Another hit at Going Concern

Seems like accounting news is especially slow this week.  I don’t know if basing a whole full-time website on smutty accounting news was the greatest idea, but I sure respect Going Concern for trying.

Yawn.  Another article about accountants milking their expense accounts.  Yawn.  Another article about CPA exam results.  I think this is like the 11th or 12th article about the CPA exam results this month.  Covered CPA exam scores in seven states so far.  43 to go.  Then the Territories.  Yawn.  Makes me want to switch over to actuarial science or econometrics.

Anyway, my resourceful friends over at Going Concern were looking for something accounting-related to write about, not turning up much, so they decided to write about Freaking Accountant again.

I have to say I feel flattered.  My third mention in Going Concern!  Makes me feel like Senator Charles Schumer, who always seems to get broadcast time on a slow news day. Or the Bride of Wildenstein, who always gets space in the New York Post Gossip Page on a slow news day.  A cheap but reliable means to boost your ratings or circulation or web traffic.

So what do the folks over at Going Concern have to say about Freaking Accountant this month?

Grammatically speaking, not much.  As usual, Adrienne’s rant starts off making no sense whatsoever:

What’s wrong with humiliating accounting firms that provide “services” (which translates into “a bunch of bullshit”) and what about us doing that means we don’t have this vision to make the accounting discussion all that much more interesting?

Apparently, (translated into English) Going Concern feels that it’s appropriate to humiliate accounting firms, questions the need for, or quality of, the services that they provide, and claims that their website can actually make those services seem interesting.  Perhaps “scare quotes” make the services seem interesting.  Yawn.  Maybe a little more text will make this topic seem interesting, now that they made their “point,” they still have another 200 “words” to go:

Personally, I think it’s time to retire the jaded, masochist accountant shtick. “Why would anyone care…?” If you don’t care that much about what you write, then stop doing it. But if you’re genuinely passionate about whatever you’re writing about – even ASCs – that will come across. And I guarantee you there are ASC nerds out there who flock to content like that. Same as there are assholes who only care about money who flock to content like this site’s. It’s not complicated.

It seems like Adrienne (a self-confessed female) and Caleb (a male, I think) feel quite passionate about accounting, but direct their passion by attacking and hating accountants, their firms, and the “profession.”   Passionate enough to use “scare quotes,” cuss words, and passionate enough to call us accounting technicians “ASC nerds.”  Passionate enough to say that accountants who care about money are “assholes.”  Uh, Adrienne, accounting is about money.  That’s what we do.  We count money.  Yawn.

Now, I’m getting the idea that the folks over at Going Concern are beginning to realize that maybe the smutty accounting “news” business is not quite as “interesting” or “profound” as they originally “thought.”  So they are claiming to aspire to a deeper social justice prerogative:

We don’t strive to have the definitive say in the perception of events; Freaking CPA writes about how we frequently seek out bizarre crimes involving CPAs, accountants and financial professionals as if all we care about are the gory details. No, we want to open the conversation. Why is that happening? Why is no one noticing? Who is in charge of stopping it and how?

Emphasis is mine.  That sounds familiar.  Hmmmm.  Could it be a December 2 post RIGHT HERE IN FREAKING ACCOUNTANT:

…I have a distinct vision for Freaking Accountant: Every day accountants are faced with really tough choices, and the web needs an open forum to discuss these choices. Why do smart people make stupid choices that destroy their careers and cost the rest of us a lot of money? Anyone can condemn a convicted felon or point fingers when $1.2 billion dollars goes missing. That’s not what this blog is about. I want to ask why a rich CFO would risk his career to commit a fraud that won’t even amount to a rounding difference on his net worth. I want to dig into these kinds of questions so that we can understand what happened and better prepare ourselves to live and act on our values.

So I’m gratified to see that Going Concern has finally come around to accept that they can actually learn something from Freaking Accountant, and I hope that they are able to use this social justice prerogative to make their little website a lot more interesting and important.

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About Mark P. Holtzman

Chair of Accounting Department at Seton Hall University. PhD from The University of Texas at Austin. Worked at Deloitte's New York Office. BSBA from Hofstra University.

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