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Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

[April 1, 2013 Special Edition]  Corporate leaders from across the country today gathered on Wall Street for the first ever display of business support for honest financial statements.

Ruta Crumwell led off with an emotional call for death to all who betray the public trust.

CFOs then marched en masse to a traders pit, sawed off their pinocchio length noses, and lit a bonfire visible at the SEC.

Richard Foldover, beloved leader of defunct Lehman Sisters and the featured speaker at the event, then spoke at length on the evil of Repo 105.

The evening ended with auditors wiping up with clean audit opinions.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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At first glance, this blog post appears to be fluff put forth to get a chuckle or laugh from you. There is a serious side to it, though.  Social media should be a subject of keen and intense interest for all financial professionals, be they out working or still at college.  Opinions, thoughts, ideas can go viral in this social media world.  Memes are one such channel for these opinions, thoughts and ideas.

In this blog post I exhibit a collection of memes on studying for tests.  Working professionals probably remember taking their own exams.  Current professors and students are now in crunch time just prior to final exams.

As defined by Merriam-Webster, a meme is “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.”  In 2012, many of us think of it as an image or video passed from one social media user to another.

The study of memes is important, because memes open a window into the popular culture.  Memes that spread quickly reveal what a large number of  people think or believe.

I am an accounting professor, and what students think is of interest to me.  I performed Google image searches on key words related to studying.  Google results are structured to reveal the most clicked on images first.  All images presented in this blog post are thought to be in the public domain.

Most of these memes convey what older generations have called gallows humor.  Those who are about to be hanged are somehow able to find humor in their situation.

A consistent theme running through the various memes is that studying is painful.

(more…)

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Professors across the the country and around the world struggle with fighting student distraction in an age of BYOD (bring your own device).

In the following clip, a student goes retro in a very funny way.

I’m old enough to have been there and done that.

by David Albrecht

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Chanting CPA at the Emmys

The Big Bang Theory is a CBS sitcom about some Cal Tech physicists.  Come on, if a sitcom about physicists can be so popular, then surely a show about about accountants can be more so.

As if to prove my point, The Big Bang Theory recently aired a skit about Ernst & Young accountants at the Emmy awards.

Here is a clip from the show that is destined to be the most higgly rated BBT show of the season.

The E&Y representative, John the human spreadsheet, blew out his clicking finger during a power point presentation?  Like that has never happened before.

Thanks to Barry Rice on AECM for the tip.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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A meme is an image or recording packaged in such a way as to communicate a message or capture the fancy of those who see/view/hear it.  It is communicated via the Internet.   Their explosive impact has come of age in today’s social media world.

A few minutes ago I received an e-mail from Auntie Bev, into which she had pasted several meme images.  One caught my eye, and I’ve since been able to determine that it’s a true viral phenomenon, posted to thousands of blogs and Facebook accounts.

I’m not sure about the message of this meme.  Perhaps it is that some cheaters are unstoppable.  Or, masterful cheating is admirable.  Perhaps the message is that because cheating is unstoppable, it’s OK to do it.

Using my screen capture utility, I have snipped the following image from another viral meme.  It delivers quite a different message.

I suppose the message for this one is that opportunistic cheating is everywhere.  Or, it might be that cheating is due to teacher carelessness.  Whatever, the meme is funny.  Darn kids.  If this one would only try to learn as much as he tries to cheat.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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Usually I write about very serious topics:  financial reporting and auditing and how the government regulates them, accounting education, and social media usage in higher education and in financial services industries.

When I go off topic, however, I pass along something cool.  Very cool.

Today’s video is all that.  Starring Suzanne Senna as Brooke Alvarez, host of FactZone on the Onion News Network.  Alvarez interviews industry experts who opine that Facebook is a CIA initiative, on a FactZone video released on March 19, 2011.

Of course it is.

Enjoy!

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht


Want more of The Summa? Sign up to receive email notification of posts. And please follow me on Twitter (@profalbrecht).

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Hot, hot, hot.  In most of the USA, above average temperatures and below average rain have parched both the ground and the spirits of good citizens.  This is especially true for me.

Look at this, then tell me what you think.

For the past few weeks I’ve felt hot and tired.  My never ending condition of exhaustion comes from the fast pace of teaching summer classes at the U, and not yet being acclimated to the heat of South Carolina.  To compound matters, my old laptop died.  To my dismay, I discovered that my backups got messed up.  Consequently, I’m lost my archived e-mail from before June.

Look for a flood of blog posts in the near future.  I’ll clear out a backlog of partially written posts I’ve worked on during the past three weeks.  Then, I’ll turn to the Annual Meeting of the American Accounting Association to be held in Washington DC, starting this coming weekend.  I expect I’ll have quite a bit to say about IFRS adoption, government regulation of financial reporting, and the fatally flawed audit model used in North America and Europe.  Then, I’ll be turning to social media usage.  Just for kicks, I’ll write a bit about some developments in higher education.

I’m glad to be back.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht


Want more of The Summa? Sign up to receive email notification of posts. And please follow me on Twitter (@profalbrecht).

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When my second birthday arrived, accounting genes helped me realize my age had doubled in one year.

Age doubling seemed like a good idea at the time, because I had my drivers license on my fifth birthday (1 2 4 8 16).  Today, though, I’m 4,611,686,018,427,387,904.

Bob Jensen (AECMer and retired from Trinity U) doesn’t like to admit to it, but the last time his wife baked him a birthday cake, neighbors alerted the fire department (picture on right).

Despite breaking a few eggs along the way, it’s a happy day when an accountant can add another year to the ledger.  This post is dedicated to all accountants who have a birthday during 2012.

For other birthday sentiments, please read, “When a Boomer Accountant Has a Birthday.”

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht


Want more of The Summa? Sign up to receive email notification of posts.  And please follow me on Twitter (@profalbrecht).

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David Letterman gathered his core group of New York area accountants for another Top 10 list, “Top 10 Signs Your Accountant is so Dumb.”  The segment aired on Friday, April 13, 2012.  I’ve been posting these clips for years, and in my opinion this is the best yet.

Thanks to Mark Holtzman (Freaking Accountant) for the tip.

Debit and credit -  – David Albrecht


Want more of The Summa? Sign up to receive email notification of posts.  And please follow me on Twitter (@profalbrecht).

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[April 1, 2012, special edition]  Speaking exclusively with The Summa, PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board) Chair James Duty says that significant changes to the auditor rotation proposal are needed to gain Congress’s approval.

“Everyone fears herds of nomadic accountants under the present auditor rotation proposal.  There could be dangerous trailer parks of nomadic accountants in their RVs and gers. And quite honestly, it’s a very scary thought, right out there with Zombie accountants. Trailer park trash takes on a whole new meaning when reading a typical large firm audit opinion.”

“What we have in mind is something a bit more festive,” he went on to say.  “We intend that the conclusion of a three or four year audit engagement be celebrated with music and dancing.  That’s right, we are now proposing audit firm musical chairs.”

For those not familiar with the game of musical chairs, the following clip from Happy New Year, Charlie Brown, is a good primer.

“At the PCAOB we prefer the musical chairs version championed by Ellen.  We propose that whenever a company’s audit comes up for a new auditor, firm representatives travel to Washington for a spirited competition of blindfolded musical chairs.  It’s the only fair way.”

ProfAlbrecht wonders if blindfolds are needed, given that audit firms can rarely see the deficiencies in corporate financial statements.

ProfAlbrecht hopes it works.  Next up on the PCAOB’s docket, Communications with Zombie Auditors.

Other April 1 stories appearing in The Summa

Debit and credit -  – David Albrecht


Want more of The Summa? Sign up to receive email notification of posts.  And please follow me on Twitter (@profalbrecht).

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Do you remember where you were when you saw the famous cartoon that killed Arthur Andersen?  I received a copy via e-mail, and soon had a print up on my office door.

How could it be that a cartoon killed Arther Anderson (once of the mighty Big 8,7, 6, and 5, but not the Big 4)?

First, a bit of history for those of you too young to have been there.  Arthur Andersen was declared dead officially June 15, 2002, when it was convicted of criminal obstruction of justice.  Arthur Andersen entered a vegetative state in March, 2002, when criminal charges were filed against it.  Arthur Andersen was seriously wounded in October, 2001, when it began shredding documents.  Reports Unmesh Kher of Time,

… Nancy Temple, a lawyer with the company, sent a memo reminding employees of Andersen’s document-retention policies on Oct. 12. The memo, observers suspect, was a tacit order to start the shredding.

And now, to add a new twist to the scandal, plaintiffs’ lawyers involved in the deposition of Duncan’s former assistant Shannon Adlong told TIME last week that the shredding of documents actually began on Oct. 13 — 10 days before Andersen admitted it started and a day after Temple’s memo. Adlong, who was responsible for ordering extra bags for the shredded papers, said so much evidence had to be destroyed that 32 “trunks,” each the size of a football locker, were hauled off by a shredding company.

Word of shredding leaked out quickly, and soon I received an e-mail with the following cartoon attached:

After this cartoon spread around the world, AA had no chance.  It’s fate was sealed.  The cartoon welded Andersen’s crime to an immensely popular TV advertising campaign.  Whenever Sprint aired its ads, at least some viewers would think of Andersen and shredding  Overnight, Andersen was guilty in the court of public opinion.  It would be only a matter of time before a court of law caught up with it.

I remain convinced it was the circulation of this cartoon that prompted the SEC subpoena on December 1, 2001, for Andersen’s remaining documents.  That, and the fact that Andersen really did the crime.

Eventually, Andersen’s shredding made it into a real commercial advertisement.  The following commercial was first aired on November 28, 2002, after Andersen was officially dead.

Thanks to the Grumpy Old Accountants and Going Concern for reminding me of the 10 year Enron anniversary.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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Parallel All-nighters

Studying at night.

I’m out travelling on a business trip.  Last night I was computing in the lobby of a hotel while my wife was sleeping in a darkened room.  About 10 p.m. members of a travelling Canadian collegiate hockey team saw me working as they headed out to the bars after losing a hockey game to the side from the local university.

Between 2:00 and 2:30 a.m., they came back as happy as could be.  “That kid (thank you) is still working on his computer.”  “Hey, what are you working on?”

“I’m creating a test for tomorrow for my business statistics class back home.”

“That’s funny!  The professor is pulling an all-nighter to create the test while his students are pulling an all-nighter to study for the test.”

Yep.

Debit and credit — David Albrecht

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