Skip to main content

client questions

Was just doing my taxes and came across a line other Other Income asking the paraphrase...this is where you declare "Embezzled or other income from illegal activities"

Right, because if I did embezzle or get income from other illegal activities, I'd want to tell the government so, and not just that, I'd pay taxes on it.

Although we do have such questions on our checklists for clients, I don't think i've ever heard of anyone get an answer that said..yep, i saw fraud.

What would make more sense is if these questions were aimed at the non-VPs and officers, to the lower/middle rungs of the totem pole, where will people will be more willing to reveal information anonymously. How about a public accounting hotline..where anyone in a company can dial their auditor anonymously to report any unethical activity? Now that just might work sometimes.


Krupo said…
"Snitch" hotlines do exist in many companies, actually. :)
notfordisplay said…
That wasn't what I was referring to, these hotlines too exist and are part of our control testing. But an added tool would be a hotline for employees to auditors. You never know how these calls to within your company can be handled.
Krupo said…
Fair enough. Some of those calls are, however, handled by third-parties to diminish that concern. It still matters who those third-parties report to, of course.

Another version of that is the hotline for customers to call auditors if their investment bank statement is incorrect. Some of my friends have been the person who's taking those calls. Hee hee.

I have, however, also seen procedures where auditors in fact do ask those questions of mid-level employees. For SOX in particular.

Popular posts from this blog

career progression

"What can you tell me about the different possible tracks a person would take at the Big 4 in regards to tax vs. audit? Is there a difference in career progression among the two specialties? How about career potential? Workload?"

Loaded question. In terms of career potential, they're both pretty potent. Audit leads you to controller/accounting manager/ VP - accounting positions at companies if you choose to quit. Tax can lead to tax manager positions at various companies/ help them minimize taxes and exploit tax loopholes. It's a pretty important position in many companies...I'm not an expert on tax careers though, so you might want to ask somebody in a tax related position.
In terms of career progression, it's the same as audit...start off as a staff associate...move to senior..manager..snr mgr..partner.
In terms of workload, my friends in the tax department seem to work two busy the fall and in the spring. So I think they work more than i…


As a big four employee, lately, I've been hearing a lot about "boomerang" employees. Those who, for some reason or another, decide that leaving work when the sun is still out is not for them and alas, return back to the firm. Yes, the grass is not always greener on the other side, however, is this trending upward or about the same as it always has been? I think, also, that the firms really do a good job in highlighting those that do choose to return to make it appear more common than reality. Can you please speak about how you've seen the trend of "boomerangs" amongst the big 4? 

Good question. A boomerang, as the commenter pointed, is one who quits a big 4 Firm and then decides to return (or boomerang) back to the Firm after getting a taste of work life in the non-public accounting world.
I have seen a few return this past summer, but didn't really notice a trend until you mentioned it. It's definitely been higher than past years, but not enough to s…

auditing vs consulting

I was wondering if you could break down the career opportunities in auditing and consulting (in a big 4). I know that consulting pays more in a big 4 and has more interesting work, but it seems that auditing has extremely good exit opportunities (Financial controller, CFO etc). Any thoughts on which is better in the long run?

Well there's different consulting services offered by public accounting companies - the most popular being IT consulting and risk consulting. There are also other consulting services offered, but these two hire the most. Do they pay more? Yes, but not by much. Not enough for you to say: Shoot, the $$ is a huge reason for me to move over. Is the work more interesting than audit? Yes. You're actually looking over a company's processes and telling them what to do instead of what not to do (audit). Everyone I know who's made the switch likes it waay better than audit.
In the long run though, choosing audit vs consulting really depends on what you want t…