@Going Concern “Accountants In The Modern World”

My new column is up @Going Concern.com “…I don’t envy today’s professors trying to teach the old-fashioned accounting skills in the electronic environment – closing checklists, regular balance sheet reconciliations, journal entry sign-offs, backup documentation requirements, managerial review of financial statements, and proper reviews and approvals of estimates and analytics. These are the Sarbanes-Oxley and […]

@Going Concern: “You’re Hired. You’re Fired. Beware The Big 4 Boomerang”

My new column is posted @Going Concern. There’s no profession more conflicted about employee retention versus alumni relations than the auditors. On the one hand, the largest audit firms have well-oiled recruiting machines. Their uncanny ability to identify and sway candidates early is rivaled only by professional baseball’s success at finding talented Dominicans still swinging […]

@Going Concern “It’s Hard Out There For An Auditor”

My latest column is posted @Going Concern: It’s tough to be the “good guy,” however you define “goodness” within your moral framework. It’s even tougher if you were never taught your duty to the public as a licensed CPA and if the firm or company punishes you, de-incentivizes you to do the right thing. Retired […]

Big 4 CEOs Get Their Close-Ups At Davos

It’s sort of sweet to see the CEOs of the Big 4 audit firms being treated like big deals at Davos. In the US, the media typically pays no attention to these guys unless there’s either a catastrophic accounting related failure – and the recent crisis is not being viewed as such by the media […]

@Going Concern “The Big 4 and Shameless Self-Promotion”

My new post is up @Going Concern. “I chafe at the cheekiness of some of the announcements. The firms’ communications teams are blithely unaware of how such shameless self-promotion looks to those who are watching closely. For example, all of the Big 4 firms were named to the Fortune 100 Best Places To Work list, […]

@Going Concern “It’s Busy Season And You’re My B***h”

My new post is up @Going Concern. “It’s that time of year for audit and tax professionals – busy season. Do you know where your backbone is?Picture the scene so many have you have described to me in delicious detail. A manager, or a senior associate toadie, cracks the whip until late in the evening […]

@Going Concern “Love Me, Love Me… Say That You Love Me: Critiquing The Positive Intern Hiring Trend”

There’s nothing wrong with hiring more of your interns for full time positions. But, hiring more interns instead has big pitfalls, for both the employee and the firm.

@Going Concern “Are New Graduates Getting Squeezed By The 150 Hour CPA Requirements?”

How can an undergrad with a <150 hour degree get the extra hours to qualify for the CPA exam once he starts working eighty hour weeks? Accounting is still touted in the media as a safe career. Is that really the case?

Lost Your Job? No One Cares!

You may have been cut from one of the audit firms in the past several months. You may still be working but feeling a bit insecure. The cuts have been well documented here. Regardless of how much the firms and their cheerleaders try to diminish the significance of any individual action they’ve taken, they all add […]

I Pity The Fool: Partners Are Being Cut, Too

A reader asks: Why would anyone out there continue this rat race when the firms cut partners based upon politics and numbers that they manipulate? That’s a good question, grasshopper, but really the second question. First we should ask: “What is the value of a partner?” You might think the smarter you are, the better […]

Zombies Among Us: The Mainstream Media and Financial Journalism

Whatever I do now, it’s in service to my desire to write. If I work for pay, whether as a consultant or a paid speaker, the objective is to earn enough to be able to write. For someone who wants to be a freelance writer, potentially paid by the media organizations who I’m accusing of not stepping up to cover the audit firms in a critical manner, I’ve sure slammed those same publications often enough.

It’s a long list.

@Going Concern “Prevent Bailout Alzheimer’s: Some GMAC Fun Facts”

My new post is up @Going_Concern On the eve of what will probably be — despite loud protestations and numerous solid reasons why not — the third round of bailout money thrown at GMAC, I thought it might be fun to give you some Fun Facts About GMAC. Sometimes the whirl and swirl of an ongoing financial crisis […]