA. Is there any other certification that Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst and Young (EY), and KPMG find appealing? What about the CMA, another one […]

Toshiba Seems to Have Escaped SEC Penalty After Accounting Probe Ends

It was reported in March 2016 that the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department were investigating the “accounting problems” at Toshiba Corp.’s business units in the United States. Well, according to Reuters, the SEC has completed the investigation, and Toshiba is likely breathing a sigh of relief. “We understand that all SEC investigations […]

Auditor

Financial Restatements On the Decline—Again

There has been a trend in recent years of financial restatements for public companies decreasing, and 2017 was no exception. A new report by Audit Analytics revealed that the total number of restatements fell for the fifth consecutive year—from 873 in 2013 to 553 in 2017, according to Tammy Whitehouse of Compliance Week. She also […]

Accountant Goalie Scott Foster Attends NHL Awards Show, Is Funnier Than Jim Belushi

Golub Capital accountant Scott Foster, who has shunned the public spotlight since he helped lead the Chicago Blackhawks to a 6-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets on March 29 as an emergency backup goalie, came out of hiding last night to present an award during the NHL awards show in Las Vegas. As someone who […]

SEC Chief Accountant Wesley Bricker Had Nice Things to Say About Management Accountants

Not that he would really say anything bad about management accountants since he was at the Institute of Management Accountants’ annual conference, but Securities and Exchange Commission Chief Accountant Wesley Bricker threw some bouquets their way during a speech on June 19. From Accounting Today: “As management accountants, your work is vital to the financial […]

Avalara IPO Has Big First Day of Trading, But Some Analysts Are Skeptical

Avalara’s initial public offering set the New York Stock Exchange ablaze in a sea of orange on June 15, as the Seattle-based sales tax automation company’s shares nearly doubled in their opening day of trading, according to CNBC. But while Avalara’s IPO looks hot, it’s overpriced, some analysts say. Shares of Avalara closed up 87 […]

5 Qualities Audit Committees Want a Corporate Controller to Possess

Open communication, face-to-face exposure, accountability: These are just some of the tenets of an effective relationship between the corporate controller and the audit committee. But after reading a couple of articles on what audit committees want from CFOs, I was curious to find out what audit committees expect from controllers. So, I asked a handful […]

cannabis accounting

Why Serving the Cannabis Industry Can Be Dope for Accountants

In an interview with Going Concern, DOPE CFO founders Andrew Hunzicker, CPA, and Naomi Granger, CPA, explain what common cannabis accounting mistakes CEOs make and why the industry presents a huge opportunity for accounting professionals.

Controllers Relationship Audit Committee

How Controllers Can Build an Effective Relationship with the Audit Committee

Over the past six months on Going Concern, more than two dozen corporate controllers have shared their experiences and provided practical advice to CPAs and other accounting professionals on certain aspects of the controllership, including talent retention, fraud, cybersecurity, leadership, month-end close, continuing education, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, and initial public offerings. But one part of their […]

close management whitepaper floqast

Whitepaper: The Definitive Guide to Effective Close Management

Have you ever heard a month-end-close story with a happy ending? Yeah, that’s a negative for us too, or at least it was until we met our friends at FloQast. What was once a source of frustration is now so much easier thanks to their helpful guide on the subject. You must think we’re lying. […]

wells fargo kpmg internal controls

Wells Fargo Not Sick of Bad Press Yet

Oh, Wells. Buddy. What’s going on? Can’t seem to keep your nose clean. Last week heralded another splashy headline in the WSJ: Wells Fargo Employees Altered Information on Business Customers’ Documents Even we’re getting sick of it! This time, WSJ reported that employees in the wholesale subunit cut corners with data collection — including personal […]

controllers IPO SOX

No Matter the Timeline, Controllers and Their Teams Must Be Ready When the IPO Window Opens

Well, looky there, Sarbanes-Oxley requirements. In a perfect world, a private company that is planning to go public would take 12 to 24 months before the initial public offering launch date to make sure all of its i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. But the world we live in ain’t perfect, and certain factors […]

USB IBM banned

Flash Drives Are Contraband at IBM Now

In a seemingly unenforceable move, IBM has banned its employees “from using removable memory devices such as USB sticks, SD cards and flash drives.” The company’s global chief information security officer Shamla Naidoo said that “the possible financial and reputational damage from misplaced, lost or misused removable portable storage devices must be minimised.” And sure, okay. […]

month-end close

Reminder: Take This Survey About the Month-End Close

Are you an accountant? Do you help close the books for your company or someone else’s? Well, then take this survey, by God, and tell us what it’s like in this day and age. Yes, we are making this ask again, but we figured it’d been long enough that you wouldn’t mind. If you’ve taken […]

Controllers Supporting CFOs IPO

Supporting the CFO Through the IPO Process Is a Big Task for Controllers

During the interview process for the job of corporate controller at Borderfree Inc., Scott Paterniani, CPA, was told by the company’s CFO, Ed Neumann, that he was focused on operations, scaling the business, and other strategic initiatives, and he needed someone with recent experience with an initial public offering and the Securities and Exchange Commission […]

We’re One Meltdown Away From a Bunch of Crusty Old CPAs Saying ‘I Told Ya So’ About the Cloud

If you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what a severe outage of Internet-based services might be like, this CFO article cites a report that tried to ballpark it: A cyber incident that takes a top-three cloud-services vendor offline for three to six days would spawn customer financial losses of about $7 billion […]

Controllers First IPO

10 Tips on How Controllers Can Survive Their First IPO

So far, 2018 has been a damn good year for IPOs in the United States. The U.S. IPO market is coming off a first quarter in which 44 companies, including Dropbox, went public, raising about $15.6 billion—the best quarter by proceeds in three years, according to a March analysis by research firm Renaissance Capital. That […]

wework community adjusted ebitda

Let’s All Have a Good Laugh at WeWork’s Stupid ‘Community Adjusted Ebitda’

WeWork, a commercial landlord pretending to be a tech-lifestyle company, raised over $700 million in a bond offering yesterday, and it seems they are taking a page from Groupon’s accounting playbook, offering a ludicrous profit metric for all of our enjoyment: In the offering documents, WeWork went to unusual lengths to show ways in which […]

University Controller

What It Takes for a University Controller to Be Head of the Class

A while back I spoke to several controllers at nonprofit organizations and asked them what tips they would give to an accounting or finance professional considering that role. Among the advice that was shared included “believe in the nonprofit’s mission and objectives” and “you won’t be rich, but the job is rewarding.” It seems that […]

university controllers

How Two CPAs Ended Up Back in College As University Controllers

Robert Kuehler and Alan West have a few things in common: both are CPAs, both started their careers in public accounting, both have accounting degrees, and both went back to college—not as a student or professor but as a state university controller. As associate vice president/university controller at the University of Colorado, Kuehler oversees a […]

excel reconciliations

Webinar: 5 Strategies for Streamlining Reconciliations in Excel

Hey there, accounting brethren. If you’ve emerged from your version of busy season unscathed and would like to squeeze in a little personal development, we recommend this free on demand webinar from our friends at FloQast: “5 Strategies for Streamlining Reconciliations in Excel.” It’s amazing how much time is wasted within accounting teams due to […]

non-cpa controllers

Non-CPA Controllers Offer Perspective on Choosing a Certification

Three years ago, Anne Bronchetti, CMA, had an accounting intern from a local university who had never heard of the Certified Management Accountant designation until she told him about it. “He knew he wanted to pursue a career in accounting but wasn’t at all sure what path to follow or where he should focus,” said […]

levi's cfo robots

Levi’s Finds Artificial Accountants, Ripped Denim More Fashionable Than the Real Thing

Levi’s CFO Harmit Singh told The Wall Street Journal that “We are introducing bots where it makes sense,” and “The idea is not to eliminate jobs. We are going to upskill employees and have them spend more time on analysis.” Yes, yes, the humans will do the really valuable stuff which, by the way, does […]

month-end close

Survey: What Are Your Experiences with the Month-End Close?

Hello, friends and readers of Going Concern. Today marks the official end of the spring tax season, and the unofficial end to busy season, so congratulations to all of you who survived with your sanity, dignity, and ideal body weight intact. Really, high praise if you got two out of three, and respect if you […]

controllers no cpa

No CPA, No Problem: Why Some Controllers Opted for Other Professional Credentials

Joel Konts was told over and over again during college that if he didn’t sit for the CPA exam and work for a public accounting firm after he graduated, he wouldn’t have the best of luck making a career in accounting. “I also knew that if I didn’t go for my master’s degree right after […]

suspect fraud promotion

Suspect Someone of Fraud? Give Them a Promotion

The trick to fraud is maintaining control. If you’re siphoning company funds into a bank account that you own through a dummy vendor, it’s key that you’re the person who approves those transactions and it’s even ideal if you can literally or figuratively cut the check. Yes, those are atrocious internal controls, but as we’ve documented […]

Excel

More Than 30 Years After Its Debut, Many Controllers Still Head Over Heels for Excel

When Microsoft Corp. released its spreadsheet program, Excel for Windows (Excel 2.0), in late 1987, Lotus 1-2-3 was all the rage. “Among numbers-crunching accountants, corporate planners and business school students, the program has developed the kind of loyal following usually reserved for Madonna and the Boston Red Sox,” the New York Times wrote on Oct. […]

Leave Scott Foster Alone, He Has Accounting To Do

Scott Foster, the accountant-turned-emergency goalie who blocked seven shots in fourteen minutes for the Blackhawks last Thursday, became an instant Chicago sports legend. But don’t think all this instant fame has gone to his head. In a post-game interview, “[T]omorrow I’m going to wake up, I’m going to button up my shirt, and I’m going […]

busy season survivor guilt cpa industry

Busy Season Triggers Survivor Guilt in CPAs Working in Industry

Busy season. It’s the hardest time of year for me as a CPA. But I don’t work in tax. I don’t work in audit. I don’t even work in public accounting. I work in industry as a controller. Busy season is brutal for because of the lies and deception … because any time I interact […]

sox compliance blockchain artificial intelligence

Controllers Say AI and Blockchain on the Cusp of Transforming SOX Compliance

When asked whether artificial intelligence and blockchain will play a role in accounting and finance teams’ Sarbanes-Oxley compliance efforts in the near future, Brian Christensen said, without hesitation, “Absolutely.” “The question is, how far down the road is that?” said Christensen, executive vice president of global internal audit and financial advisory at consulting firm Protiviti. […]

statoil robots finance

Statoil CFO Happy With His Robots; Later, Humans

Last fall, we mentioned Roberta, the newest and most efficient member of Statoil’s treasury department. Today, The Wall Street Journal reports that she’s been joined recently by several new co-workers, including one named Rob, and the Norwegian company’s CFO, Hans Jakob Hegge, seems to be enjoying them on a personal level: “I am not sure […]

Most U.S. Internal Audit Teams Still Crunching Numbers on Cave Walls Compared to Their European, Asian Counterparts

Even this guy is like, “What are you guys doing?” Read anything online and you’re likely to be told some variation of “The rapid pace of technology is disrupting X.” And since those words appear on the internet, adjacent to stock images of word clouds, or an illuminated light bulb, or a smug nerd with […]

sox compliance

Controllers Talk About the Paths They’ve Taken Toward SOX Compliance

As we approach the “sweet sixteen” of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act later this summer, corporate controllers provided some perspective on how SOX compliance efforts have changed with the times and what challenges they continue to face. “I’ve seen quite a few SOX changes through the years and improvements to internal controls since the original COSO framework was […]

Off-Balance Sheet Liabilities: Still Got It!

If you were worried that the heyday of companies using accounting rules to stash gazillions of dollars in debt out of sight was over, you can rest easy, friend. The Wall Street Journal reports on a Moody’s analysis by Trevor Pijper that found that defunct U.K. contractor Carillion used loose rules to keep about half a […]

pultegroup internal audit jobs careers

At PulteGroup, Internal Audit Opens Many Doors

A typical job that an eager-to-leave Big 4 auditor might come across is that of an internal auditor. These jobs are plentiful within public companies large and small, but there tends to be a stigma that internal auditors are merely corporate hall monitors with limited upward mobility. After speaking to Megan Scheiderich, director of internal […]

nonprofit controller

If You Want to Be a Nonprofit Controller, Be Prepared to Wear Lots of Hats

As controller and corporate compliance officer at the Akron, Ohio-based nonprofit Weaver Industries, Carla McDonald’s responsibilities include: all things financial (accounting, accounts receivable and payable, financial statement preparation, and financial presentations to the board of directors); overseeing a team of two (soon to be three) people; and maintaining regulatory compliance requirements for the organization. But […]

nonprofit controllers

Making an Impact in Their Communities Drove These Accountants to Become Nonprofit Controllers

For Denise Garcia, it was taking a course in nonprofit accounting while a student at the University of Houston. For others, like Raquel Cosio, CPA, who started their careers in public accounting, it was auditing nonprofit clients. It was experiences like these that gave Garcia, Cosio, and other accountants a glimpse into the nonprofit world—a […]

floqast founders interview

FloQast Founders on Competition, Accountants as Entrepreneurs, and How Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

As a freshman at Syracuse University, Chris Sluty knew his buddy and fellow Syracuse accounting major, Michael Whitmire, would start his own business one day. “I remember telling Mike, ‘Let me know when you start something, and I’ll be there,’” Sluty recalled. And Sluty was right. After they graduated from Syracuse in 2006, Whitmire went […]

roi cloud accounting technology

Webinar: Selling the ROI of Cloud Accounting Technology

Have you ever made a case to the boss about swapping your current tech out for a cloud-based application? Did you succeed or get a deer-in-headlight stare? If it was the latter, our friends at FloQast are hosting a webinar this coming Tuesday to walk you through how to prepare a formal Business Value Analysis. […]

public accounting to industry

Controllers Offer Tips on How to Look Before You Leap From Public Accounting to Industry

Last week we published an article on what the transition from public accounting to industry was like for 14 corporate controllers. During my interviews with them, I asked what advice they’d give to a CPA at a public accounting firm who is looking to make the jump to an industry accounting role. And boy did […]

public accounting to industry

Controllers Talk Switching Gears From Public Accounting to Industry

If it wasn’t for Fred Butterweck, CPA, this article may not have come to be. I was introduced to Butterweck, corporate controller of New York-based Clickspring Design, who worked for six years at PwC, via email as a potential source for the industry articles I’d be writing for Going Concern. During our email conversation, he […]

This Valentine’s Day, Get Something For That Lovable Yet Hopelessly Disorganized Accountant in Your Life

Valentine’s Day is upon us and that means accountants all across this great land are disappointing their beloveds with excuses like, “We have a deadline Thursday,” and “Remember, we both agreed that we wouldn’t buy into these Hallmark holidays,” and “The client needs me to stay late.” So if you’re unable to pull yourself away […]

controllers change industries

New Industry, No Problem: How 3 Controllers Transitioned From One Sector to Another

After spending several years as either an assistant corporate controller or corporate controller for three companies within the healthcare sector, Erik Bello, CPA, decided to make a career change. In April of last year, he became corporate controller of UniFirst Corp., a uniform rental service company based in Wilmington, Mass. And even though Bello was […]

corporate tax changes

Controllers Tight-Lipped About New Corporate Tax Changes

During an article brainstorming call I had with Caleb a couple Fridays ago, we both agreed that it would be interesting to ask corporate controllers and chief accounting officers what they thought of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the sweeping tax legislation that was signed into law in late December. Surely they must have […]

3 Controllers Reveal Tactics, and, Yes, How They Make Time, to Keep Learning

In about four months, the accounting and finance conference circuit will start to heat up, as professionals from companies of all shapes and sizes will descend upon hotels and convention centers in cities across the United States to peruse vendor exhibits, hobnob with their friends and peers at networking events, and attend workshops and seminars. […]

Auditor

How Accounting Teams Can Avoid the Year-End Audit Scramble

Webster’s defines the word “scramble” as “to move with urgency or panic.” If you want to see a scramble in action, turn on any college football or NFL game and watch the quarterback try to elude several angry 325-pound defensive linemen. While accounting and finance teams don’t have to worry about large, angry auditors chasing […]

controllers priorities 2018

6 Controllers Share Their Most Pressing Priorities for 2018

Happy New Year! While 2018 officially began for us accounting scribes once the New Year’s Eve hangover faded away, a majority of accounting and finance departments celebrated the start of the new year several months ago. Many companies’ 2018 fiscal year first quarters began last fall, but the process of planning key accounting and finance […]

big 4 manager

Think You Need to Stay in Big 4 Until Manager? Think Again

One of the most common pieces of advice given to young Big 4 professional is to “Stick around until manager.” The thinking goes, you will experience a number different of clients and situations, as well as give you the coveted title that many employers want to see. Firms suggest staying until manager because there’s always […]

cybersecurity controllers accounting

How Controllers Can Step Up Their Cybersecurity Game

There’s a good reason why cybersecurity is ranked extremely high on the priority list of Trey White, CPA, and other controllers and chief accounting officers in the healthcare sector. According to a report from the Identity Theft Resource Center and CyberScout, 376 (34.4%) of the 1,093 data breach incidents reported in 2016 occurred in the […]

leadership skills controllers accountants

Controllers Are Leaders Too: Here Are Tips for Being a Better One

When I was in my late 20s, I was thrown into the managing editor’s seat for a group of weekly community newspapers in the Chicago suburbs, after only having four years of experience as a beat reporter. Not only would I oversee six news reporters but also a staff of sports and arts and entertainment […]

month-end close floqast

Here’s How Thrive Market Woke Up From Its Month-end Close Nightmare

Imagine a month-end close process in which the close checklist, reconciliation schedules, and general ledger are in three different places, making it a nightmare for management to know what’s ready for review, if mistakes had been made, and what deadlines had been missed. Sounds dreadful, doesn’t it? But that scenario used to be a reality […]

auditor fraud pwc colonial fdic

Controllers, Don’t Skim On These 6 Tips to Thwart Fraud

It’s not every day that you come across a controller who had worked on the Allen Stanford and Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme investigations. But Bridget Meacham Kowalski, CPA, CFE, did just that. Now the controller of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Kowalski was working as a financial and litigation consultant for FTI Consulting at the time […]

month-end close floqast

Survey: Tell Us Your Experiences With the Month-End Close

Hey there, denizens of Going Concern. Please, take this survey that’s sponsored by our partner, FloQast. (Read more about our partnership with them here.) They want to learn what your experiences with the month-end close are. The survey is short and harmless, and you’re doing us a solid. The survey appears below or you can […]

controller to cfo

The Road From Controller to CFO Is Becoming Less Traveled

When my daughters, ages 10 and 8, are asked what they want to be when they grow up, my oldest says a professional basketball player, and my youngest wants to be a chef. Both good choices. No kid in their right mind would say accountant, journalist, or chief financial officer. As children, Bill Brundage had […]

sec accountant auditing

Here’s the Only Affirmation Accountants Need

This is from a couple weeks back, but it deserves a mention because it will help those of you currently experiencing a crisis of professional identity. It comes from a speech given by Wesley Bricker, the Chief Accountant of the SEC, and it’s just the kind of thing you need to hear when you’ve recently […]

employee retention

Don’t Let Employee Retention Be a Casualty in the War for Talent

On the battlefield in the war for talent, there’s a mission that may be just as, if not more, critical for accounting and finance executives than recruiting a new crop of professionals: retaining the skilled employees they already have. I know, I know, you’re probably tired of seeing or hearing the term “war for talent.” […]

floqast partnership

Announcing Our Partnership with FloQast, the Startup Built by CPAs

Okay, some big news. Going Concern’s been at this for the better part of a decade, and one of our big goals for awhile now has been to produce more content for our readers who leave public accounting for industry. Which, let’s face it, most of you are going to do. You hear about us […]

fasb accounting standard simplification

Simplifying Accounting Standards Still Complicated

Too bad accounting standard simplification doesn’t follow the same rules as Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Eliminating the available for sale security classification doesn’t exactly spark the joy. Every time the FASB drops a new Accounting Standard Update (ASU), it leaves you feeling weary. Maybe all the U.S. GAAP decluttering and other […]

Exposure Drafts: It’s Not You, It’s the Time Value of Money

Exposure Drafts appears every other Wednesday. Send your accounting cartoon suggestions to [email protected] and follow Greg Kyte on Twitter.

remote working

Embracing Remote Accountants Can Benefit Your Business

Remote working is on the rise. In 2016, 22% of American employees did at least some of their work from home. And for those with advanced degrees over the age of 25, the number is even higher—a full 43% reported working remotely at least some of the time. It may feel natural to some accounting […]

new revenue recognition ASC 606

The New Revenue Recognition Standard Needs a Sexy Nickname, Okay, Sure

Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but this guy thinks everyone needs to start freaking out over the new revenue recognition rules: “Revenue recognition feels like a big, big issue,” said Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo, whose company specializes in software for managing subscriptions. “This feels as big or bigger than Y2K or SOX. SOX […]

Tim Gearty new revenue recognition rules

Accounting for Stuff With Tim Gearty: Allocation and Revenue Recognition

CPA exam scores were released today, so it only seems appropriate that we conclude our four-part series featuring snazzy dresser and GAAP oracle Tim Gearty. If you’ve been holed up in a fallout shelter for the past few weeks, go catch up on Parts I, II, and III. Double-o Gearty wraps things up with allocation […]

accounting for stuff tim gearty revenue recognition transaction price

Accounting for Stuff With Tim Gearty: The Transaction Price Under the New Revenue Recognition Rules

The third installment of Accounting for Stuff With Tim Gearty is here. For round 3, TG tackles the transaction price within the new revenue recognition rules. You can check out Parts I and II if you’ve been under a rock at the bottom of the ocean. Now, you might think you already know everything there […]

AmTrust accounting

Analyst Rightly Grew Suspicious of Gorgeous Woman Who Laughed at His Accounting Jokes

“And then I said, ‘It’s accrual world!’” Earlier this year, we discussed a tradecrafty story out of The Wall Street Journal of a BDO auditor who “casually wandered around the accounting firm’s New York offices, striking up conversations with colleagues.” Little did anyone know, the auditor recorded those conversations for the Federal Bureau of Investigation […]

Tim Gearty new revenue recognition rules

Accounting for Stuff With Tim Gearty: Separation of Performance Obligations

Back with round 2 of Tim Gearty’s overview of the new revenue recognition rules. Go catch up on Part I, if you’re late to the party. (But don’t worry, you’re never late to the party.) This time Lord Gearty covers the separation of performance obligations. So pay attention, you’ll learn something. Stay tuned for more on […]

PCAOB_MEMBERS

The PCAOB Could Look Very Different, Very Soon

Get a good look, people. Anyone interested in becoming a PCAOB member? It sounds like there’s a bunch of change coming, based on the public statement from new SEC Chairman Jay Clayton: I am very pleased that Chairman [James] Doty has agreed to continue to serve as the Chairman of the PCAOB as we commence […]

Tim Gearty new revenue recognition rules

Accounting for Stuff With Tim Gearty: The New Revenue Recognition Rules

Lots of accountants are in a mad dash to learn the new revenue recognition rules that go into effect later this year. Going Concern has teamed up with CPA review legend Tim Gearty to present a series of videos to help educate you on the new revenue recognition rules without combing through the FASB website. […]

Martin_Shkreli_Citrin-Cooperman-featured

Egad, Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli Was an Insufferable Client

Everyone who works in public accounting experiences a bad client or two. But then again, there are bad clients, and then there are the Martin Shkrelis of the world. It’s really a disservice to the bad clients out there to lump Martin Shkreli in with them. This CNBC report details the testimony of Corey Massella, […]

statoil robots finance

The AICPA Is Trying to Innovate You Right Out of a Job

As we are all painfully aware, the accounting industry isn’t exactly known for its groundbreaking commitment to early adoption and innovation. Despite its over 150-year history of being reactive and clinging desperately to the way things have always been, the AICPA announced this week a new initiative that hopes to fund important accounting startups. The […]

accounting-news-Dicks-Sporting-Goods-mistakes

Accounting News Roundup: Computation Errors and Grant Thornton’s New Global CEO | 05.16.17

Oops This is from last week but seems worth sharing. Dick’s Sporting Goods announced in a SEC filing that it made a $23 million “computation error” that overstated its “adjusted earnings” and that’s mildly embarrassing: The company discovered it had inadvertently included its asset impairment charges in two places, in effect double-counting the costs, said […]

accounting-news-management-accountants

Accounting News Roundup: Management Accountants and Creative Tax Arguments | 05.08.17

Management accountants I had no idea that International Management Accounting Day was on May 6th. Did the management accountants have to recognize the holiday by going into work?  That seems more likely than a management accountant march or a management accountant Derby party. Anyway, if you weren’t aware of the holiday, then I’m sure most […]

accounting-talent-recruitment

The State of Accounting Recruitment and Talent Shortages in 2017

The bloody battle over top accounting talent is nothing new. Firms have been dedicating countless hours in meetings over store-bought crudités on the subject of attracting and retaining top talent for years. But a recent Wall Street Journal article about the difficulty private companies are having filling positions for experienced hires got us wondering: just […]

ED-SEC-Whistleblowers

Exposure Drafts: Some SEC Whistleblowers Do It for Love, Not Money

Exposure Drafts appears every other Wednesday. Send suggestions to [email protected]

capex-msft-goog-amzn-cloud-infrastructure-as-a-service

Infrastructure-as-a-Service Giants Own the Cloud with Lavish CapEx

Another day — another glitzy article about infrastructure-as-a-service from the Wall Street Journal. You may recall my skepticism about the sustainability of this business model last summer. Still, as 2016 numbers show, the capital expenditures of the top three cloud computing companies show no indication that they’re worried about going all in: Combined, Amazon, Microsoft […]

Exposure-Drafts-Section-751-Hot-Assets

Exposure Drafts: Keep Your Eye on Section 751 Hot Assets

Exposure Drafts appears every other Wednesday. Send suggestions to [email protected]

IRS-tattoo-survey-Americans-taxes

The 20% of Americans Who Would Get an ‘IRS’ Tattoo to Never Pay Taxes Are Getting Off Too Easy

Americans hate paying taxes. This is not news. Why they hate paying taxes is a bit of a mystery. I reckon it has something to do with wanting to piss the money away themselves rather than have police or schools or national parks. Anyway, a survey by WalletHub found that some Americans are so intent […]

accounting-news-facebook-diversity-salaries

Accounting News Roundup: Higher Salaries and Client-Mandated Diversity | 04.05.17

Salaries As accountants, you probably think that you’re going to earn more over the course of your career just based on your highly-sought-after skills. And it’s true, your skills allow you to demand more compensation, especially as you gain experience, but interestingly enough, where you work likely makes a big difference too. Here’s a Bloomberg […]

Fox-News-comptroller-lawsuit-racism

As Far As Horrible Bosses Go, The Ex-Fox News Comptroller Is Up There

Think your boss is awful? Like, god-awful? Whoever you’re thinking about right now for a horrible boss award, Judith Slater, the former comptroller of Fox News probably has them beat. The New York Times reported last week that two African-American employees sued Slater, their white boss, for racially harassing them for years. The lawsuit also […]

accounting-news-leases-clients-spiders

Accounting News Roundup: Awful Clients and Lease Accounting Procrastination | 03.29.17

Aren’t you glad there are so many insects for me to eat? Awful clients If you’re still cranking out 1040s, bless your heart. Clients that show up from now until mid-April, will more or less take this form: There are the shoeboxers, who haul in shoeboxes or cartons brimming with every wayward item they received […]

talent-search-accounting-cpas

Talent Crisis Survey: Where Have All the Accountants Gone?

We’ve looked everywhere. In a March 6 article in The Wall Street Journal, we learn that there is some kind of accounting shortage, particularly for “companies adjusting to accounting-rule changes in the U.S.” In other words, public companies are struggling to poach or even barely seduce experienced hires from public accounting firms. Per the article: […]

accounting-say-no-without-hurting-career

How to Say No in Public Accounting Without Killing Your Career

It’s the thick of busy season, you are swamped, and one of your managers comes by your desk to ask, “Can you pick up this job for me? It should only take 10 hours.” What should you say? You are already stressed out but you want to be seen as a team player and a […]

millennials-cpa-firms

Accounting News Roundup: Pandering to Millennials and Phony Revenue | 03.10.17

CPA firms are pandering to millennials I look forward to the day when CPA firms are majority-owned and run by millennials so we don’t have to talk about this anymore: As CPA firms across the U.S. relax their dress codes and other policies, managers are recognizing that their Millennial employees expect flexibility and trust in […]

kpmg auditors pcaob partners conspiracy

Accounting News Roundup: Corporate Taxes and KPMG’s Next Global Chairman | 03.09.17

Corporate taxes As you probably heard, heavy-equipment manufacturer Caterpillar had an unexpected visit from federal agents last week. Investigators from three different agencies showed up at the company’s headquarters in Peoria, Illinois to seize files, computers and whatnot and apparently this is not a common occurrence: “It’s not unusual to go in and do a […]

Arthur Andersen & Co.

Accounting News Roundup: The Fight Over the Arthur Andersen Name Gets Weirder | 03.07.17

Fighting over the Arthur Andersen name Last week we learned that two different firms had laid claim to the Arthur Andersen name. Andersen #1 (i.e. old-new Andersen) was the firm formerly known as WTAS, a San Francisco-based firm that became Andersen Tax in 2014. Andersen #2 (i.e. new-new Andersen) is based in France and its […]

accounting news millennials save

The Banking of Things Could Be the Next Technology Accountants Freak Out About

What if your client was a car? No, not the person who owns the car, but the car itself. Absurd, you say? Not totally. Internet of Things is old news For starters, connecting devices to the Internet of Things (IoT) is getting ridiculously cheap. The Wall Street Journal said that last summer Onion Corp. sold […]

accountants resume

Accountants’ Résumés Are the Worst

My name is John, I’m a recruiter and I have a résumé problem. I see lots of résumés from accountants. Less than a third are presentable. When the perfect candidate has a résumé that fails, I get cranky and I call to suggest a fix. Hiring managers don’t do that. Where to start? Résumé experts […]

Accounting News Roundup: Sarbanes-Oxley and Exoplanetary Accounting | 02.23.17

Sarbanes-Oxley One of the things that some people took way from Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric about deporting immigrants, banning Muslims, building walls and whatnot was that he was pro-business. That really hasn’t come to pass in the early weeks of his administration, what with all the deporting of immigrants, banning of Muslims and building of […]

Accounting News Roundup: MF Global vs. PwC and Tax Literacy | 02.17.17

Ed. note: GC will be off on Monday for Presidents Day. See you back here on Tuesday. MF Global vs. PwC We touched on this story last week, but if you can’t get enough of the pre-game analysis of the pending trial between the bankruptcy trustee of MF Global and PwC, then you’ll enjoy this […]

Deloitte-employee-attempted-murder

Accounting News Roundup: Deloitte and AWS; Can Non-GAAP Improve GAAP? | 02.16.17

CloudCloudCloudCloudCloud Just when I thought everyone was done pushing the cloud and the world had finally accepted that the cloud is simply the internet and we’re all using it all the time, here comes Deloitte with a new cloud thing: Consulting giant Deloitte is forming a new cloud practice dedicated to Amazon Web Services. Deloitte […]

accounting-news-pwc-mf-global-tax-reform

Accounting News Roundup: Prolonged Disputes and Allergan’s Adjusted Earnings Per Share | 02.13.17

Prolonged disputes Late on Friday, the news broke that two former AIG executives, including the company’s founder Hank Greenberg, settled a 12-year accounting fraud case with the New York Attorney General. The New York Times report gives the distinct impression that both sides were equally satisfied with result but also reveling in their spite for […]

The SEC’s Tumultuous Love Affair with XBRL

Did the SEC commit to XBRL half-heartedly? Are they waiting for something better to come along? In the beginning, it was easy to argue yes. Fast forward 6 years and the SEC is still holding on to the XBRL — for better or worse. And, as flawed as it may be, XBRL/iXBRL looks like it […]

How to Prepare an Exit From Public Accounting Into a Government Position

This is sponsored content brought to you by American University. Let’s face it, sometimes your chosen career path just isn’t what you imagined: The challenge of the job fades, the income doesn’t quite equal the time expended, the sexiness of working for a big firm didn’t last. And sometimes you just hate your job and […]

Accounting News Roundup: Apple’s Tricky Thing, PwC’s Oscar Counters, Millennials’ Confidence | 02.01.17

Tricky stuff CNBC reports that Apple missed the January 3rd deadline to pay $13.9 billion into escrow for back taxes the EU says the company owes Ireland. It’s not for a lack of money, however. Apple has over $246 billion in cash sitting around. No, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager admits that forking it over […]

Accounting News Roundup: Moonlighting, Travel and Snap IPO | 01.31.17

Moonlighting One of the things we occasionally talk about around here is doing work outside of work. Although it’s extra “work” it’s a chance for anyone to do something outside of their day job, honing skills they might not use every day and, of course, make a little extra money. I imagine many accountants working […]