Despite 65-Hour Weeks, You Should Consider Doing Client Work on the Side, Says Guy Who Did Side Work Back In His Day

I would like to preface what I’m about to write with an important note. I have the utmost respect for Ed Mendlowitz (not like he gives three quarters of a rat’s butt cheek what I think of him because who the hell am I), he is an OG of the profession, and we are all fortunate that he so freely and graciously shares the wisdom of his many (MANY) years of experience with us. He is a respected author with an impressive resume and is regularly tapped to speak at industry events because his brain is jam-packed with 40 years of accounting experience and knowledge, but you should already know all that because he’s also a regular on the Accounting Today Most Influential list, among others. With that out of the way …

The other day I came across this Accounting Today opinion piece on the importance of moonlighting for young staff written by the esteemed Mr. Mendlowitz, and to be honest I had to check the publication date because it seemed like something written in 1991 not 2021. Nope. November 2021. OK just making sure.

Let’s jump right in:

When I started, I had to work three hours extra for two nights and five hours on the weekend. I got paid for the two nights, but not the weekend. I worked hard with intense concentration, but I also had time to hustle up tax return clients. I was single and I lived at home. No responsibilities, no cares and no unfinished work when I left, on time, for the day. Today it is different, and “we” complain about the millennials. It is not them. It is “us,” but that is a different soapbox.

In the past, he has acknowledged that the problem with managing millennials is not millennials themselves but rather the ones doing the managing. So despite nearly launching into a “back in my day” diatribe, we can rest assured this isn’t going to be yet another screed on how kids these days just don’t want to work. Whew.

While he does recognize today is different, it’s important to point out just how different. When Ed graduated from college in 1963, the annual cost of tuition at a four-year public college was $243, or $2,078 when adjusted for inflation. I don’t need to tell you just how drastically things have changed since then. Anyway, moving on:

It was important for me to moonlight, and I also think it is important for today’s staff. I believe that staff who moonlight are better performers, more entrepreneurial and better engaged with clients. They take more responsibility with their work and know how to complete a job. They understand the details and the clients’ reactions to what they receive, how it’s delivered, and how to make it user friendly.

Moonlighters also know the consequences of making mistakes and become much better employees because of that. The moonlighting creates added experience, and mistakes accelerate that experience. Plus, it is not on your time! They also are more process-oriented, manage their time better and develop self-checking techniques.

So the takeaway here is that accountants who do work on the side are better at their day jobs because something something experience in dealing with clients.

He goes on to acknowledge that picking up clients on the side probably won’t even be financially viable for the young moonlighter but it’s worth it for the experience. This is pretty much the “you’ll get exposure!” that artists hear all the time when they’re approached to give away their art for free, just repackaged for the professional services environment.

In the immortal words of Ms. Kimberly Wilkins, ain’t nobody got time for that. He continues:

From a money standpoint, moonlighting might not pay for them. If they work for a firm that pays overtime, they could probably work the extra time they are spending moonlighting and make as much. Plus, they would save on the software costs, a website and portal, office supplies, postage and overnight services, and professional liability insurance, and would not need a separate PTIN number. In many respects it is not the money, but the challenge and opportunity that they can do it. When I advise people who want to leave their jobs and start their own practice, I tell them that if they have not done any moonlighting, it would be much more difficult because it is an indication to me that they are not entrepreneurial.

Bro. It’s 2021. Just getting through the day is challenging enough. Inflation is running hot at 6.2% right now — the highest it’s been in 30 years — and Lord knows accounting firm salaries have barely budged in a decade. If staff are going to do any work on the side it’s gonna be OnlyFans accounts. At least they’ll get money for their exposure and not the other way around.

At the end of all this he says that the public accounting meat grinder essentially obliterates any opportunity for staff to pick up clients on the side, which makes me wonder why he even wrote any of the above in the first place. It’s filed under “Practice Management” so we do know it’s suggesting to firm leaders to lay off staff a little bit so they have more time to work when they aren’t also working. Not like they’d listen. And if they did, I’m willing to bet most staff have approximately 10 million things they’d rather do than pick up client work, like snaking their drains or getting their tires rotated. He goes on:

In today’s world of public accounting, there is pressure for staff to work as many hours as possible, pushing all reasonable limits. This pretty much wipes out any moonlighting opportunities and also wipes out the benefits to firms of their staff performing at a higher level that they learn to do on their own dime.

So what do you think? Is he right? Are the tens of thousands of public accountants who consider their obligation to the profession as beginning and ending with their day jobs missing out on the opportunity to broaden their skill set and learn client management? Does anyone not on the partner track even care about all that? Should firms do more to support this sort of entrepreneurial spirit? Since we’re one of the few publications still with an open comment section I encourage you to use it and let us know what you think. If you have time, that is.

The post Despite 65-Hour Weeks, You Should Consider Doing Client Work on the Side, Says Guy Who Did Side Work Back In His Day appeared first on Going Concern.

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How to Make Sense of Complicated Balance Sheets

Do you know how to read your balance sheets?

There are no two ways about it: it can be hard to decipher a balance sheet. It tracks your incomes and outlays. In other words, it shows you what assets you have and who their owners are. You must keep a close eye on your balances, especially if you want to avoid a premature bankruptcy. That can ruin your life, along with the lives of your business partners, associates, and employees. So, it’s simple, don’t let that nightmare scenario come true. By understanding some of the fundamentals, though, you can easily decode these sheets and grasp what they tell you.

The Breakdown of Every Balance Sheet 

Okay, so now we can get down to brass tacks. Income statements are a form of performance analytics: they show you how well your company did over the past month, for example. But balance sheets serve as snapshots of your company’s fiscal wellbeing. A specific date (such as 9/29/2021 is printed on these documents. The end-of-the-month review is typically when one of these sheets becomes important; that said, you can wait until the end of the associated quarter. 

Let’s Talk About Your Assets 

Assets refer to valuable items in your inventory. An overview of your organization’s assets forms a critical component of every balance sheet. After all, if you don’t know who the owner is, transferring the items back and forth between you, your suppliers, and your vendors can get messy quickly. So what, strictly speaking, does your company control? Money, office furniture, and inventory stock count as viable assets. Accounts receivable also fall under this category. That’s because it tracks who you owe money to and the money you haven’t been able to repay just yet. 

nd Discuss Your Liabilities 

Someone else’s assets, which are by and large out of your control, are categorized as liabilities. Moreover, any debts you’ve accrued are regarded this way as well. Credit card balances, payment schedules, and loan-induced debts are some nerve-wracking examples of obligations that could consume your financial resources faster than you can replenish them. And it’s always better to be on the black side of your ledger than in red.   

How Owner’s Equity Affects Everything 

The term “owner’s equity” refers to a specific class of assets. These are the assets that you have and are not bound to anyone else. Seed money you bring to the table without being gifted to you by angel investors would count as such equity. In theory, your business venture’s overall value should exceed the book value of your equity. 

Trust the Professionals at the Harding Group

Unlike other accounting firms, The Harding Group, located in Annapolis, MD, will never charge you for consultations and strive for open communication with our clients. 

Are you interested in business advising, tax preparation, bookkeeping and accounting, payroll services, training + support for QuickBooks, or retirement planning?  We have the necessary expertise and years of proven results to help. 

We gladly serve clients in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore, Severna Park, and Columbia. If you are ready to take the stress out of tax time, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 573-9991 for a free consultation. For more tax tips, follow us on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and LinkedIn

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Get Your Precious ZZZZs and Let An Automated A/P Solution Handle Supplier Tax Compliance

Believe it or not, risks associated with tax and tax compliance still keep CEOs in the US and around the world up at night, even in these COVID times when supply chain issues, the Great Resignation, and cybersecurity incidents grab all the headlines.

According to the KPMG 2021 CEO Outlook Pulse Survey, 14% of the 500 CEOs who were polled earlier this year said tax risk poses the greatest threat to their organization’s growth over the next three years—which was behind only cybersecurity risk at 18%.

In its report, KPMG said: “This focus on tax is markedly higher than recent years, with only 5% of CEOs identifying it as a top risk in 2018, less than 1% in 2019, and only 4% highlighting this as a risk area of primary concern in 2020. For years, KPMG tax leaders have posited that this is an issue that needs to be higher up on the executive team’s radar. Now, it’s decidedly there.”

Not only does a company’s management and tax executives have to worry about an already complex tax environment all over the world, including new tax policies and possible changes to country tax rates, but also a glut of tax liabilities arising from cross-border regulations and the rise in new unilateral rules. Laurie Hatten-Boyd, principal at KPMG, provides some insight on accounts payable tax compliance and the changing rules of cross-border payments to suppliers in this executive summary report

Supplier tax compliance is also a biggie

One important area of corporate tax compliance that doesn’t get a lot of attention from the press revolves around payments to suppliers—especially foreign suppliers. But there’s an accounts payable automated solution on the market that can make chief executives sleep more soundly when it comes to supplier tax compliance. That solution is from Tipalti

Founded in 2010, Tipalti provides a global mass payments platform to more than 1,500 customers—and you’re probably familiar with the names of some of the company’s clients: GoDaddy, Vimeo, Twitch, Roblox, ZipRecruiter, National Geographic, Roku, and Zumba.

Embedded into its A/P automated solution is a KPMG-certified tax compliance module that keeps the ghouls at the IRS off of Tipalti’s customers’ backs.

“Tipalti solves the highly complex and manual process of collecting supplier tax and banking information,” said Matthew Merrill, manager of partner and industry marketing for Tipalti. “We do this through digital capture from the very beginning during supplier onboarding. This accomplishes two things: it ensures that the correct tax information is collected upfront, which is easier said than done without a solution like this; and the information is validated before the first payment is even processed.”

While its competitors have targeted large conglomerates as customers, Tipalti works with companies of all sizes, and it works particularly well with fast-growing companies in the middle market. 

“What we’re trying to do is attract those established or growing middle-market companies that maybe are still using paper checks and are on old legacy payment systems. We integrate really well with NetSuite, QuickBooks Online, and Sage Intacct, but we’ve made a lot of updates to our solution to make sure that we are able to integrate with any enterprise resource planning system,” Merrill said. “We’re also trying to get exposure within the CPA community. We have an alliance team that will work with accounting firms that serve that market. We have found that accounting firms that recommend Tipalti to their scaling clients end up making their own jobs easier when it comes to tax compliance and end-of-year reporting.”

Besides KPMG, another CPA firm that has partnered with Tipalti is Naperville, IL-based Sikich LLP. Colleen McCaughey, director of client services at Sikich, said Tipalti is an important companion to the firm’s outsourcing and technology consulting services.

“Our partnership helps us to scale our clients, while also helping them avoid the typical pain points of increased payables complexity that comes with scale. It’s a no-brainer to work with Tipalti,” she added.

Tipalti is also looking to work with CPA firms that have middle-market clients that are becoming more complex—maybe they added a subsidiary or they expanded globally and have to make more global payments. Tipalti is set up to scale with them, Merrill said.

Tax form wizardry

As companies grow and expand their reach, their need for suppliers and vendors also increases—and paying suppliers both home and abroad is no picnic. Another thing that’s no picnic? Keeping track of all of the suppliers’ tax status forms.

For US-based suppliers, you’ve got Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, that needs to be requested. And for foreign-based suppliers, there are two: Form W-8BEN, Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Individuals) or, for non-individuals, Form W-8BEN-E, Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Entities)

After the proper tax status form has been received, the company can then determine if the supplier should receive a Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, or a Form 1042-S, Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding, and whether any US tax withholdings should occur at the time of payment.

Without an automated payments platform like Tipalti that reduces the risks of financial fraud and keeps track of all of these supplier tax forms, things can get messy in a hurry.

“We make year-end filing a breeze by helping with W-8 and W-9 collection, as well as 1099 and 1042-S preparation reports. Our platform helps them prepare the end-of-the-year tax forms, and every payment already has a W-8 or W-9 attached to it,” Merrill said. 

Tipalti users can’t make payments to suppliers until the supplier’s tax information—such as value-added tax (VAT) ID or US taxpayer identification number (TIN), business structure, and country/address—is registered in the Tipalti portal. Based on that information, the module’s embedded tax form wizard helps the supplier choose the correct tax form. And the forms are available on the platform 24/7.

“Once that tax form is selected, Tipalti will digitize the tax form and run it through our 1,000-plus rules engine to ensure the proper data has been provided. At year-end, Tipalti generates 1099 and 1042-S tax prep reports, and we’ll even calculate the necessary withholdings for our customers, as well, to protect them from IRS penalties,” Merrill said. “For non-US taxpayers, Tipalti collects local and VAT tax IDs in 49 other countries. Those go through over 3,000 validation rules to ensure accuracy.”

As a licensed money transmitter that operates in 196 countries with 120 currencies, Tipalti is able to offer suppliers a choice of payment method (country and currency), and suppliers are kept up to date on the status of their invoices and their payments.

“This really keeps suppliers happy,” he added.

Because the process of onboarding suppliers’ tax info is a piece of cake, it’ll free up your time to spend on other basic A/P tasks like invoicing. Tipalti can help with that, too

“For invoice processing, we have invoice capture with Optical Character Recognition technology, as well as built-in machine learning and managed services, which cuts out any manual re-keying of invoice details from the process and ensures a touchless invoice processing experience,” Merrill said.

The numbers don’t lie

Companies seem to really like this Tipalti product quite a bit. A 98% customer satisfaction rating and a 99% client retention rate is pretty good, right? And Tipalti is one of only 24 companies in America that has made both the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 and the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing companies lists for the last three straight years.

So if your middle-market company is still in the Dark Ages of using manual accounts payable processes, it’s not too late to automate A/P like a 21st-century company would.

Get started with Tipalti >

The post Get Your Precious ZZZZs and Let An Automated A/P Solution Handle Supplier Tax Compliance appeared first on Going Concern.

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Tricky Business Questions: S Corporations and LLCs

Business owners often struggle with properly determining how to effectively and efficiently set up their overall business and tax structure.

Business owners often struggle with properly determining how to effectively and efficiently set up their overall business and tax structure. There are so many different terms out there, from “sole proprietorships” and “limited liability partnerships” to “corporations” and “limited liability corporations.” Knowing the difference between these different companies can help you determine the best route to take for your business. Here are some helpful key terms to know and the best way to distinguish between the two most commonly confused types of businesses — S corporations and LLCs. 

The Reason Why An S Corporation Would Want To Own An LLC

It can be challenging to know why an S corporation would want to own an LLC. Understanding the different nuances of an LLC and S corporation can prove tricky for a new business owner or entrepreneur. The reality is, people will typically desire a company that provides them with certain flexible options. That is precisely why business owners are leaning towards becoming LLCs. Ultimately, the different tax deductions from being an S corporation tend to be highly valued by business owners everywhere. That is why typically, consultants will encourage their clients to have an S corporation that owns an LLC for maximum benefits. 

Having An LLC WIth An S Corporation Election

There are so many different avenues you can take when it comes to starting your business. In fact, within an S corporation, payments and distributions are typically given to the partners proportionally based on their ownership percentage. The reality is, LLCs differ as they are not necessarily disbursed in the same manner. Instead, LLCs will typically disburse money to partners based on how the partners themselves deem appropriate.  

Bottom Line

Having the full knowledge about the difference between an S corporation and an LLC can help steer you towards the best type of business for your specific needs, goals, and desires. Being aware of the differences can help keep your aims in mind and allow you to be focused on all of your goals. 

Trust the Professionals at the Harding Group

Unlike other accounting firms, The Harding Group, located in Annapolis, MD, will never charge you for consultations and strive for open communication with our clients. 

Are you interested in business advising, tax preparation, bookkeeping and accounting, payroll services, training + support for QuickBooks, or retirement planning?  We have the necessary expertise and years of proven results to help. 

We gladly serve clients in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore, Severna Park, and Columbia. If you are ready to take the stress out of tax time, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 573-9991 for a free consultation. For more tax tips, follow us on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and LinkedIn


The post Tricky Business Questions: S Corporations and LLCs appeared first on The Harding Group.

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4 Ways to Automate Your Day and Free Up Precious Time

It’s hard to remember that dark time in the not-so-distant past when we had to do things like print out directions instead of trusting our phones to lead the way. Alexa hasn’t even been around for a decade, and yet here we are today, with smart home setups that open up the house for us, feed the dog, and turn on our night lights before we go to bed. We might not have flying cars, but we certainly do live in the future.

As we connect more and more to “The Internet of Things,” you’d think we’d have more free time and less pressure on our shoulders. Yet we’re more stressed than ever. It seems like for every task we’ve automated, there’s some other inconvenience desperately trying to steal our attention: a flood of social media notifications, endless sales emails, the nagging smart home device telling you the coffee’s running low. The list goes on.

We’re saving so much time, yet somehow, we seem to have less of it than ever.

A 2013 Oxford study called The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation? estimated that bookkeepers had a 97.6% chance of being automated in the next 20 years. If you’re a tax preparer reading this and thinking, “Phew, at least I’ll be safe,” don’t zen out just yet — the study gave tax preparers a 98.7% chance of being replaced by automated services.

Here’s the good news: Eight years after that study came out, we’re beginning to see automation take hold of the accounting industry, and so far there haven’t been any signs of an entirely robotic intern class at public accounting firms. The “robot panic” of the early ’10s has been replaced with an eagerness to explore and adopt technology that can take some things off accountants’ very full plates.

Take for example audit confirmations. It seems downright primitive to think of having to physically mail out confirmations now that they can be sent electronically. This change didn’t make auditors obsolete, it just freed them up to do more important things. Although many aspects of the profession can — and perhaps should — be automated, there will always be a need for professional judgment and client relationship management that haven’t been outsourced to technology yet. No doubt AI researchers are working on that one.

This brings us to the subject of your own life. While chances are high that your firm or business have already begun automating certain tasks that used to require several people to accomplish, many professionals forget about automating their own lives. And no, I don’t mean teaching your smart home how to turn off the lights. So what are some ways to do that?

Give yourself permission to take the “easy” way out

It’s 2021, we don’t even have to get off the couch to sort out dinner. And as glorious as that can be, no one over the age of 22 should be living off takeout. But there are other ways that busy working adults can save some time attending to the necessary tasks in life like feeding ourselves and keeping our living spaces tidy. Hire a cleaning service to swing by once a week. Or sign up for a meal delivery service to save yourself a trip to the grocery store. Reclaim your weekend and hire someone else to handle the lawn.

When it comes to your day-to-day tasks, why not use an automated bill pay system to set up scheduled accounts payable on behalf of your clients? The work still gets done, but it releases you from the burden of manual bill pay. Feel a twinge of guilt in taking the “easy” way out? There’s no need. That’s what technology is for! Use it.

Multitasking can be your friend

Some people think multitasking is the bane of our modern existence, but don’t write it off completely. There might be some value in it for you. For example, let’s say you’re approaching month-end close and know you’ll be extra short on time in the days ahead. Instead of trying to squeeze in a session at the gym AND letting your dog out into the back yard when you get home, go for a brisk walk through your neighborhood with your dog. That knocks out the workout and the pet care at the same time. And that’s an extra hour you can sleep rather than spending it at the gym.

Think efficiency here: what other things do you have on your to-do list that could be consolidated together? Batch payments instead of single payments. Syncing A/P to your accounting software. All those minutes saved start to add up.

Consider a time management tool

This one’s tough because no one wants to admit that they’re wasting time. But I bet if you sat down and mapped out your entire day, you’d realize there are periods — however short they might be — where you could have better used your time. No one’s saying to eliminate wasted time completely. You can still invest as much free time as you like into bad reality TV, arguing with strangers on social media, or whatever else you enjoy.

However, a time management app might help you see that perhaps if you spent just a little less time scrolling Instagram, you could free up some time for more important things like sleep and self care. Maybe even responding to that email your old friend from college sent you three weeks ago, that you keep meaning to respond to. Just try tracking your time for a week and see how many hours you could claw back from less productive pursuits.

Declutter your life

The Marie Kondo method is all the rage these days but you don’t need to go through every item in your house, piece-by-piece, to weed out everything that doesn’t “spark joy” in order to declutter. For those of us whose joy is a little too easy to spark (you know who you are), clearing out some of the clutter can lead to a more efficient life and free up some time that you previously spent trying to track down that stapler that you just know you had. Give away the kitchen gadgets you never use, organize that messy desk of yours, and file papers away so you aren’t spending more time than you have on trying to find the things you need. A little time investment upfront will pay off in the long run. This also goes for digital declutter — unsubscribing from marketing emails and organizing your files both at work and home can help you find things faster and therefore free up precious time.

Oh, and one last piece of advice …

Put automation to work at the office

One Melio client increased their overall revenue by 30% and estimated that they save two hours every day using Melio to automate paying bills and receiving payments. Once payments come in, they’re seamlessly synced to your accounting software, saving even more time and trouble. Imagine what you could do with two hours a day. Two hours that aren’t spent waiting around for checks and chasing down clients. That’s one less thing to worry about, and surely we all need less to worry about these days.

These time-saving tips are brought to you by Melio, your partners in workflow efficiency. Save time and trouble with Melio’s full suite of A/R and A/P solutions.

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Friday Footnotes: PwC Pays the Poors Less; Deloitte’s New Minis; BDO Brings on Audit Staff | 9.17.21

Malaysia says auditor KPMG to pay $80 million in 1MDB settlement [Reuters] Malaysia said on Thursday audit firm KPMG has agreed to pay a 333 million ringgit ($80.11 million) settlement to resolve all claims related to their fiduciary duties on auditing of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) accounts from 2010 to 2012.

PwC reports disability and socio-economic pay gaps [Personnel Today] PwC has published comprehensive pay gap data relating to gender, ethnicity and, for the first time, socio-economic background and disability. The accounting giant’s 2021 diversity report found that its staff – including partners – from a working class background typically received 12.1% less pay than other colleagues. Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner of PwC UK, said the time was right to expand on the data it publishes. “Improving access to opportunity and striving towards a society where a person’s career is based on their potential and not their background remains a priority for PwC, and for me personally,” he said. “The key to enacting real and meaningful change is starting with a strong platform of data. We’ve been focused on social mobility for a number of years and, by putting their trust in us through sharing their data, our people are giving us the information we need to take action in areas where it is needed.” [Ed. note: here is the PwC diversity report]

Early Black-owned CPA firms spurred diversity efforts [Journal of Accountancy] Firms established by pioneering Black CPAs decades ago created an indelible legacy within the accounting profession. Built by Black CPAs who succeeded despite adversity, the firms continue to play an important role in the profession’s recruitment and advancement initiatives, and with the clients they serve. Here are a few examples.

Deloitte places largest Mini Electric order in Europe so far [] At Deloitte Belgium, the branch that placed the order, one in four new employees opted for an electric company car since June, the firm reports. It ordered another 140 Mini Cooper SE from BMW to meet this demand, bringing the electric Mini fleet to 240. BMW points out that the “eye-catching” green rear-view mirrors in Deloitte colour are particularly popular with new employees.

How Clients’ Expectations of CPAs are Evolving [AccountingWEB] Sage’s recent “Practice of Now” report, which surveyed more than 3,200 accountants around the globe, found that 82 percent of respondents say their clients’ expectations have widened to include the provision of business advice. Simply put, the days of CPAs thriving simply as trusted number crunchers are over. The Society says companies and clients will need and expect their CPAs to proactively provide strategic guidance and insights in all areas of their business based on their unique needs and goals.

BDO hires record number of new trainees to its audit team [City A.M.] The hiring flurry into its audit team follows a damning report by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in July which found that a third of large company audits fell short of

FASB Gives Interest-Rate Relief to Private Companies, Nonprofits Renting Assets [Wall Street Journal] The move approved by the U.S. accounting standard setter on Wednesday is aimed at reducing the costs associated with implementing a new leasing standard. The rule, called Topic 842, requires businesses to put operating leases on their balance sheets—instead of in footnote disclosures—and is set to go into effect for private companies and nonprofits early next year.

The post Friday Footnotes: PwC Pays the Poors Less; Deloitte’s New Minis; BDO Brings on Audit Staff | 9.17.21 appeared first on Going Concern.

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Opinion: It’s the AICPA’s Own Fault No One Wants to Be a CPA Anymore

[Ed. note: we received the following in response to my newsletter column dated September 14, 2021. In the column, I referenced the 2019 AICPA Trends report, which stated that non-accounting majors made up 31% of all firm new hires at that time. The reader comment is published here with permission from its author who wishes to remain anonymous. We are sharing it with you in order to facilitate the ongoing discussion about low candidate numbers and the long-term value and viability of the CPA credential.]

Going Concern:

Some 20 years ago in the dead of night the AICPA’s Professional Ethics Enforcement Program (PEEC) changed the historical requirement that only CPAs can be partners in CPA firms to a mere majority. They then lobbied NASBA to get all the State Boards of Accountancy to include the “watering professionalism down” provision in their individual state laws.

Surprise, surprise the Big 4 firms are now primarily interested in attracting non-accounting majors as new employees. The foreseeable result is a significant reduction of student interest in our profession and the death of the 150 hour programs in our colleges and universities. Notwithstanding the stellar efforts of the CPA Exam Division the number of CPA candidates has significantly dropped and frankly this self-inflicted decline will continue.

This also puts at risk the “professionalism” of the whole CPA calling. No other profession – law, medicine, architecture, nursing, engineering etc. etc. – has knowingly diluted the professionalism of their own calling.

It also is a slap-in-the-face to any CPA who worked so very hard to pass the CPA exam.

– Professional Contributor

Further reading:
Time to Panic? New CPA Exam Candidate Numbers Are Lower Than They’ve Been in More Than a Decade [GC, August 2019]
NASBA Sees Significant Decline in CPA Exam-Related Revenue [INSIDE Public Accounting, November 2020]
Trends Show CPA Gap Widens [NASBA, November 2019]

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Bonus Watch ’21: Deloitte’s Audit Practice Is Trying to Nip This ‘Great Resignation’ Thing In the Bud By Offering Retention Bonuses

There’s a firm that finally gets it when it comes to giving employees of one of its core lines of service a reason not to join the mass exodus that is going on right now in the Big 4.

It’s not promoting some fictitiously great company culture. It’s not giving employees Omaha Steaks or 1-800-Flowers gift cards. It’s not throwing pizza parties during busy season. The only way the Big 4 can retain their prized employees during “The Great Resignation” is by giving them more money. Plain and simple.

You would think Deloitte, the most behemoth of the behemoth accounting firms, would have realized this during compensation season. But an analysis of employee raises this year showed Deloitte didn’t loosen the purse strings like PwC and EY did (we’ll be analyzing raises at KPMG soon).

However, last month Deloitte announced that the firm would be providing mid-year salary adjustments to employees in all service lines before the end of 2021. But in an email to Deloitters, CEO Joe Ucuzoglu wrote, “In some markets and for some professionals, our compensation remains highly competitive and no current adjustments are warranted,” so not everyone will receive bumps in pay.

Then last week during an all-hands call, Lara Abrash, chair and CEO of Deloitte & Touche, the firm’s audit and assurance practice, made a surprise announcement to her group (from a post on r/accounting; bolded part added for emphasis):

Deloitte Audit

Hybrid – will make options for those who want to remain virtual beyond this year.

Compensation adjustments – Announced previously. All markets will be eligible for adjustments, including enabling areas. Adjustments will be based on market data and level, not performance. Will communicate late October/early November. Adjustments will average in high single to low double digit. Over 80% will receive a 10% or higher raise. Highest percentages will be focused to seniors and managers.

Longer term compensation strategy for bonuses – This will be a one-time award for certain US client service professionals. US A&A professionals second-years through SM1/2. Amounts will vary by level. Between $20k and $35k. Those who receive will stay until at least the end of May 2023. Paid out 1/7/2022.

But of course there’s a catch (from a different post on r/accounting):

Caveat being: you must stay until may 2023 or you’ll have to pay back in full

Here’s a thread with a decent discussion on r/Deloitte about the retention bonus:

Thoughts on A&A retention bonus? from deloitte


This seems like a win-win for Deloitte. You give employees who were thinking of leaving in the next year (like the OP above) a reason not to leave before May 31, 2023—the last day of Deloitte’s 2023 fiscal year—AND if they do leave, the firm gets its money back.

We haven’t heard about any of the other Big 4 firms or larger midtier firms offering retention bonuses to employees. If we missed one, let us know in the comments or via the contact info below. We also haven’t heard if Deloitte is offering this retention bonus in its consulting and tax practices? If the firm has, get in touch with us.

So who’s taking the retention bonus at D&T?

Related articles:

Compensation Watch ’21: Deloitte Staff Gets Some Encouraging News About Raises and Promotions

Compensation Watch ’21: Deloitte Puts Mid-Year Raises On the Table (Updated with Email From Deloitte CEO)

The post Bonus Watch ’21: Deloitte’s Audit Practice Is Trying to Nip This ‘Great Resignation’ Thing In the Bud By Offering Retention Bonuses appeared first on Going Concern.

Friday Footnotes: A Very Guilty Accountant; Beware Audit Independence; Grant Thornton Does a Thing | 10.29.21

Wealthy retired accountant is found guilty of murder [Daily Mail] The pregnant daughter of a wealthy retired accountant who was today jailed for life after stabbing her husband to death has told the court of her heartbreak, saying: ‘I lost my dad but I’ve also lost my mum.’ Isabelle Potterton said on Friday that her mother Penelope Jackson – who murdered her retired colonel husband David, 78, on her 66th birthday and calmly told police ‘I should have stabbed him more’ as he lay dying – is ‘not the person I knew’.

SEC Acting Chief Accountant urges scrutiny of auditor independence in current environment [JD Supra] This week, Acting Chief Accountant Paul Munter issued a statement regarding the importance of auditor independence—a concept that is “foundational to the credibility of the financial statements.” The responsibility to monitor independence is a shared one: “[w]hile sourcing a high quality independent auditor is a key responsibility of the audit committee, compliance with auditor independence rules is a shared responsibility of the issuer, its audit committee, and the auditor.”

New Deloitte report explains how tech companies have to change to be more ethical [TechRepublic] The report released on Wednesday, “Beyond good intentions: Navigating the ethical dilemmas facing the technology industry” spells out the contradictory forces at work. In a survey of tech professionals, 82% strongly agreed that their company was ethical. In the same survey, only 24% strongly agreed that the tech industry takes an ethical approach to the products and services that it creates.

EY report: Fortune 100 companies boost audit transparency, including on ESG [Compliance Week] “Our examination of proxy disclosure data for 2021 demonstrates that companies continue to provide voluntary disclosures in audit-related areas of interest to investors and other stakeholders, typically going beyond the specific areas of required disclosures,” EY stated. In addition to providing required disclosures about the functions, policies, and procedures of audit committees, many companies are also shedding new light on “the type and degree of oversight exercised by audit committees.”

PwC upskills business workforce to leverage automation opportunities [SiliconANGLE] PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP has developed a new software product, called ProEdge, which focus on identifying the skills needed for the future, teaching those talents, and helping to scale the usage of the skills across the organization, according to Kevin Kroen, partner, PwC Advisory, intelligent automation and digital upskilling leader at PwC.

Grant Thornton commits to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 [Business Wire] Grant Thornton plans to achieve its net zero goal by reducing business travel, better using its office space and increasing energy efficiency across its operations. The firm may also use carbon credits and other investments in the future to account for any residual carbon emissions.

FASB addresses contract assets, liabilities acquired in a business combination [Journal of Accountancy] Acquiring entities are required to measure contract assets and liabilities acquired in a business combination in accordance with FASB’s Topic 606 revenue recognition guidance, according to a new FASB standard issued Thursday. To eliminate diversity in practice, FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2021-08, Business Combinations (Topic 805): Accounting for Contract Assets and Contract Liabilities From Contracts With Customers.

Hunting for Money, Democrats Rush to Rewrite Tax Code [New York Times] Lawmakers are racing to finalize legislation to pay for new spending initiatives. The process usually takes months, but they are trying to do it in days.

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NEW Remote Audit and Tax Career Opportunities

If you are interested in a fully remote professional opportunity, apply today using the links below! Talent search for all positions is managed by Accountingfly on behalf of the client firms.

Remote Audit Jobs

Remote Audit Manager CPA – CPA firm located in Northern Virginia is hiring an Audit Manager responsible for supervising, directing, and reviewing results through the delegation of tasks throughout the planning, fieldwork, and “wrap-up” stages of an audit client engagement.

Remote Audit Senior – Join our client’s team in advising public and private companies on ways to enhance profitability, save taxes, improve accountability, and reduce risk.

Remote Audit Senior, Enterprise Risk Management- Top CPA firm is adding to its Internal Audit and Enterprise Risk Management team. You will help clients maximize their opportunities.

Remote Audit Supervisor, Texas Residence- Boutique CPA firm in Georgetown, TX is hiring an Audit Supervisor with experience working with clients in the construction service line.

Remote Staff Accountant Audit and Attest- Our client, a top 100 CPA Firm in the US, is seeking a Remote Staff Accountant, Audit and Attest to join their growing firm.

Remote Tax Jobs

Remote Indirect Tax Specialist – As a Remote Indirect Tax Specialist at this fully remote CPA firm,  you will provide state and local indirect tax consulting and compliance services to our client base in the SaaS, e-commerce, and professional services verticals.

Remote International Tax Manager at CPA Firm – You will be facilitating the implementation of international tax projects, including identifying, understanding, communicating, and managing projects from inception to completion.

Remote Sales and Use Tax Accountant – Remote, flexible, contract role. This is a great, regular revenue stream for sole practitioners—no sales required, just sales and use tax knowledge.

Remote SALT Accountant – Our client, a top 100 CPA firm, has opportunities at the Senior/Supervisor and Manager level for SALT experts.

Remote Senior Tax Accountant – An established family-owned and operated CPA firm is seeking an EXPERIENCED Tax Senior to join our team. We are looking for a well-rounded tax- and accounting-knowledgeable CPA who wants to contribute their talent and expertise to the service of our clients.

Remote Senior Tax Accountant – Our client, a best-in-class accounting and business advisory firm, is seeking a Remote Senior Tax Accountant to join their growth-driven company.

Remote Senior Tax Manager – Established CPA firm is looking for a Remote Senior Tax Manager who is a self-starter, enjoys client work, leads tax engagements, and mentors staff.

Remote Senior Tax Manager, Not for Profit – Our top 100 CPA firm client is in need of an experienced Senior Tax Manager who specializes in not-for-profit tax returns to assist with the management and business development of the firm’s exempt organizations group.

Remote Tax Accountant, CPA Firm – Small CPA firm with expanding practice is hiring an experienced  Remote Tax Accountant. This firm offers a balanced work/life environment and plenty of room to learn and grow.

Remote Tax Accountant, CPA – You will be called upon to deliver professional services to clients, including consulting, tax planning, compliance, and research. You will be part of our client’s team and assist in developing high-level relationships with clients, prospects, and referral sources, as you perform detailed tasks on engagements while delegating to and supervising others.

Remote Tax Accountant, Ohio Tax Experience – Our successful CPA firm client in Ohio seeks an experienced Remote Tax Accountant to join their team for a hands-on, client-facing role. A great opportunity to work with small business clients and professional peers!

Remote Tax Freelancers – Our CPA firm clients are hiring contractors for tax preparation, review, and project work. Apply now and Accountingfly will connect you.

Remote Tax Incentive CPA Contract – Our client seeks a CPA with extensive experience with business tax incentives to join the team. The goal is to help businesses claim their tax incentives and credits often missed by their tax preparer in prior years.

Remote Tax Manager – Premium service accounting and advisory firm is in need of a Remote Tax Manager to provide individuals, small businesses, not-for-profits, and various other entities with a wide array of services.

Remote Tax Manager – Tax Manager needed at top 50 CPA firm. Provide tax planning, consulting, and compliance services to clients. Experience with manufacturing, international, or technology preferred.

Remote Tax Manager – Tax Manager needed at CPA firm. You will be responsible for advising clients on the tax implications of their business objectives, evaluating and selecting alternative actions to lessen tax burden, and applying tax knowledge to other tax issues.

Remote Tax Manager ASC 740 Experience – The ideal candidate for this position would be a Tax Senior or Manager with four to 10 years combined public accounting and/or corporate tax department experience, including federal and state tax compliance, ASC 740 (FAS 109) tax reporting, SOX internal controls, working with companies that have foreign subsidiaries, and strong managerial and communication skills.

Remote Tax Manager, CPA – Remote Tax Manager CPA needed at progressive, tech-forward cloud accounting firm. If you are an experienced CPA who is comfortable running client planning meetings and can communicate clearly and effectively with clients and team members, this role is ideal for you.

Remote Tax Manager, Fluent in German – Our top 50 CPA firm client is looking for a Remote Tax Manager who is fluent in German, to work with their international tax group.

Remote Tax Professionals, All Levels – If you have recent public accounting experience and want to continue on that career path, we can help. We work with many CPA firm clients who are looking to grow their remote teams with tax talent at the Staff, Senior, and Manager levels.

Remote Tax Senior – If you enjoy a busy, growing firm with a strong culture of taking care of its people, then this is the firm for you. This is an immediate hire, full-time, permanent role with a generous comp and benefits plan. You’ll feel part of the team, even though you’re working from home!

Remote Tax Senior – Remote Tax Senior needed at a busy and successful CPA firm in Birmingham, AL. Career mobility with a congenial group of accounting professionals in a great firm.

Remote Tax Senior – Leading CPA and advisory firm looking to hire a Remote Tax Senior. This firm offers a mix of interesting clients, a flexible culture, and the opportunity to work with professionals across all areas of the organization.

Remote Tax Staff Accountant – Remote Staff Accountant opportunity with top 100 CPA firm. You’ll perform the detailed work of preparing tax returns and financial statements under the direction of our talented Senior Accountants, Managers, Senior Manag­ers, Principals, and Directors.

Remote Tax Supervisor – Team culture that stresses independence, flexibility, opportunity, and empowerment. Be empowered to work directly with clients and partners to provide a broad spectrum of tax and related consulting services.

Remote Tax Talent, CPA Firm – Our client, a top 100 CPA firm, is seeking Remote Tax Talent to join their growing Tax Department. The Remote Tax Professional will provide comprehensive tax services and specialized expertise to businesses, individuals, trusts and estates, not-for-profit and public entities.

Tax Manager, Remote in Texas – Boutique CPA firm hiring Remote Tax Manager. Texas residence required and willingness to meet in-office monthly, travel expenses paid. Immediate hire opportunity!

Tax Senior, Remote in Texas – CPA firm hiring Remote Tax Senior. Texas residence required and willingness to meet in-office monthly, all travel paid. Immediate hire opportunity!

Tax Supervisor, Remote in Texas – Tax Supervisor needed at a boutique CPA firm in Georgetown, TX. Great culture, collaborative team environment. The position is remote, with monthly visits to the office—paid travel expenses.

The post NEW Remote Audit and Tax Career Opportunities appeared first on Going Concern.