It wasn’t a stellar fourth quarter of 2019 for the Big 4 in terms of winning new public company audit clients, according to Accounting Today’s most recent report on the newest data crunched by Audit Analytics. Deloitte and EY brought on four and three new SEC-registered audit clients, respectively, in Q4, but Deloitte also lost […]
Earlier this month Accounting Today reported the latest data from Audit Analytics on public company audit client gains and losses for the third quarter, with Florida-based CPA firm Assurance Dimensions picking up nine new ones thanks to an acquisition. Among firms you’ll usually see in SEC or PCAOB enforcement orders, Marcum and Deloitte were the […]
Francine McKenna did some expert sleuthing and reports at MarketWatch that Ambac Financial Group was one of the unnamed issuers in the indictment of former KPMG employees and one former PCAOB inspector. There were enough clues to piece together that “Issuer-2” was Ambac, one of the companies that were allegedly subject to a re-review by […]
Everyone who works in public accounting experiences a bad client or two. But then again, there are bad clients, and then there are the Martin Shkrelis of the world. It’s really a disservice to the bad clients out there to lump Martin Shkreli in with them. This CNBC report details the testimony of Corey Massella, […]
As a serious professional you often come across irrational clients. Behavior that’s obviously wrong makes complete sense to them. Sometimes it’s your own clients who have irrational clients as customers. You need to talk them down off the ledge. Here are a few examples. It’s Not Lying if I Neglect to Tell You Something — […]
Here in good ol' US of A, if someone says mean things about you on the internet, you don't call a lawyer to get the offending comment taken down, you threaten them and their entire family with violence! It's the American way. Down Under, things are a bit different. An accountant in Perth sued a […]
Like that miserable couple you know that have been together far too long, here's a, seemingly, dramatic auditor/client interlude, starting with an auditor walking out after years of neglect: On October 13, 2014, the Company was notified by PLS CPA, a Professional Corp. (“PLS”) that the firm resigned as the Company’s independent registered public accounting […]
Perhaps you've heard that the IRS is a little shorthanded? You know, that the people they do have are overwhelmed and can't get to the phone as often as they would like? Your suggested work-around is not making things better: “Each filing season, the e-help desk receives phone calls from taxpayers because their […]
Unlike some people, I'll bet Dean Smith sent his tax stuff to his CPA in a timely and orderly fashion. Coach Smith willed his trust to send a $200 check to each his former players following his passing. #DeanSmith pic.twitter.com/NyiBhU9taQ — Jiimmm Demmpseeeyyy (@ChestPassDemps) March 26, 2015 [via Deadspin]
Procrastinating clients are the worst. Well, judging by their performance in GCMMBSP, they're actually not; however, I think we can all agree that clients who wait until the last minute to provide you with necessary info deserve nothing less than waterboarding. That's why it's nice to read this Bloomberg article reporting that some CPAs have […]
Accounting Today has shared Audit Analytics data on the Q4 2013 auditor shuffle and of large and national firms, Marcum came out on top with a net gain of five. I'm no mathlete but that's a whole… er… well it's more than EY's -6 net: Big Four firm KPMG and McGladrey followed up with net […]
There are times in life when we have expertise and wisdom to share. And there other times when we don’t and need to pull in resources to support us. To help out the following worried reader, how about we try out both in this week’s accounting career conundrum? I'm an S2 at a big4, large-ish […]
As you all know, our government is kaput for the foreseeable future and since all of the Big 4 and many other DC-area firms serve the federal government, it stands to reason that a few of you might not have a lot to do today. Last night, we were forwarded the text of an […]
Alright, alright, alright. We knew this was possible. Let's try to keep things civil. HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), Europe’s largest bank, appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as auditor, dropping KPMG LLP after more than two decades. PwC will audit the 2015 fiscal year for the lender, subject to approval from shareholders at the bank’s annual meeting in May, […]
I suppose "a lot" is a relative term, but I think most people would agree that to lose, on average, more than one client per week constitutes "a lot."
The Wall Street Journal is on it, you guys: Plenty of accountants make errors on tax returns from time to time but most manage to remain on good terms with their affected clients. Make a big mistake or too many, however, and the tax pro can be out of a job. Financial advisers often help […]
Yesterday, Tommy Craggs at Deadspin scooped more sports franchise financial statements, this time those of the Carolina Panthers. As usual, it's great insight into how sports teams are shrewdly run businesses1. Just like any financial statement report, the good stuff is in the notes and Craggs dissects the more interesting points. If you're not up […]
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 […]
With a business name like "99¢ Only Stores," no one would blame you if you assumed the company and would try to pinch some pennies on their auditor. It's a commodity service that is just asking to be squeezed, after all. However, sometimes as a public company, you'd like a big name brand on your […]
I'm starting to think we need a Going Concern Halloween costume contest next year. There's always the old "reverse merger" idea or, failing that if you don't want to scare away the client with innuendo, you could always go as the douchey vending machine. Anyway, as we know Halloween has come and gone but that […]
After dominating much of 2011, the past year has been bit of a downer for the Purple Rose of Chicago. Last September, Grant Thornton reached its apex when the firm was crowned king of the hill in Vault's 50. Unfortunately, they were shoved off the pile by Ernst & Young less than a year later and things […]
With less than two weeks to go until the tax filing deadline, some people (myself included) are starting to think, "Oh, right! My tax return! I should really get on that." Yes! You and I should! Personally, I just file an extension and forget about it for another month or so. For those people who […]
For the past 23 years, Primetime Emmy® Award winners have remained television’s best-kept secret thanks to the efforts of Ernst & Young LLP, part of the global Ernst & Young organization that is a leader in assurance, tax, transaction, advisory services and strategic growth markets. “We are extremely proud to be continuing what has become a 23-year tradition for Ernst & Young by maintaining the integrity of the Emmy® Awards tabulation process and the accuracy of the results,” said Andy Sale, Ernst & Young LLP, lead partner for the 2011 Emmy® Awards engagement. “The Emmy® Awards have a far-reaching impact on the television industry and it is critical that the balloting and tabulation process be implemented flawlessly.” [E&Y]
As we do from time to time around here, we pick up some chatter from our British sister site to see what’s going on in the Old Empire. Today we learn that some Brits have really taken to slobbing around in their pajamas in places not thought appropriate.
Let’s see what’s troubling our accounting brethren across the pond:
Where I live (and as I understand it, nationwide) there is currently a growing backlash against people wearing pajamas in unsuitable circumstances (mostly while picking their kids up from school or while doing their weekly shop), specifically people refusing to serve them or asking them to leave the premises.
Obviously(?) none of us would meet with clients in our pjs as even the most relaxed accountant would at least wear smart casual for a client meeting I’m sure, but what if a new client came to you for their initial meeting in their pjs, would you refuse to act for them?
For the sake of discussion, assume they are fully clothed in bottoms and tops, not in negligie or short nightdresses.
Here in the States, most of us ditch the sweats in public after getting out of college but their are obvious exceptions (like our friend to the right). But it’s not that unusual for your more affluent clients to get more comfortable being comfortable wherever they go. This means ignoring societal norms. Like pants. Or only being sober for a couple hours a day. But forget all that for now; we’re focusing on sleepwear. So, then – if a successful entrepreneur walks into a meeting rocking Winnie the Pooh jammies with the footsies, are you offended? Do you throw him/her out and demand they come back “and act like a professional!” or “after you pull yourself together!” or “when you rejoin society!”?
Or do you keep a seersucker robe or kimono handy in a desk compartment specifically for these scenarios? Discuss.
Welcome to the I’m-just-sick-about-the-Mad-Men-situation edition of Accounting Career Emergencies. In today’s edition, a Big 4 associate wants to apply for an analyst position at his client and wants to know if there will be backlash or independence issues that would accompany such a move. What’s in store for our turncoat? Let’s find out!
Have an interesting career dilemma? Need some ideas to cheer up the troops? Looking for some ways to offer some constructive criticism without resorting to veiled insults? Email us at email@example.com and we’ll help you squash any temptation for name-calling.
Meanwhile back at traitor island:
Dear Going Concern,
I’m an Associate at a Big4 looking to do something more exciting. After checking out at my clients website, they seem to have a lot of entry-level analysts positions that interest me.
I was curious as to what your thoughts were about applying to one of your clients, and how my team might react if I get the job before busy season. Also, do I have to worry about independence issues if I’m only an Associate?
Extremely Bored Associate
Dear Extremely Bored Associate,
You think an entry-level analyst position sounds more exciting than Big 4? Your bar for thrills is awfully low, my friend. Never mind that you lack an inner Indiana Jones, I’m here to help you.
For starters, I’m not really sure what you mean by “just before busy season” since it’s March and busy season is all but over. However if you do ditch your team prior to busy season, some will sneer at your timing and then forget about you. And then there are the people that will hate you just on principle. You simply have to accept that as a cost of doing business. As far as independence is concerned, I don’t see any issues since you’re pretty low on pecking order but your firm may have a cooling off period or some other policy that forbids you from taking a position for a certain amount of time, so consider that your homework assignment.
Have said all that, I should tell you that it’s possible that your client may not be interested in offering you a job simply because you worked for the audit team. The argument being that maintaining a good relationship with their audit provider trumps any cog in the wheel so poaching you from their professional services firm is something they simply won’t do. Now are there exceptions? Probably. So the only the way to know is find out; run it up and see what happens. Good luck.
Welcome to the slightly-less-mad-Friday edition of Accounting Career Emergencies. In today’s edition, a future E&Y intern only wants to work on the sexiest tech clients that the House of Turley has to offer. How can one ensure that he/she lands only on the clients worth bragging to their peers? Let’s find out!