July 22, 2018

D-I-V-O-R-C-E

Which Accounting Firm Has a High-Ranking Partner Whose Hooker Habit Got Him in a Bit of Trouble?

Actually, there might be a few of them but we’re talking about a very specific instance. A partner with a hectic international travel schedule got taken to the cleaners by his wife after she discovered that he was keeping company on the side while on his business trips, including the aforementioned hookers. And as luck would have it, some of the court documents found their way into our inbox. We’ve clipped some of the juicy parts for you:


It should be noted that this particular situation took place a number of years ago and proceedings were still being wrapped up fairly recently. Now, the hookers angle is especially salacious (which we like) but what does a situation like this say about the pressure that many globetrotting partners are under? The firms demand a lot from their top leaders and a lifestyle of high pressure and international travel can wear on a person. If whores on the cheap happen to be in close proximity to your hotel…well, it’s not inconceivable that some partners may want to blow off some steam. Landing an exotic piece of tail to help you cope with the stress while traveling on business may be a lot of fun but if you have a wife and kids and home, that’s where things get can complicated, and in this case expensive, as the following indicates:

And we didn’t even mention the possibility of the spreading around the clap. No one wins there.

Questionable Tax Deduction of the Day: Engagement Cruise and Wedding Expenses

Every tax professional has run across questionable expenses provided by their clients. Maybe you’ve got a used car-lot proprietor who insists that his hairpiece is crucial to his business appearance and, thus, his ability to put people behind the wheel of their dream ride. Perhaps you’ve got a sociologist that is conducting weekly research in the champagne room of a local gentleman’s club. Or maybe you’ve recently concluded that the process of, and expenses related to, tying the knot have been such a burden that it is completely acceptable to ram it onto your 1040:

Dear Caleb,

I have now figured out why the divorce rate is so high in America. Apparently, according to one of my taxpayers, wedding expenses and cruises for celebrating your engagement are now considered “write-offs.” Unfortunately, I cannot find this particular subject in THE CODE – but I think I’ll take my taxpayer’s word for it.

Maybe you should pass on this tidbit – I sure wish I had known about this obscure write off before I got married, but obviously, it’s time for me to start planning my next one. It’s going to be HUGE!!

– One of the many tax preparers currently wishing they remembered what their home looks like.

Our tipster insists that her client provided the receipts but didn’t want to forward them (something about client confidentiality). Of course, if you’ve got something that tops this, you’re invited to share it with us. In the meantime, any tax sages out there that wish to advise/debate the credibility of including the cost of sheet cakes from Costco, amateur photographers and invitations that may or may not kill you on a Schedule A (or wherever) are free to do so.

Are RSM McGladrey and McGladrey & Pullen Getting Back Together?

natalie-gulbis-4.jpgMaybe! For those of you looking for any ray of hope of RSM McGladrey and McGladrey & Pullen making nice, consider this your sign.
H&R Block, the parent company of RSM, announced yesterday that they, “[expect] a dispute regarding a subsidiary’s deal with an accounting firm to provide consulting to midsized businesses will be settled soon.”
Block CEO Russ Symth also told us yesterday that while nothing is official he’s pret-tay, pret-tay, prety-tay optimistic that the two firms will be able to kiss and make up:

“We are very optimistic that this is going to be settled within a few weeks,” Block CEO Russ Smyth told investors during a meeting after Block released its second-quarter financial results earlier Tuesday.
He warned, however, that while it appeared the matter would have a good outcome, “We are not across the finish line yet.”

We’ll go on record that we’re rooting for the firms to get back together. Reconciliation makes for a heartwarming story during the holiday season. Especially since we’ve learned that not even an insanely rich celebrity athlete and a Swedish model don’t seem meant to be.
Prior to any official reconciliation between the firms, several questions are worth mentioning: 1) What’s Natalie’s opinion? 2) Is RSM buying M&P a huge rock, a house in Sweden, or performing some other demonstration of materialistic love as part of the reconciliation? 3) How will the make-up sex work? Will M&P even go there? D) See #1.
If you’ve got thoughts on any of these questions or if the RSM/M&P troops have feel like talking about their firms’ chances of making it work, discuss in the comments.
H&R Block Subsidiary Nears Settlement With Auditor [AP via ABC News]
Prior GC Coverage of RSM McGladrey/McGladrey & Pullen Drama:
RSM/McGladrey & Pullen: ‘Breaking Up is Like Pushing Over a Coke Machine’
McGladrey & Pullen Might Want to Think This Whole Divorce Thing Over
H&R Block is Not Letting McGladrey & Pullen Leave Until They Talk About This
McGladrey & Pullen Doesn’t Love H&R Block Anymore

H&R Block is Not Letting McGladrey & Pullen Leave Until They Talk About This

argument.jpgSo the H&R Block/McGladrey & Pullen soap opera break-up has gotten more annoying. At first, it simply looked like a firm falling out of love with its parent company because M&P didn’t want to be stuck with a loser their whole life.
Natch, H&R Block wasn’t going to just let M&P walk away from the best thing that ever happened to the firm. M&P was not going to have that conversation and said that they were still walking out.
The Block feels so strongly that M&P is making a mistake, that it was announced late last Friday, probably in order to not make a scene, that H&RB sued M&P to prevent the termination of their administrative service agreement. Essentially saying, “WE ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT THIS!
M&P is not impressed with this desperate attempt to be won back:

“We are disappointed that H&R Block has chosen to pursue litigation,” said McGladrey & Pullen managing partner Dave Scudder. “We are committed to respecting our legal obligations and are confident we are doing so. Thus we are confident this lawsuit has no merit. Under the terms of our shared services agreement, we have every right to terminate that arrangement. We have chosen to do so because it is the best business decision for McGladrey & Pullen LLP in order to serve our clients in the increasingly complex business and regulatory environment.”

M&P is over being held back by HR&B and wants to get out there on their own. Besides, all The Block does is sit around and prepare tax returns for people who can’t read the instructions on the tax forms. You’ve got no motivation, Block. Oh sure, you got into the online tax return prep business but now what? M&P just wants time to be alone, so please respect that.
Block Files Suit Against McGladrey & Pullen [WebCPA via CPA Trendlines]

H&R Block Still Loves McGladrey & Pullen

begging.jpgEarlier in the week we told you about McGladrey & Pullen falling out of love with H&R Block. Well, H&RB is not going to just let M&P walk away. The Company cares too much about this relationship:
“We believe the path proposed by certain of M&P’s leaders is fraught with significant business and financial risks and is not in the best interest of M&P partners, employees or clients,” Block CEO Russ Smyth in a release Wednesday. “Whether the full M&P partnership is willing to assume these immense risks remains to be seen.”
Nevermind the fact that H&R Block is the used car salesman of tax preparers. Nevermind that H&RB is probably responsible for the failed appointments of several Obama cabinet members. This about love lost (and probably sex lost).
H&R Block questions McGladrey & Pullen decision [Kansas City Business Journal]

McGladrey & Pullen Doesn’t Love H&R Block Anymore

We’re deeply saddened to learn that McGladrey & Pullen and H&R Block are splitting up:

“This arrangement made sense in 1999,” said Dave Scudder, managing partner of McGladrey & Pullen LLP. “However, that operational and financial model does not serve us well as we address our future goals of client service, opportunity for our partners, and continued growth.”

Translation: It’s about the money.

“We are taking this action because we believe it to be in the best interests of our partners, our employees and our clients. We see great opportunities for success and growth for McGladrey & Pullen as a traditionally structured firm able to provide full service across all industry segments,” Scudder noted.

M&P also wanted you all to know that it’s not your fault, that they still love you but sometimes firms fall out of love.
McGladrey & Pullen News Release