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Superfluous Press Release of the Day: Deloitte Applies for Top Level Domain Name: “.deloitte”

Perhaps I'm wrong about this, but announcing the application for a Top Level Domain seems a bit unnecessary. I'm sure Deloitte will obtain the TLD without any problems, but they seem overly enthusiastic about some of the benefits, saying that it will "[improve] site accessibility and usability to Deloitte member firm clients, recruits, and others […]

Ernst & Young Has Been Buying Ad Space on Dudes’ Faces, Will Now Sponsor Dudes’ Website

Ross Harper and Ed Moyse are a couple of Brits who created BuyMyFace.com to pay off their college debt. They started this little project back in October 2011 and by all accounts, it's been rather successful. They've been thrown out planes, shredding down wintry slopes, and go-karting [!] "all in the name of advertising."  Ernst […]

Don’t Immediately Dismiss Naming Your Company After a Murderous Dictator

We’d all like to settle our taxes for pennies on the dollar.  Sadly, two of the biggest providers of pennies-on-the-dollar tax settlements — JK Harris and Roni Deutch — have left their clients with, well, pennies on the dollar in liquidation.  Only the best neck-beard in the late-night TV tax settlement business carries on.  Being […]

This Guy Thinks Your Degree Is Useless As Long As You Got a High Score on the CPA Exam

In a recent article titled "The Dark Side of a Divided White America," The Fiscal Times chatted with Charles Murray, W. H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of books that include Losing Ground and What It Means to Be a Libertarian. Murray apparently upset a few folks with his earlier […]

PwC Sustainability Partner Blames His Dull Job for Not Rocking “Green” Shoes

If you’re a sustainability professional, people might make the assumption that you are a tree hugger. A green weenie. A dirty hippie. A person who has as much need for a pair of wing tips or business appropriate pumps as a fully loaded H2. Well you can put those suspicions to bed my friends.

Above is PUMA CEO Jochen Zeitz along with a couple of guys from environmental consulting firm Trucost and PwC sustainability partner Alan McGill. As you can see, Mr. Zeitz and the Trucost boys opted for some “green” sneakers to go with their Brooks Brothers. Mr. McGill, on the other hand, is in the standard issue Allen Edmonds. The reason for not getting on board with the hip skids? He’s lame:

The firm’s sustainability partner jokingly suggested his job was too dull to warrant a jazzy pair of sneakers.

Sceptic Tank reports that a PwC spokeswoman clarified the meaning of “dull” to be “PwC can’t be seen to be promoting their clients products in any way.” Which probably also explains why McGill wore a tie as well. Can’t be too careful about these things.

PwC and the fashion faux pas [The Sceptic Tank]

Grover Norquist Would Like to Take This Opportunity to Remember Steve Jobs

In the most offensive, self-serving way possible.


Jesus, Grover. You went after our grandmothers and we let it slide. But this. This is crossing the line.

[via @GroverNorquist]

Congresswoman Maxine Waters Has a Message for Banks Who Don’t Want to Shape Up

“If they don’t come up with loan modifications and keep people in their homes that they’ve worked so hard for, we’re going to tax them out of business,” Waters said. [ABC via TaxProf]

Grant Thornton Survey: Celebrities’ Acceptance of Infidelity Carrying Over to the Plebs

In Northern Ireland, anyway. Yes, if you’re moseying around Belfast and catch your spouse in an intimate embrace with someone who isn’t you, your heart may be broken but that doesn’t mean you’re going to divorce their cheating ass. Why, you ask? Well, you see, celebrities, being the model global citizens that they are, seem understand that marriage doesn’t really mean that you can’t have sex with other people, even if you haven’t expressed a desire to do so and regular Joes and Janes are starting to think that should be their attitude as well.

The UK Press Association reports, “one of the reasons for the shift may be the growing number of high profile celebrities that have publicly accepted their partner being unfaithful, according to consultancy and accountancy firm Grant Thornton, which carried out the matrimonial survey.” Yes Grant Thornton, fresh off their new ad campaign, is finding time to weigh in on marriage trends, although they readily admit they’re really just taking a stab at this:

Sally Longworth, partner at Grant Thornton’s Forensic and Investigations services practice, said: “The shift in the reasons for divorce is difficult to explain, although one potential influence could be the rise in the number of celebrities that are very publicly accepting their spouse’s infidelities.

Seems that GT is hard up for work in N.I.

[via UKPA]

Pastor Withheld Communion Because ‘It’s a Spiritual Thing,’ Not Because Members Kept Their Tax Refunds for Themselves

There are demons in his flock!

Pastor Calls Flock Devils, Demons: MyFoxHOUSTON.com

[via

Will a Former PwC Employee’s Superhero Aspirations Lead to Trouble?

As we’ve discussed, some farewell emails can be morbidly melodramatic while others are a bitter “good riddance” that makes you pity the poor bastards that will hear your former colleague’s cynical musings.

The latest Big 4 sendoff comes courtesy of PwC and we only share it with you because, well, we don’t know what to make of our hero’s crime fighting dreams.

Friends,

It is with a great mixture of emotions that I leave the firm today. As many of you know, I never imagined myself as a mild-mannered accountant. I always thought that there was a greater destiny out there for me, a tale of wonder and adventure, a story mostr careful consideration and consultation with my closest companions, I’ve decided to leave PwC in order to become a costumed vigilante of the night.

It wasn’t an easy decision; declaring war on crime never is. There will be some hard nights ahead of me as I craft the tools necessary to take back this city. Intense martial arts training and an iron-clad will might not be enough, but it’s all we got. Where evil lurks in the hearts of men, where innocents are lost and forgotten, where citizens call out for a savior, I will be there. Rest easy, Baltimore, your avenging knight has arrived.

I am vengeance. I am the night. I. AM. BATMAN.

[Bruce Wayne]
[brucewayne]@gmail.com

P.S. Could everyone do me a solid and keep my new secret identity to themselves? It’ll make avenging the weak a lot easier if super-villains aren’t bugging me at my new job all the time. Thanks.

Okaaay, so lots to discuss here. For starters, the lack of originality is dreadful. Batman is TAKEN you DOLT. Secondly, Batman is a scientist; you’ve got an accounting degree. Unless you’ve been whipping out a engineering/chemistry/physics set in your cubicle testing gadgets, we’re pretty sure a cap gun will be more effective than anything you’ll be strapped with. Thirdly, this is BALTIMORE we’re talking about. We’ve only spent a little bit of time there but if The Wire is as realistic as its creators say it is, this dude will last all of two seconds. Now, it’s possible that this could be a comic nerd trying to give his friends a laugh on his way out the door but what if we are dealing with another Phoenix Jones?

So if our hero is serious, we’re guessing you can count on a future report from the local Baltimore news detailing the injuries suffered by the masked avenger/former accountant.

Area Man Pretty Sure the IRS Audited Him Because He Reported $23 Worth of Veggies on His Tax Return

How he came to this odd conclusion isn’t clear.

Donald Dunklee, a Richfield Township, Michigan, resident, says the sale of $23 worth of vegetables from his garden was enough to trigger an IRS audit.

“I understand the needs of the IRS to keep the honest people honest so to speak, but this seems like overkill to me,” Dunklee tells Michigan television news provider WEYI.

Dunklee operates a nearby drugstore and generates all the energy for his 20-acre home, the news source says. After haggling with the woman, Dunklee says he refused to take $50 for the food and instead the woman shoved $23 money into his pocket. He later reported this on his income taxes.

Another report says the whole thing went off without a hitch but Don Dunklee still felt like it was “a huge waste of time and resources.” (That’s a new one.) The Service, however, claims it was just a random audit. Right, like we’re supposed to believe that the IRS isn’t secretly mining 1040s for “hippie vegetable farmer income” to help fill the tax void.

CFOs Are More Optimistic About Business Now That the Democrats Don’t Control the House

Yet the majority of these CFOs don’t believe that the federal government’s financial policy has had any effect on their business.

So does that mean CFOs are indifferent about which party is in actually in power but more generally speaking, Republicans give them the warm fuzzies while Dems give them the heebie jeebies?

Despite the fact that more than 70 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) at Deloitte’s annual CFO Vision conference earlier this month believe current government financial policy has either had no effect or negatively impacted their business, the tide is turning toward a more positive outlook. A majority (59 percent) of the same group of CFOs expect the recent Congressional midterm elections to have a positive impact on their industry.

Maybe we’re a little slow (especially this week) but Sandy Cockrell (he introduced us to the “bathtub recovery“) attempts to clarify:

“CFOs are confident that they can pull the levers within their own companies to do their jobs, but they are most worried about external issues involving economic recovery and regulations,” said Sanford Cockrell III, national managing partner of Deloitte’s U.S. CFO Program. “The biggest risk they see is a prolonged, stagnant recovery. Industries are also concerned about too much government intervention. If the employment picture does not also improve and if general pessimism continues to rise, we would expect pessimism to start having a larger impact on companies’ earnings and investment expectations.”

Okay so 70% of the CFOs polled “believe current government financial policy has either had no effect or negatively impacted their business,” yet they still fear government intervention? And if what Cockrell is saying rings true with the majority of CFOs polled, the second John Boehner holds the gavel as the new Speaker of the House, the employment picture may slowly begin turn around? Do we have that right? Really, finance chiefs of America? That’s what you’re pinning your hopes on?

Are they all confused or did Deloitte just throw together a poorly designed poll? We’re stumped but if you’ve got the time and energy, we’ll entertain some theories.

Exodus Watch: 600+ in Grant Thornton’s Hong Kong Office Move to BDO

What in the name of Stephen Chipman’s dubious accent is going on here? Why would a firm shut down an office in an emerging financiaosing six hundred partners and professionals to one of their rivals?

If you ask BDO’s Hong Kong Chairman and CEO Albert Au Siu-cheung, it has nothing to do with the disappearance of former GT managing partner Gabriel Azedo. It’s simply a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that found its way into the lap of BDO:


From the South China Morning Post:

“The opportunity to have a massive admission of so much established accounting talent is rare. This will strengthen BDO’s competitiveness in the local accounting industry,” Au said. “This will also create a bigger mid-tier firm allowing listed companies a choice for auditing and professional services in future.”

Au said the recruitment would be completed by the end of this year, and all staff and partners would become part of BDO, while Grant Thornton would cease operation in Hong Kong. Grant Thornton’s clients – including 130 listed companies audited by the firm – had been notified of the change and most agreed to make the switch to BDO, Au said.

Au said lawsuits involving Grant Thornton’s missing boss, former managing partner Gabriel Ricardo Dias-Azedo, were not a factor in the move.

This is a head scratcher for sure. Although this isn’t the first time a major firm has had mysterio issues in H to the K. Last year, Ernst & Young’s office was raided for the firm’s involvement with Akai that ultimately resulted in the firm paying a rumored $400 million to settle the case.

We reached out to PR at Grant Thornton’s International office but since they’ve probably been at the pub for hours already, we’re still awaiting a response.

We did find this announcement from Grant Thornton International which states that the firm has a new “member firm” in HK but nothing about the movement of the 600 professionals:

Grant Thornton has announced the appointment of a new member firm in Hong Kong. The new practice, set up by Grant Thornton China, will begin trading as Jingdu Tianhua Hong Kong but will adopt the name “Grant Thornton” in due course. The new firm will be led by Daniel Lin, an established and highly regarded member of the accounting profession in Hong Kong.

[…]

The new firm plans to have a staff of over 100 people within 12 months. Significantly, it will be fully integrated with Grant Thornton China and be part of a network of 10 offices providing seamless access to 65 partners and over 1,500 professionals across mainland China and Hong Kong.

Ed Nusbaum, chief executive officer of Grant Thornton International explains, “Grant Thornton has long been committed to a strategy of an integrated approach to serving clients across the China market, including Hong Kong. This appointment of Jingdu Tianhua Hong Kong is a vital step in that strategy and our member firms, now over 100 in number, look forward to working with their new colleagues in Hong Kong.”

Okay, so a “vital step” includes the closing of an office the defection of 600 professionals and “130 listed companies” for an office with less than 100 people total? Can anyone – looking straight at you Ed – explain this? Since he’s pretty hard to nail down we’ll take your theories for now.

Max Baucus Promises to Monitor the IRS Until the Tax Gap Is Closed ‘Once and For All’

As soon as you catch your breath from laughing hysterically, feel free to continue.

Max Baucus turns 59 69 on December 11th, so even if you assume that he will have the life expectancy of Robert Byrd that means he’s got 32 22 years of watching the IRS’s every move. Sure, we’re making the assumption that the IRS has a snowflake’s chance in Hell of closing the tax gap but that’s an assumption we’re comfortable making.

The General Accounting Office recently stated that the IRS was using “antiquated techniques” to fight tax evasion and Baucus feels compelled to be on top of the situation until the tax gap is a distant memory.

“This report makes clear the IRS needs to develop a comprehensive strategy to fight complex tax evasion schemes and that more work is needed to close the tax gap,” Baucus said in prepared remarks. “I intend to closely monitor the IRS’ progress to make sure they have an effective strategy to root out this tax evasions and close the tax gap once and for all.”

You may now resume laughing until you soil yourself.

Baucus urges new strategy for IRS to combat evasion [On the Money]

Some People Are Really Excited That MarcumStonefield Is the Auditor of Fuqi International

That or it’s because they managed to not have an adverse opinion.

Fuqi International, Inc. (FUQI) gained more than 14 percent this morning. After the close yesterday, the seller of precious metal jewelry in the People’s Republic of China filed an 8-K form with the SEC where it disclosed that:

“The principal accountant’s reports of Stonefield on the financial statements of it as of and for the years ended December 31, 2008 and December 31, 2007 did not contain any adverse opinion or disclaimer of opinion and were not qualified or modified as to uncertainty, audit scope or accounting principles. During the years ended December 31, 2008 and December 31, 2007 and through October 1, 2010, there were no disagreements with Stonefield on any matter of accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosure, or auditing scope or procedure, which if not resolved to Stonefield’s satisfaction, would have caused it to make reference thereto in connection with its reports on the financial statements for such years.”

That emphasis is the orig. Supposedly that justifies the stock being up ~17%. Personally, we feel that it’s pretty snooze-worthy but maybe people get really amped when a Chinese company actually complies with the regulations.

Or maybe everyone is gaga over the MarcumStonefield marriage. Could be anything, really.