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Is there a story out there that we missed? Have something we should know? Email us at tips@goingconcern.com. Or you can post questions and links to Open Items. You can also get our attention on Twitter and Facebook.

At Least One McGladrey Employee’s Morning Routine of Coffee and the “Kenny G” Station Was Completely RUINED

Perhaps Kenny G isn't your cup of tea but the combination of working at McGladrey and, say, a musical taste similar to Paul Ryan's, this morning's development could result in you considering anger management.  From the mailbag: So I pulled up Pandora this morning as I got into the office and rather than music, I got […]

Ernst & Young Tax Associate Forced to Deal with the Slobs Around Him

We all know that when you're in the throes of busy season, a key to an effective team is having people spend as much time at their desks as possible. When the pressure is on, even spending a few minutes to take in some natural light or fresh air could mean the difference between a […]

(UPDATE) Is It True You Get $20,000 From the Big 4 For Getting the Elijah Watt Sells Award?

Have a question for GC's exclusive team of underachievers? Get in touch and we'll do our best to do the research for you. Hey GC Team (Adrienne/Caleb/MIA freelancer),   I'm a CPA candidate starting with the Big 4 this fall. I'm potentially in line to get the EWS award (FAR-94, AUD-96, REG-98, BEC on 8/14) […]

Let’s Speculate About: The Next Accounting Firm Merger

The word on the street is that the pace of accounting firm mergers will increase in the coming year. That's pretty fun for all of us because we occasionally like to spoil the surprise for everyone. Plus, the new name game is everyone's favorite. In the past few years, there have been several notable mergers […]

Comp Watch ’12: At Least One Ernst & Young Partner Is Throwing Numbers Around

From a tipster who is on his way out: A partner told me that raises for top performers will be in the 20% ballpark. Don't know if this is true. It was from a very Senior Partner in an Upper Midwest (not Chicago) office. He could just be talking. This is a Senior Associate 2 in the […]

Accounting Firm Merger Hypotheticals: Reznick Group and J.H. Cohn

As readers of this website well know, occasionally we like to report on merger rumors that are floating around the accounting world. Most recently we reported that Eide Bailly and Wipfli were going to make a very handsome couple as EB Wipfli only to have the deal fall apart a little over a month later. […]

Unfounded Rumor of the Afternoon: Grant Thornton Scrapping CPA Requirement for Promotion to Senior

This just in: Rumor has it, GT is getting rid of the CPA exam requirement to be promoted to senior… GT is one of two firms (that we explicitly know of) that currently requires audit professionals to pass the CPA exam in order to be promoted. If this particular tidbit is true, then it would be […]

Grant Thornton Gives the All Clear After “Insect Issue” at Downtown Office

This is from earlier in the week and there's no official word about the pest in question but our tipster insists that it was edbugsbay: It was brought to our attention yesterday that there was a potential insect issue in a small location on the 24th floor of our 60 Broad Street Office.  We took […]

Bafflingly, a Manager at a Top 10 Firm Agreed to Work the Weekend After Her Last Day

A blind item from the front: It has come to my attention that a manager in the [redacted] office of [redacted] is leaving the firm. Her last day is officially this Friday. The two partners have asked her to come in the Saturday and Sunday after her official last day, and she has agreed. I […]

McGladrey’s Repurchase of McGladrey Results in Unfortunate Consequences for McGladrey Director, Says McGladrey Director’s Farewell Email

More specifically, he was told that his services were no longer needed: Here is the scoop on why I am leaving McGladrey…   Given the recent $600 million transaction that McGladrey completed this fall, there have been some resulting changes – one of which is a significant restructuring.  As a result, I was informed recently […]

Blind Item: Which Accounting Firm’s National Tax Leader Got Called Out For the Exodus of Tax Partners?

  Apparently a big shot audit partner has seen one too many of his tax brethren running for the door: Supposedly a high-ranking audit partner at [top ten firm] sent an email to the entire partnership in which he blasts the national tax leader for spending the firm's money on management retreats when he should […]

Accounting Firm Merger Rumor Mill: Wipfli and Eide Bailly UPDATE – We’ve Got a Name!

Last month we heard a rumor that Milwaukee-based Wipfli (I've been informed it's pronounced WIFF-lee) and Fargo-based Eide Bailly were in merger discussions. Supposedly, Wipfli partners voted on the merger right before Christmas but our source said that prior to the vote "[Wipfli] announced internally that they are merging with Eide Bailly," and that the […]

One Ernst & Young CEO Candidate Not Shy About Asking for Help with the Application Process

I hear from a trustworthy source that exiting Ernst & Young CEO Jim Turley was recently trolled by an eager member of Uncle Ernie's family looking to steal the throne in Canada. Someone else trolling him – asking how he can apply for his job. You know he's retiring in 2 years? So during the […]

Report: PwC Boston Holiday Party Is Wicked Awesome

This time of year, many a capital market servants look forward to blowing off a little steam at the annual holiday (aka Christmaskuh, Festivus, et al.) party. Last year, the festivities made a comeback after a couple of years of more restrained celebrations. Ernst & Young’s New York office even threw a party at Cipriani’s the week Andrew Cuomo handed down his civil fraud lawsuit. And in case you’re skeptical that the get-drunk-dance-like-an-idiot-go-home-with-a-co-worker party have made a comeback, this post from Socialite may be the latest proof:

Want to talk about “work hard, play harder“? The auditors, tax specialists and consultants at PwC have got that down to a science!

2000 people + Marriott Coply+ open bar + gambling + dancing = Ballin’ time

We’ve been to some corporate Holiday parties in our day, but this one definitely takes the cake. And why wouldn’t it… we’re guessing they threw down well over $500K to host that.

Since we’re not hip to the costs of corporate holiday ragers these days, it wouldn’t be fair to dismiss this guesstimate outright. And it’s not exactly clear how Socialite got all these details but it sounds pretty similar to the KPMG Christmaskuh party I attended in 2008 (sans gambling) which was the waning days of the big holiday blowout party.

ANYWAY, Socialite then outlines a number of reasons that you, local Bostonian, should be at this shindig next year, including some “Secret Grand Prize Giveaway” which they speculate is “a small yacht” but in reality, it’s more likely to be a pair of cool shoes.

For any mini BoMos in Boston, does this sound like the party you went to? Is $500k in the ballpark or would you put it in the seven figure range? Feel free to speculate at this time. And if your party tops this one, email us the details (or an invite).

Layoff Watch ’11: Cuts a Comin’ at Deloitte?

From the mailbag:

Heard this from a Director in the firm: Deloitte layoffs coming. Lists are made…cuts coming soon. Said a lot of it has to do with thinning out the ranks (too many people jumping ship because their level is top heavy and promotion nowhere in sight) as well as letting go underperformers.


As you probably noticed, 2011 hasn’t had much in the way of layoff news with the exception of some support staff that were cut at McGladrey, Grant Thornton, and KPMG. That said, this seems like an opportune time to kick a few people to the curb. If you wait until November, well, that just looks bad.

Keep us updated with any news and if you’re in the know, get in touch.

This Trick *May* Give CPA Candidates a Sneak Peek at Whether They Passed the Final Section of Their Exam

Maybe we shouldn’t publish this, lest TPTB catch on and close this loophole but as it’s soon to be CPA exam score release season, we figured it might be helpful to share this little trick to get your score early.


Note, word is it only works if you are on your last section and testing in a NASBA state. It doesn’t work all the time and will really only give you your score a day or so earlier than you would have actually received it from your state.

So if you’re waiting for a score now, don’t bother, it doesn’t work until the AICPA releases scores to NASBA, which is supposed to be within a 7-10 day period beginning the third week of September for this quarter.

To try it, follow these simple steps:

1. Go to the CPA exam section of NASBA’s website and select Ohio regardless of which state you are testing in.

2. Choose Apply Now under the “Re-applying for the Uniform CPA Examination” tab.

3. You will be asked if you have an Ohio jurisdiction ID. Choose no and it will ask you if you have a Social Security number. Choose yes.

4. Follow the rest of the prompts, plug in the information it asks you for and if you get the following message, congratulations, the loophole worked and you passed:

We are sorry. Our system shows that you have already passed all parts of the Uniform CPA Examination. If you have questions, please call your Coordinator at the number given below. Please call the number below.

800-CPA-EXAM
615-880-4250

Some have stated that the loophole also works if you’ve failed. If you get in and see the exam section you are checking on not grayed out, that means it’s allowing you to get a new NTS which obviously means you did not pass.

Bottom line: maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. If you’re driving yourself insane refreshing your score page waiting for an answer, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to try at the end of the month but you’re really only getting the news a few hours earlier than you would have if you just waited.

Grant Thornton Employee Curious If Fellow Accountants Are Sleeping with Partners, Propositioning Colleagues

Let’s start off with a little anecdote:

I work at GT and recently a male associate began dating a newly named female partner. The associate has since put in their two week notice, most suspect due to his newfound sugar momma who’s divorced with 3 kids, or to give him more time with his other girl. It was recently revealed he not only likes older ladies but hit on a guy at national training offering up “favors.”

Apparently, at the training, the associate repeatedly asked another guy to go to his room with him during a game of pool. Since he was making no progress here, he flat out told his fellow pool player what acts he would like to provide.

Well! That’s quite a busy accountant. J��������������������rying to sleep up the ladder and offering up “favors” that may or may not include a pool cue and/or an 8-ball gag. Sexual activity aside, our tipster is curious as to just how…curious some of you are:

I was wondering if you could start a thread/story about office romances and open it up for comments to see just how alternative some accountants/cpas are. I wonder if this sort of thing is normal, or if society is just changing quicker than I am noticing.

Wait, are you asking if sex is normal? Or if accountants having sex with each other is normal? OR if accountants swinging both ways or engaging in other adventurous activity is normal? I’ll save you the trouble and answer all these questions: “Duh,” “HELL YES,” and “It depends.”

It’s been widely discussed around these parts that a situation that includes: accountants, working long hours, after-work booze will inevitably lead to some accountant sex. Whether you care to engage in sex with another accountant is largely a question of convenience and/or if you’re really interested in someone who’s also an accountant.

As for adventurous activity, you probably all remember Annabel McClellan, a former Deloitte employee accused of insider trading, who prior to her legal troubles, was developing a mobile app called “My Nookie” that basically amounted to Facebook for swingers. There was also the blind item we ran earlier this year about a partner whose fondness of exotic hookers landed him in divorce court. Oh! And then there was the PwC partner in Houston who allegedly made a move on an associate at a happy hour. Can’t forget that one.

As for juggling a divorcée partner with another girl and then offering BJs to a colleague at national training – it’s really hard to say how widespread this type of behavior is. Most accountants barely have enough game (or time) to get one person in the sack, let alone juggle two and then try to explore their bi-curiosity. Plus, are you aware of any of your co-workers that are bisexual or bi-curious? From the phrasing of your question, I’m guessing no.

Let’s not forget that you’re working in a very conservative industry and those in the business that do like a little swing party or simply swing both ways would probably prefer to keep those activities on the DL. Luckily for all of you, GC is the type of place where you can speak about the all the fun you’re having freely.

So, then. If you’re the “alternative” type, as our tipster asks, please elaborate. Do you keep it purely outside the office? Do you look for similarly interested accountants at your firm? Are you open about it or is the culture at your firm a little behind the times? If you prefer not to comment, email us your story (with details!) and we’ll handle the rest.

Rumor of the Day: KPMG Freezes Hiring of Support Professionals

Earlier this week, we were tipped off about a hiring freeze of Client Service Support (“CSS”) professionals at KPMG. Our tipster also indicated that a “major reorg” was happening but did not elaborate. For those not hip to the House of Klynveld vernacular, this is your HR, Marketing, Ops, IT, Admins, et al. Regardless of their overhead status, they make your lives infinitely better. But for now, it sounds like the doors to any newbies is closed.


This rumor was confirmed by another source who simply “heard there was [a freeze in place]” but had no details. If you’re in the know, please email us. Emails to KPMG’s communications team were not immediately returned, most likely because they were immediately deleted (that is speculation on my part).

SO! Since we don’t have much to go on, we’ll take this opportunity to present some theories:

1. The response to the Early Career Investment Bonus program has been better than anticipated and there is concern that there won’t be enough money to pay these all-of-a-sudden loyal employees. Accordingly, “the help” won’t be getting any additional resources.

2. Settlement negotiations have begun in the sex discrimination lawsuit and things are not looking good.

3. John Veihmeyer is just toying with everyone because “This is Notre Dame’s year,” and plans to lift the freeze after the Irish win their first game.

4. Two words: Omaha Steaks.

5. Your ideas.

Here Are the (Unconfirmed) Details on the Milestone Award for Newly Promoted PwC Senior Associates

As you may remember, we detailed PwC’s new compensation structure back in spring to much fanfare. There were lots of details but one that sounded especially interesting were the “Milestone Awards.” These are awards given to newly promoted Senior Associates, Managers and Senior Managers/Directors. Specifically for SAs, a “highly specialized individualized offsite training that will help the new seniors make decisions about their careers. This will last for 12-18 months as they adjust to their new roles and held in an offsite, marquis location.”

We now have a few unconfirmed (due to circumstances beyond our control) details for you for this “training” including the “offsite, marquis location”:

Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, CA (near Long Beach/LA)
• 4 days long
• For New Senior Associates promoted July 2011
• Not a training/all about fun and celebration
• Gift to new senior associates (all lines of service)
• Monday huge celebration dinner
• Small groups of 10 people
• External experts on personal finance, wellness, nutrition, etc
• Nightly fireside chats with partners
• Adventure-style activities

Weeks
1) Nov 14, 2011
2) Dec 5, 2011
3) Dec 12, 2011
4) May TBD 2012
5) June TBD 2012

Fireside chats? Like the kind with FDR? For your sake I hope Bob Moritz and/or Dennis Nally drop by for the fun, although don’t forget that Nally is done with hot yoga, so DON’T BOTHER ASKING.

And doesn’t the Terranea Resort look pleasant? It’s in California not surprisingly, since P. Dubs has had NOTHING BUT TROUBLE from the clowns in Florida. There is golf, a spa, ocean view dining, etc. etc. Here’s the photo and video gallery if you need more visuals. Of course this kind of romantic setting is perfect for romantic interludes that will allow PwC to perpetuate any incestuous master race of capital market servants they might have.

ANYWAY, it’s our understanding that these details are to be released later this month but we thought you’d like a sneak peak. Discuss your thoughts and/or envy in the comments.

(UPDATE) Layoff Watch ’11: McGladrey Causing Some Head Scratching

Hot off the grill from Mickey G’s:

Some people let go at McGladrey. Heard it was like 15 [UPDATE: SEE BELOW] from the corporate marketing department and a few others. Some head scratchers going on. Moved people around including a few changes that have people baffled. People who have no business being promoted promoted.

Earlier in the summer, we heard a rumor about layoffs in the Northern Plains region and at the time our tipster said that the firm “spread[s] the terminations over months instead of doing them all at once,” which has more or less become the norm. ANYWAY, we’re trying to get some more info from tipsters and the firm but in the meantime, drop your knowledge below or get in touch.

UPDATE: A McGladrey spokesperson has informed us that the firm did recently “announce a restructuring of our marketing department to better align with the organizational structure and business objectives outlined by our firms more than a year ago,” adding, “This resulted in the elimination of 11 positions within the marketing organization.”

The head scratching was not specifically addressed. Carry on.

*Dustin Bradford