One year at my firm, we had a Christmas party at the nicest hotel in the city. I live in Detroit, so you know the hotel is nice because it has yet to be burned from the inside out by a band of petty arsonists. The firm paid for valet parking as a “Thanks-for-driving-into-Detroit-at-night!-We-don’t-want-anyone-to-stab-you-with-a-dull-and-poorly fashioned-shiv-in-the-parking-garage-out-back-because-we-need-you-to-work-this-weekend-and-we-know-your-health-insurance-sucks” […]
Here's an interesting email that was forwarded to us late last week. It's from a peeved partner and we've removed the particulars since the message strikes us as universal among larger public accounting firms. From: [Regional Partner In Charge of Assurance] To: [Whomever it may concern] Cc: [Office] Leadership Team Subject: Respect […]
Hey, INTERN. Yes, you there wearing your hangover like a scarlet letter on this lovely Friday. Down your third gatorade and listen up. This is everything you need to know to not completely waste your summer away in your internship. You earned a coveted internship, but I am not going to stroke your ego […]
For CPAs, St. Patrick's Day is usually just one of several holidays that becomes a casualty of busy season. On Presidents' Day we were unable to engage in parliamentary procedure, on Mardi Gras we are unable to get laid, and on Valentine's Day we are unable to get laid1.
Over the years, we have received many questions regarding criminal histories and a life in public accounting. Not surprisingly, most of these cases have revolved around drugs or alcohol. We aren't talking about major meth production rings (that might be a small disqualification) or moonshining operations, but your run-of-the-mill silly college mistakes like getting tossed […]
I Want to be a CA is a Canadian site, obviously, but Big 4 misery is a universal thing that transcends race, sex and geography. In the spirit of busy season, I'm happy to share the following with those of you slaving away dreaming of running off to the circus. "The Accountant" left Big 4 […]
If you were walking around Midtown yesterday, you might have smelled something not-so-ordinary-even-by-NY-standards in the air. There was an electrical fire at the Hilton Hotel on West 53rd Street and 6th Avenue, the planned location for KPMG’s Biennial Alumni Reception. Naturally, GC turned to the NY Post for the full story: Several people were working […]
Have you had issues with Prometric lately? First of all, why haven't you emailed me about it yet? Second, here's how to get reimbursed for your trouble. Save copies of your receipts (like airfare or hotel if you have to travel to a Prometric center not close to your home should yours get closed at […]
From the mailbag: Heard that Patrick Kane, notorious party-animal winger for the Chicago Blackhawks, showed up at an end-of-busy-season party for one of the Big 4 this past Thursday. Can anyone confirm or deny? We do know that Kane was in fine form in Madison on Saturday, so he's definitely not on the wagon. Whether or not he […]
Rumor has it that the bobbies had to get involved because the situation "involved broken bar property": From: [Operations Manager Whose Responsibilities Include Being the Fun Killing Messenger] To: [Lots of People] Date: 11/04/2012 12:00 Subject: Behaviour at staff social events All, We recently held a BCM Strategy update meeting last week in London. […]
Yeah, we all have our tax season stories. Like remember the day in April when you got arrested on charges of stealing from your business partner while your husband got arrested for making a drunken spectacle of himself at the local elementary school? You don’t? Then your story can’t top this one out of the […]
Not surprisingly, the Income Tax Cocktail (yes, it's real) doesn't sound that good. Don't get me wrong, I'm a creative drinker with my own shaker who likes to get wacky with the floofy drinks when I'm up for something other than Raging Bitch. But something about tons of vermouth and a dash of bitters just […]
Once again, we take a peak at what our friends across the pond are talking about because you guys are clearly working to hard to email us anything of interest: Over the weekend I have put in the [sic?] hours working. Not by force, just to overcome the feelings of negativity. I have found getting […]
Hopefully this week is light for you and your cohorts, giving you some time to clean up your inboxes, hide frat party photos from your new Facebook Timeline, or finish up last minute holiday shopping. Here at GC we are already feeling the holiday hangover so luckily the email and “official” attachment below provided us with a good ol’ fashioned “WTF.”
It's that time of year again, folks. Holiday parties are wrapping up. Some of you are trying to squeeze every drop of water out of the CPA stone. And from the chatter we've been hearing, this busy season could be one of the hardest in years. Chalk this up to the fact that voluntary turnover shot […]
This time of year, many a capital market servants look forward to blowing off a little steam at the annual holiday (aka Christmaskuh, Festivus, et al.) party. Last year, the festivities made a comeback after a couple of years of more restrained celebrations. Ernst & Young’s New York office even threw a party at Cipriani’s the week Andrew Cuomo handed down his civil fraud lawsuit. And in case you’re skeptical that the get-drunk-dance-like-an-idiot-go-home-with-a-co-worker party have made a comeback, this post from Socialite may be the latest proof:
Want to talk about “work hard, play harder“? The auditors, tax specialists and consultants at PwC have got that down to a science!
2000 people + Marriott Coply+ open bar + gambling + dancing = Ballin’ time
We’ve been to some corporate Holiday parties in our day, but this one definitely takes the cake. And why wouldn’t it… we’re guessing they threw down well over $500K to host that.
Since we’re not hip to the costs of corporate holiday ragers these days, it wouldn’t be fair to dismiss this guesstimate outright. And it’s not exactly clear how Socialite got all these details but it sounds pretty similar to the KPMG Christmaskuh party I attended in 2008 (sans gambling) which was the waning days of the big holiday blowout party.
ANYWAY, Socialite then outlines a number of reasons that you, local Bostonian, should be at this shindig next year, including some “Secret Grand Prize Giveaway” which they speculate is “a small yacht” but in reality, it’s more likely to be a pair of cool shoes.
For any mini BoMos in Boston, does this sound like the party you went to? Is $500k in the ballpark or would you put it in the seven figure range? Feel free to speculate at this time. And if your party tops this one, email us the details (or an invite).
We like to cover the international scene as much as we can but it can be tough sometimes when NO ONE EMAILS US. If you’ve got some from north or the border, south of the equator or across an ocean, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll spice things up around here with some international flair.
I only bring it up because this morning a Canadian reader informed us that today is a big day up north.
I’ve noticed the content on GC is nearly entirely CPA-focused, even though there’s plenty of readers from north of the border! I realise this is likely partially due to the fact that Canadian readers aren’t helping contribute enough. In an effort to help spread the love, I provide the following:
As a bit of background to our system, Canadian Chartered Accountants (CAs) must pass a single national final exam called the Uniform Evaluation (UFE). The UFE is a three-day national exam held once a year in September. The results are then released nearly three months later, usually on the first Friday of December (today!). It’s generally tradition for all the writers (and those that support them) to head out to the bar the night before to help ease the anxiety of checking the results in the morning, which leads to a lot of cheerful new CAs with hangovers today. This tough day of work at my firm (and many others) consists of champagne breakfast with colleagues, lunch with the partners and the office heading back to the bar by 3pm.
Congratulations to all the new CAs!
Scores are officially released at 12 pm so if you’re waiting to enjoy some Mimosas until you get the official word, that’s your choice but either way, you can use this post as a thread for your pre-noon-newly-minted-CA-partying purposes.
Good morning, capital markets servants. Aren’t you glad there are still capital markets to serve? For now, anyway. Despite the doubts around our economy, we have a nice little offer for the future capital market servants who are attending this year’s Beta Alpha Psi Annual Meeting here in Denver. There are details after the jump but basically all you need to know is that it is tonight, attendees will be on a rooftop, there will be free refreshments, and attractive bar and wait staff will be catering to your requests.
So if you’re at this year’s meeting, join us at Spill located at 1410 Market St. in Denver, starting at 6:30 with open bar (beer, wine and well liquor) and appetizers until 8:30. I’ll be around chatting with various people so feel free to awkwardly interrupt to say hello; you never know, you might be getting me out of a bad conversation. Show up to eat, drink and mingle with your fellow attendees.
Fair warning, however, some of our sales people will be milling about chatting up exhibitors and apparently they have a reputation for being “loud” and “unprofessional” but you should know that only means they are FUN. So, unless you have a problem with that it’d be wise for you to show up. Hope to see you there.
I’m a Accounting Director (upgraded staff accountant really) at a small non-profit. I’ve been with the org since getting out of college 2 years ago. My firm loves me but I’ve decided to switch, mainly because I’m not liking the AD position. First because come close of the year and January, I pretty much want to drown my life in as many Guinesses as I can find. 80+ hours per week just sucks after a while and my org doesn’t let me drink. 🙁 Second is personal – I’m wanting to be closer to family and friends.
I took the AD job because I thought it would put me well on my way to a CFO job down the road. So my question is this, are there other good ways to get to that end without going AD, Controller, CFO or something similar? Do I just need to suck it up and keep being an AD for a few more years before I can move to a controller position? Finally, if I take a staff accountant position how does that look? Thanks.
-Can’t wait to drink again
Good afternoon Guiness,
If being a CFO is your goal, you need to assess the qualities and skillsets that CFOs in your industry possess. Consider a few things when doing so:
1. Get Your CPA – There’s no denying the importance of getting the three letters next to your name. As you progress you in career, having a CPA will keep doors open for you. Read up on Adrienne’s great CPA coverage if you don’t know where to start.
2. Lose the title – You’re still very young in your career, so my advice to you is to worry less about titles and more about opportunities that open doors and expose you to a variety of accounting responsibilities. This is meant as no offense to you and your career thus far, but a staff accountant at a large corporation most likely sees more complicated accounting issues than say, a charity bookstore. Roll up your sleeves and challenge yourself.
3. Location – before you have a spouse, kids and a mortgage, get back to where you want to be. It will be easier to find a staff-level job than a specialized, more technical job that you’ll be qualified for five years from now. And call your mother, she misses you.
4. It’s not like Mad Men but… – The liquor store sells the little nip bottles for a reason. It’s a scientific fact that whiskey helps ease the frustration of 80+ hour work weeks.
May the drink-at-work Spirits be with you,
Where I come from, some of my friends had a saying, “There’s only one way to drive drunk…FAST!” Obviously this is dumb. Forget the fact that drinking and driving is dumb but exceeding the speed limit while drinking and driving is exponentially dumber. Inevitably this type of behavior will get you pulled over, at which point the opportunity for more dumb behavior presents itself. On the one hand you could simply jump out of the car, flee the scene, losing your shirt in the process because it will probably slow you down, only to be tackled, cuffed and babbling the Branded theme song in the back of a police cruiser. Another option would be to literally manifest the phrase “cop-slugging drunk.” And yet another option is to do what Alison Brookes did and opt for a more affectionate approach:
A driver who kissed a cop in a bid to avoid a parking ticket ended up losing her licence – after he smelled booze on her breath. Chartered accountant Alison Brookes, 51, planted the smacker on the police officer’s cheek after he spotted her parked on double yellow lines in Didsbury. But the officer got a whiff of alcohol – and arrested her. Brookes, of Fenwick Drive, Heaton Mersey, admitted drink driving and was banned for 14 months at Manchester Magistrates’ Court. Court chairman Stephen Terry told her: “Perhaps kissing the officer was a bit of a giveaway, but that’s by the by.”
One thing I’ve always loved about the Maryland Association of CPAs is that they aren’t afraid to shake things up, do what everyone else isn’t doing and, uh, break out into a dance routine in the middle of a dinner reception.
Remember the “big surprise” they were planning for the 2011 CPA Summit? Here it is, enjoy:
I overheard – and by that I mean someone sent us the gchat – the following conversation that occurred earlier today regarding friendly get-togethers that will be going down at 300 Madison starting next Thursday.
[Someone at PwC]: From my good friend [Someone else at PwC]
[Someone at PwC, quoting an email]: Take a break. Unwind. Catch up with your coach or colleagues. Enjoy refreshments. Play a game. Right here in 300 Madison at our new Post work Connections. Designed to show appreciation for everything you do — and to provide a place for you and your colleagues — to meet and get to know people. It’s a place to just have fun! Post work Connections will be open every other Thursday, from 5:00-8:00 p.m., in 300 Madison’s deck/cafeteria, from March 24 – June 16. We look forward to seeing you at our grand opening on March 24. Give it a try. There will be beer, wine, soda, snacks, games — and raffles for prizes! Get caught in the act of having fun at work! Hope to see you there!
[Someone at PwC]: Note that post work connections starts with PwC
[Someone who knows someone at PwC]: Good lord
[Someone who knows someone at PwC]: That’s epic
[Someone who knows someone at PwC]: Is the “post work connections starts with..” comment theirs or yourts
[Someone at PwC]: Mine
[Someone who knows someone at PwC]: Love it.
Personally, I’m mostly curious about the “games” aspect of these events. Are we talking Risk™? Beer pong? Scrabble™? Or we talking an Angry Birds round-robin tournament? Regardless, we’ll be interested to hear how these Thursday ragers will go. Keep us in the loop.
As busy season trudges along, some of you may be looking for a second wind. For many of you, any chance that you can reach down into your soul and conjure up a little more energy to help you reach the finish line passed with that blown deadline.
However, for anyone on the Isle of Manhattan that is looking for a little pick-me-up this weekend, we’ve been informed that there is a fiesta in the making (invitation art at right) and it invites you to harken for the days when your aspirations weren’t so practical:
My friend is having a party this weekend with what I think is a pretty clever theme. On Saturday, we will be attending “Fuck! We are Auditors (How did that happen)”. Description:
“Have you always dreamed of becoming an Auditor?
If so, this party is not for you. For everyone else, come celebrate the (nearing) end of busy season! The theme of FWAA is to dress up as something you wanted to be when you were a kid. So call up your mom or flip through your diary to see what aspirations you had when you were young. Points (more alcohol) will be given to those who have a very convincing outfit.
So don on a lab coat, leotard, or tiara, bring a little somethin’ somethin’ (alcohol), and come get your drunk on. Feel free to invite other auditor or drab job related friends. Perhaps this theme will inspire other auditors to put their life in perspective and go for it…or just drink more to our unachieved dreams. We obviously don’t mean any disrespect to our jobs (or firm. no need to bite the hand that feeds you) seeing as we just started, but any reason to drink/dress up right? It’s been a long busy season. One down, and god-knows-how-many to go.
And good news, the party-throwers (who wouldn’t share their firm with us) have deemed this all-firms-are-created-equal event, “we’re willing to look past those corporate labels and invite all auditors to party.” Of course if you’re not in the Tri-state area, you’ll have to organize your own dashed-dreams rager but the theme has been set. Cowboy, pro athlete, Miss USA, movie star, whatever you failed to be, you’re invited to pretend for a few awkward hours this weekend. As long as you’re not working of course.
Taxes are a touchy subject with Americans. This is known. On the one hand, a Tennessee CPA combined his love for 1040s and firearms, issues coupons to clients who, in their jubilation, can spend their refunds at his gun shop. Even if someone were not due a refund, it wouldn’t be tough to convince someone in small-town Tennessee that purchasing a gun is bound to make you feel better about the IRS impending on your freedom. For others, finding out that their sophisticated tax planning didn’t go as intended, may just cause them to grab the nearest bottle of hooch and try to forget their troubles for awhile.
Thanks to Kay Bell, we have learned that one liquor store in Delaware has made this latter scenario more convenient for its customers:
Because we were curious to know more, we called up Steve’s to find out the situation. We spoke to someone who said that returns start at $65 but the lady in charge was out and could call us back with the details. We’ll have the lowdown for you when we hear back from her.
UPDATE: We just got off the phone with Yvette Nidwik, who does the tax prep over at Steve’s and she shared with us a few more details. Unfortunately, the answer to the question on everyone’s mind, “Do we get a discount on booze?” is a flat “No.” Apparently it’s illegal in Delaware law to give discounts on liquor associated with another service (or something). Be that as it may, we were surprised when Yvette told us that she has a lot of “church people” as clients despite the proximity to the Devil’s brew. Yvette has been preparing tax returns for eleven years, five of those at Steve’s. She is not a CPA but plans on becoming an Enrolled Agent soon. She also doesn’t have a problem with the IRS’s forthcoming preparer regulations, saying, “it’s a good thing,” and that she’s “a fixer” meaning she has lots of clients who come in with prior year returns and she find lots of mistakes (especially from discount preparers that will remain nameless).
So if you’re in the area and don’t have the time or willingness to do your own, look Yvette up at Steve’s but she’s a busy lady, so no messin’ about and she’d probably prefer if you stopped in the liquor store after speaking with her.
It’s ironic that I read this this blog post today (rather than on Friday) since A) approximately a third of the country is in a some stage of a hangover B) I’m listening to “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse as I write this and C) there was a murder at a fraternity in Youngstown, Ohio over the weekend (I realize it’s a stretch to assume that anyone would have been drinking at a frat party) but this is pie-in-the-sky postulating that just begs to be mocked.