September 22, 2018

Challenge extended

A PwC Jack-o-lantern? A PwC Jack-o-lantern

It isn't easy to show love for your accounting firm during the Halloween season. No one is going to appreciate your Bill Deloitte and George Touche costumes and most parents would NEVER allow their eat anything that says "KPMG Kandy" on it. Fortunately, an enterprising PwC employee has shared a creation with us and extended a challenge to […]

Any PR Firms Looking for a Challenge Should Contact the IRS

But just know what you're getting yourself into: “Advancing the interests of the North Korean leadership at the moment would be harder than the IRS,” suggested Matthew Harrington, chief executive officer of public relations powerhouse Edelman U.S. The U.S. prison in Guantanamo could prove a harder sell, said [Grover] Norquist. “It’s just a little less scary […]

The Fall Busy Season Has One Ernst & Young Team in Danger of Going into Diabetic Shock

By way of the Ernst & Young Staff Twitter account, we learn that the young associates are quite fond of the snack drawer:

While I’m not one to condone such unhealthy life choices, I am not lost on the fact that these drawers of death are not uncommon. That said, if all of you out there in E&Y land insist on this type of sustenance, I suggest you get a pair and put down the whole drawer in a prescribed amount of time. The bankers and hedgies have been doing this for years and since many of you think yourselves worthy of their ilk, you should be able to hold your own in the mass consumption of factory produced crap. Anyone up for the challenge should provide a full inventory of the items to be consumed as well as the time limit and the prize to the winner should they emerge victorious. Additionally, I would need to be given a play by play in order to appropriately report the progress and results to the world at large.

We’re waiting. The gauntlet has been thrown.

If You’ve Got a Better Solution to Rhode Island’s Budget Crisis, Governor Lincoln Chafee Is All Ears

Over at Tax.com, David Brunori calls Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee’s latest state sales tax proposal “awful.” You see, Governor Chafee wants to levy a tax on goods and services sold by Ocean State businesses. Examples of previous tax-exempt services include “data processing, landscaping, taxi fares, garbage collection, auto repairs and tickets to theaters and sporting events,” while it would also tax goods such as “agricultural products, boats, clothing, manufacturing machinery.”

Brunori writes that this idea is horrendous because it not only, “violates every notion of sound sales tax policy,” but because the Rhode Island rubes won’t even realize that the tax is ultimately being passed on to them:

In general, businesses should not pay sales tax on their purchases. When they do, the tax is passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. The tax is often included in the final purchase price and taxed again. The funny thing is that citizens do not know they are being secretly taxed. Everyone knows this.

So wait…do the citizens know they are being taxed or does “everyone” simply mean tax policy wonks? Putting our confusion aside for a second, Governor Chafee has defied the haters like Brunori and Rhode Island businesses, standing by his proposal. But if you’ve got a better idea, he’s more than happy to hear your out:

Chafee said it’s up to his critics to suggest a better option. “Crisis calls for leadership,” Chafee, an independent, said at an impromptu press conference called after the rally. “If you don’t like my proposal, what’s the alternative? No politician likes to raise taxes. … We’re waiting for a better idea.”

Terrible Tax Idea of the Week [Tax.com]
Chafee firm as business groups protest tax plan [Tto10]

Berkshire Hathaway CFO Would Like to Make a Bet with the SEC

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRKA, BRKB) took an accounting charge to reflect the declines of three stocks in its investment portfolio after regulators asked about the company’s policy for writing down investment losses. But Berkshire Chief Financial Officer Marc Hamburg complained that the current stock prices don’t reflect the worth of the shares, and predicted in a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that “each security’s market price will grow to at least the intrinsic value that existed” when Berkshire made the investments. [Dow Jones]

GM CFO: Today Is No Big Deal

Chris Liddell is thinking about the future!

“I’m not worried about today, I’m worried about the three months and the six months and the nine months” from now, GM Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell said in an interview this morning on CNBC.

Liddell also had some frank talk about how GM can never go back to the bad, old days, when he said GM was a financing company with a car company “attached,” and the auto maker used its pension plan as a “piggy bank.” GM needs to have a “fortress” balance sheet to support its business plan, Liddell said.

So the intention is there but old habits die hard, amiright? Francine McKenna thinks so and makes a prediction:

My prediction: GM needs another accounting restatement before the 2012 election. This time it shouldn’t be retail investors who end up with the short end of this stick.

Any takers? November 6, 2012 is the over/under. We’ll take the overs (post-election day) and if we lose, we’ll take FM to dinner at the restaurant of her choosing.