As you may have heard, there’s a bit of a storm brewing on the east coast. Everything is more or less closed but if your firm is of the general opinion that the heavy stuff won’t be coming down for quite a while and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be at the office until the lights go out, please let us know (and some pictures might be nice).
To our readers on the East Coast – Be safe! Keep us updated with the communication from your firm and send us any pictures as Sandy starts to make herself at home. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Storm Gains Strength as It Churns North [NYT (Paywall suspended)]Hurricane Sandy grew stronger before dawn on Monday as it churned […]
Are you the parent of a future accounting student looking for guidance as you sort through hundreds of brochures in the search for the perfect accounting program for your future CPA? You probably shouldn't email us, we're a bad influence. But if you still want to, go ahead and get in touch and we'll try […]
Neil Barofsky On Bailouts, TARP, and Whether It Was All Worth It “The auditors have proven themselves to me, over and over again, to be more concerned about the steady stream of fees than in doing their job.” [Forbes] SEC whistleblower program stricter than IRS bounty which paid $104 million to felon, former official says [Reuters] […]
KPMG 2011 Inspection Report: No Change from 2010 [CW]In its first published report from the 2011 inspection cycle, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board found fault with a dozen KPMG audits, the same number it criticized the year before. The board inspected 52 audits performed by KPMG, plus an additional audit where the firm contributed to […]
Jobs Data Indicate Slowing Growth [WSJ]Nonfarm payrolls grew by 80,000 last month, the Labor Department said Friday. The politically important unemployment rate, obtained by a separate survey of U.S. households, was unchanged at 8.2%. Delay Seen (Again) For New Rules on Accounting [WSJ]After weighing the issue for nearly 2½ years, the Securities and Exchange Commission's […]
Tweaking tax code could spur green energy: senator [Reuters]Chris Coons will introduce legislation on Thursday that would allow a broad range of renewable power generation and transmission projects to qualify for a tax structure used widely by pipeline and other energy-related companies. The bill is unlikely to be considered until after the November presidential election, but […]
This is simply my perception and sadly I don't have actual numbers to back it up so you'll have to forgive me but it seems like in recent years, CPA exam candidates have been having a difficult time transferring scores between states. Back in my CPA review days, I would tell candidates that it's easier […]
In the past, we've called attention to some of the brutally boring interviews that Deloitte bigwigs have done with various outlets. Joe Echevarria. Barry Salzberg. Deb DeHaas. We read these so you didn't have to. You're welcome. Today, however, we read an interview with Deloitte Chairman Punit Renjen that wasn't half bad. It was done […]
John Snow: 'Taxmaggedon' Is a Real Threat [WSJ][W]e face that real prospect, as prominent proposals by the administration would triple the top dividend tax rate to nearly 45%, while doubling the top rate on capital gains to 30%. If one intended to cripple job creation, depress stock prices, and lower the value of retirement savings […]
Wait just one second… didn't they just announce the Elijah Watt Sells Award winners for 2010? I guess the AICPA wasn't kidding when they said the 2011 exam would be graded faster than ever. Somehow, we've got 2011 Elijah Watt Sells winners in record time. Here they are for your shaming. Of 90,000 candidates who took the […]
Buffett Defends His Tax View [WSJ]The meeting was Berkshire's first since Mr. Buffett made headlines by saying those earning more than $1 million a year should pay a tax rate of at least 30%. One questioner asked whether a CEO should keep his political views "muted," prompting Mr. Buffett to respond that he has a duty […]
Apple Sidesteps Taxes – What’s Wrong With That? [Chris Bergin/TC]We are currently having a debate in this country about fairness and our tax systems. That’s a good debate to have because our tax systems at the state and federal levels are all almost consistently unfair. But I worry about that debate as well. Insinuating that […]
You may remember that last Wednesday I put my grown-up clothes on and attended the PCAOB's open meeting on auditor rotation. It was a good discussion (relatively speaking) and I got chat with some pretty smart people. I can't work a room of old white men like Adrienne (few can), but Chairman James Doty seemed […]
Not to burst Wake Forest's bubble but Bloomberg/BusinessWeek just gave them 19th in their list of top undergrad business schools in America for 2012. (Notre Dame was #1) That's really sad but it doesn't change the fact they dominate on the CPA exam. Just for shits and giggles, let's see how Bloomberg's top 5 undergrad […]
Because the 2011 NASBA Candidate Performance book is a significant improvement over previous versions, we've got some new data to share and it's pretty exciting. Now, the following stats cover first-time exams across all programs (we'll explain program size in a moment). SHOCK, Wake Forest is #1 yet again. The actual shocking part here is […]
Deloitte's Boshiwa exit a precursor to more China auditor resignations [Reuters]Deloitte's resignation as auditor of a Hong Kong-listed childrenswear company this week could be the first in a run of accountant departures from Chinese companies in the coming weeks as the audit season draws to an end. Last year's spate of accounting scandals at U.S.-listed Chinese […]
Every year, U.S. News & World Report bestows their storied list of best Colleges and Universities. It's a great opportunity to show school pride (unless you're a Penn State alum) or to make snide remarks because you went to a TTT and are mad with envy. Because we know that discussing loaded rankings such as […]
Strong solar storm heading for Earth [Reuters]A strong geomagnetic storm is racing from the Sun toward Earth, and its expected arrival on Thursday could affect power grids, airplane routes and space-based satellite navigation systems, U.S. space weather experts said. The storm, a big cloud of charged particles flung from the Sun at about 4.5 million miles […]
In a recent article titled "The Dark Side of a Divided White America," The Fiscal Times chatted with Charles Murray, W. H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of books that include Losing Ground and What It Means to Be a Libertarian. Murray apparently upset a few folks with his earlier […]
Ha! President of frozen-over hell, Rick Santorum told everyone that he had to get back to Pennsylvania, apparently, to get his tax returns thrown together. Rick Santorum will follow Mitt Romney’s lead and unveil his tax returns, telling reporters Wednesday that he would head home over the weekend to gather and prepare his tax documents […]
I'm sorry if you guys are sick of these stats but someone suggested we hit these rankings and last time I dared to write about something other than CPA exam scores, I was essentially laughed right off the Internet. Thanks for supporting my dreams, people, that'll teach me to try to get you all excited […]
Rick Santorum's tax plan [CNN]The former conservative senator from Pennsylvania would reduce the number of income tax brackets from six to two (10% and 28%) and triple what his campaign identifies as the personal deduction that parents can claim for their children. Santorum would also eliminate the so-called marriage penalty, which often causes two-earner couples to […]
Romney Ekes Past Santorum to Win Iowa [WSJ]Mitt Romney pulled out a razor-thin victory by just eight votes in the Iowa caucuses, edging out Rick Santorum and opening the Republican primary season with a dose of momentum going into a New Hampshire primary he is heavily favored to win. Mr. Santorum's performance was in some ways more […]
Alright so it isn't hundreds of thousands of dollars but if you're trying to scrape together a few bucks for school, try this super handy list via This Way to CPA. Just some examples of the scholarships listed: Accounting students in Pennsylvania can snag up to $15,000 from the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs; New Jersey […]
Thirty three state CPA societies have reached out to the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) or passed regulations urging it to create a new board to write differential financial reporting standards for private companies. Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming all feel FASB’s current standards setting process does not adequately address the needs of the private company sector.
“In today’s business world it is extremely rare to get an overwhelming consensus supporting one idea. However, the responses from the state societies are another example of the CPA profession’s overwhelming support for an independent board to set differential standards for private businesses,” said Barry Melancon, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) president and CEO. “The message is clear; FAF must do this now or run the risk of missing our best opportunity to make GAAP relevant for private companies.” The thirty three states in agreement on this issue represent some 275,000 CPAs.
These state societies basically told FAF that GAAP has become too complex, and the cost associated with GAAP-based financial reporting has become too much of a pain in the assets for private companies, placing an unnecessary burden on these companies with little benefit to financial statement users as a result of this effort. Personally I think the states here are forgetting that the complexity of GAAP and its esoteric intricacies keep a lot of CPAs gainfully employed, as someone actually has to analyze, manipulate, audit and teach that crap. CPA review instructors need to sell FAR videos. Caleb and I need things to make fun of, like SEC Chief Accountant James Kroeker reminding a PACE University IFRS discussion that the P in GAAP stands for principles. Right. Like we forgot.
Anyway, nearly 3,000 letters have been sent to FAF from the private company constituency in support of this separate board for private company reporting standard setting. Maybe FASB has too much to do and too many clever interns to train. Maybe FASB has lost its public company influence and this is just the first step in the coup to overthrow it. I haven’t heard very many pushing for more FASs directly handed down from (mostly) European accounting standard setters but that’s an argument for a different day.
“The boards of more than half of the country’s state CPA societies, representing more than a quarter of a million CPAs, agree that a systemic problem exists,” stated Paul V. Stahlin, chairman of the AICPA. “After over 30 years of research by numerous diverse and independent groups, the only conclusion is that an autonomous standard-setting body under FAF to set differential standards for privately held companies must be created.”
Must be. There’s no way around that.
And for those interested, here’s a tl;dr PwC report tangentially related to private company accounting standards you can read. Perfect for a Friday.
Subject: And When I Leave Come Together Like Butt Cheeks
You can figure out where this is going to go based on that alone, I’m sure.
Predictably, this email has been making the rounds since it was sent. If the OP was shocked it went viral in public accounting inboxes up until this point, wait until he sees it here. Names have been changed to protect the innocent, including the OP, who isn’t innocent at all but still deserves that. I think.
Guess who just got the fuck outta Dodge?! This guy! How many people had Craig Douchenozzlestein lasting until August 4, 2011 in the YMP pool?
But seriously, it is NOT easy to get out of these contracts. Im pretty sure it would have been easier to escape from Auschwitz th knew from the second week I start here that this wasn’t going to work out. I mean, working past 7pm cuts significantly into my drinking and foundling women time. So therefore, since October 28, 2008 when I was forced to work until 10pm on my fucking 23rd birthday, these wheels have been in motion.
I feel like it is probably appropriate to go over what got me to this point of release, in case anyone wants to take a similar approach and not have to pay back any tuition money and get a severance package.
The first breaking point for EY was during my staff 2 year when I lost an inventory count and the bitch of a senior manager WOULD NOT stop hassling me about it. Dude, I told you I lost it. No matter how many emails or sametimes you sent me, that sheet isn’t coming back. Get over it. Rose cried less when the Titanic sank. Needless to say, he personally wrote my review. Didn’t go over too well during roundtables.
The next “occurrence” happened in February 2009 during busy season. It was a Friday night and I was newly broken up with [the girlfriend] for the 24th time. That Saturday I had to work on [rando client] in the office because we just received their 10K. However, this was a minor inconvenience because 2 buddies from college were in town and I had a kitchen full of liquor waiting for them. During that night at the bars, I hit it off with one of the girls in our party and, as any guy knows, the first lay after a break up is as necessary as oxygen. So we leave to go back to my apartment only to realize I had given my buddy from college my keys so he could get in later. In a crime of passion and lack of forethought, I punched through our glass window to get into the lobby, only to realize the door to my apartment was still locked. Not letting this stop my teenage sex drive, we hopped a 30 minute cab to her place. The next morning I awoke at 11am realizing I should have been at work 2 hours ago. By the time I got to work it was 1pm, I reeked of booze and was bleeding all over the place because of my hand. AND I had forgotten my badge so called the senior manager to come let me in who greeted me with a “what the hell happened to you?” I also found out I had texted my senior the prior night while in the cab saying “Getting laid in West Randombury, Ill be at work ASAP” at 3am. Needless to say, my year end review mentioned something about “unprofessional” and “this is a career, not some part time job”
Those 2 situations resulted in me being held back for my staff 2 year. After that, there was not much anyone could do that would prevent me from doing what I wanted to do. I worked from home, ignored deadlines, and pretty much didn’t give a shit. I even made up some bullshit excuse that I was stuck travelling back from the Kentucky Derby in Pennsylvania during a 3/31 year-end just so I could catch up on the DVR I missed while away for the weekend.
The final straw that broke Camel Craig’s back resulted from a year-end job at the beginning of January. The Manager was a complete bitch and I spent most of my day exchanging texts with a girl I had met the prior weekend at the bar. She did not take kindly to this. But the breaking point for her was definitely when I didn’t show up til 2pm on that Friday because it was my roommates birthday the night before. Everyone knows Roommates birthday=Your Birthday, right?!?! That’s another thing that gets me about this place, everyone is so caught up in work they forget about enjoying life. Shit, life is so short (especially if you are a raging alcoholic) and is way too short to spend stressing over excel sheets all damn day. Every once in a while enjoy it! Take a sick day to go to the beach. Get hammered on your roommates birthday and come in late, have unprotected se…. well, maybe not too much enjoyment. But you get the message!
But I digress, I truly enjoyed my summers with you guys and the shit we got away with. I hope I was able to have a positive effect on your lives in some way, even if it was just “damn, at least Im not as bad as Craig . Did you see him lick the Backer pole last night?!” I hope you all keep in touch and wish you the best down the road.
If you guys are ever in the Random City area, Im always down to meet up. Just no rioting like we did when Joey and Dan were here.
Good luck to you in your future endeavors, “Craig,” you’ll need it.
Please note, we’re pretty sure this guy is a one-off and not at all reflective of the overall quality of his colleagues. Therefore let’s reserve any judgments for Craig and Craig alone. Judge away, my darlings.
Poor BDO, they never get in the news. But hey, they do today!
Former BDO partner George Mark got off easy this week when U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer said he didn’t deserve to go to jail thanks to his “extraordinary” charitable efforts and remorse for his actions. Mark’s tax evasion was uncovered during an investigation into Pennsylvania beverage company Le-Nature’s, who apparently specialized in nepotism, ass water and fraud.
Mark will instead serve two years of probation and pay a fine of $30,000.
A federal jury recently found Le-Nature’s former president Robert B. Lynn guilty of 10 counts of bank fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy. The jury found him not guilty on 10 additional fraud counts and deadlocked on five others, which left Senior U.S. District Judge Alan Bloch Jr. no other choice than to declare a mistrial on the remaining charges. The company’s CEO Gregory Podlucky and other company officers are facing prison for their part of a $37 million fraud.
While investigating Le-Nature’s ugly mess, the IRS found out that Mark declared fake travel expenses on his 2004, 2005 and 2006 tax returns for about $90,000. The IRS determined that Mark was living the gangsta lifestyle out in the Philly ‘burbs, rented an apartment in NYC, traveled a lot and owned a few luxury cars.
The U.S. attorney’s office had hoped the judge would come down with jail time in order to convince would-be tax cheats that this is serious business but the judge felt Mark’s volunteer efforts for Hope International and other charities was sufficient proof that he wasn’t all that bad of a guy, perhaps just a little misguided.
Back in 2008, 74 investors alleged fraud and negligent misrepresentation against Wachovia Capital Markets, Wachovia Securities and two accounting firms, Ernst & Young and BDO Seidman for their respective parts in the Le-Nature’s scam, in which company officers (mostly CEO Podlucky and his kin) would secure loans for business equipment only to turn around and use that money for things like, oh, sapphires and overpriced watches.
E&Y audited Le-Nature’s until BDO took over. “E&Y was aware that Podlucky could single-handedly influence or manipulate the company’s financial results …” charged the lawsuit. The company basically made up $240 million in revenue and BDO auditors declared the company’s financials were free of material misstatements. FAIL.
Anyway, congratulations to the former partner for, uh, being such a model human being. Or something.
Earlier today I was tipped to this story about a man accused of being a serial flasher in central Pennsylvania. Last week WHTM reported that Jay Patrick Knaub, a “straight-A student at Bucknell University” was accused of “20 counts including unlawful contact with minors, indecent exposure, and open lewdness.”