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Archive for July, 2011

Edith Orenstein, who authors the FEI Blog, has collaborated with singer Steven Zelin (Singing CPA) in a slick production of “Hey There Bob Pozen.”  It is their second collaborative project.

“Hey There Bob Pozen” is timed to coincide with the third anniversary of the release of the Pozen Committee report (August 1, 2008), formally called Final Report of the SEC Advisory Committee on Improvements to Financial Reporting (CIFiR).

“Hey There Bob Pozen” was written by Edith Orenstein.  It is sung by Steven Zelin, with background vocal by Orenstein.  The song was recorded in the studio studio of Rob Taube, and the video was shot and edited by Glenora (Glennie) Blackshire.

“Hey There Bob Posen” is a well done music video.  It’s refreshing to see a professional production of an accounting song.  Edith, I can’t wait for your next song, and Steven, I can’t wait to hear more of your singing.

Edith Orenstein has this to say about her song:

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This article has been accepted for publication in the American Journal of Business Education.


LinkedIn for Accounting and Business Students

[Abstract]

LinkedIn is a social media application that every accounting and business student should join and use. LinkedIn is a database of 90,000,000 business professionals that enables each to connect and interact with their business associates.

Five reasons are offered for why accounting students should join LinkedIn. This is followed by 11 hints for use.

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Planking between two camels

Plank (verb) – to lay face down, appearing stiff as a board, on floor or suspended between two objects (such as camels).  Conjugation:  I plank, I planked, I am planking.  You plank.  You ‘da plank!

Writing a post about planking is nearly as ridiculous as getting caught in the act.

Two of my favorite writers, Caleb Newquist and Adrienne Gonzalez, have created the must read Going Concern.  I love them because they have it:  impeccable taste in silliness, although sometimes they are serious.  Last year Caleb was serious enough to be identified as on the wrong side of the bubble for Accounting Today’s list of Top 100 professionals in the American world of accounting.

Yesterday, Caleb posed the silly question, “Are Accountants Planking at Work?”  Apparently not, as no one has sent in a photo of any such planking.  In hopes that someone might, Caleb proposed the following point scale:

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In this article I review and comment on a recently published study about patterns of grades assigned by professors.  the study reports that currently, 43% of the grades assigned in college are As (in private schools, 49% of all grades are As).  The trends reported provide evidence in support of a theory of grade inflation.

Should this issue matter to accountants that read The Summa?  Yes.  College grades and GPA permeate the profession.  A collegiate education, with a degree in accounting, is a fundamental requirement for becoming an accountant.  The largest accounting firms (please note that I did not say the best, or top, accounting firms) require a minimum GPA for the opportunity to interview.  Traditionally, this GPA has been 3.50, but anecdotal evidence suggests that this threshold is rising.  Accounting professors categorize students by GPA and only give scholarships and recommendations to the students with the best grades.  Moreover, memories of academic adversity and its overcoming (or not) die hard.  Decades later, I remember the grades I received in every accounting course.  I also remember the scores received on many tests and papers.

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Memories

There is a possibility of my moving to a new school in a year.  My wife has already started cleaning out closets and basement.  It must be garage sale time!

When my stuff goes on the block, as it is later today, I get very sentimental.  Dozens of old jigsaw puzzles command their own table.  I remember every puzzle picture, having stared at it for hours when putting it together.  My aging eyesight now sentences each one to the block.

More painful is getting rid of sports equipment.  My younger son and I spent many summers together on the diamond and golf course.  Wonderful summers.  We had a large bucket of baseballs, and I would hit grounders to my favorite shortstop until he could flawlessly handle every hard shot or bad bounce.  I had another bucket of plastic golf balls for soft toss.

Our golf equipment is also on the block.  I remember buying his junior set of clubs:  two woods, three irons, one putter, bag and pull cart.  Walking down the fairway we’d hold hands.  The following picture could have been of us.

My stuff might be gone, but not the memories.

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

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Andrew Ross Sorkin became solidified his position as a celebrity reporter when he wrote, Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves.

Even if you haven’t read the book, you’ve been affected by it.  The story told in Sorkin’s TBTF has informed and influenced actions and events during the past two years. This summary is from publisher:

Andrew Ross Sorkin delivers the first true behind-the-scenes, moment-by-moment account of how the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression developed into a global tsunami. From inside the corner office at Lehman Brothers to secret meetings in South Korea, and the corridors of Washington, Too Big to Fail is the definitive story of the most powerful men and women in finance and politics grappling with success and failure, ego and greed, and, ultimately, the fate of the world’s economy.

Although previously available in snippets on YouTube, the complete lecture by Andrew Ross Sorkin to the Foreign Policy Association on November 2, 2009 is now available in its entirety.  It is well worth viewing.

This lecture is about three themes.  It is “… about the process, how this book was created  … about how and why these people would ever tell me some of the things they did.”  It is also about “… the story .. and where the surprises are.”  And finally, it is about “… some of the lessons learned, which more than anything was the goal when I started this project.”

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

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Lost sight of in the SEC push to adopt IFRS is the primary reason for adopting it.  In “IFRS Is for Criminals,” Ed Ketz and Anthony Catanach of Grumpy Old Accountants remind us.

In their essay, the grumpies let it all hang out:

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