November 13, 2018

bummers

Layoffs Watch ’13: Rothstein Kass

It's that time of year when public accounting firms start showing the underperformers the door and we have our first confirmed across the board cut at it has happened at Rothstein Kass. The first we heard of the layoffs was in mid-April when we were informed by an anonymous tip that the firm would be […]

Born-Again Christian Learns What People Mean When They Say Taxes Are Evil

A Tennessee man – who became a born-again Christian a decade ago – has quit his job over the number 666 appearing on his W-2: Walter Slonopas, 52, resigned as a maintenance worker at Contech Casting LLC in Clarksville after his W-2 tax form was stamped with the number 666. The Bible calls 666 the […]

Layoffs and Compensation Watch ’12: KPMG

KPMG has made good on its promise to send over 300 of its UK employees packing, but, reportedly, there's a bit of a surprise for everyone who remains: Some 340 jobs were cut at KPMG following its headcount reduction plan, and a pay freeze has been implemented across KPMG. An internal email to staff said that […]

Layoffs Watch ’12: KPMG

Meanwhile, across the pond, a few hundred Klynveldians will have to find something else to do with their time in the very near future: Staff at the auditor and consultant’s UK arm were told on Thursday that it was conducting a review of several business units after reducing its growth expectations. KPMG said just under […]

(UPDATE) Layoffs Watch ’12: A Lone Wolf in KPMG Forensics

The aforementioned forced rankings appear to still be taking effect. A tipster laments: I just got laid off from KPMG's Forensic practice in Los Angeles [and] there were a few other associates in my group that got laid off as well. Our tipster claims that this is only happening at associate level although the layoffs in […]

Will Ernst & Young FSO Start Forced Rankings Next?

We're getting word things are becoming a little claustrophobic over at Uncle Ernie's house. From the mailbag: In NY – FSO (EY) apparently there are so many high performers at staff 2 that discussions regarding ratings are still ongoing to help normalize the rankings. "Normalize" is never a good word. Animal shelters "normalize" their populations in the […]

Layoffs Watch ’12: Forced Ranking Hitting KPMG Tax Groups

Following up on the news that forced rankings were hitting auditors across the country and rumors that it would be coming to the IT advisory group, the latest word is that various tax groups within the House of Klynveld are also getting into the act: There was definitely chatter in my group (M&A Tax) about […]

Things Are Turning Out Okay for Ex-Olympus CEO, Less So for Current Olympus Employees

Former Olympus CEO Michael "Go ahead and fuck with me, I'm from Liverpool" Woodford took a big risk blowing the whistle on the $1.5 billion accounting fraud at his old employer. In a show of thanks for finding the booboo, the company promptly fired him. A questionable strategy it seems because Mr. Woodford sued Olympus […]

Layoffs Watch ’12: Forced Ranking May Be Hitting KPMG Auditors

Following the news that the IT Advisory group could possibly force some professionals into the underperforming category, I had the following text message exchange yesterday with a source at KPMG that I'll refer to here as Rudy.  Rudy: Did you hear about the layoffs? Me: Nooooo. I just posted about the possible layoffs in ITA […]

(UPDATE) Layoffs Watch ’12: Deloitte

Apparently some IT professionals were recently informed that their services were no longer needed: Deloitte have laid off nearly their entire IT staff in Hermitage, TN over the last few days. Rumor is that they will start outsourcing their software development to save themselves salaries, benefits and retirement of employees…many of whom have been there in excess of […]

CPA Candidate Discovers That Scheduling an Exam on the Last Day of Testing Window Is a Bad Idea

The Prometric stories keep rolling in and I can't say I'm surprised. I'm hoarding a lot of the similar ones for my own purposes (namely writing an angry letter to the AICPA and NASBA on your behalf once we have enough ammo) but came across this one left in the comments last night: I CAN […]

Layoff Watch ’12: H&R’s Post-Tax Season Chopping Block

Three hundred fifty preparers and two hundred locations won't be included in any future tax seasons: Kansas City-based H&R Block said the company plans to eliminate 350 positions and close about 200 underperforming offices. The announcement was part of a broad strategic realignment that the company announced Wednesday. H&R Block said the plans were designed to […]

Prometric Disses One CPA Exam Candidate…with a Note

Imagine, if you will, heading to your exam (on a Sunday after a holiday, no less) with just a handful of days left in the final testing window of the year only to find a note stating Prometric is closed. That’s right, closed. It happened to this guy, it could happen to you.

I showed up to take FAR today only to find a note on the door stating that the testing center was closed and giving me a ticket number to reschedule. There are three days left in this testing window and I literally don’t know what to do. I don’t believe I’ve ever been this furious.

Furious is a good word. The problem with a note is that there’s no one there to yell and scream at, leaving you standing there with your FAR notes in your hand questioning your entire plan to become a CPA right then and there.

In any other circumstance, I might snicker and tell this person to get over it, it’s not the end of the world. Like if they showed up to the DMV to renew their license only to find the DMV closed. But in the case of the CPA exam, you’re talking about highly left-brained people spending weeks on end preparing for D-day down to the minute. I know you guys, and I know a lot of you meticulously plan your program with the type of dedication usually reserved for Bridezillas and control freaks. So I could see how a wrench in the plan like this could completely ruin your weeks of careful preparation.

Is it really the end of the world? No. Is it a pretty hardcore jerk move on the part of Prometric? Totally. Unless the testing center is actually on fire (3 alarm minimum, no smoke in the garbage can crap), I can’t see a scenario where this is an okay way to treat CPA exam candidates. Somehow I get the feeling the future truck drivers and nurses who showed up to Prometric that day for their exams handled the news a little better than any future CPAs who read this note.

That was a dick thing to do, Prometric. Seriously.

Layoff Watch ’11: The IRS Says Tomato

You may have heard some carefully coiffed pols shouting about the need for our government to “cut spending.” If you’re a Republican, this means everything is fair game with the exception of the defense budget. For Dems, it’s entitlements. Since these two sacred cows of the federal budget dare not be touched, all the stuff in between is on the chopping block. One of the easier areas of government for pols to offer up for sacrifice is the Treasury Department, specifically the IRS. Because GOD KNOWS we don’t need “a goon squad 5,000 IRS agents tromping around the country.”

It appears that all the budget thumping has worked and the IRS is looking for volunteers to help move this along:

The Internal Revenue Service has offered buyouts to 5,400 employees as it begins preparing for a likely budget cut of more than 3 percent.

The agency, which had 94,711 workers in fiscal 2010, plans to accept no more than 1,600 buyout applications. A second round of buyouts could follow. The Obama administration has said that as many as 4,000 IRS jobs could be cut over the next year, including some that would reduce tax enforcement and collections.

“This is really focused on trying to deal with the current budget situation and the uncertainty that we’re facing at this point in time,” Beth Tucker, deputy IRS commissioner for operations support, said in an interview today.

IRS officials directed the first round of buyout offers to back-office employees who don’t interact with taxpayers. A potential second set of cuts would affect “a wider range of employees who deal directly with taxpayers in service and enforcement matters,” commissioner Douglas Shulman wrote in a Nov. 4 memo to employees.

First off, putting 4,000 people out of work won’t make for a balanced budget. Secondly, I’m not saying these “buyouts” are actually “layoffs” but if you consider the fact that these “buyouts” include current employees will receive money and not be required to report to their cubicles EVER AGAIN sounds pretty similar to how “layoffs” work. Maybe it’s just me.

IRS Offers Buyouts to 5,400 Employees [Bloomberg]

Layoff Watch ’11: KPMG Asking for ‘Voluntary Redundancies’ Down Under

From the land that brought you Michael Andrew:

KPMG is to push ahead with a round of voluntary redundancies following a slowdown in merger and acquisition activity. The privately-held firm launched the cost cutting program this week, offering voluntary redundancies and part-time working options for its 5000 Australian-based staff.

[…]”We’re seeing a tough, uncertain, challenging and patchy market,” KPMG’s Australian chief executive officer, Geoff Wilson, said yesterday. But he declined to say how many staff would be affected by the shake-up. “While we’re experiencing year-on-year growth, we’re seeing some softening in that growth. [We are trying to] create flexibility in response to the patchiness we’re seeing in the market,” he said.

Crikey. I guess by “create flexibility” Mr. Wilson means, “Your work-life balance is going to get a whole lot easier.”

KPMG calls for redundancies amid slowdown in mergers [SMH via Francine McKenna]

Layoff Watch ’11: Grant Thornton

Similar to the recent cuts at McGladrey and KPMG, The Purple Rose of Chicago is apparently informing some support professionals that their services are no longer needed:

Layoffs occurring at director levels in the support staff and maybe other areas.

This included a director in communications, another in Knowledge Management and “others are forthcoming.” Email us updated with the latest details if you’re in the know.

A Little Housekeeping

Good morning capital market servants. Pleasant Thursday, no? At least it’s natural disaster free, amiright? Oh, right. Irene. Nevermind.

You may have noticed a little warning from your browsers this morning concerning GC having a little malware. Google sent us a little heads up earlier this morning confirming the issue, so it’s just not you! They have various theories behind this including the site being “compromised” (I think that’s a nice way of saying “hacked”) but Adrienne is convinced that I brought something back from the red light district.

ANYWAY, right now all theories are on the table for investigation but I assure you, our team of tech-savvy youth are on the case as we…er…speak. The Internet is a crazy place so things like this are bound to happen once in a full moon on 11/11/11, so we ask that everyone please bear with us while we sort things out. We’ll keep you updated as things progress.

Thanks for your continued support of Going Concern.

UPDATE: Due to our difficulties, we’ll be skipping the Daily Grind today, so sorry if that’s the only thing that gets you out of bed in the morning. We’ll also refrain from posting until the issues have been fixed. In the meantime, follow us on Twitter where we’ll be wreaking havoc and giving you updates.