Mistakes

Do You Make These User Control Consideration Mistakes?

Discussing cyber extortion got the wheels turning about trust and reliance on our increasingly distributed IT ecosystems. Outsourcing IT functionality causes certain IT controls to be a fleeting afterthought for the user entity — the service provider will handle it, right? Well, maybe not. That’s where a Service Organization Controls (SOC) report comes in handy. […]

Crackin’ Under Pressure: Making Mistakes During Busy Season

As you may know or be experiencing right this very second, it’s a stressful time of year for accountants and the people around them. Whether you’re working on tax returns or year-end audits or any other professional number crunching activity, that stress can cause people to make mistakes.

It’s Completely Understandable Someone Might Sign Over 200 Audit Reports By Mistake

The LOLs just keep coming from across the pond — why doesn't the AICPA make a bigger deal out of accountants behaving badly? I'd love to see these stories front and center on the Journal of Accountancy like the ICAEW does with economia. Today's tale of accounting gone wrong is a woman who not only […]

The IRS Is Ready For Five Million and One Amended Returns

Amended returns happen. The IRS is preparing for it: As of April 18, almost 46 million returns were e-filed from home computers, more than the total from home computers for all of 2013. The IRS has received more than 131 million returns, of which 88 percent were e-filed. The IRS also projects that almost five […]

Big 4 Boomerang: The One Who Left Too Soon

Just as there are many people who are thinking about getting out of public accounting, there are others who want to go back. Here's an email we received earlier this week: I was "2 and out" at a Big 4 and joined a Fortune 500 as an accountant. My logic was that I could live with […]

Wife of Man Who Received Tax Refund Without Filing Tax Return Under the Impression the IRS Was Letting This One Go

Typically if you receive a $6,000 tax refund check in the mail, it’s something you’ve been expecting.

Such was not the case for James King who had a check cut to him back in February but unfortunately it’s due to case of identity theft. Right now the IRS can’t make heads or tails of the situation and despite the mix-up/criminal activity, Mr King’s wife figured that this was opportunity:

“She was ready to spend it,” King said of his wife with a laugh. “She was ready to go cash it and spend it. She had a to-do list right from the get-go.”

Man gets income tax refund without filing a return [TBO]

Ohio Mistakenly Notified a Woman That She Was Due a $200 Million Tax Refund

Ohio, like many states, is in a bit of a budget pickle and perhaps this level of vigilance is part of the reason.

Denise Bossetti received a notice in the mail that indicated she was due $200 million but was skeptical (even with the letterhead).

Apparently 9,700 Ohioans received notices of inflated refunds and the Ohio Department of Taxation claims this is a new one and that “The problem has been fixed.” Probably a good idea.

Woman gets $200 million tax-return notice — but it was mistake [Sandusky Register via AT]

Despite the IRS, The Dude Abides

Isn’t it just like the IRS to try and pull a fast one on El Duderino?

Sure, the man’s name is really Jeff Bridges and he wasn’t an awarded for an Oscar for a performance that will certainly transcend the life of cinema but that’s not the point.


The point is that the IRS thought they had another celebrity in their sights. They were going to lump Duder in with Nicolas Cage, Ving Rhames, Nas, etc. etc. etc. and enjoy a little celebrity embarassment.

Well! Turns out they were wrong. Dead wrong:

[Bridges’] Publicist Jean Sievers said the tax issue was resolved in February and resulted in Bridges paying “significantly less” than the amount listed on the lien.

“However, for some reason there was some delay in communication between the department that resolved the tax matter and the collection department,” Sievers said.

Because there was a delay, the lien was filed last month, she added. Yet as of this afternoon, the lien had not been released, according to the Los Angeles County Recorder of Deeds office.

“The IRS screwed it up,” Sievers said. “It’s so funny. The IRS screws it up and he ends up owing less than what was on the lien.”

IRS slaps lien on Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges [Tax Watchdog]

Let’s Speculate as to Why Certain Accounting Firms Weren’t on the Fortune 100 List

Disappointment.jpgBy now you’ve digested the Fortune list to the point of nausea, so we’ll dispense with rehashing the firms that we covered last week.
What we do want to address is the obvious absence of Grant Thornton, BDO, and RSM on this year’s list. Hell, they aren’t on any of the lists going back to 2006. Are these omissions meant to be a thumb in the eye to these storied firms?
Perhaps they blew their lobbying budgets on the BusinessWeek lists? OR maybe — GASP — they just don’t GAF?


We’ll dispel with that for now and assume each of these firms were dying to be on this year’s list. Accordingly, the reason for their exclusion leaves ample room for wild-ass guessing:
Grant Thornton – We realize Steve Chipman just started his new job and he’s trying to get a blog up and going but for crissakes, how does he explain this to you? Will this regime change make a difference? He didn’t mention it on the call so should we assume this disappointment will continue in perpetuity? Could the Koss fiasco be the reason?
RSM McGladrey – This one doesn’t make any sense at all. Does anyone at Fortune know that RSM sponsors this woman? Aaaaannddd, we realize it’s too late for this year but RSM is now helping get Yele Haiti’s house in order. Please note both of these for next year.
BDO – They owe Banco Espirito half a billion dollars and they’ve been planning a 100th birthday extravaganza. Maybe campaigning for the list isn’t at the top of their to do list but still.
If any of you GTBDORSMers have any idea just what the hell is going on (i.e. why this gross oversight has gone on for at least five years), fill us in.

Report: Accountants Responsible for Two-thirds of Embezzlements

Sue_Sachdeva.pngOkay auditors. No more excuses. You should already be giving everyone the stink-eye the second you walk in the door but now we’ve got a REPORT about embezzlement in the US of A that gives you all kinds of hints on who you should suspect — provable or not — of being the next Sue Sachdeva.
The Marquet Report on Embezzlement is an annual report put out by Marquet International, Ltd., a “an independent investigative, litigation support and security consulting firm” according to the company’s website.


Here are some of the key findings in the report:

• Women are more likely to embezzle than men.
• Men embezzle significantly more than women.
• Perpetrators typically begin their embezzlement schemes in their early 40s.
• By a significant margin, embezzlers are most likely to be individuals who hold
financial positions within organizations.
• The two broad industry categories that have the highest risk for a major
embezzlement are Financial Services and Government Agencies/Municipalities.
• The Financial Services industry suffers the greatest losses from major
embezzlements.
• On average, major embezzlement schemes last about 4½ years.
• California and Florida are consistently the states that experience the greatest
losses from major embezzlements.
• The vast majority of major embezzlements are caused by sole perpetrators
• Gambling is a clear motivating factor in driving some major embezzlements.
• Fewer than 10 percent of embezzlers have a criminal record – less than expected, but enough to suggest that pre-employment screening has merit.

Some takeaways: 1) Immediately suspect anyone that gambles. Even if it’s bingo games in the church basement; 2) If you’re in California or Florida you’ve got your work cut out for you; 3) By “a significant margin” they mean accounting/finance personnel were responsible in 67% of the cases. Executives were second, in 13% of the cases.
Annnnd since we know you’re wondering: the largest embezzlement case in 2009 was none other than our Suz. Based on the criteria above, it appears that she should have been under suspicion from day one but you can’t fault Grant Thornton too much. This is only the second report that Marquet has issued so chances are she still would have made off with $20 million. Oh well, you’ll get ’em next time!
The top ten from 2009:
Picture 2.png
Report On Major Embezzlements 2009.pdf

Rumor Mill: More E&Y Partner Slip-Ups

Does anyone want a job helping socially awkward partners at E&Y? After last week’s inappropriate ice-breaker rumor, we received another tip about a partner leaving a sensitive voicemail with all employees in the region:

The voice mail says this is for partners only and then discusses the new model EY will be using to determine the # of admin staff in an office and gives the date when admin cuts will happen. Also talks about how all partners will be required to do a mid year review in Jan 2009 (by the way, we all heard the partners saying later how this had never been done in the past so clearly it was papering the files for upcoming partner cuts).

According to the tip we received, the partner decided that leaving another voicemail, asking all non-partners to delete the first message, was the next logical course of action. On the one hand, assuming that all E&Y employees would abide by the honor system and delete the first message represents the strong faith this partner had in their employees.
On the other, it may have been just as effective to say “Don’t worry about that last message, I was just fucking with you.”