Accounting Takes on CNN's Big 87654 Fluff Piece... At Least Two of Us Did

Sunday, November 15, 2009 , , , , 4 Comments

I still want to hear industry opinions on this. Francine? Dennis? Edith? IA? Anyone? Is it simply that Caleb and I need anger management or was this recent CNN piece outrageous?

Going Concern:

If you saw the asinine CNN piece that came out on Thursday entitled “Accounting grows in shrinking economy”, you know what we mean.

The title itself should cause you to throw up in your mouth. Certainly the author of this gem, Kevin Voigt, isn’t talking about growth in revenues but he still manages to make a case for accounting industry strength based on just that:

[T]he firms have emerged from the worst with balance sheets that would be enviable to most companies: Ernst & Young and Deloitte finished the 2009 fiscal year with flat growth, while PWC revenues were down 7 percent.

Getting nauseous yet?

Read the whole thing.

We are expected to slap on the happy face and gobble up this "news" from CNN, I assume. Pretty soon state boards of accountancy will have to adopt alternatives to the work experience requirement or we will see a mass shortage of CPAs - I didn't say qualified, I just mean generally speaking.

Come to think of it, maybe we were wrong to judge this article so harshly. Obviously - though they didn't say it outright, lest their American offices feel neglected - the Big 87654 CEOs meant their Asian offices were up for the year. You know, the place that was in those glossy brochures at MTF but that you quickly realized after your second day you'd never get to? Singapore is exploding as a professional mecca, with leading Universities and industries piling in and tapping their talent. Technically, we can't get mad at them for leaving out that little detail.

Anyway. Closed mouths don't get fed. I can't imagine that my accounting cohorts would allow something like this to pass by without feeling compelled to say something. It's too obvious.

I want to see Robert at Accounting Nation do this piece of shit article next. That would be awesome.

I did it here.

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.


Thanks for pointing out the article, I hadn't seen the CNN piece or the post in Going Concern; in general, I have seen inconsistent articles in various publications about the current and future prospects for the accounting industry (profession). I did notice that Forensic auditor Tracey Coenen of @sequenceinc tweeted tonight she believes the CNN item is 'a piece of fiction.'

W.C. Varones said...

Come on. You've got to give a little credit to them for the awesome revenues on their balance sheets.


It's awesome that they can make so much more money with so few people. *barf*


I see them too. But this is the worst I've seen thus far. We ARE doing better than most but come on, this is just ridiculous.

I don't read CNN, but will respond to your invitation to comment. This article was not even proofread. The last paragraph repeats the tenth. I have no reason to believe, "the accounting industry has emerged stonger than ever before". The notion than D&T's CEO now has such clout that he gets "patched through" as opposed to having his message taken is absurd. The SARBOX "signoffs" by the CEO and CFO are nothingburgers. If Dennis Nally thinks otherwise, he is a fool. More likely, he's using this interview to lobby Congress not to change 1995's Litigation Reform Act or Stonerridge. Turley at E&Y is an ignoramus or a liar, "No one is saying in this current period the accounts of banks or commercial businesses were inaccurate". Your old Skeptical CPA has said that: AIG, Citigroup, Vampire Squid, Fannie, Freddie, Delphi and other firms had cooked books. I have a few E&Y readers. Turley, ask them. WCV has noted revenues are not a balance sheet concept. The Big 87654 almost always fire 1-3% of their staff annually for "performance related issues". If more than 3% got canned, I believe the reason was SOX related, i.e., the end of ICFR consulting projects. My bottom line: this article was a piece of garbage.