September 15, 2019

GC March Madness

Going Concern March Madness: Busy Season Survival Has a Champion (And Some of You May Need a Sponsor)

Bracket season came to close yesterday afternoon on Going Concern and your Busy Season Survival champion is none other than booze. Hooch. The Sauce. Firewater. Whatever your flavor, alcohol managed to overcome it all to win GCBSSF&BvsT. Yes, those of you who cry busy season tears into beers managed to outnumber the BYU alums, CPAs […]

Going Concern March Madness: The Busy Season Survival Final — Booze vs. Excel, There Can Be Only One

Finally, the champions of the two Busy Season Survival regions — Food & Bevvie and Tech — will meet to crown the ultimate winner of GCMMBSSF&BvsT. It's been a memorable tournament unless you've been committed to Team Booze in practice as well as voting. From coffee's disappointing performance to an inspired run by Email to the exciting […]

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

Well, we have our survivors from GCMMBSSF&BvsT. It's been quite a journey so far, and now we will crown the kings of both Food & Beverage and Tech in your quest to come out of busy season with your sanity intact.

So let's get to it. We're keeping the polls open until Friday at 1 pm ET so you can stuff the channels appropriately.

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: The Sweet Sixteen, Day Two

I'm in Raleigh, North Carolina today visiting students at North Carolina State, so I apologize for the delay in getting to the bottom half of the Sweet Sixteen in GCMM. I know you've shaking with anticipation.

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

If you picked upsets in your NCAA Mens bracket and all the favorites in your GCMMBSSF&BvsT bracket, then you're in pretty good shape today. My hunch is that you went for the opposite strategy.

While favorites Excel and coffee had no problems and the wins by Bagels and Key Shortcuts were very satisfying, the loss by Someone Else's Hotpocket from the Freezer was devastating. DEVASTATING. 

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) Going Concern March Madness 2012: Final Results and Debrief

~ Update below includes statement from Rothstein Kass Co-CEO and Co-Managing Principal, Steve Kass. After an exhaustive tournament, and a fair amount of comments that stated the obvious (i.e. there's no such thing as a cool accounting firm), we have a repeat champion in Rothstein Kass. Despite coming in as the defending champion, RK only […]

Going Concern March Madness 2012: This Town (i.e. Roseland, NJ) Isn’t Big Enough for Two Cool Firms

Last Friday, someone was hoping for a Rothstein Kass/J.H. Cohn Final in Going Concern March Madness for no other reason than to make things as awkward as possible in the elevator at 4 Becker Farm Road, Roseland, New Jersey: I am hoping for a JH Cohn vs Rothstein Kass final as they share an office […]

Going Concern March Madness 2012 Enters Round 2: No More Big 4

Today marks the day that you're pulling out brackets again that just serves as a reminder of how horrible you are at picking winners. Accordingly, we'll dive right into round two of Going Concern March Madness 2012: The Coolest Accounting Firm.  Again this year we saw a bunch of upsets in round one with all […]

Polls Are Now Open in Going Concern March Madness 2012: The Coolest Accounting Firm

You may recall that last year we launched Going Concern March Madness: The Coolest Accounting Firm, in an effort to give you a break from your spreadsheets and grossly outdated email management software. It proved to be quite popular so with that in mind and since it's brackets season, we're doing it all over again. […]

And the Coolest Accounting Firm Is…

After four rounds of bracket magic including a back and forth championship match-up, we have our very first winner of the Going Concern March Madness: Coolest Accounting Firm competition. Let’s look at the final bracket.


For those of you that haven’t been refreshing the page for the last 48+ hours, Rothstein Kass pulled their final upset, this time of West Coast rival Moss Adams. Along the way RK dismantled the biggest of the Big 4, Deloitte, McGladrey and BDO.

You may think that such a run of upsets was the result of the double-entry stars perfectly aligning themselves but RK Co-CEO and Managing Principal Steve Kass explained it differently, “Many will look at results and call Rothstein Kass a ‘Cinderella story,’ or characterize our victory as an upset. Though we embraced the underdog role, we knew that our low seeding was more likely a function of strength of schedule. The fierce competition we encountered during the season prepared us for the rigors of the tournament, while quality of our recent recruiting classes left us confident that we could make a run at the title,” Mr. Kass said. “As thrilled as we are by our success, however, there will be no champagne sprayed in locker room celebrations, nor ticker tape parades through the halls of our offices. Over the years, we’ve observed that the more time you spend reflecting on how cool you are, the less time you have free to do cool things. Notwithstanding, winning was pretty cool!”

So it sounds like it’s back to business as usual for RK. Undoubtedly, this victory will catapult them up Vault’s prestige rankings making for a much more difficult tournament next year but for now they get to enjoy the spoils of a champion (which, in this case, is nothing – our publisher wouldn’t spring for a trophy but he’d love to hear from you about it). So congrats to Rothstein Kass on a great run and to the rest of the firms out there – get better.

Oh, and anyone expecting a “One Shining Moment” montage needs to slap themselves across the face right now. And then again.

Going Concern March Madness: Moss Adams, Rothstein Kass Battle for the Title of the Coolest Accounting Firm

Well, we’ve finally reached the championship match-up and it’s a battle of the coasts. , NJ-based Rothstein Kass will take on Seattle-based Moss Adams for what will no doubt be the crowning achievement for either firm’s busy season. Moss Adams disposed of their rumored dancing partner Grant Thornton while Rothstein dismantled McGladrey. Rehash over; let’s get to the bracket.


Will Rothstein be the ultimate Cinderella? Will Moss spoil the ball? Will Reznick Group mount a firm-wide attack on MA just out of spite? WTFK? But vote so we can wrap this up. If I have to look at another bracket in next 365 days it will be too soon. Poll is open until FRIDAY at 11:59 PT.

Going Concern March Madness: The Coolest Accounting Firm – The Final 4 Sans Big 4

Now that we’ve reached the Final 4 without any Big 4 firms (all bounced in the first round), some of you may have lost interest in Going Concern March Madness: Coolest Accounting Firm. Well, that would make you a loser and anyway, we must press on! Face it, you’ll go for anything to distract you from the fact that you’re stuck inside whispering sweet nothings to Microsoft Excel while spring is slowly emerging outside. And it’s a pretty compelling Final Four anyway. Let’s take a look shall we?


So you’ll notice that we have the very interesting match-up between Moss Adams and Grant Thornton, the two firms that have subject of merger rumors (unfounded!) since January. Obviously the winner here will enjoy the upper hand in any future negotiations between the two firms, so anyone from either firm wishing to upset the leverage here would be wise to take a page from the Reznick Group strategy book.

Speaking of Reznick, we briefly mentioned the fact that their first round magic was nowhere to be found in round two. A tipster filled us in as to why:

I think the higher-ups were embarrassed by the public calling out and subsequent mockery in the comments, not a single other email went out about it – reminders about the competition or the beatdown they suffered at the hands of the commenters 🙂 Serious loss of billable hours that day too, everyone kept checking the site all day long for more comments, emailing and IMing each other about it.

So make a mental note – if your firm’s leadership has a thin skin and isn’t down with wasting a number of billable hours, the Reznick strategy may not be the way to go after all.

Moving on to the second match-up we have the perennial dark horse Rothstein Kass against McGladrey. Rothstein continues their hot streak in GCMMTCAF after their impressive performance in this year’s Vault rankings and McGladrey is…well, we’re pretty surprised to see McGladrey in the semi-finals, to be honest. Perhaps there are sweet incentives being offered internally but right now we haven’t been made aware of any such temptations. Anyway, McG has quietly made a run, so it makes for a decent showdown.

All right, enough with pleasantries. Let’s get to the voting. Polls close tomorrow night at 11:59 PT.

First up – GranMA

Cinderella vs. Mickey G’s.

Going Concern March Madness Update: Reznick’s Magic is MIA; Grant Thornton, BDO on the Ropes

Look gang, since too many of you are distracted with doing billable work to email us anything half way interesting, I’m guess I’ll just update you on the progress in Round 2.


The two highest remaining seeds – Grant Thornton and BDO – are looking defeat square in the face right now to their respective opponents – Crowe Horwath and Rothstein Kass. First round comeback kid Reznick Group is currently getting worked by Moss Adams which makes should make us all wonder what happened to the teamwork we saw in the first round. Perhaps they’re a one-trick pony?

Finally, in the least talked about match-up, Mickey G’s and Dennis Rader’s favorite firm (ideas for something better are welcome) look like they’ll be taking it down to the wire. There’s just over thirteen hours left to vote, so get the word out sooner rather than later (sorry Clifton Gunderson).

Going Concern March Madness: The Coolest Accounting Firm – Round 2

Okay people, after a crazy first round, we’re here to present round two of Going Concern March Madness: Coolest Accounting Firm. With all of the Big 4 sent home with their spreadsheets between their legs, the title is up for grabs, although it’s abundantly clear that Reznick Group isn’t taking this shit lightly (they did get their Indian office involved, after all).

With that setup, let’s check out the match-up href=”https://goingconcern.com/2011/03/going-concern-march-madness-the-coolest-accounting-firm-round-2/picture-8-11/” rel=”attachment wp-att-27437″>

As you can see, Grant Thornton is now the highest seed left making them the new favorite but judging by how things went in the last round, seeds are basically meaningless.

Voting will start tomorrow morning at 5 am PT tomorrow morning and will end at 11:59 pm PT (don’t ask, that’s just Vizu does) Friday night. Check back here tomorrow to start the voting but in the meantime, place your bets and discuss round 2 below. As always, check with your local bookmaker for actual odds.

UPDATE:
Since I have no plans to get up extra early, I’ve added the polls to the post but you won’t be able to starting voting until tomorrow morning. I realize that many of you will stay up all night and refresh until voting begins but I need my beauty sleep.

The comeback kids vs. the left coast kings (or queens).

Team purple vs. a murder of Crowes.

The most interesting accounting firm in the world (but the coolest?) takes on Arnold Rothstein’s firm…oh, wait…not really, that guy fixed baseball games.

Rounding out with Mickey G’s and BKD.

Reznick Group’s Upset of PwC in GCMMCAF Was a Team Effort

In collegiate tournament basketball, a #16 seed upsetting a #1 is virtually unheard of. The only time it has ever happened was the Harvard Womens squad upsetting Stanford in 1998. It has never happened in the mens tournament. But in the Going Concern March Madness: Coolest Accounting Firm bracket, superior athletes, coaching and luck do not matter. Like most things in accounting, it comes down to numbers.

Late yesterday, PwC’s lead over Reznick Group completely vanished. I speculated to my parter-in-crime that based on the sheer volume coming out of the Virginia/Maryland region that it had to be some sort of a concerted effort on the part of Reznick Group. Turns out I was right; more right than I could possibly know.


This email went out to all Reznick Group offices. Yes. All.

And here’s the victory lap/dancing on PwC’s grave:

We knew America would land with Reznick Group accountants being the coolest bean counters around. With the underground movement of getting clients, family and friends to help vote along with a huge push from our India employees motivating a billion voters, hard to stop the Reznick Group momentum.

Bring on the next contender!

So for the firms left – this is what you’re up against. I’m not suggesting that you should undertake similar efforts but that’s because I have to remain neutral in this regard.

It should be noted that based on the numbers accumulated by Vizu, it appears very few Reznick people bothered voting on any of the other match-ups. This isn’t exactly the kind of participation we had in mind but since most of RG is probably new to the site, we’ll let it slide. The question now is whether this amounts to a “Reznick win” or a “PwC loss.” Please discuss. We’ll updated you with the match-ups for the second round later today and the voting rolling tomorrow.

Going Concern March Madness Upset Alert: 3 of the Big 4 Under Pressure

We’ve got lots of Cinderellas in our midst friends. With 12 hours of voting to go in the first-ever Going Concern March Madness: Coolest Accounting Firm (“GCMMCAF”) bracket, Ernst & Young, Deloitte and KPMG are all in danger of being upset by BKD, Rothstein Kass and Crowe Horwath respectively.


As you no doubt noticed, #1 seed PwC is cruising along in their match-up with Reznick Group but aside from that, how is it that we could have such a dancity accounting firm bracket dance? Glad you asked because the consummate GC commenter, Another exKPMGer, has a theory:

I would wager serious money the cause for this is that the people who work for the other 3 firms, for the most part, didn’t vote for their own firm because they know their jobs are bullshit and want to give no sign of submission to their firm. Whereas the folks from PwC couldn’t click on themselves fast enough to prove how awesome they are. I hear they’re installing mirrors in every cubicle with the words etched at the bottom “PwC is AWESOME” so that you can stare at yourself all day and think about the awesomeness that you’re a part of.

There doesn’t appear to be any empirical evidence to support the theory at this time but supporters and debunkers are welcome to comment at the validity of this statement. And of course if you haven’t voted, jump over to the original post and get on this.

Presenting Going Concern March Madness: The Coolest Accounting Firm

Now that the Sweet Sixteen is set, the general consensus here at Going Concern is to take advantage of the combination of March Madness and the plight of busy season. Accordingly, we bring you the first ever edition of GC March Madness: Coolest Accounting Firm. Inspired by our sister from another mister, ATL, we’ve decided that we’re looking to the GC readers to determining which accounting firm is the coolest of the cool by way of a democratic process but utilizing the seasonally appropriate method of a bracket. We opted with the prestige rankings determined by Vault to determine the seeds because…well, Vault has a prestige ranking and if we tried to come with a similar list ourselves, there would be rampant speculation of bias that we’re not prepared to address (plus we’re pulling this together on fairly short notice). If you don’t like your firm’s seed – or your firm is shut out of the tournament altogether – we suggest you speak up in next year’s Vault rankings.

Now, then. On with the bracket.


Obviously there are many compelling narratives here. Will the Big 4 be the Final 4? Will Rothstein Kass surprise everyone like they did in the premiere Vault Ranking? If McGladrey is victorious will they celebrate with punch and cake? So get your vote on and leave your thoughts on the match-ups or each firm’s chances (please consult your local bookie for actually odds) in the comments. And naturally, we’re rooting for underdogs in every single match-up (we’re looking straight at you, Reznick and BKD people)

The vote launched at 6 am this morning and it will close promptly at 11:59 pm ET on Tuesday. We’ll then update you with the winners at some point on Wednesday and then launch voting for the next round and so on and so forth. Voting for each match-up appears on the following pages. And don’t even think of skipping the match-ups that don’t involve your firm; A) that makes you a loser and B) you’re clearly working too hard.

Let’s get to the voting, shall we?

Starting with PwC vs. Reznick Group.

Next up is unfounded rumored GT merger partner Moss Adams and perpetual Fortune lister, Plante & Moran.

Moving on to aforementioned GT vs. CG.

Klynveld v. Crowe

The most interesting accounting firm in the world vs. the firm now known as EisnerAmper.

#1 in size taking on the up-and-comer.

Mickey G’s up against Julius H. Cohn

Finally we’ve got Lehman Brothers’s auditor vs. BKD.