June 25, 2018

The Oscars

#Envelopegate Redux: PwC Failed to Predict the Worst-Case Scenario

Last month we noted that PwC had gone far out of its way to not talk about its role at the Academy Awards after last year’s colossal screw-up with the Best Picture envelope. That doesn’t prevent the rest of the entertainment and accounting media (well, maybe just us) from talking about it, however. You can […]

Here Are Some of the Best Tweets Roasting PwC for #EnvelopeGate

As we all know by now, the 89th Academy Awards didn’t go as planned for the dynamic duo in charge of guarding the Academy’s great secret. It’s not like PwC has had 82 chances to perfect the process since they first started counting the ballots. Oh wait, it’s exactly like that. As expected the Twitterati […]

pwc oscars 2018

And the Award For Worst Oscars Gaffe Goes To… PwC

In case you’ve been glued to the livestream of a giraffe not giving birth for the last two days, you may have missed the fuss surrounding PwC’s gaffe at the Academy Awards last night and subsequent fallout. The long and short of it is PwC handed Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the wrong envelopes, and […]

PwC’s Little Stunt with the Best Picture Envelope Could Have Gone Horribly, Horribly Wrong

When Jack Nicholson jaunted on stage last night to present the best picture Oscar, I think we all expected him to be shitfaced. And he did not disappoint. What we didn't expect was Jack to hand off to Michelle Obama who said some things about how we like movies, yada, yada yada while some military-looking […]

The Oscars Pretty Much Sum Up Everything That Happens In Public Accounting

Who is excited about the Oscars? Certainly not me, I don't watch movies. But whatever, power to the people who do. Anyway, I came across an article discussing the possibility of Oscar ballots going electronic (you mean to tell me they haven't been up until now?) and found the description of PwC's duty of care […]

Confirmed: PwC Partners In Charge of Tallying Oscar Ballots Have No Connection to KPMG

It's February which means important traditions are observed that include rodents, candy hearts, and of course, football. Handing out Oscars is another February tradition and that includes red carpets, a drunk baked Joan Rivers and, last but not least, PwC auditors in tuxedos. The PwC auditors are usually the butt of recycled jokes what with their average […]

Happy 100th Birthday PwC Los Angeles!

Things sure have changed quite a bit since 1911 when it was just Price Waterhouse (what do we think the logo looked like?) and no one gave a shit whether working moms had a great place to work. Possibly in an effort to make up for those less diverse-sensitive years, the firm is celebrating their century in L.A. with “100 Years of Service, 100 Ways of Giving Back.”


P. Dubbersteins will spend a few hours sitting in god-awful traffic on their way to two dozen community organizations to do various nice things. And in case you feel compelled to share your story, the firm will let you do that too.

PwC has also built an intranet site with the theme, “What’s your LA story?” to generate excitement and internal buzz about the anniversary. It provides a centralized resource of information about the campaign and serves as another vehicle for the firm’s LA partners and staff to review and sign up for projects. A unique feature of the site is a page allowing people to share personal stories of how they have helped in the community, fostering a feeling of shared commitment and inspiring others to participate.

Sharing stories about how you’ve made a difference in your community is cool and all but I’m sure many current and former PwC L.A. employees have tales from the last 100 years that are just as interesting but fall within a different narrative. Maybe there was a partner at the Oscars who somehow ended up in the arms of Sophia Loren or maybe he got bombed with Jack Nicholson at the Vanity Fair party only to be found later, naked and passed out on the side of Mulholland Drive.

Or maybe you just recall some inter-office exploits that were especially memorable. The point is, PwC L.A., this is a time for reflection. So if you got memories (fond or not so much) about your time there, feel free to share them below.

PwC’s Oscar Partners Get Teased, Possibly Need Adult Diapers

As we mentioned earlier this week, PwC loves Oscar time. It’s easily the biggest display of Big 4 shameless self-promotion and no one — not even us, (sans Francine?) — can blame them.

The Carpetbagger has a chat with two of the partners, Rick Rosas and Brad Oltmanns that touched on a number of things, like exclusivity, “there’s only been 12 partners to do this” and secrecy, “we go to a very quiet, windowless room in an undisclosed location”. but just because they’re counting ballots don’t get the idea that they aren’t working:

During the telecast, Mr. Rosas and Mr. Oltmanns stand at either side of the stage, with the 24 sealed envelopes containing the winners’ names, ready to be handed off to the celebrity presenters just before they walk to the podium. “It is work,” he said. “We’re standing literally in one spot for three hours or so, no rest room breaks or anything, because we have to be ready when the presenters get on the stage.”

Jesus, no bathroom breaks? Sounds brutal. Does PwC front them for a bag or Depends or something? What if they make a Starbucks right before the show? That could be problematic. Plus, you’ve got puny movie stars that used to be funny giving you a hard time:

“We do get teased from time to time especially by some of the comedians,” Mr. Oltmanns said. “I remember one year Jack Black said he was going to come over and rip the briefcases out of our hands and give us a good beating.” Did he? “No. I think each of us are larger than him, so he did not.”

Seriously. Don’t fuck with these guys. They have to keep their cool when Halle Berry walks by and their bladders are about to burst. Could you handle that?

Review Comments | 12.29.09

Thumbnail image for Joe-Francis.jpg‘Girls Gone Wild’ Founder Sues IRS – The newly crowned Douche of the Decade is in a litigious mood. After threatening to sue Gawker for the prestigious honor he was bestowed, DOTD is now suing the IRS for freezing his assets. Will someone stop to this man douche?[Web CPA]

Bill Would Require Comptroller General to be a CPA – Now there’s an idea. [Web CPA]

Lehman administrators PwC repay $11bn to creditors – Seems like good news. [BBC]

2010: Get Ready for a Tax-a-palooza – “Facing trillions of dollars of expiring Bush-era tax cuts, President Obama and Congress will be forced to make some critical decisions in the new year.” [Tax Vox]

SEC Seeks PAFs: Jan. 13 Deadline – Professional Accounting Fellows. You. [FEI Financial Reporting Blog]

Let’s Talk About the Terrorist Underpants, Shall We? – Yes. Let’s. [DI]

Revealed: How Oscar Nominee Ballots Are Counted – Because we know you were wondering. [The Wrap]

Tax Court Channels Kenny RogersRaj isn’t the only fan. [Tax Update Blog]

Shareholders Win Settlement in Comverse Suit – Deloitte pitched in $275,000. That’s roughly the equivalent to one partner’s Starbucks budget. [Web CPA]

Bouncing Back: Overcoming a Negative Performance Review – Anyone? [FINS]

Tax Accountants to Get Biggest 2010 Raise – Good news already! [TaxProf Blog]

PwC Better Bring Their ‘A’ Game to This Year’s Oscars

OSCAR_INSIDER_hmed.hmedium.jpgWe’re not sure how long PwC has been counting the votes for the Oscars but we read some news this morning that made us pause with concern.
Apparently the Academy of Arts & Motion Pictures Sciences thought it was a good idea to change the voting rules for the Best Picture category back to the “preferential system” which was last used in 1945.
Our concern lies with the fact that this change in voting method might not mix well with the desire for routine that is forever embedded in the double helix of accountants, specifically auditors.
More, after the jump


The most common set of instructions that an auditor receives, as some of you well know, is “Do what they did last year”. This mantra, if not cast aside for the 2009 Oscars, could quite possibly be responsible for a material misstatement of epic proportions.
It’s far too early to speculate what films could be affected (maybe not) but we are concerned that since the awards are only six months away, the auditors don’t have much time to have at least a half a dozen meetings to discuss the ramifications of this decisions, let alone start planning, GASP, new procedures.
Best Picture voting gets a makeover [Variety]
Academy Makes Big Changes in Best Picture Voting [The Wrap]