Friday, January 9, 2015

CPAs Face Challenge In Early Stage Of Zombie Apocalypse

Originally published on

In my posts on some of the tax proposals, I have expressed concern about lack of Zombie apocalypse awareness evident in some proposals.  My biggest concern is the proposal to eliminate the LIFO method for inventory accounting.  The LIFO method is one of the few things that keeps companies, which would like to run on zero working capital, from totally moving to just in time inventories.  The effect on Zombie apocalypse preparedness is fairly obvious, but worth restating.  After we establish our secure compounds where we can practice subsistence agriculture, we will be sending out scavenging parties.  If the practice of just in time inventories has become widespread, there will be very little for the scavenging parties to bring back. 

It comes as a great comfort to me that although tax writers may not be aware, young CPAs have a chance to see what is coming and gear up.  The website goingconcern recently published a post titled A Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse for Public Accounting Zombies by Adrienne Gonzalez.  Her focus was on the early stage of the outbreak, which, when you reflect, is the most important part for an individual to be thinking about now.  Regardless of how much you prepare, the later stages will require much improvisation.  In the early stage there is a particularly pernicious problem to be faced in public accounting.  As I noted in my piece on the Romney campaign's vetting of possible running mates, public accounting is rich in its supply of IBWGs (Incredibly Boring White Guys).  The problem this presents for the early stage is how do you know for sure that the IBWG in the next cubicle or in the corner office is not actually Patient Zero.  She provides some tips:

Look around your office. Do you see the glazed-over eyes, pale skin and suffering, weak posture of your colleagues? Do not mistake this for a zombie outbreak. These people certainly are zombies but not the brain-eating, flesh-craving kind. Do not under any circumstances approach these people as their listlessness is highly contagious. Wash your hands thoroughly after any contact with these people. Signs of public accounting zombie infection include wearing dusty blue button-up shirts and wrinkled chinos, eating hours and repeatedly doing the same as last year.

 She has some other good tips like knowing where the exits in your office are and sending out interns to make requests of obviously infected clients. Goingconcern is a site that discusses the woes of accountants in the early stages of their career with a focus on the Big Four.  I have a little trouble relating to it, because I have never worked for the Big Four, which to show my age was the Big Eight when I started out.  I grew up in a local firm which after multiple mergers finally propelled me into the national scene at the tender age of 59.  In local firms it is much more like a family, frequently more like the family in Long Days Journey Into Night than the Waltons, but a family nonetheless.

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