Monday, November 29, 2010

If you wound up here from reading Michelle Golden's book...

I am quite thankful to be the subject of a case study in Michelle Golden's excellent new book Social Media Strategies for Professionals and Their Firms: The Guide to Establishing Credibility and Accelerating Relationships.  And perhaps you wound up here as a result of the case study.

When Michelle interviewed me for the case study, this was my primary blog; I had only been blogging on AccountingWeb for a couple of weeks at that time.  Since then, I have shifted my blogging from here to a combination of AccountingWeb and my new blog - The SEC Auditor.  I post to AccountingWeb generally once a week; if I have a lot on my mind I post more.  The SEC Auditor I'm still working on getting right but that will soon be the main blog.

Why?  I like the flexibility of a self-hosted blog using WordPress has over this one.  Plain and simple.

When I remember I will cross post here, but I hope you go to the other blogs, especially The SEC Auditor, subscribe and share your comments!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

10 Ways to Know You Were Born to Be an Accountant

The nice people at Best Online Colleges Online.Net sent me their posting called 10 Ways to Know You Were Born to Be an Accountant

I didn't match all of them - I don't have an abnormal passion for tax law for one.  But still kind of describes me pretty well.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Note On Blog Comments - English Only Please

I have been receiving comments on some of my blog posts in languages other than English, generally I think in Chinese.  While I like to think of myself as worldly, this blog is just me and I only speak English.

Please be advised ALL blog comments that are made in a language other than English will be rejected.  I have no way of knowing what they say or if they are spam posts.  Any spam posts in English will also be rejected.

Friday, July 2, 2010

iPhone App Coming From My Firm's Association

We at Silberstein Ungar, PLLC are a proud member firm of MSI Global Alliance of independent legal and accounting firms.  MSI recently announced they are coming out with an iPhone app called Advisors2Go.  According to Giles Brake, MSI's Marketing & Business Development Manager and I think technology guru, the application "will take advantage of the iPhone's great features to allow you to find and connect with your MSI colleagues around the world, and will also put our worldwide directory into the hands of businesses for the first time."  MSI is the first association to develop such an application.

Kudos to Giles and MSI.  I think this is a fabulous idea and just a further indication of how much more power there is in the palm of our hands.  I only wish I had an iPhone so I could use it!  I really like my BlackBerry Tour.  But I'd switch to an iPhone if it was available on Verizon Wireless.  That is a conversation for another day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

CCH's Idea of a Hot Topic

I just got my daily CCH Accounting Research Manager email and the lead item starts off:  "Accounting Research Manager has published a Hot Topic, Foreign Currency Issues Related to Investments in Venezuela - SEC Staff Views."

My biggest client's 10K is being Edgarized tomorrow.  We've got a bunch more due by the end of the month.  1040s are coming in every day, and there are the various reviews and audits of private companies that I'm trying to complete.  And CCH thinks that Foreign Currency Issues Related to Investments in Venezuela is a hot topic.
Did I miss something here?  Because I don't see how this is earth shattering news to about 99% of accountants.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Counting The Ways The FASB Codification Has Improved My Life

I'm working through a disclosure checklist on a small audit client (my previously mentioned franchisor that led me to great aggravation with auditing standards.  Of course I'm now seeing FASB Codification references throughout, and I started to think about all the ways my life has improved as a result of it:
  1. All of my clients, especially those that are publicly traded, have had to update the notes to their financial statements, removing references to familiar states like FASB 5, 13, 109, FIN 48, etc. without the new Codification references.
  2. I graduated from The University of Michigan in 1984.  That means I've been at this for more than 25 years.  I suppose it is a good thing that FASB took away all of this familiarity I had with statement references and is making me start over from scratch.
  3. Searching through what seems like endless levels of the codification in CCH's Accounting Research Manager (sorry not slamming CCH - I'm sure it is a similar experience in others) to get to what I'm looking for.  Why spend time at home with my wife and kids when I can do that.
  4. Why say FASB 13, paragraph 29 when you can say ASC 840-10-50-1? 
Look, I'm just a simple auditor trying to do outstanding work for our valued clients.  How this helps me or them is beyond me.  To paraphrase Simon Cowell "I don't get it.  Sorry."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Talk About Focusing on a Niche

At my Firm, we focus on a few niches - SEC auditing, franchisors/franchisees, broker/dealers and increasingly restaurant groups.  But we still do lots of work that doesn't fall in any of those niches.

Which made an experience I had yesterday make me think about this.

We're located in Detroit, but almost all of our niche clients are located outside of Detroit.  We travel a lot.  And it looks like I'm going to Russia and possibly China sometime in the next month.

I went yesterday to a place called Passport Health Michigan which I think is a franchise of Passport Health USA.  My partner and one of our staff went there last year for immunizations before a trip to China, and now it was my turn.

What an incredible experience.  I called to make my appointment, and they asked me where I was going.  I arrived a couple of hours later, and they had a spiral bound document for me with all of the information I could possibly need for travelling to Russia and China.  The document included:
  • Recommended immunizations
  • Health issues
  • Travel tips
  • General information about the countries
  • Visa requirements
  • And more
The nurse operating the office was incredibly knowledgeable and helped me make informed decisions about what shots to get.  In case I go to China, I got pills to prevent malaria.  They had diarrhea kits (ok unpleasant subject) but I got some pills just in case.  They also had other kits and travel accessories.  
Essentially, it was a one stop place to find out everything I needed to know before going on these trips.

This is giving me a lot to think about.  We are very good at the niches we focus on.  As auditors, can we be more "one stop" all you need to know like this business?  I haven't figured that one out yet.