December 12, 2018

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IRS Scammers Making Sure We Get the Point

As if the phone calls weren't enough, these clowns seem to be entering the "operation blitzspam" stage of their plan: The IRS said it has seen an increase in reported phishing and malware schemes, including 1,026 incidents reported in January, up from 254 from a year earlier. The trend continued in February, nearly doubling the […]

Let’s Get Worked Up About: Email Pet Peeves

Email. It's the most annoyingly omnipresent element of our working lives. When trying to enjoy the holidays, a nice vacation or even a relaxing Sunday evening, many people can't get the image of an overstuffed inbox out of their minds. During my last couple of busy seasons, I remember the dread I felt waking up […]

Your “Consider the Environment” Email Signature is Actually Inconsiderate to the Environment

We've all seen them, the stupid "please consider the environment" notices at the bottom of emails clearly written for the 5 people left on earth who actually print emails with some regularity. Well today we hear through painstaking number-crunching by Jeff Bennion for Above the Law that those notices actually harm more than they help: […]

Latest Twist in the IRS Scandal Reveals The IRS Had an Awful Email Policy

If you believe the IRS when they said a good chunk of Lois Lerner's emails were vaporized due to a computer crash, you are probably also the type who believes you are the last living heir to a Nigerian prince and the lucky 1,000,000th visitor to a website. Maybe this excuse would seem plausible in […]

It Seems the IRS Has the Most Complicated Email System Known to Man

Is the IRS using Lotus Notes? Don't Mess With Taxes has a good piece on freshly-minted IRS Commish John Koskinen's Wednesday date with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that you should go over and read if you are into that sort of thing but this part in particular stuck out to us: The […]

EY Finally Embraces the Disruptive Technology That is Microsoft Outlook

This is the biggest news to come out of EY! since the big rebranding: To:     US Personnel    March 21, 2014 From:  Xxxxx, Xxxxxxx, Americas Administration Leader       Microsoft Outlook deployment begins in the USI’m very pleased to announce that on April 7, 2014 the US firm will begin migrating to Microsoft Outlook, […]

(UPDATE) KPMG, in the Midst of Grief, Is Reminding the Academic Community of Their Business Success and Enthusiastic Employees

The KPMG apology tour continues. Well, maybe it isn't an "apology tour." It's more like, "KPMG: We can explain," tour. Actually, no, it's not that either. It's more of a "KPMG: Can you believe what this guy did?" tour with support from "This is NOT what we stand for." That has been the message to both […]

(UPDATE) KPMG Has Been Without Email Most of the Day; Yes, Some People Are Freaking Out

We've confirmed with a number of people at KPMG that the firm's email service has been down pretty much all day, with the outage starting somewhere around 11 am ET. We first learned about it just about an hour ago when a tipster sent us a text saying: No post yet about KPMG email being […]

Deloitte Employees Understandably Jumpy After Receiving ‘My Compliance Violations’ Email

Something from the mailbag this morning: Wanna see 60,000+ employees freak-out for a hot second and halt productivity for a bit , send them a firm wide e-mail with the below subject… Imagine, if you dare, being a Deloitte audit professional and receiving an email with the following: From: Ethics & Compliance Monitoring Sent: Thursday, April […]

Going Concern March Madness: Busy Season Survival — Food & Beverage vs. Technology, The Elite Eight

This blogging gig sucks. The publisher, Gail, is up my ass about this March Madness thing. Says we have to follow through even though it was Colin's stupid idea. Everyone knows that booze is the only thing you need to survive busy season; not sure why we have to go through all the trouble.

The tech guy, Stonewall, is helping out though, so I guess we'll just try to get through the Elite Eight. 

But seriously, just keep some hooch in your drawer at work like me. If you need anything else — including more than 4 hours of sleep a night — to power through busy season, then I don't want you on my team.

Going Concern March Madness: Busy Season Survival — Food & Beverage vs. Technology, Day 2

Busy season is like war. Okay maybe not, but it's hell anyway. There are no rules on how you survive it, but you MUST survive it. And if that means taking that last slice of pizza and hiding it in your drawer for later then by God, YOU MUST TAKE THAT SLICE OF PIZZA. Oh, Pete was late getting to the team lunch and didn't get to eat? TOO BAD. You're going to want that cured meat and refined flour in about 3 hours when you'll need your 4th wind.

Day 1 of GCMMBSSF&BvsT is underway and there is still time to vote if you were too busy skipping work yesterday to get around to it. But the rest of us need to keep things moving, so let's do that now.

(UPDATE) BDO Associate Eager for Work Picks Up Assignments, In ‘N’ Out Delivery Request All Along the West Coast

Undoubtedly, many of the seasoned public accounting hacks out there have received some variation of the following email: From: [Bored L.A. Assurance Associate] Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 1:36 PM To: [Everyone at BDO, allegedly] Subject: Available   Hello All,   I have some free time today so if you would like for me to […]

An Ex-PwC Senior’s Over-the-top Farewell Email Is a Sign That Busy Season Is Upon Us

We've receieved the first ridiculous farewell email of 2013 and it continues the trend of TMI professional good-byes that go viral among the public accounting industry.  Only by the stroke of luck did the following farewell email end up in our inbox. You see, we've been informed and confirmed that it had, in fact, it […]

Ernst & Young Study Finds That Fraudsters Aren’t So Creative with Code Words Over Email

If you and some cohorts are fed up with walking the straight and narrow, be advised that a recent study by Ernst & Young discovered something that may help assist you in making your future fraudulent endeavor a wild success:   Phrases such as “nobody will find out”, “cover up” and “off the books” are […]

Phishy Emails Purporting to Be from the AICPA Are Still Ridiculously Unbelievable

Back in February, a number of CPAs received a laughably fake email message that stated that "involvement in tax return fraudulent activity [by] one of your employees" could result in the cancellation of their CPA license and "The failure to respond within this term will result in withdrawal of your Accountant status." Any CPA equipped […]

The Deloitte Principal Who Wrote the ‘Watered-down’ Report for Standard Chartered Bank Has a Wikipedia Page

On Monday, we learned that Deloitte found itself in a bit of awkward situation with New York's Department of Financial Services because they "apparently aided" Standard Chartered Bank in hiding about $250 billion in transactions with Iran. In the order, DFS Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky states that Deloitte "intentionally omitted critical information in its 'independent report' […]

Deloitte Auditor Recognizes Overachieving Intern’s Nauseating Enthusiasm, Responds Accordingly

There's nothing quite like an enthusiastic intern who wants to be prepared for their first day on the job. And when I say, "nothing quite like," I mean, "Nothing quite as barf-worthy." Make no mistake, the effort is appreciated young grasshoppers, but you should know that the senior associate or manager that you are corresponding […]

Here’s an Email That Reznick Group CEO Ken Baggett Sent to the Firm’s Clients About the Merger with J.H. Cohn

At least that's what we were told! It was just a copy and paste job so there's no official Reznickness on it but reading through it, you get the sense that this was definitely what the big man sent out: Reznick Group, J.H. Cohn LLP Announce Merger   New Firm Will Be The 11th Largest […]

This Farewell Email from a Former Ernst & Young Senior Manager Is an Epic Failure

The farewell email is one of few art forms in the corporate world. There are good ones. There are bad ones. There are the ones that when you read them, you recognize its genius instantly. They are similar to street art in the sense that they have very short shelf lives; you will probably see […]

Anyone Who Actually Believes This Spam Is From the AICPA Deserves To Lose Their CPA License

A tipster sent us a frantic suggestion that the AICPA member list may have been "hacked" but after about 3 minutes of digging (let no one say we're lazy journalists), we easily debunked the emails in question as general spam and nothing for AICPA members to be worried about. If a biologist is getting the […]

Today, in Regrettable CFO Emails

In his time at PwC, you'd think Henri would've received the "don't write anything in email that you wouldn't want the front page of the Wall Street Journal," training.  S&P provided the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations with an excerpt of the e-mail from MF Global CFO Henri Steenkamp. S&P also informed the […]

Prometric Responds to the Candidate Burned By Their Note on Test Day

Before I dropped off the planet for my birthday, I received an email from the very generic marketing team at Prometric in response to Prometric Disses One CPA Exam Candidate…with a Note, a post I wrote last month based on an email I received from one CPA exam candidate on the Sunday after Thanksgiving (ouch). […]

Line Up For Your Own CPA.com Email Address Now!

We’re getting lots of great news out of the fall meeting of AICPA Governing Council in Phoenix, AZ – some of which includes the CPA exam – but this little interesting tidbit might actually be something some of you might want to get on.

CPA2Biz (an AICPA subsidiary) announced yesterday it will offer a CPA-branded email service for AICPA members beginning later this fall. Eligible AICPA members will be able to get an email in their own name that ends with the coveted cpa.com address, making it a much more professional alternative to those embarrassing Hotmail and Yahoo address some (allegedly) professional CPAs use for business purposes.

So, if Caleb were not merely an inactive CPA but an actual CPA, he’d be able to hook up [email protected] He could then use this for everything from his private practice to his, uh, private practice (you know, like Craigslist or Match or whatever it is he does in his spare time when he’s not hitting on girls in the Whole Foods organic bulgur wheat section). Cool!


The benefits here are obvious. First, CPA is a powerful brand, and being able to identify yourself as such in your email address gives that extra bit of authority that you just don’t get from [email protected] (I made that email address up, sorry if that actually belongs to anyone out there). It also makes your email address easier to remember for clients, who should hopefully know your name and at least know that you’re a CPA, making it easy for them to memorize your CPA-branded email address.

AICPA members can order basic email, or step up to a business-class offering that includes premier security, access and easy-to-use management tools. The product was announced at yesterday’s meeting of fall Council.

“This is going to be of significant value to sole practitioners because a majority of them are using consumer email services to conduct business,” said Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA2Biz, the technology subsidiary of AICPA. “Additionally, members of larger firms, as well as those in business and industry, now have the opportunity to own a portable professional email account. Regardless of what firm you work for or which industry you represent, it can serve you throughout your career.”

Pricing and service details will be announced in coming weeks. The offering will be the first of many to be featured on CPA.com, the new firm services solutions hub for CPA2Biz.

PwC Manager, Exploring New Career Opportunities, Accidentally Makes Entire Office Aware of It

When looking for a new job, discretion is important. Discussing your upcoming interview during the morning team meeting is typically frowned upon as well as making remarks like “I’m getting out of this godforsaken dump as soon as possible” within earshot of superiors. Another no-no? Not catching the “PwC [Your office] All” in the CC line of your response to a professional recruiter:

Caleb,

Woke up this morning only to find out that someone decided to look for new opportunities. Only problem is that on his reply he copied the entire office of 1900 people. Perhaps a lesson learned for all those auditors looking for a new job.


We’ve presented this in chronological order, so no need to start from the bottom and we’ve redacted the names to protect the innocent and those not too good with the email. As you can see, things get off to a pretty warm start:

[Anxious Recruiter],

I am very interested! How do we follow up on this?

[Anxious-to-get-the-hell-out PwC Manager]

The recruiter, sensing a live one, is on it:

I am submitting your new resume today. When can we talk [Anxious PwC Manager]?

The PwC Manager, sensing a little-too-eager beaver, starts balking:

[Anxious Recruiter],

I am committed all weekend, and will be unable to discuss until sometime on Monday. I hope that’s okay,

[PwC Manager]

Anxious Recruiter, being the early-bird-gets-the-worm type, plays it cool and suggests that they still get things rolling first thing Monday:

Not a problem [obviously less interested PwC Guy]. Can we set a time to talk on Monday? I get in to the office at 745am. I also have a meeting at 10am. I have 2 positions that are remote to discuss. I have already shared your resume with the client and they are interested.

Thanks!!

Sunday afternoon comes with no word from formerly excited PwC Manager and our recruiter starts panicking:

[PwC Manager],

Can we set up a time to talk tomorrow please? It is important!

Thanks!

It’s finally gotten to the point where the PwC Manager has to say, “Look pal, you’re freaking me out. Don’t call me, I’ll call you.”

[Anxious Recruiter who is coming on way too strong at this point],

I am currently traveling and will not reach my destination until after 10:30AM. Let me know what time will work for you after that, and I will try and make myself available.

Thanks,
[PwC Manager]

I know email is tricky but be extra careful with the more sensitive ones, mmmkay?

Career Fairs: The Do’s and Don’ts of Emailing Recruiters

127. That is the number of unread emails in my inbox at this very moment (Wednesday @ 2:28pm). Two meetings, a list of high priority to-do’s, and a number of phone calls to return when I hit my desk before 8:00a this morning. What’s the point? We professionals are busy creatures and as much as we appreciate the thoughtfulness of a “thank you” email when we meet you at a Career Fair, we don’t want to hear about your interest in IFRS issues. In an effort to build off the advice in the comments of Monday’s post, here are some things to keep in mind before hitting send on your thank you email to us.


Do: Keep it short, but personal. When we attend a career fair, we can meet upwards of 200 students in an afternoon. Even if 25% send emails, that’s 50 interspersed amongst our regular business inbox. Keep it short, to the point, but also relevant so it doesn’t seem like you sent the same message to every firm. Tip: reference something professional the two of you spoke about, reference to the recruiter what professional you met, or thank them for the invite to an event later in the week; something to make the connection to your brief in-person encounter.

Don’t: Regurgitate your cover letter. It’s a “thank you” email, not an opportunity to over-sell your candidacy.

Do: Triple check your grammar. Nothing takes you out of the running faster than a misspelled name or the incorrect verb tense in a sentence. Sure, accountants are notoriously bad with spelling and grammar, but leave the misspellings to the managers. When you sign off, go with “sincerely” or “regards” followed by your name.

Don’t: Make us feel old. Mr./Miss/Ms./Mrs. are all off the table. We are not our parents, capisce? More importantly, you need to put yourself on the same level as us. You want to be treated as the adult you are, so speak to us as equals. This goes for everyone up and down the hierarchy (first-year professionals to partners). We’re all on the same level when it comes to addressing us in emails.

Do: Capitalize. keep the lowercase sentences to yourself. and your texting buddies. okay? okay.

Don’t: Attach your résumé. Submit through the website like the recruiter mentioned 32 times.

Do: Keep it light. Remember – we enjoy spending time on campus and interacting with the future of our firms. We had a great time meeting you – remind us of that.

Don’t: Get offended if you do not receive a response. Oftentimes the professionals will just forward the emails to the recruiter to keep track of. You wouldn’t expect a “you’re welcome” note if you were mailing a thank you note, would you?

Hurricane Irene Watch: Deloitte Edition

As you may have heard, there’s a bit of a storm coming to the east coast. Since the DC area got the brunt of the earthquake, those in charge of the weather figured the Northeast got a bit short-changed in the natural disaster department. As is typical in these situations, firm leadership sends out some talking points to make sure everyone knows what to do in case worst happens (e.g. client are unable to pay, FOBs stop working). Deloitte’s message came out late yesterday and our tipster was not impressed:

Here’s our token disaster update from Uncle D. Not even one reference to being careful and staying safe??? Our disaster plans include taking work home with us and backing up our laptops in case we’re killed. That’s a new low, even for the Big 4.

Northeast Update

Hurricane Irene

To all Northeast professionals:

As you are likely aware, Hurricane Irene is gaining momentum and officials have issued watches for the Northeast area starting on Saturday, August 27.

This email contains important information for you to do and consider:

· While our office is currently scheduled to be open on Monday, use your own judgment regarding your personal safety and coordinate with your direct Supervisor or Manager to advise them of your plans.

· Take your laptop, related accessories, and any files that you may need home with you.

· Be sure to complete a back-up on your laptop prior to the weekend in case of any power outages.

· If you are in an office with a window, clear all articles from the window ledge and remove any boxes from the floor.

· If you are using an airport in the region, check your flight status before leaving for the airport. The Deloitte Travel Center [redacted] can help with any necessary re-scheduling.

· For ideas on making a family plan, visit Ready America, and go to the National Hurricane Center website for detailed storm updates.

We will continue to monitor the storm and its path over this weekend. If there is a change to our office’s status, we will issue an email before 6:00 a.m. Monday morning with further instructions.

Stay safe,

[redacted]
Northeast Regional Operations Leader

Well, “Stay safe” as a valediction could be understood as “be careful/be safe” but our tipster sure didn’t take it that way. If you find your firm’s Irene information email to be hysterical, indifferent or if your firm seems to be blowing the whole thing off, we’d love to see it. Send it our way.

Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria Has Been Listening to a Lot of Bellyaching

The Wall St. Journal published a little Q&A with Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria today to get an idea of what’s been going on since he took the reins as the head of the U.S. firm. It’s been nearly 100 days since JoeE got the nod and the flaks at Deloitte probably felt as though it was as good of a time as ever to roll out their new man.

Oddly enough, it’s been about 30 days since we told you that JE’s Westchester home was up for sale and since none of you cheapskates have bothered to help him out, this gives us the opportunity to remind you that it’s still up for grabs.

Anyway, this Q&A. It’s about what you might expect – but we’ll try to jazz it up for you.

For starters, did you know Joe worked at gas station in the Bronx? Yes, he’s already tougher than you’ll ever be. But while he was washing windows and filling up the locals, he noticed that the accountant didn’t seem to do diddly squat and made WAY more money than he did:

What stood out to me was I worked all day and I was making whatever minimum wage was at the time. The accountant came into the gas station once a month, did something, and walked out with a lot more money than I made in a week.

Back when Joe started at the firm, things were a lot different. For example: email. What is this fancy crap?:

I started at Haskins & Sells, the predecessor to Deloitte. I started in the audit practice. All the tasks were hierarchical in those days, so you had to work your way up. We weren’t in an environment where everything is electronic. We had to get mail. It didn’t just come over some laptop.

In his first 100 days, what’s been Joe’s biggest accomplishment? Making important leadership appointments? Overseeing the consolidation of regions? Nope. Listening to partner complaints:

One of the goals we’re beginning to accomplish is having a conversation. We opened up a communication vehicle with our partners and our directors that I call Social CEO. It gets the partners to engage, open dialogue, ask survey questions and ask questions of me or others. I get every comment.

How about this economy? We might be looking at a double-dip which could have some Green Dotties a little worried. But have no fear, Joe & Co. are all over it:

Once upon a time there was a view that there would be a rebound. I would say now the probabilities of a rebound are diminishing and the probability of a double dip is increasing. We have a set of plans that we would undertake for any of those scenarios. This isn’t new for us.

And if those plans don’t go as they should, there won’t be too many sad faces:

The first thing is we look at the costs that we incur and how much ahead we’re hiring. Maybe 18,000 [new hires] becomes 17,000.

See? No cause for concern.

For Deloitte CEO, Hard Economic Times Are Nothing New [WSJ]