Something is bunk then you debunk it

Soft Skills Are For Pansies

I didn't become a CPA to get hugs, but Tom Hood, the CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs, won't stop talking about how we all need to spoon while listening to James Taylor. For instance, Hood says: The key to unlocking value for firms is soft skills. Sorry, but no. Tom Hood is the […]

Debunked Rumor of the Morning: PwC Is Rescinding Offers

Adrienne, who is hidden away in an undisclosed location (read: Boston) was tipped off last night with the following and forwarded it on to me:

Rumor has it that PWC rescinded offers for September 2011 hires. I went to GC to read the inside scoop but didn’t see anything. Maybe this is a totally false rumor or a lead….

Answer: Totally false rumor.


Yes, believe it or not, we happily debunk rumors around here when possible. Of course this can only occur when people with the means to help us discredit the rumors are cooperative. We spoke to someone in the know at PwC who informed us that not only is this rumor false, P. Dubs is asking some of their new advisory hires to start in July because there is so much work. Now, it’s possible that there are a few isolated incidents where someone’s name shows up in the police blotter and an offer may get pulled but our source says there haven’t been any reports of those and definitely nothing “systemic.”

Of course if you’ve got evidence to the contrary, we’d welcome you to get in touch with us and good luck to those who choose to end their summers/lives two months early.

Best Place to Work Bupkis

Last week we went through the painful ritual of listing out the accounting firms blessed with a spot on Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work. All the usual suspects made an appearance but ultimately a regional firm, Plante & Moran, took the highest spot among accounting firms (but they didn’t get to ring the closing bell, did they?).

None of this is of interest to you and frankly we’ve had about all we can stand when it comes to these lists but Adrienne pointed us to this post by Laura Vanderkam that takes the debunking to an intricate level, starting with something that we all know, that most of these lists are opted into by the companies HR or Marketing Departments (emphasis ours):

To be eligible for a list, you have to fill out whatever paperwork the tabulators require […] This means that not only do you have to be a great place to work, you have to be a company where management cares about being listed in magazines as a great place to work. Only 311 organizations bothered this year, out of thousands of employers in the US. So if you went through the whole process, your odds were pretty good. But that doesn’t means that the 311 employers that did try are better than the thousands that didn’t.

Our resident math genius is on vacay but if you do some rough calcs, your chances are, what, 1 in 3? Decent odds. Then, comes the strange phenomenon of where these companies fall and why:

[I]t’s strange that a magazine with such great reporters as Fortune relies on such a flimsy methodology for creating their rankings. If you believe this list, then Americans prefer to work at Nugget Market (a 9-store supermarket chain) than at McKinsey, at Google vs. Facebook even though some headline-making defections would point otherwise, and we should want to work at Aeropostale because, as one young employee put it “Where else can you talk to the boss over pizza?” (Um, where can’t you?)

The Trouble With “Best Places To Work” Lists [BNet]

Latest Survey of CFOs Confirms That Surveys of CFOs are Bunk

Less than two weeks ago, we shared with you the latest results from Grant Thornton’s National CFO Survey.

What we learned is what we already knew, which is that the job market sucks and will continue sucking if we are to believe the 516 CFOs surveyed from October 5th to October 15th:

In a national survey of U.S. Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and senior comptrollers conducted by Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, only 29% plan to increase hiring in the next six months, while 21% plan to decrease hiring.

Not so good, huh? Well fortunately for all of you looking for a job out there, the GT methodology is severely flawed for two reasons: 1) It included the extra-super-tragic days of October 5th and October 15th when CFOs were feeling especially negative and 2) They survey far too many CFOs.

Had they performed their survey on October 6th through the 14th like FEI and Baruch College and kept cut their population by roughly half (FEI/Baruch interviewed 249 CFOs), they would have discovered that things aren’t really that bad at all:

While CFOs this quarter continue to forecast high unemployment nationwide (on average predicting at least nine percent through October 2011), hiring prospects at their own companies paint a rosier picture. More than half (56%) plan to hire additional employees within the next six months, and overall they anticipate a four percent increase in hiring over the next six months.

So obviously Grant Thornton just needs to tweak their methodology a bit and then we’ll all be on the same page.

Until that happens, feel free to get some of your hapless friends together and start asking CFOs for their broad-based economic outlook. It appears that as long as you have a shell of a methodology and manage to get at least 250 responses, it’s perfectly acceptable to share the findings with everyone and claim that things are turning around.

Despite Endless Tweets to the Contrary, Recent Poll Debunks “Accounting Is Boring” Stereotype

Unbeknownst to us (until a little bit ago), Ajilon Finance has declared April as Accountant Appreciation Month and has marked the occasion by encouraging displays of appreciation through the most official of means: Facebook.

And that’s not the all! A recent poll done by Ajilon says that 88% of respondents don’t believe the stereotype that accountants are boring. The same poll found that 84% of the respondents don’t think the profession is boring. These findings contradict a constant Twitter feed so you’ll have to make your own conclusions on the validity of the poll.


In other mind-blowing results from the poll, 98% of those surveyed “recognized that accountants work hard all year round and not only the months during tax season.” The other 2% obviously assume that your 8 month vacation started last Friday.

In other developments, 100% of Big 4 auditors get annoyed when their family, friends, and other non-accountants (like the ones surveyed by Ajilon) ask how their tax season went.

Accountants Can Celebrate: Tax Day is Over & Americans are Seeing the Profession in a New Light [Ajilon Press Release]

Rumor Mill: KPMG Debunking ‘Six Year Manager’ Rumors?

corp_ladder.jpgWhile many Klynveldians are getting amped to cobble together some bears for the kids this morning we’ll pass along a little rumor about a rumor.

The rumor that the KPMG bigwigs have been considering a six year timeline to make manager in the audit practice has been kicked around for at least a couple years. Naturally, there were two schools of thought:

• Managers thought it was good idea

• SAs thought it was a terrible idea

According to a tip we received, apparently there is an email floating around that says the rumors about a “six year program are not true and that the firm will continue with existing promotion timing.”

A friend of GC told us that while it’s entirely possible that such an email exists, it’s definitely not coming down from 345 Park and could be some local office trying to calm down those SAs that are considered flight risks.

Regardless of the rumored debunking, the path to partner is certainly becoming longer as we reported earlier this week, and early promotions will still happen based on need or political maneuvering.

If you’ve been notified that your promotion timing is still on track, by email or otherwise, pass the info along or discuss in the comments.