Archive for the ‘Miscellany’ Category

Miscellany — interesting items that caught my eye during the week.

Michelle Golden headlines this week’s gems.  Her recent post, “It’s Time to Stop Talking About ‘Women’s Issues’ in Business,” makes a good and valid point.

Torben Rick posted a link to this story on a SMinOrgs, a LinkedIn group to which I belong.   Although he published it in April, 2011, it is as interesting today as it was back then.  “3 Types of Twitter Failure and Disasters.

SMinOrgs (Social Media in Organizations) has several boards at Pinterest, one of which is devoted to social media infographics.  It has now pinned 100 of these to its board.  It’s kind of fun to look through these.

Although SMinOrgs (Social Media in Organizations) has a web site and blog, it chose to publish “Managing Employer Risks in the Digital Era: 4 Recent Stories” on its Tumblr site.  Very interesting choice of location.

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

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Miscellany — interesting items that caught my eye during the week.

Francine McKenna is the dean of the accounting bloggers with her re: The Auditors blog.  She never disappoints.  Her comments in “More Sarbanes-Oxley Anniversary Thoughts, ” should be read.

Mark Holtzman, Accounting Department chair at Seton Hall, is an exceptional example of today’s social media enabled professor.  He has three blogs, a twitter feed and a YouTube channel.  Wow.  You don’t want to miss the essay I asked him to write, “Rise and Fall of the Gatekeepers -or- Why I Blog.”  I write more on this later.

Edith Orenstein, FEI Financial Reporting Blog, has published her thoughts following a blogging panel at the American Accounting Association Annual Meeting earlier this week.  Please read, “What Catanach, Albrecht, Holtzman and I Had to Say at AAA.”

Rick Broida at PCWorld writes, “Save a Web Page as a PDF with Just One Click.” He recommends Web2PDF. It’s handy.

Bob Jensen (retired professor from Trinity U) writes, “As the textbook purchasing season begins, I noticed that Amazon.com has free two-day shipping for college students.  I did not investigate the terms and limitations of this offer or whether it applies to used books and food items as well as new books.”  I’ll be sure to e-mail my students about this.  Why don’t you?

Some of you might like, “Top 100 Motivational Quotes of All Time!”  Any more, I need motivation to get out of bed in the morning.

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

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Miscellany — interesting items that caught my eye during the week.

Patty Keegan is spot on in her article for Marketing Magazine (Australia).  Her “The executive tweet – why CEOs should use social media,” is excellent.

Ed Ketz and Tony Catanach, the Grumpy Old Accountants, have an excellent piece in, “Who Really Cares About Auditor Rotation? Not Us!” They reason that “Any auditor’s report (the current or improved version) should be supplemented with a detailed “audit engagement” report that will allow investors to make up their own minds about the quality of a company’s audit.”

The Accounting Today has announced the inaugural winner of its contest for Accountant of the Month.  The winner is Darlene Finzer, a principal at the Ohio CPA firm Rea & Associates.  The purpose of the award is to recognize an accountant who is the polar opposite of dull and boring.  Finzer has two claims to fame.  First, she grows donkeys.  Second, she works on the pit crew for her nephew’s go-kart races.

Have you seen the latest video featuring Gwen Jorgensen?  Gwen Jorgensen is the Olympic accountant.

Lindsey Pollak writes for the LinkedIn Blog.  Her recent entry, “How to Showcase Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn: 8 Tips,” is a good reminder that LinkedIn is a terrific tool for presenting your personal/professional brand.  I need to tweak my LI profile.

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

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

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Miscellany — interesting items that caught my eye during the week.

Francine McKenna of @re: the Auditors was up to bat and she clobbered it out of the park in, “Big Four Auditors and Jury Trials: Not In The U.S.

A big part of the audit problem in the USA is not being able to sue audit firms.  The risk of legal loss seems to be the only thing that can keep them honest.  Because Francine explains their lack of legal loss, in my opinion they don’t stay all that honest.

Terri Eyden of the Accounting Web has a nice write-up of an interesting survey in, “Global Survey on Business Ethics.”  The survey was conducted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA),

Sue Shellenbarger writes about the explosion of bad grammar in office conversations, messages and reports in, “This Embarrasses You and I: Grammar Gaffes Invade the Office in an Age of Informal Email, Texting and Twitter.”  I agree that most people write in an embarrassingly poor manner.

Courtney Shelton Hunt, founder of Social Media in Organizations, has a must read article for everyone on Twitter.  In, “15 Twitter “Worst Practices” for Rookies (and Others) to Avoid,” Hunt lists mistakes that many make.  Even me.

Isabel Sales is co-author of one of the world’s top accounting blogs, Contabilidade Financeira. In English, it would be called Financial Accounting. Her co-authors are Cesar Tiburcio and Pedro.  Isabel lives and works in Brasilia, Brazil.

I have followed Contabilidade Financeira for years to gain insight into Brazilian world of accounting.

Her latest blog post is on a video about how Millenials differ from prior generations.  It is titled, “Você faz o que gosta?” (You do what you love?).  She writes, “Um vídeo que nos faz refletir, inspira e diverte. PERFEITO!” (A video that makes us reflect, inspire and entertain. PERFECT!).


Hint:  If you don’t speak Brazilian Portugese but want to surf Brazilian accounting sites, use Google Chrome.  It has an effective translation mechanism.

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

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Miscellany — interesting items that caught my eye during the week.

Dan Ariely earns the lead spot in this week’s Miscellany.  In an essay published in last Friday’s Wall Street Journal, he explains, “Why We Lie.”

I’ve been refining my thoughts on financial psychopathy, and Ariely’s research is consistent with my emerging theory.

Jim Peterson of re:Balance delivers bad news in, “Inaction Prevails Again — The European Parliament Defers on the Auditors.”

I’ve written time and time again about how the audit model is fatally flawed.  Auditor opinions provide almost no information and almost no protection to investors seeking credible financial information upon which to base their decisions.

I got my hopes up when Michael Barnier came upon the scene and introduced proposals that for the first time in decades had a chance of improving audits.  I knew it was a long shot, but what the heck?

It looks like big audit will win again, which means that investors will lose again.

Kevin Slavin is a physicist who works as a Wall Street quant.  Quants develop mathematical and computer models for high volume stock trading.

His TED Talk is mesmerizing.

Paul Barnwell has been there, done that, and apparently won’t do it again.  His essay at Education Week Teacher reveals a different perspective in, “Why Twitter and Facebook Are Not Good Instructional Tools.”

OnlineCollege.org has a nice story, “15 Flipped Classrooms We Can Learn From.”

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

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Miscellany — interesting items that caught my eye during the week.

Little girl (age 9) from Scotland starts blog, NeverSeconds. It goes viral!

Gotta read, “Little Girl’s Lunch Review Blog Persuades Her School to Serve Healthier Meals.”

If blogs can be written by a 9-years-old girl and can evoke change, then why is it difficult for so many professors and accountants to get started?

Wow!  I picked a winner.  From BusinessInsider, “Google Chrome Just Passed Internet Explorer To Become The World’s Most Popular Web Browser.”

Google Chrome has been my browser of choice for the past 12-18 months.  Prior to that it was Firefox.  Prior to that, I don’t remember.  Oh, I sometimes use Opera.

No surprise here.  From Forbes, “IBM Study: If You Don’t Have a Social CEO, You’re Going to be Less Competitive.”

I’m sure the same characteristic applies both to CPA firms and individually to accounting and finance professionals.  Hint:  a firm hiring an outsider to do all social media activity is not the same as having a social CEO.

Unbelievable!  So says Francine McKenna.  So say I. From Bloomberg, “SEC Staff Ends Probe of Lehman Without Finding Fraud.”

The final item in this week’s list comes from Caleb Newquist of Going Concern. Caleb’s blog is so well done, he was named to Accounting Today‘s list of most influential people in accounting.  In his story, “The Dixon, Illinois Fraud Is the Latest Example of Why Reasonable Assurance Is Bullshit,” Newquist is highly critical of today’s audit:

See? Audits can be great and fraud can still happen! And we wouldn’t be shocked! OR audits can suck and fraud can still happen! And we wouldn’t be shocked! There’s really nothing you can do. The good professor knows, as all auditors, that most people out there don’t have any idea of what an audit really is. Fine, an expectations gap. It’s a crock, but again, there’s really not much you can do about it. You an try to explain to your cousin in Dixon why it’s not the auditor’s job to detect frauds like this and (s)he would look at you, confused, and say, “Then what good is it?” AHA!

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

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Miscellany — interesting items that caught my eye during the week.

From Bloomberg Businessweek, “Top B-School Stories of 2011.”

Real Life Adventures, a nationally syndicated daily cartoon strip by Gary Wise and Lance Aldrich, perfectly catches the fundamental flaw of the audit model on December 8, 2011.

I like “The Promise and Perils of Academic Blogging,” a think-piece by W. Bradford Littlejohn at The Sword and the Ploughshare.

Ed Ketz and Tony Catanach share their “A Christmas List for Grumpy Old Accountants.”  I hope they get everything they ask for.

Tom Selling shares his dreams if he were the SEC’s Chief Accountant in “IFRS Convergence: Let’s Play ‘Chief Accountant for a Day’!

The Institute of Management Accountants, caretaker for the Certificate of Management Accounting, has its complaints aired about the AICPA’s plan for a competing credential in the AccountingWeb article “IMA Ready to Compete with AICPA/CIMA Management Accounting Designation.”

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

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Best of The Summa 2011

An annual tradition at The Summa is to provide links to my favorite posts of the year.  The purpose for doing so is to milk a few more reads without having to write new content. I’ve reviewed the posts from the fourth year of The Summa, and have selected my favorites.

In January, I had two interesting posts.  In the first, “Audit Credibility,” I argue that current audit model is flawed, and the flaws remove any potential benefit.  I talk about the entity theory approach to the accounting for executive stock options in, “Floyd Norris on Joe Lieberman’s Views on Accounting.”  It should be noted that Floyd posted a response to my blog post because he didn’t like what I wrote.

In February, there are two posts worth mentioning.  The first is “An Accountant’s Valentine,” written for my special someone. The second is “An Example of Corporate Honesty.”

In March, I wrote two posts about data visualization, and one on the problem posed by the hard drives on photocopy machines.

I still like my post for April first, “SEC to Promote Cash Basis Accounting?

In May, I wrote, “IFRS, Whither Art Thou?

In June, my favorite is, “SEC Morale Bad and Getting Worse.”

In July, I posted an advice piece, “LinkedIn for Accounting and Business Students.”

In August, I wrote, “The PCAOB and Its Quixotic Quest.”

In September, I wrote, “Is Inflation a Problem for Accounting.”

In October, I wrote, “If U.S. Declaration of Independence Had Been Signed by Audit Firms.”  This post was selected a wordpress.com favorite.

In November, I wrote, “ProfAlbrecht’s Use of Social Media.”

In December, I wrote about an aspect of auditor quality called, “The Wrong Quality.”

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

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Miscellany — interesting items that caught my eye during the week.

Tom Selling (The Accounting Onion) writes about folk hero judge Jed Rakoff in, “Is the Judiciary about to Give the SEC a Backbone?” Some day I’m gonna be like Jed.

Jim Peterson of re:Balance talks about how a relatively small judgment could potentially lead to the demise of a Big 4 firm in, “The Big Four Accounting Firms’ Financial Tipping Point — Time for a Fresh Look.”

Francine McKenna (re:TheAuditors) discusses how Deloitte is pretty bad off, in “At Deloitte, More Pain Before Any Quality Gain.” What a mess over there.

Lisa Du of the Embargo Zone blog writes about the information sifting habits of the New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin in, “Andrew Ross Sorkin Reveals What He Reads At The Gym And His Favorite Twitter Account.”

Sorkin and I are a lot alike.  He’s young, famous, rich, smart and good looking.  I’m not.

Search engines give biased results to your queries?  You betcha.  Please watch this video filmed by Mark Schaefer of {Grow}.  Helen Brown talks about Google’s filter bubbles and how to minimize the effect.

Schaefer consistently publishes must read content at {Grow}. Subscribe today.

Debit and credit — David Albrecht

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Miscellany — interesting items that caught my eye during the week.

Have you commented on the PCAOB Concept Release suggesting auditor rotation?  Others have, and you can read them here.  Former FASB Chair Denny Beresford, a group including Shyam Sunder, and Ernst & Young have sent in comment letters.

Brad Spitzer is part is part of the financial establishment.  Candice M. Giove of the New York Post, though, has caught him in an oops moment.  She reports in, “Occupy Wall Street protesters stay at $700-a-night hotel,” that Deloitte analyst Brad Spitzer has been taking part on Occupy Wall Street protests and adding his pricey digs to his Deloitte expense report.  Talk about a two-fer.  Isn’t an indiscretion like this grounds for termination with hard feelings?

Thanks to Caleb Newquist of Going Concern for the tip.

An interesting essay on, “The Value Of Writing A LinkedIn Profile That’s Different From Your Resume.”  Maybe I’ve been ahead of the crowd, but for the past 3-4 years  I’ve had summaries to introduce each section of my resume (AlbrechtVita_2011-10-17).  I add my philosophies, intentions, likes and dislikes.

David Coursey has a nice article at Forbes, “25 “Worst Passwords” Of 2011 Revealed.”  None of my passwords made the list.  If you want a suggestion for a difficult-to-hack password, try this:


Alex Planes of The Motley Fool paints a depressing landscape of the future in, “The Next Economic Revolution.”

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

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Miscellany — interesting items that caught my eye during the week.

Jonathan Weil shows why he is one of the premier journalists writing about accounting in, “Goldman Sachs Envy Gains New Meaning at Big Four.”  Weil shows several examples of the revolving door between the large accounting firms and their regulators on the PCAOB.  There are stinky conflicts of interest.

Adam Jones, accountancy correspondent for the Financial Times, writes about new KPMG International chairman Michael Andrew in “KPMG vows to remain a multi-disciplinary firm.”  In this interview, Andrew ridicules all non-Big 4 accounting firms,

He also lashed out at a Commission proposal to force the Big Four to share some audits with smaller rivals. “Can you imagine a second-tier firm auditing a global bank at a time when there is already a lack of confidence in the marketplace?”

He added: “They simply don’t have the skills or the market expertise.”

He also accused some smaller rivals of being “quite lazy” about investing in their businesses.

Mr. Andrew is a jerk.  But Steve Martin was funnier at it.

Jones has another story on the issue, “Auditing has moved into the realms of sitcom.”  It’s worth a read.

Stephanie Sammons, of Social Media Examiner, writes about, “5 Simple Steps for Improving Your LinkedIn Visibility.”  Read it.  Do it.

Tom Selling is terrific when he writes about IFRS adoption issues, as he does in, “Will the SEC Sneak IFRS in Through the Back Door?”  Selling is sounding more pessimistic about how the nefarious SEC might sneak in IFRS, despite all reason and common sense (as well as almost every accountant and investor) being against it.

I have little faith.  The commissioners of the SEC are political appointees, and Mary Schapiro has been a willing accomplice to Obama administration policy.  She has her marching orders to install IFRS, and she is loyal to the hand that feeds her.

Mark Schaefer of {Grow} has another post out on Klout, “Kould Kare Less.”

His Klout score is high, but he doesn’t care.  Mine isn’t, and I don’t care either.  Yet, many do.

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

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Miscellany — interesting items that caught my eye during the week.

James Ulvog writes the Attestation Update blog.  He weighs in on the professor/accountant blogging issue in, “Can’t find anything in the accounting world to blog about? Are you kidding me?

James does a really good job on his blog.

David Milstead writes for the Globe and Mail, Canada’s largest national newspaper.  He has an interesting perspective to share in, “A desperate Obama kicks Sarbanes-Oxley halfway to the curb,” published Monday, October 17, 2011.

A desperate politician will do anything to get reelected.  Obama has already signaled his willingness to ditch LIFO.  What’s next,  IFRS?

The New York Times on Wednesday ran an editorial, “Not Their Job.”  It argues that the Jobs Council overstepped its bounds.  Since the proposal is approved by President Obama, it should have been titled, “Hey Prez, Shame on You!”

Deloitte has become a regular in the accounting news cycle, but not in a good way.  Peter J. Henning’s blog at the NYT, White Collar Watch, has an interesting article on it, “Deloitte’s Quandary: Defy the S.E.C. or China.”

I don’t have an iPhone, but that doesn’t stop me from typing, “Sent from my iPhone,” at the bottom of every e-mail I send.  But I try to stay current on iPhone news just in case anyone ever donates a new phone.

David Pogue, columnist for the New York Times, blogs about iPhone’s new personal assistant Siri in, “Siri Is One Funny Lady.”  He writes about Siri’s responses to his question, “What is the meaning of life?”  Because he kept re-entering the question, he received various responses including the classic, “42.”

I’ve never understood why the film directors for THGTTG considered 42 so funny (the basis for its selection). Why is 42 funnier than 43, 44, or my personal favorite–63?

Sorry, I just can’t resist posting a link to:  ” ‘Man-flu’ is real to a fifth of British women.”

(Reuters) – One in five British women believe that the debilitating “man-flu” disease which temporarily leaves sufferers prostrate on the sofa watching televised sports is real, according to a new study.

I’m speechless.

Are you curious about how a professional sports team uses accounting to prepare financial statements?  I’m not sure you’re going to learn anything from this error-filled and mistaken Deadspin article, “Exclusive: How An NBA Team Makes Money Disappear [UPDATE WITH CORRECTION].”  Thanks to professor Mark Holtzman, the Accounting Ethicist, for the tip.

Shouldn’t a prerequisite to writing an accounting article be that the writer actually knows and understands proper accounting?

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

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