August 21, 2018

Accounting News Roundup: Mischievous Non-GAAP Reporting; More Bad News for KPMG South Africa; Theranos Losers | 05.04.18

SEC chief accountant warns against mischief in non-GAAP reporting [AT] On a panel at Baruch College’s Financial Reporting Conference, SEC Chief Accountant Wesley Bricker mentioned that there can be a “mischievous quality to non-GAAP reporting,” and now I can only imagine CFOs with toothy grins and little top hats. Also notable were comments from Kyle Moffat, the Chief Accountant in the Division of Finance, who said that the SEC “won’t beat up” on companies in the first year of the new revenue recognition rule.

Related: Buffett’s Berkshire Braces for ‘Wild’ Swings From New Accounting

Barclays Africa fires KPMG over Gupta connections [FT]
Aside from the bar of KPMG from performing work for the South African government, the loss of Barclays is the biggest blow yet to the firm there.

Elsewhere in KPMG South Africa implosion: KPMG still operates the ethics hotline for troubled retail conglomerate Steinhoff International. And although the lines are operated with their “own unique telephone number and are answered in the name of the organisation” all KPMG lines use the same hold music: “Celebration” by Medwyn Goodall.

Theranos Cost Business and Government Leaders More Than $600 Million [WSJ]
The heirs to the Walton fortune, Rupert Murdoch, and the family of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are among the big losers in Theranos, now arguably one of the most audacious frauds in history. “To say they’re highly disappointed in Theranos as a company and an investment is an understatement,” the DeVos family COO said.

Ex-Wilmington Trust CFO Guilty of Loan Fraud [CFO]
Not only the CFO, but also Wilmington Trust’s former president, chief credit officer, and controller were found “guilty of 15 counts, including conspiracy to defraud the United States and making false entries in banking disclosure documents.” The CFO, David Gibson, had three false certifications in financial reports convictions, too, for good measure.

Previously, on Going Concern…

In Open Items, someone is deciding between PwC M&A and Deloitte International Tax.

From the archive: California CPA Under the Impression That CPA Exam Is Still an Infernal, Multi-day Event That Drives You to Drink

In other news:

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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.