Going Concern March Madness: Ultimate Tech Showdown

Once upon a time, our former dear leader Caleb — who is not exactly known as the pinnacle of red-blooded, sports-loving American male — got the bright idea to gift the accounting profession with its very own March Madness competition. Although it was wildly popular those first two years, it also ended in embarrassment for us as our “Coolest Accounting Firm” brackets ended two years in a row with Rothstein Kass at the top. Seriously, how did you guys let that happen? We assume vote manipulation but the world may never know nor should we care as this shit ain’t that serious.

Undeterred by allowing a decidedly uncool accounting firm to dominate the cool rankings, we tried again the following year with Excel functions with the help of our former resident Excel guru David Ringstrom. “Your Most EXCELlent Bracket” was not only a big hit, but kind of useful as we tied in tips from Ringstrom on how to manage your March Madness brackets with Excel. Excelception!

Out of ideas come the next mid-March, we went with the ever-popular busy season problems, as you all seem to love ranking your individual misery against that of your colleagues and fellow GC readers. As expected, that was a big hit, although probably not the best idea for your collective mental health.

And then… silence. For reasons beyond my understanding, due to both not giving a shit about it and not bothering to understand Caleb’s motivations, we simply stopped doing March Madness. My guess is part of it had to do with the fact that it’s a lot of work putting together, and Lord knows we hate putting an effort into anything around here.

Still, I thought I’d drag March Madness out of the Going Concern recycling bin, dust it off, and shine it up like a fine polished turd this year for old time’s sake. So here we are.

Since all the good ideas have already been done, we struggled to come up with worthy bracket-holders this year. After much back and forth between Bramwell and I, we settled on technology. I mean… you use it, you need it, you likely experience a love-hate relationship with it most of the time. Perfect!

So here’s how it’s gonna work. Brammers and I picked 32 technologies in two divisions: Dusty and Shiny. Yes we’re aware there should be four divisions, so sue us. Oh wait, none of y’all are lawyers. Go ahead and complain in the comment section if you’re mad about it. For our super-refined, definitely not thrown together divisions, we separated technology by “oldies” and “newbies,” essentially. In the Dusty category you’ll find old standbys like Microsoft Excel (duh) and the illustrious 10-key, while Shiny boasts newer tech like Xero and Fishbowl. Like I said, we labored long and hard about how to categorize these so please don’t shit all over it like you do everything else. Scratch that, we actually don’t care.

Our competitors should be pretty clear, we chose technologies that range from specific software for accounting firms (eAudit, Aura, et al) to technologies that help you survive the cube life (Amazon, food delivery services, those lamps people with seasonal depression get so they can get through winter without ending it all). Although there’s some overlap in competitors (Microsoft Office and Excel each get their own entries), we had reasons beyond laziness for doing so (really, we’re not sure Excel could dominate this contest if we lumped it in with Outlook and PowerPoint, let’s be honest). Do you really care how the sausage is made? I know I don’t. Eat up.

For each division, we want you to rank the various technologies from 1 – 16. We’re not suggesting you should engage in vote manipulation (see above re: the Rothstein Kass incident) but should you feel compelled to interfere in the rankings of, say, competing Big 4 software, we’re not going to stop you. In a week we’ll tally your responses and assign brackets, in which our divisions will battle it out amongst themselves until we crown a winner.

Alright, got it? Let’s get ready to rummmmmbllll — wait, wrong sport. Whatever. You get the point. Polls close this Friday at 5 p.m. Eastern, so let’s make it count, alright? If Lotus Notes takes it home I swear to Bastet I’m so done with y’all.

Now, go forth and waste some billable hours!

Division 1
Create your own user feedback survey

Division 2
Create your own user feedback survey

In case the above embedded surveys don’t work for you, you can vote for Dusty Division here and Shiny Division here.

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

Related articles

Attn Minority Accounting Students: The AICPA Wants to Send You to a Leadership Conference (Free!)

Setting aside the snark for a moment to let you younguns know about an opportunity specifically for minority accounting students interested in attending the AICPA Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop, which is going down May 13-15, 2020 in fabulous New Orleans. The AICPA Foundation is covering the entire experience including the cost of student attendees’ transportation […]

Uh-Oh, PwC, You’ve Gotten the Attention of the PCAOB

Somebody at the PCAOB must have read the Wall Street Journal article last week about Mattel and its auditor PwC allegedly burying an accounting error tied to Mattel’s ownership of Thomas & Friends because everyone’s favorite mess of an audit regulator is reviewing PwC’s work, according to Bloomberg, and probably whether the firm broke any […]