Q&A

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A Day in the Life: Accounting Manager at Stack Overflow

OK, so it has been waaaaaay too long since we gave you a day in the life of someone who isn’t slaving away at the Big 4. Nearly two years, actually. Sorry about that. It was this idea I had back in 2017 that never really took off because trying to track down accountants with […]

big 4 manager

Think You Need to Stay in Big 4 Until Manager? Think Again

One of the most common pieces of advice given to young Big 4 professional is to “Stick around until manager.” The thinking goes, you will experience a number different of clients and situations, as well as give you the coveted title that many employers want to see. Firms suggest staying until manager because there’s always […]

Our Live CPA Exam Chat Is Now Taking Your Questions About Studying, Prometric Etiquette, and Whatever Else You Got

Our resident CPA oracle, Adrienne Gonzalez is now fielding questions over at the original post that you see under "Upcoming Events." If you've never used CoverItLive, it's pretty self-explanatory — no registration is necessary and it functions similar to gchat or any other chat device. If you're incapable of figuring this out, email us and […]

Savings Tips For Young Professionals From the AICPA

Hopefully you guys appreciate the time these folks put together to give you some free advice on putting a little away toward your future. Answers provided by AICPA National CPA Commission members Craig Steinhoff, CPA, Kelley Long CPA, Ted Sarenski, CPA/PFS, and Leonard Wright, CPA/PFS. Adrienne Gonzalez: How do you suggest young professionals who are also […]

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]

Doug Shulman Takes It as a Compliment That the IRS Is the ‘Go-to’ Government Agency

If you’re a member of the AICPA the biggest benefit you enjoy is not the prestige, not the certificate that you have mounted on your wall but the Journal of Accountancy that shows up in your mail every month. It’s really solid that your firm shells out good money on an annual basis so you can add new Excel tips to your spreadsheet wizard repertoire.

JofA manages to talk to a number of high profile as well, which you would expect from a behemoth professional journal. Case in point, when we received the latest month’s issue we couldn’t help but get a little giddy seeing Doug “Help me, help you” Shulman. We flipped to the Q&A immediately after seeing his handsome mug on the cover only to find the Commish’s picture at right. It makes us think that he’s channeling Monty Burns, which some of you probably find appropriate.


The Q&A is pretty much what you would expect, touching on the new preparer regulations, “We ran a very open, transparent, public dialogue about this,” to threatening offshore tax scofflaws, “The U.S. government is getting very serious about rooting out offshore tax evasion,” and warning whistleblowers not to expect that money any time soon, “[T]his could take multiple years to get the awards out. But I’m a big fan of the program.”

A couple of more interesting statements, include how excited Dougie is that all the assignments that other government agencies don’t want, get dumped on the service, “it’s…a big compliment that we’re seen as a ‘go-to’ agency in government.”

That being said, this particular interview was certainly conducted prior to the passage of the healthcare reform bill and no mention of the IRS’ role in enforcement (or lack thereof) was brought up. Maybe if the JofA had seen the Bill O’Reilly/Anthony Weiner throwndown it would have been a stop the presses moment.

The only other thing worth noting is that pizza parlors around the country might want to tighten up the ship in the coming months, “We will build features into our technology system so if we see, say, a pizza parlor that says they had $90,000 of sales last year and it shows that they had $85,000 of credit card sales and we know that pizzerias have a lot of cash sales, that will be a red flag. We’ll use it to better target our audits, to see where there’s potential noncompliance, and then we’ll use it to better focus our resources.”

Maybe the Commish is just giving an example of what a red flag is but using this particular example rather than say, a celebrity, seem peculiar. Just leave Di Fara alone, okay?

Tax From the Top: Q&A With IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman [Journal of Accountancy]

Five Questions with the Jr. Deputy Accountant

You’re probably not aware of this but the Jr. Deputy Accountant (aka Adrienne Gonzalez) has been working outside her normal confines of the Bay Area this week in an undisclosed location.

While her current location is a mystery, what’s not up for debate is her ability to opine (frequently with too many words) on all things Federal Reserve, church accounting or the CPA Exam.

Besides her daily chores at GC, JDA has been published at a plethora of other blogs including Goldman Sachs 666 and BankFailFriday
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Why do you blog?
For the same reason people play Grand Theft Auto; it helps to have a productive outlet for my frustration with our regulatory and banking system. That and I’m an attention whore.


What are your three must-read accounting blogs and one must-read non-accounting blog?
I love Krupo.ca, Skeptical CPA, and The Summa. For non-accounting, I’d have to say either Lew Rockwell or Daily Reckoning for my daily dose of doom and gloom. I’m obviously a miserable bastard.

If someone had to read just one post of yours which one would it be?
I’m partial to my recent “Fed Year in Review” but with almost 2000 posts, how the hell am I supposed to pick favorites? “You Want to Audit the Fed But Why?” is also a favorite of mine.

Accountants are…
Awesome because they pay my bills.

The biggest issue facing accountants today is…
Globalization. It’s the vampire lurking outside of accounting’s window whispering “let me in” and too few accountants are focused on the impact. IFRS adoption in the United States is a perfect example of what happens when we bow to global expectations in financial reporting and accounting. I of course don’t believe we need to bow to anyone.