November 13, 2018

C.E. Andrews

Look, You Guys, You Should Really Be Thankful for Enron’s Bankruptcy

One of the first things I saw this morning in my Twitter feed was this missive from one of the Grumpy Old Accountants, Ed Ketz:


Now, I don’t know Professor Ketz personally, but my highly acute sarcasm detector is going batshit crazy. Less subtly, MACPA Editor Bill Sheridan gives us the timeline of the events that transpired starting with Enron’s filing. Bill gets a little weepy about the whole affair, writing:

Remember how utterly chaotic that time was? News that shook CPAs to the core surfaced almost daily, and the next day brought even worse news.

Okay, I was in college when Enron went bankrupt so I don’t remember things being “chaotic” unless you count the whole “9/11 was less than 3 months ago” thing. What I do remember was an Andersen partner who came to campus for our Accounting Society meeting (BAP didn’t have a chapter at my school) alone and he didn’t really seem to know anything more than what I imagine was being reported in the news and our faculty advisor noticed it too. So for him and his fellow partners, yes, things were probably royally sucking. And yes, things did get worse when Andersen was convicted* of obstruction of justice, surrendered their state licenses and closed up shop.

So maybe all that stuff is bad. Maybe it’s really fucking bad and it causes people to cringe to think about it but even Bill sees the upside:

You could argue that the profession is better off because of it. We took our lumps, rolled with the punches, and emerged on the far side stronger and more trustworthy than ever. “That which doesn’t kill you,” etc., etc. Still, I’m not in any rush to go through something like that again. Are you?

Jesus. Can we quit acting like Enron is still a big deal? Lehman Brothers was the size of ten Enrons. TEN. And Ernst & Young, no matter what happens, looks like idiots and continues to claim that they bear no responsibility and everything is still hunky dory. Andersen got off easy. Enron went bankrupt. The firm got fired. And fired again. And again. Then the firm died. The end. Their partners and employees moved on and everything was cool. I mean seriously, even C.E. Andrews got another job. If Ernst & Young continues on, they’ll have this hanging over them until something worse happens. Enjoy that.

But back to Enron. Thanks to Enron, we got Sarbanes-Oxley. We got The Smartest Guys in the Room. And we got that awesome Heineken ad. If you think about it, lots of you probably got your job thanks to Enron. Which means you probably owe your house, your spouse, your dog and a whole bunch of other shit to Enron too. You should be thanking your lucky stars that Jeff Skilling was such a ballsy mark-to-market wizard.

And yet people choose to remember it as, “That one time where we almost DIED!” And the mainstream press, in its blissful accounting ignorance, loves to dig it up in every article that is remotely accounting related.

I don’t know about you all but I’ve moved on. Enron was this bad thing that happened to the accounting profession but other bad things have happened – far worse things – and other equally bad things will happen. Maybe if people had learned something the last ten years and tried to do things better instead of maintaining the status quo, there wouldn’t be a French guy busting your chops. Here’s to the next 100 years. Thanks, Enron.

*SCOTUS overturned the conviction on a technicality (apparently an important one) but that doesn’t bring the firm back now, does it?

Who Are the Most Influential People in Accounting? (2011)

Accounting Today released its Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting (free registration required) late yesterday and it seems to be a tad more interesting than in years past. Sure, there are plenty of predictable names and faces in the list but any list that has Dave Albrecht, Paul Caron, and Grover Norquist is okay by me.

That said, it’s still in alphabetical order which may not appropriately present who the influenciest influencers are. I mean does sticking a man with a last name that starts with “N” and ends in “quist” somewhere in the middle of the pack (only a few spots in front of the POTUS) truly show how influential he is? It’s just a question.

ANYWAY, here are some notables that you’ll probably recognize:


Dave Albrecht – Associate Professor at Concordia College, The Summa
C.E. Andrews – President, RSM McGladrey
Paul Caron – TaxProf Blog
Stephen Chipman – CEO, Grant Thornton
James Doty – Chairman, PCAOB
Joe Echevarria – CEO, Deloitte
Michelle Golden – President, Golden Practices
Tom Hood – CEO, Executive Director Maryland Association of CPAs
Hans Hoogervorst – Chairman, IASB
Robert Moritz – Chairman and Senior Partner, PwC
Caleb Newquist – Founding Editor, Going Concern
Grover Norquist – President and Founder, Americans for Tax Reform
Barack Obama – President of the United States
Barry Salzberg – CEO, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
Mary Schapiro – Chair, SEC
Doug Shulman – IRS Commissioner
Jim Turley – Global Chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young
John Veihmeyer – Chairman and CEO, KPMG
Jack Weisbaum – CEO, BDO

I cherry-picked this list obviously because it’s a bit of a pain to re-type all of them, so don’t hold that against me. Still how two Swedes and two Barrys got mashed together is kind of odd. And on a more personal note, I’d really feel awful if I was the one who took Dennis Nally’s spot. Go check out the full list and discuss at your leisure.

Top 100 Influential People in Accounting [AT]

What Can Be Purchased at the McGladrey Store?

There are a few things that you take for granted when working at a public accounting firm. First, your superiors will take you to nice lunches. This practice starts at the top and trickles down to the lowliest associates getting approval to throw steaks at interns. Second, you get a computer. It may not be the greatest piece of technology you’ve every used but rest assured, you won’t be crunching numbers using a pencil and paper. Third, you get tchotchkes. Tons of them. Pens, Nalgenes, poorly knit polos. The works. All of the firm swag your little heart desires can be yours. So it’s especially shocking to learn that McGladrey has a “McGladrey Store,” where items can be purchased. We don’t have a copy of the mail-order catalog but it’s safe to assume that there are items emblazoned with “McGladrey” in ample supply.

I learned of this “store” because Mickey G’s is rolling out a “Work Smarter” initiative so that the firm’s employees can maximize their time doing “high-value” work. What “high-value” entails is not entirely clear but presumably it doesn’t involve doing “research on blogs.” ANYWAY, McG boss C.E. Andrews emailed the troops to encourage them to take an online training to learn a few “Work Smarter” tips and to get the creative juices flowing so that they can submit their own “Work Smarter” ideas to the brass. For the first 25 employees that manage to throw out ideas that aren’t completely awful, they will receive “$50 to spend at the McGladrey Store.”

After the training, you will probably find yourself full of good ideas on how McGladrey can Work Smarter. Don’t keep them to yourself! Share them through our Lean thinking website and be eligible to win prizes. The first 25 people who submit an actionable idea will win $50 to spend at the McGladrey Store.

Our tipster in this matter, expands with some details:

[T]his “lean fundamentals” initiative seems irritating similar to KPMG’s “Next Step” program that I’ve seen come across your website. The dangling carrot of $50 in McGladrey bucks (cash value: 1/100 of a Monopoly bill) is particularly patronizing. Just another example of the cheapskate culture that seems to ooze from the brass at Mickey G’s these days…unless of course we’re talking shelling out for putting green-sized cakes and headlining golf tournaments that take place during the freak show of the PGA season (aka the”Fall Series”).

Unfortunately, Oanda doesn’t have a exchange rate for “McGladrey bucks” so there’s no way for us to confirm this valuation at this time. Regardless, it’s still not obvious if the $50 is enough to get you a stress ball, let alone a chance to take Natalie Gulbis out for drinks. We’d love to see a product list with prices in order to confirm/disconfirm some of our suspicions, so do get in touch with any particulars.

Who’s Going ‘Above and Beyond’ at McGladrey?

A few people, apparently.

The “prestigious 2010 McGladrey Achievement Awards” are only given once a year (we think) and while C.E. Andrews realizes everyone is doing their part, there are a few people that need special recognition, “While all of our employees are focused on the client, these award winners are being recognized as having gone ‘above and beyond’ to ensure client success.”

But enough with the boilerplate, on to the names:

This year’s winners include:

• Dalia Pearson (Ft. Lauderdale) was recognized as Employee of the Year for her can-do attitude and excellent customer service
• Michael Sher (Chicago) was recognized as Partner/Managing Director of the Year for his strong work ethic, industry expertise and his industry knowledge.
• Jennifer Murtha (Melbourne) was recognized as Career Advisor of the Year for developing talent, cultivating teams and relationships and helping to shape the firm’s future.

Individual and team awards were also presented for relationships, excellence, integrity and unity. Team awards included the Great Lakes Core Tax Team, Ohio Private Equity Growth Team, Building Trust Through Service Engagement Team, the Olympus Capital Audit Team and others.

Obviously this is stupendous news but what we’re curious about now is, what does extra-special people receive for such a prestigious honor? A year’s worth of bragging rights is a given but is there any money involved? As much punch and cake as their hearts desire? A lunch with your Mickey G’s-sponsored golfer of choice? We need answers. Or wild-ass guesses.

McGladrey Gives Thanks with News of Bonuses, Extra Holidays and Babysitters

C.E. Andrews and Dave Scudder interrupted McGladrey employees regularly scheduled spreadsheets a short time ago to share all kinds of good news. For starters, Mickey G’s is letting all employees blow off December 23rd and 30th which is pretty nice. Secondly, concierge services will be available starting January 1st, as well as a new arran”http://www.sittercity.com/”>Sittercity for in-house care caregivers.

And yes, there are bonuses.

But not just the year-end bonuses, mind you. No, C to the E and Scuds heard your incessant bellyaching and in addition to the year-end pool they are implementing “a new program to provide real-time recognition and monetary rewards” for those of you that go above and beyond the call of duty.

[caption id="attachment_21691" align="alignright" width="105" caption="Scuds"][/caption]

Our tipster was pleasantly surprised and told us, “McGladrey matches PWC – well not quite but certainly more than expected.”

True, McG isn’t hosting Thanksgiving up in Minnesota Nice country to our knowledge but it seems like a nice little surprise from the punch and cake crowd.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we’d like to take time to reflect on the things we are thankful for this year. The last twelve months haven’t been easy, but we have made some important changes in our organization that will create a solid foundation for our future success. We are thankful to have made it through this time of transformation, and we are beginning to see early signs of new growth for our firms, which will be aided by our new brand, growth strategies and the improving economy.

We have only accomplished this because of your tremendous efforts, and we are grateful to lead such a dedicated group of people. Today we’re happy to share some of the things we plan to do to show our thanks to you and to help you experience our people promise.

A gift of time
We’ve asked a lot from you during the last year, and we are truly thankful for the time you’ve invested to make our firms and our clients successful. To show our gratitude, we are giving you two extra paid holidays on December 23 and 30 to relax and spend time with friends and family. If you have conflicting client obligations, you may consult with your work team leader to find alternate dates.

Support for your busy schedule
You have a lot on your plate at work and at home, and we’re pleased to offer two benefits to help offset some of the stress you might be feeling. Starting January 1, all offices will offer concierge services to help you complete a variety of errands and personal to-do’s. We also will provide access to Sittercity, a new client whose business offers a program that connects you to local in-home caregivers for your child, elder, pet or home. Look for more details and information from your regional leaders in the weeks ahead on how you can take advantage of these programs.

Recognition and rewards
We know that you’ve been wondering about the bonus pools for year end, and we want to confirm that we have planned for bonuses this year to reward eligible employees for exemplary performance in support of our firms and our clients. We’ll commit to a baseline funding level in dollars, and the pool will grow based on our year-end performance.

But you’ve told us that year-end rewards alone aren’t enough – you also want to be rewarded throughout the year for your important contributions. In January, we will be introducing a new program to provide real-time recognition and monetary rewards to those of you who go above and beyond to serve clients, develop colleagues and support our strategic objectives. It will be similar, but not identical, to our former SPOT bonus program that many of you may remember. You will be hearing more specific information about both of these plans from your region after the Thanksgiving holiday.

We are truly thankful to have you on our team, and we hope that these things help demonstrate our appreciation. They are just the beginning of more good things that will come as we continue to strengthen our business. We look forward to reconnecting with you via our quarterly webcast on December 16 to discuss the progress we’ve made so far. Watch for an invitation next week.

In the meantime, we hope you have a relaxing holiday and that you enjoy reconnecting to the people and things that are important to you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Promotion Watch ’10: McGladrey Names 21 to Partner/Managing Director

Cake and punch all around, natch. And if you’re lucky, pictures with your McGladrey-sponsored golfer of choice.

Oct 01, 2010 – MINNEAPOLIS (October 1, 2010) — RSM McGladrey, Inc., and McGladrey & Pullen, LLP, leading providers of assurance, tax and consulting services under the McGladrey brand, recently announced the promotion of 21 employees to partner/managing director roles, effective Oct. 1.

“Our new partners and managing directors have demonstrated the power of truly understanding our clients’ needs and proactively contributing to their success,” said C.E. Andrews, president and COO for RSM McGladrey. “They display the firm’s core values of relationships, excellence and integrity every day in their interactions with clients, potential clients and with one another. It’s a pleasure to recognize their significant contributions.”

“These employees have consistently proven their ability to gain a deep understanding of our clients’ businesses, aspirations and challenges,” said Dave Scudder, managing partner and CEO of McGladrey & Pullen, LLP. “They have used this understanding to develop innovative insights and expertise unique to each client and industry that we serve.”

The complete 2010 class of partners and managing directors includes:
Name Line of Business Location
Donnovan Maginley Assurance Florida
Doug O’Connor Assurance Illinois
Linda Dehner Assurance California
Steve Gradl Assurance Minnesota
Tasha Kostick Assurance California
Wes Getman Assurance Atlanta
Allison Egbert Assurance Boston
Kevin Vannucci Consulting Connecticut
Brian Holmes Consulting Illinois
Lawrence Levine Consulting Illinois
Dean Nelson Consulting Boston
Diego Rosenfeld Consulting Boston
Rob Frattasio Consulting Boston
Greg DeVino Tax Florida
John Majer Tax Florida
Tay Reeder Tax Georgia
Phil Wasserman Tax New York
Brian Blacklaw Tax Illinois
Mindy Cozewith Tax Georgia
Rebecca Sheridan Tax Texas
Jim St. Germain Tax Boston

McGladrey Announces New Partners and Managing Directors [PRLog]

McGladrey’s Andrews: ‘We’re Doing Pretty Well’

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune recently did a sit-down with McGladrey President C.E. Andrews and from the sounds of it, C.E. is pret-tay, pret-tay, pret-tay pleased with how things have gone at Mickey G’s since he’e been on board saying, “We’re doing pretty well.”

Now the particular context of this statement could be taken a number of waerring to the recent acquisition of Caturno & Co. or he could be talking about the firm’s recent rebranding that involved plenty of refreshments, or he’s just pumped to get regular photo-ops with Natalie Gulbis OR it could be that he’s subtly referring to how good McGladrey is at layoffs.


Based on what we read, it’s most likely the handing out of sugar stimulants:

“Big companies tend to be inwardly focused. You drink your own Kool-Aid,” said Andrews, who knows something about large companies. He’s a former partner at Arthur Andersen and had a front-row seat for the demise of the consulting firm in the wake of the Enron debacle, then went on to run Sallie Mae before joining McGladrey.

The restructured McGladrey has just five people overseeing the revenue side of the business, and a system that rewards managers who improve client service and produce growth “rather than for internal things,” Andrews said. “We’ve gone from a local measurement system to a national measurement system.”

No real room for misinterpretation there. As you all know, drinking Kool-Aid isn’t something that McGladrey takes lightly.

But then again, maybe he is referring to the recent acquisition of Caturno. C.E. is thinking that it’s been a pretty solid move and there is more where that came from:

“This thing has the appearance of being as good a fit as anything I’ve ever been a part of,” Andrews said. He said each firm had strengths that the other lacked in the New England region. It’s a model for the kinds of acquisitions McGladrey is looking to make, he said.

That includes San Francisco — though Andrews said nothing’s teed up yet.

This rhetoric is strange if you consider the aforementioned layoffs, some employees considering dumping Mickey G’s for Mickey D’s and a disappointing year where the firm saw a 39% drop in its pre-tax income.

But despite all that, C to the E has big plans for McG and they don’t include keeping things local:

McGladrey offers prospective targets connections to RSM International, the sixth-largest network of independent accounting, tax and consulting firms, Andrews said. That’s becoming more important in today’s economy when even midmarket firms — which he called McGladrey’s “sweet spot” — now have operations in far-flung places like China or India.

“The attractiveness of truly local providers is diminishing,” Andrews said.

BUT! Don’t you go thinking that McGladrey will be like one of those firms, “We have the same kind of capabilities as the Big Four [accounting firms] … but delivered with an outstanding local touch.”

So, he backhands the local firms but then casually embraces their ‘delivery’ to take a jab at the Big 4. So, if we understand this correctly, McGladrey is a big firm, but isn’t like a big firm, and that’s their advantage. Got it.

McGladrey seeking more acquisitions [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]