That’s just ridiculous

Oh Dear Lord, Grant Thornton’s Belfast Office Has a Willy Wonka Room

Grant Thornton is the most dynamic accounting firm known to man. Now, some of you might doubt this based on past revelations such as temp tatts, unoriginal taglines, and questionable advertising campaigns, but the following report out of the Belfast office will make you believe. We all know accounting firm offices can be, er, less […]

What Do We Make of the Headcount in Deloitte’s Los Angeles Office?

Our tipster had this to say, “No wonder they are getting rid of PSW [Ed. note: he/she is referring to this], there are more partners than junior staff! Where the hell is the leverage model? This is beyond completely ridiculous.”

Posted on the Green Dot’s internal interwebs:

Did you know?

The Los Angeles office represents 55% of the PSW region in terms of headcount:

Los AngelesHeadcount
Partners, Principals, and Directors195
Sr. Managers and Managers407
Senior/Senior Consultants304
Staff Consultants188
Junior Staff/Analysts141
Client Service, Admin, and Other Support271
TOTAL1506

Technically, the combination of “Staff Consultants” and “Junior Staff” exceeds the PPD number although that but that puts the ratio of 1.69 staff for every PPD. I’m no expert but that could be considered low. It’s safe to say there are a few big engagements in L.A. that demand more than 1.69 staff people which probably leaves the small jobs shorthanded. Anyone in Deloitte L.A. (or anywhere else for that matter) feeling the pain because of this? Let us know in the comments.

Paying Too Much for Tax Preparation Is Like Shooting an iPad with a Shotgun

Sayeth FreetaxUSA.com:


Aside from paying too much for tax prep services, it should be noted that the IRS is certainly equipped to treat your iPad the same way if you have an unpaid tax liability. Ask Young Buck. He’ll tell you.

[Thanks, Tax Docket]

Filing a Bogus $1 Trillion Lien Against IRS Employees Proved To Be an Ineffective Intimidation Technique

Who knew!?

Oregon attorney Micaela Renee Dutson and her husband Tony Dutson were convicted of defrauding the U.S. Government of over $7 million but not before doing their damnedest to stave off the IRS and DOJ investigating them.


The Dutsons were a creative couple, selling “pure trust” packages to their clients who were told that their income would be tax free if it were placed in trust. They sold these products despite “several warning letters from the IRS, articles in the Oregonian newspaper warning the public against tax shelter scams, and a complstice Department on behalf of the IRS in an effort to stop them from selling their tax shelters.”

The IRS started auditing the Dutsons’ clients who, prior to engaging the dynamic tax duo, were seemingly compliant taxpayers. The IRS informed these clients that the “trusts” were actually illegal tax shelters and that they were being bamboozled.

This was, of course, unacceptable to the Mr and Mrs and they went on a serious offensive:

[T]he Dutsons began a campaign to obstruct the IRS’s audits and investigation, and to harass and intimidate the individual IRS employees who were auditing or investigating them. First, they created and presented dozens of fictitious financial instruments to the IRS purporting to pay off back taxes for themselves and a number of their clients.

Even though they knew the bogus instruments had no financial value and had never been accepted by a creditor, they continued to sell them to their clients with false promises they would pay off their tax liability. The Dutsons also advised clients to use them to pay off commercial debts, including mortgages and court-ordered obligations. Together, the Dutsons and their clients presented over $44 million worth of these bogus financial instruments over a four-and-a-half-year period.

To further obstruct the IRS, and harass and intimidate its employees, the Dutsons advised clients to file frivolous lawsuits against the IRS employees. The Dutsons charged their clients $3,500 each to prepare court documents and help their clients file them. They continued to advise clients to file these lawsuits — even after a federal court had dismissed the first of these suits as frivolous and without merit — without telling their clients about the dismissal.

After the Justice Department filed the complaint for a permanent injunction, and IRS special agents had notified the Dutsons in person that they were under criminal investigation, the Dutsons filed a $1 trillion lien in California against several IRS employees who had attempted to audit or investigate the Dutsons, as well as the DOJ attorneys who filed the complaint. A federal court later ruled that the lien was null, void and without legal basis, but one week later, the Dutsons prepared a $108 million lien for a client against John Snow, who was then Secretary of the Treasury.

The Dutson probably figured the jig was up and since $1 trillion is a nice round number the figured “why the hell not?!?” Back in the early ’00s a trillion was fantastical number (for the most part), not tossed willy-nilly like it is these days. The Dutsons could have filed the lien for $1 gabizillion and it would have made as much sense.

Oh and while they were at it, just file another one against the Secretary of the Treasury. If it was Tim Geithner, sure we can see that happening for a whole host of reasons but John Snow? Wasn’t he one of the most harmless cabinet members of the Bush Administration? If they would have filed the lien against Dick Cheney they could have garnered a little popular support at least.

Oregon Attorney Convicted of Tax Fraud After Filing $1 Trillion Lien Against IRS [Web CPA via TaxProf]

At Least One Accountant Thinks “Legally Cooking the Books” Is A-Okay

That accountant is Ren Carlton, CPA, CSMC and “native Michigander.” Although Ren is hesitant to broach the subject because, “this information can be abused to defraud investors and cheat on taxes.” Who knew?!?

Despite that caveat, Ren has decided that sharing this information is too critical to be kept to himself, “I have decided that legas is a critical skill for attracting investors and lenders, as well as satisfying the occasional customer or vendor requests.”

Okay then! So if we understand correctly, the rationale here is that cooking the books is sort of like drinking alcohol. In moderation, it’s fine and sometimes even the right thing to do but if you abuse it, you start making an ass out of yourself and probably some bad decisions that could lead to, ya know, jail.


But wait, do you really even know what “cook the books” means? You may be under the cockamamie notion that it’s a bad thing. Well, it’s not and Ren explains it for us:

Cooking the books (also known as creative accounting and earnings management) are euphemisms referring to accounting practices that may follow the letter of the rules of standard accounting practices, but certainly deviate from the spirit of those rules. They are characterized by excessive complication and the use of novel ways of characterizing income, assets, or liabilities and the intent to influence readers toward the interpretations desired by the authors. The terms “innovative” or “aggressive” are also sometimes used.

See? Cooking the books just doesn’t follow the “spirit of those rules,” it’s not breaking the rules. Strangely enough, Ren’s definition is strangely similar to this Wikipedia entry for creative accounting:

Creative accounting and earnings management are euphemisms referring to accounting practices that may follow the letter of the rules of standard accounting practices, but certainly deviate from the spirit of those rules. They are characterized by excessive complication and the use of novel ways of characterizing income, assets, or liabilities and the intent to influence readers towards the interpretations desired by the authors. The terms “innovative” or “aggressive” are also sometimes used.

Cooking the books, creative accounting – they’re the same right? Close enough, anyway. Now that the semantics are out of the way, what other words of wisdom can we get from Ren? How about an example of acceptable book cooking? Say, revenue recognition:

One example of cooking the books is acceleration of revenue recognition. This tactic is used to recognize revenue before it is considered earned by GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). Methods for accelerating revenue include recognizing sales that are not yet earned or complete. Another method is to book sales that are actually earned in another period (e.g., recognizing January 2011 sales on your 2010 income statement). Flagrant abuse of the Revenue Recognition Principle includes backdating sales and fabricating fictitious sales.

How are you going to impress that bank with your revenue numbers if you ram in some revenue from a future period? What if you need another investor to help you reach the next stage of your business? It’s your God-given right to present them with phony numbers in order to get them on board. This is America, people. Don’t let the spirit of GAAP hold you back!

Is It Possible That KPMG Isn’t Phil Mickelson’s Favorite Sponsor?

[caption id="attachment_10491" align="alignright" width="260" caption="Is that Five Guys?"][/caption]

We realize that the above statement will likely result in an army of KPMG lawyers threatening this here site with libel and possibly putting every single person associated with GC in mortal danger but the question needed to be asked.

At the Players Championship, the freshly jacketed Phil said the following, “I grew up on In-N-Out. I thought that was the best burger until I had Five Guys. That is hands down the best burger I’ve ever had.”


At first this may seem like an over-eager chubby man enjoying a newfound joy in life. The guy is happily married, so he’s not going to make like Tiger and bang all the Laker Girls or anything. Anyhoo, it turns out that Phil failed to mention that he hearts Five Guys so much (apparently he went there SIX DAYS IN A ROW last week) that he dropped some coin into the franchise.

Fellow duffer Stewart Cink caught wind of Mick’s little endorsement of FG and took it upon himself to let the cat out of the bag:

We don’t watch a lot of golf but we do know that Phil pulls some decent scratch putting those four squares on his head. And we’ve never heard him say a single word about the kick ass professional services put forth by all you Klynveldians out there.

Of course this doesn’t really mean anything, Phil could have a special place in his heart saved just for KPMG but he’s just not able to verbalize it. That’s probably what it is.

Phil Disclosure: Mickelson Owns Five Guys Rights [CNBC]