CapitalAccounting’s Weblog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

JustinBradley in the news

Photo of JustinBradley Recruiter Analiese Bendorf that appeared in the Express article

Photo of JustinBradley Recruiter Analiese Bendorf that appeared in the Express article

JustinBradley Financial Recruitier, Analiese Bendorf, was featured recently in the Express’s recent article entitled “Net Works: How to Stay Professional on Facebook.”

Check out the photo and quotes!

If you’re a hiring manager or recruiting professional, what are your thoughts about using Facebook to recruit candidates?  Have you had any particularly interesting results, either positive or negative?  How does Facebook compare to other networking sites, such as LinkedIn?

Advertisements

September 15, 2008 Posted by | Topics in Recruiting | , , | Leave a comment

RSS

If anyone is looking for accounting news to add to your RSS feed, BizJournal’s got some good ones, which you can narrow down by topic or location.

August 19, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Accounting News

As the mortgage crisis continues, the Washington Post had some interesting coverage on The Financial Accounting Standards Board‘s decision to “postpone by a year a plan that could require banks and other financial services companies to raise mountains of new capital to protect themselves against financial exposures not currently reflected on their balance sheets.”

August 19, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Accounting News

The Ann Arbor Business Review recounts how a local IT firm overstated its earnings by almost $130 million over four years, due to accounting fraud perpetrated by the company’s (now former) VP of Finance (and later, CFO), Scott Hirth. 

From the article:

“As part of his scheme, Hirth created false documentation to purportedly support the balances in the manipulated accounts. For example, Hirth’s account reconciliation spreadsheets contained ‘hidden rows’ so that false account entries were hidden when printed in hardcopy,” the SEC wrote in its complaint filed in the U.S. District Court’s Eastern District of Michigan. “Hirth also used ‘white font’ in these spreadsheets, which placed false information in white-color text so that they were invisible.”

As if his white collar, er white-color, tactics weren’t offensive enough, Firth apparently authored numerous notes outlining his concerns about “cooking the books” and even referenced the Enron and Worldcom scandals.

The Vancouver Sun reports on an accounting scandal at ICBC (a government -owned auto insurance corporation), in which ICBC employees bought and sold accident-damaged vehicles without recording the cost of repairs in the company’s books, to create the impression that the facility was meeting revenue targets on its vehicle salvage business.

Perhaps most disturbingly, PWC auditors found that, following an initial complaint, ICBC did indeed conduct an investigation.  However, in an astonishing display of disregard for internal controls, “the review was overseen and conducted by employees who had purchased repaired vehicles and/or had their vehicle worked on at the MDR&T facility.” 

Finally, CFO.com relays that certain controls mandated by Sarbox might actually make financial statement fraud more difficult to detect, according to a new report from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.  Most notably, the report found (based on survey results and research) that at companies where management was responsible for certifying the financial statements, it actually took companies longer to detect financial statement fraud.

From the article:

“Internal controls are like locks on a door,” says Lance Randolph, a fraud expert at CBIZ Accounting, Tax & Advisory Services, and an ACFE member. “The more sophisticated a lock you have, the better a deterrent it is, but someone who is truly knowledgeable can defeat any internal control.”

July 23, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

More accounting humor

We’re always on the lookout for funny stuff.  Check out a little bit of accounting humor here.

June 3, 2008 Posted by | Humor | | Leave a comment

Do portrayals of accountants in pop culture add up to reality?

As an undergraduate Anthropology  major with interests in film and media, I wrote my senior honors thesis on the way anthropology, as a profession is portrayed in pop culture.  The results, as you might imagine, were mixed, with the majority of anthropologists portrayed as bumbling, somewhat out-of-touch, “armchair academics” with absurdist interests in bizarre and exotic phenomena.  The alternate (and equally unrealistic) stereotype was the swashbuckling adventurer/hero a la Indiana Jones.  Needless to say, both portrayals – though based in some fact – bear little resemblance to the actual profession of anthropology, at least in its contemporary form.

This got me thinking the other day – How are accountants portrayed in pop culture?  As I did with my thesis, we can look for clues in portrayals of accountant characters in movies and TV shows.  For example, the makers of  “The Office,” (which, in case you’ve been living under a rock, is a wildly popular mockumentary-style TV show about a Scranton, PA paper company’s corporate culture), has produced a series of short videos called “The Accountants” centering around the accounting characters on the show.  You can learn more about the series by following the link.  Or,  if you’ve seen the show, you can draw your own conclusions about the way the accountants are portrayed (Angela Martin might be the show’s most fruitful example of an archetypical accountant, and thus a good place to start).

You might also check out this interesting article  which examines the way accountants are portrayed in film.  The author ends up concluding that accountant characters generally fall into a few different categories –  no surprise there.  Her categories are interesting though.  What do you think about the descriptions she’s come up with?

Lastly, scan through the following list of accountant characters in film (taken from John Schachter & Associates).  If you’re familiar with the characters and the films, can you draw any similarities?  Does there seem to be a “typical” accounting character?  If so, what does he or she look like?  What do accountants wear?  What do they do for fun?  What do they eat for dinner?  Just some questions to jog your brain!  Leave a comment if you’ve got any characters to add to the list.

  • Handsome Danny Glover is accountant Henry Sherman, Angelica Huston’s dependable second husband in The Royal Tenenbaums.
  • French superstar Daniel Autueil in The Closet is an accountant who pretends to be gay to keep his job.
  • Charles Grodin as the president’s accountant in Dave solves the budget deficit in one overnight session, leaving the White House at dawn in his prudent small car.
  • Milking his accounting talents, Charles Grodin is an accountant who steals from the rich and gives to the poor in Midnight Run. Robert De Niro tracks him down when Grodin jumps bail.
  • Gregory Peck thinks he is a cost accountant – but he is really a brainwashed spy in Mirage.
  • Ben Kingsley’s bespectacled accountant helps save lives in Schindler’s List.
  • Mary Tyler Moore gets asked on a date by her IRS auditor.
  • Joan Crawford’s accountant, wearing a green eye shade and sleeve garters, explains to her that her money is all gone in Mildred Pierce.
  • In Fargo, William H Macy’s oppressive and wealthy father-in-law does nothing without the consent of his heavyset and closed-minded accountant.
  • In The Producers, Zero Mostel ropes accountant Gene Wilder into collaborating with him on a scheme to rip off old ladies. It is the first time in his life that Gene is happy.
  • In Ghostbusters, Rick Moranis is an accountant who, although possessed by evil spirits, asks who does monstrous Sigourney Weaver’s tax return.
  • In Basquiat, the central character’s dad is an accountant, played by Leonard Jackson.
  • Woody Allen’s accountant tells him he isn’t “liquid enough” in Manhattan
  • Bill Pullman is a strange investigator in Zero Effect who poses as an accountant. He tells a client to save her “WW2 Form’.
  • In Erotica, the lead character is a bearded and gentlemanly accountant who gets increasingly hung up on a snacky lap dancer whom he is forbidden to touch.
  • In Jurassic Park, a weasel accountant spurns Jeff Goldblum’s advice and get devoured by a dinosaur.
  • Comedian and actor Eddie Izzard studied to be an accountant. He found it very boring and dropped out. Yet he refers to this experience in interviews as revealing his intelligence relative to other comedians.
  • In Shedevil, Ed Begley Jr plays a sleazeball accountant upon whom Rosanne Barr wreaks a hideous revenge.
  • Road to Perdition boasts a fey, crafty and arrogant mob accountant who gets drilled through a wall. Is this Stanley Tucci?
  • In Memento, Stephen Tobolowsky plays Sammy Jankis, the accountant who lost his memory, just like Guy Pearce’s Leonard. Or is Guy remembering something that never happened? A shout out to Stephen, who is a very good actor!
  • Charles Martin Smith plays accountant Oscar Wallace in The Untouchables. This brave soul conceives the idea of nabbing Al Capone for tax evasion.
  • Kevin James plays tax accountant Albert Brennaman, who woos and wins Amber Valletta in Hitch, just by being his booty-shaking, inhaler-snorting, passionate self.
  • Ed O’Brien is an accountant who frantically seeks the person who has poisoned him in noir classic D.O.A.
  • In Monty Python’s Meaning of Life Chartered Accountants turn pirate and plunder the business world from the decks of their absurdly-mobile office building.
  • In Stranger than Fiction, Will Ferrell plays Harold Crick, an IRS agent whose life turns out to be the subject of a novel Emma Thompson is writing.  With his survival dependent upon the requirements of the author’s plot, Harold follows what the moviemakers patronizingly assume is his dream, and abandons what clearly is a soul-nourishing love of numbers to croon adenoidally to the plunkings of Maggie Gyllenhaal’s lame guitar.

So, readers – and especially you accountants out there – what do you think? 

Photo of Angela Martin, the humorless accountant portrayed by Angela Kinsey, on NBC’s Emmy-award winning show, “The Office.”

June 3, 2008 Posted by | Accountants in Pop Culture | , | 2 Comments

A Search From All Sides

With each new search, there are multiple people involved in the process, each with their own perspective.  We thought it would be interesting to examine the various viewpoints of the folks involved in the search: the Recruiter, the Hiring Manager, the Human Resources representative, and the Candidate.  We’ll examine the full cycle of a search, starting with the Kickoff – the initiial stages of the process:

 

Recruiter

Looking forward to meeting the hiring manager to better understand they type of candidates who will be successful and to build a relationship with her. Getting her to meet with me was like pulling teeth—if she doesn’t want to meet it’s either because this search is not a priority or she’s got 6 other recruiters working on it.

Hiring Manager

I’m swamped—the last think I want to do is spend 45 minutes with a recruiter who is supposed to find me an Accountant so I won’t be constantly swamped.

Human Resources

I wish the Hiring Manager and Recruiter would stop going around me. We’ve got certain policies in place to save time and money in the recruiting process.

Recruiter

If I can’t speak with the hiring manager it’s a low probability that I will fill this position. I work on commission and I need to prioritize those searches where I have the best chance of making a successful placement.

 

 

 

 

 

May 20, 2008 Posted by | Topics in Recruiting | Leave a comment

Accounting Gone Bad

From time to time, we hope to share news of accounting snafus – things that are just knot rite in accounting.  Here are a couple tidbits we’ve gathered thus far:

Iraqi Freedom

Accounting snafus resulted in the Army losing track of 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch-units.

 

It happens. l misplaced my good pen once

 

LA Times Horoscope — April 15 2008

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Accounting snafus are meant to get your attention, not ruin your day. Give yourself no longer than five minutes of worry.

 

This is also the correct answer to a CPA exam question.

 

May 5, 2008 Posted by | Humor | | Leave a comment

A Restaurant for Accountants

Il Mulino:  This downtown Italian eatery serves up winning Italian food in super-sized portions.  “The unsuspecting guest won’t know what to make of all the food that flows his way,” notes Washington Post food critic, Tom Sietsema, in his recent review.  With an endless parade of complimentary appetizers and overwhelmingly huge plates of pasta and other Italian dishes, Il Mulino is the perfect spot for hungry accountants.  Why?  Accountants know how to plan for the impending feast, and budget enough room in their appetite.  Project accountants are in luck – after each course, you’ll want to monitor your progress toward the goal (in this case, saving enough room for the wonderful cheesecake or tartufo at the end of the meal).  With food this good, though, you can hardly be blamed for variances in your initial analysis.  Take any dividends home to Fido.   

Best for: Project accountants, job cost accountants, earned value management specialists

April 30, 2008 Posted by | Restaurants and Food | 1 Comment

Picture this

 

Alright folks, time for a little brainteaser.  How do the images below relate to accounting and/or finance?  You’ll have to think abstractly on these.  (Hint: try saying things out loud.)  Click on each link to find out.

Click here for the answer

Click here for the answer

Click here for the answer

Click here for the answer

April 25, 2008 Posted by | Brainteasers | | Leave a comment