More good stuff for auditors – 9/25

A few links and comments of interest to auditors.

9/14 – The F Student – It’s a Good Hurt – Exercise is boring. Sometimes the stretching after a run is painful. Yet exercise is critical for good health overall. Stretching is imperative (as I understand) to prevent injury next time you run.

Internal controls and all those accounting procedures are the same thing, according to Rumbi Bwerinofa. You need to do all that accounting stuff to stay healthy. You really, really need to do the internal control stuff to prevent horribly painful fraud injuries. Check out the full article.

9/12 – Accounting Today – Andersen Tax CEO Explains Name Change – Mr. Vorsatz, CEO of newly branded Andersen Tax, explains more of the transition to the new name. Lots more info on the surveys about the perception of the brand. If you believe that the survey results reflect actual feelings and opinions in the marketplace, they will have quite a successful transition.

9/4 – Accounting Web – When Excel Dates Mysteriously Shift by 4 Years – There’s a reason dates on a spreadsheet you got from someone else move by 4 years and 1 day.

7/31 – Business Learning Institute – Surviving the Shift Change in Accounting – Tom Hood uses the illustration of shift change in a shipyard to show why that isn’t the world we are in. He worked his way through college as a security guard in a shipyard. When the whistle blew, the oncoming welder, who had the exact same skills as the off going welder, would pick up at the exact same spot where the outgoing guy stopped. That isn’t the world we live in. At the shift change of generations today, radically different skills are needed. Check out the article if you think 2020 in your firm will be the same as 2005.

9/1 – AICPA’s The Tax Advisor – Unclaimed Property: Current Issues and Trends – Remember that old advice to just write off old outstanding checks with a credit to various expenses? That is not correct. All states have laws that hold abandoned or unclaimed property (AUP) to turn the funds over to the state (“escheat”). That would included uncashed payroll checks, stale vendor payments, dormant bank accounts, unused customer refunds or credit balances, and unclaimed gift cards.

Article points out there is a liability to companies holding AUP. The states can conduct audits and claim the funds.

Consider some of the adverse incentives: states get to put the money into their general funds as it if was tax revenue. They only pay it out when the owner can first, find out the state holds the money, and second, when they can prove it is theirs. Some states, Delaware for example, hire contract auditors who get paid a percentage of what they can find. Full balance of the AUP goes to the state, even if there would have been a profit margin, such as in a gift card.

Something to keep in mind for your audits and review discussions.

9/8 – Going Concern – The Insider Dirt on Employment Background Checks – Great background from a CFE & licensed private investigator who asserts he works for one of the Big 4. Good info on what a background check does and doesn’t cover. Helpful contrast between more general screening of entry-level staffer and a soon-to-be-admitted partner. Good read for both college grads soon to go through a background check and partners thinking about running them.

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