Why Accountants Lose Money

EY leaders green light split plan; Bed Bath & Beyond CFO was super stressed before suicide; PwC partners work longer hours than staff; Accountants lose money when they avoid awkward conversations; France catches tax-dodging swimming pool owners with AI

Please note: This is a machine-generated transcript. As such, there will be some spelling and accuracy errors throughout. Thanks!

David Leary: [00:00:00] As a small business owner, I've had my share of accounting, tax, bank feed and app issues. Some could say I'm a mess, kind of like some of your clients. But as I reflect on the last three years of my business, the one app that I've had not any problems with is on pay. It's been set it and forget it payroll. Stay tuned to hear more from our sponsor on pay later in the episode.

David Leary: [00:00:24] In this world. You don't get free money, people. It does not exist. You have to bust your rear and work for money. Like, actually, the only free money there is create a bitcoin scam or crypto scam and you get free money. That's probably the only free money that exists.

Blake Oliver: [00:00:39] I know.

David Leary: [00:00:40] It's a crypto scam... Coming to you weekly from the OnPay Recording Studio, this is the Cloud Accounting Podcast.

Blake Oliver: [00:00:50] Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of the Cloud Accounting Podcast. I'm Blake Oliver.

David Leary: [00:00:56] And I'm David Leary.

Blake Oliver: [00:00:58] And we're trying something new today. David, we are live on LinkedIn. We didn't widely advertise it, so I don't know if anyone will show up. It's more a test of the technology to see if our podcast recording platform can successfully create a live stream.

David Leary: [00:01:15] Creates a lot of pressure. That means we can't do any math because we always have to edit the math out of the podcast. It means I have to. I'm going to just not say people's names because I can't pronounce names half the time. And then if I get a word that I might get stuck on, I'm just going to make up a different word. Nobody will.

Blake Oliver: [00:01:30] Know. Well, you know, I think it's worth it alone just because it creates the time pressure so that we can't take all day to record this episode. So we actually started on time for once and we have a lot to talk about today, so we should probably just get into it and follow our LinkedIn page. If you want to get notified of Future Cloud Accounting podcast, search for that on LinkedIn, follow us and you'll get notified. Hey, and we got a comment from Joshua. I had no idea LinkedIn had this function until I got the notification a minute ago. Jay There we go. So we are at the intersection of accounting and technology, and we have just educated one member of our audience about this new feature. So let's get to our episode. Lots to talk about today, David. We've got Ernst and Young splitting up the firm. We've got Bed, Bath and Beyond CFO. Throwing himself off a 50 story building. How about you?

David Leary: [00:02:28] The Comedy Store. You know, the famous LA Comedy Store? They're suing Moss Adams; the Queen died. I don't know if we have to touch on this, but I feel like accountancy, daily accounting. Today, everybody else seemed to cover the press releases of the Big Four's comments about the Queen. Maybe we're not to say anything past that. Just like that happened. And some stats about who's investing in crypto. Which it's a little disturbing as well.

Blake Oliver: [00:02:54] Eager to hear that and then.

David Leary: [00:02:55] Maybe some avenues we'll get into.

Blake Oliver: [00:02:57] Okay. All right. I actually really want to start with this Bed Bath and Beyond CFO story because yeah, it actually relates to what we were talking about last week with the suicide of that Australia II employee, because I think that's really related to stress. And based on the reporting in the Wall Street Journal, it sounds like that's what happened. Gustavo Arnall was the CFO of Bed, Bath and Beyond. And the short story is that he fell to his death on September 2nd from a Manhattan skyscraper. This is during this really tumultuous period for Bed, Bath and Beyond, where many of the executives in the past few years have been ousted after a failed turnaround effort. And Arnall. He was the CFO who stuck around and he's been leading Bed Bath Beyond from a finance perspective through some pretty tough times. They are closing 150 lower producing stores. They're cutting 20% of jobs across their corporate and supply chain operations.

David Leary: [00:04:00] And so they're a bit of a meme stock right now as well, right?

Blake Oliver: [00:04:04] Yeah. So it's gotten caught up in the meme stock frenzy. And then immediately after he died, there was speculation that this had something to do with the a stock sale that he had scheduled, where I think it was like over $1,000,000 of stock that he sold. And it happened to it happened to happen at the same time as this meme stock frenzy. So he actually made a lot of money and so people. I have been coming after him personally. He's been getting emails from investors and from lawyers about this sale, and at the same time, he's really stressed out, working crazy long hours. So Wall Street Journal went and talked to some folks. I could see the stress on him, said John Zervas, former chief executive of Avon Products, who had dinner with Mr. Arnall and his wife six weeks ago at a rooftop restaurant in Manhattan. Mr. Arnall was upbeat and animated throughout the meal, which stressed past one, which stretched past 1 a.m.. Mr. Ziegfeld said his friend said he was under pressure at work but didn't discuss the details. He's the sort of guy who carries the world on his shoulders, he said.

Blake Oliver: [00:05:08] And there were interviews with people who know him. Other people who said that he was he was overwhelmed. Sue Grove, a board member who had taken over as interim chief executive officer in June, thought Mr. Arnall was overwhelmed but didn't want to replace the finance chief while the embattled retailer was in the midst of raising money. So, like, the short story is that he was overwhelmed. He was working crazy hours. He was telling everybody he was stressed. He was putting in 18 hour days while he worked on the company's restructuring plans. He was getting inundated with these accusations of, you know, insider trading. And it all led to like he lost it, right? He threw himself off of the building where he lived. And like this is a common problem in accounting and finance is like we overwork ourselves and the people around us let us do it. Like, so people knew he was stressed out. They knew he needed a break. He was asking for a break. He wasn't getting one. Like, it's just. This is. Go ahead.

David Leary: [00:06:09] Oh, as you say, like and unfortunately, as the economy gets tighter, I think you're going to see people get more stressed. And obviously financial issues are going on. And then Bed Bath Beyond has not had a smooth arguably two or three years. Right. And I've been like business owners, like your clients. And the this not the only suicide but probably hear about unfortunately over as the economy gets tightened, those external pressures just really start weighing on people because, you know, it's the reality, right? It's very stressful if you lose your business entirely. And then it's different because I don't think with the pandemic there is these rescues coming in. And I don't know if that's going to always be there for businesses going forward. Just from the economy getting tight, I don't know. Yes, it's disturbing and sad.

Blake Oliver: [00:06:55] We need to take care of ourselves as a profession. And I don't maybe there needs to be like a public awareness campaign about the pressure on accounting and finance professionals. Now that we've got this labor shortage, we've got this uncertain economic environment. Like, be kind to your people and don't overwork them. And that relates to some other stuff I want to talk about remote work and quiet quitting later on the episode. But I want to give you the opportunity, David, to talk about something that you saw in the news this.

David Leary: [00:07:26] Week when you read the article is about the stock because I think I saw about him it was like $100,000 trade or something. And you're saying that that was preplanned? It was. There was no funny business there.

Blake Oliver: [00:07:37] Yeah, but I mean, Wall Street Journal is saying no evidence of any wrongdoing. Like he didn't throw it. He didn't kill himself because he was going to get caught for insider trading or something like that. That's what I believe, too.

David Leary: [00:07:50] That it's not tied to him. So did you see maybe the week before I saw so the Chewy founder. You know, Chewy is like the dog delivery service. I think I saw something about because he's into the meme stock thing. So he got into the GameStop game and the other stuff apparently like he bought a bunch of. Bed, Bath and Beyond Stock pumped it up to retail investors and then he cashed out. So within like a 90 day period. He made hundreds of millions of dollars on Bath and Beyond stock. And so I don't know if there's that. Did you see anything like when you're reading the articles or tying the investigation to anything about that pop up?

Blake Oliver: [00:08:27] Well, so Arnold got kind.

David Leary: [00:08:28] Of caught on.

Blake Oliver: [00:08:29] Twitter.

David Leary: [00:08:29] Looks like finding it.

Blake Oliver: [00:08:31] It looks like Arnold got caught up in that because the stock got pumped up and he happened to have the sale when it was being pumped up. But he wasn't involved in any of this meme stock stuff.

David Leary: [00:08:41] Yeah. So, so yeah. He was taking the brunt of the orchestration, even though he didn't, he was just trying to bust his ass and be the.

Blake Oliver: [00:08:47] Yeah. He was getting, he was getting some of the blame, he was just working his butt off and you know, he got blamed for that too. Right. So, hey, I want to give a shout out to Marcus Mira, who is in the chat. Thank you, Marcus, for watching. I appreciate you.

David Leary: [00:09:01] Do you want to talk about the Comedy Store?

Blake Oliver: [00:09:03] Tell me a joke, David.

David Leary: [00:09:04] You're in LA. You're in Hollywood like your scene. So the Comedy Store is suing Moss Adams because they claim that they missed out on $8.5 million of COVID relief funds.

Blake Oliver: [00:09:17] So Ms.. Adams, the accounting firm, is getting sued by the Comedy Store. The big they're like the biggest chain. Right. Or one of them in.

David Leary: [00:09:24] That's correct. So apparently because of COVID, they weren't open. They had lost 90% of their business. This article is talking about the Los Angeles Times. The article doesn't have very specific timeline dates, but it kind of does. And that's what's very confusing about this because. We were, what, April of 2020 pandemic really started?

Blake Oliver: [00:09:45] Yeah.

David Leary: [00:09:45] So apparently at some point in this process, the internal controller or the temporary acting controller of the Comedy Store, Harold Breslow, and the chief executive, Peter Shaw, this they determine like, hey, we're eligible for some funds. And then they needed help to navigate the application process. So they contact Ms.. Adams in July of 2021. I don't know what they were doing for the rest of the pandemic, but sometime in July of 2021, they reached out to Ms.. Adams. Ms.. Adams kind of punted them like, Hey, we got we got our SBA guy, right? I'm not going to say the name. So it's an accountant that Ms.. Adams, the expert in all things SBA who handles these loans in this paperwork. So then apparently somewhere between this conversation in July and the deadline of I'm assuming it was August 31st, I don't know what the exact deadline was, but August in 2021, there was a deadline. Maybe this is the what's the shuttered venues grant? Maybe that's what shut down then.

Blake Oliver: [00:10:51] Yeah I, I don't remember there were we were talking about that. Yeah. It was a deadline for that.

David Leary: [00:10:55] So, so they're alleging that the day after they discussed their application with Ms.. Adams and they went to submit it, they found out the program has already been closed. So it's just really strange how they're blaming Ms.. Adams for God knows what they were doing for 19 months and they wait until like the last day to turn in their application, and then they found out that thing was closed, I guess. So they're claiming that this is because. Ms.. Adams. Had gross negligence and did not tell them about the date, the filing date.

Blake Oliver: [00:11:26] Oh, so Ms.. Adams was already there accounting firm. And they're saying they should have told us. They should have warned us.

David Leary: [00:11:32] It's not clear that they were actually there firm. It's clear that they reached out to Ms.. Adams to help them with the application process, but it's not even clear that they were there. Ongoing accounting firm.

Blake Oliver: [00:11:43] Interesting. Well, good reason to always have plenty of liability insurance there, because clients can and will. Even clients can't and will sue you.

David Leary: [00:11:54] If they're saying they misrepresented their expertise and knowledge about the relief programs. Because the interest rate, the date, it's it's really weird like that. This was even filed.

Blake Oliver: [00:12:04] Yeah.

David Leary: [00:12:05] I don't know how it's going to play out, but I cannot imagine there's a real case here. This episode of The Cloud Accounting Podcast is sponsored by Canopy. Did you know that Canopy has a partnership with the IRS? This means that you can now use Canopy to pull your client transcripts. The integration is approved by the IRS and can be configured to automatically pull transcripts. You can easily monitor if and when something changes. Now here's the best part. Once you have your clients transcripts, you can use Canopy's notice feature to help you resolve your clients notices. Canopy has a library of 350 plus pre-built federal and state notice templates that provide an overview of the notice type as well as walk you through the recommended steps to resolution and Canopy can even create an autofill your IRS response letters. Canopy also integrates with QuickBooks Online, Xero FreshBooks Crm's Form Builder, spreadsheets, calendars, email and Zapier. They even have a mobile app centralized file management filled with PDFs, a client portal, task management, and the list goes on and on. To get a demo of Canopy and to receive a $40 Amazon gift card. Head over to Cloudaccountingpodcast.com promo slash canopy. That is Cloudaccountingpodcast.com promo forward slash canopy. Why?

Blake Oliver: [00:13:22] Well, my next big story is Ernst and Young. Well, they're not called that anymore. Why has green lit? The leadership has greenlit the split between audit and consulting, and now it's going to be put to a vote of the 13,000 global partners. The partners are expecting multimillion dollar payouts from the split to pay for it. E y is going to raise $11 billion in a public sale of a 15% stake in the consulting company, which will also borrow some $18 million. A large portion of that money that they're going to borrow will be used to pay partners as well. The CEO of or is the managing partner CEO anyway? The head of E y de Sibiu is Carmen de Sabio is going to potentially make tens of millions of dollars from the deal. And yeah, it's getting tons of coverage in The Wall Street Journal and the.

David Leary: [00:14:18] News the Senate vote. And it's like, would you like a few million dollar check? And they say, yes, it's that kind of how they're going to present this to the partner. I mean, who's going to vote against this?

Blake Oliver: [00:14:27] Yeah, I feel like. Well, and that goes to why are they doing this right? Like, who benefits from this? Why are they doing this? Carmen to Silvio. He's the global chairman and chief executive. Got it. He said, quote, This is something that will change the industry, unquote. Now, Deloitte, KPMG, TWC, they aren't going to do this. They say they plan to keep audit and consulting together. And I have to say I'm cynical about this change in the industry because this has happened before. We've seen audit firms, build up consulting practices and spin them out. That happened with Arthur Andersen and Accenture. And, you know, the cynic in me also says, well, does this have anything to do with the failed audits that E has been associated with globally over the last few years? We have covered.

David Leary: [00:15:17] This kind of break up, like that threat of.

Blake Oliver: [00:15:20] Breaking the threat of break up anyway. Right. And they audited wirecard massive fraud. They audited luckin coffee in China. Massive fraud. So is this is this potentially like a way for the consulting partners to get away from that liability? Carmen Decidio says No, that had nothing to do with it. Who knows? But, like, it's not going to change anything, right? Because this has happened before. Audit firms, build up consulting practices. Then they spin them off and they cash out and then they can do it again. There's nothing to stop them from doing it again.

David Leary: [00:15:49] Yeah, this is a cycle. I think Caleb Norquist informed us of that. Right? It's like the cycle, the way it goes, the pendulum swings the worst, you drop it and then they pull out it back in. And we're just on that part of the cycle. The cash out part of the cycle again.

Blake Oliver: [00:16:02] Yep. The people who win are the partners who get the payouts. The people who lose are the people who are not yet partner, who have been trying to make partner for years. And now they're not going to get that payout. Right. That's the cash that has now been paid out to the partners and that opportunity has gone for them.

David Leary: [00:16:18] I have an article here that I'm going to read you a quote, and then you tell me where you think this person works at.

Blake Oliver: [00:16:26] Okay.

David Leary: [00:16:27] Here's the quote. Tell me who they are and where they work or what their profession is. I'm usually able to get a few hours of sleep nightly when I'm at work, but I have had days where I've gone 24 hours without sleep. If I choose to, I can tell the shift manager that I'm too tired to work and she'll let me take time off to sleep. What is the profession and.

Blake Oliver: [00:16:48] Shifts manager at work. Well, it's. I don't know. Could it be like an Amazon warehouse?

David Leary: [00:16:57] That's impossible.

Blake Oliver: [00:16:58] Or an ER.

David Leary: [00:17:00] But I wouldn't have brought the story if it wasn't a Charlton involved here. Yeah. Yeah. So this is not an accountant, it's an it's a former accountant. So Ariela Ganja is 36. She spent the majority of her twenties working as an accountant earning just $43,000 a year. But now, three years ago, she now started working at the brothel in Nevada, where she works two weeks a month at the Chicken Ranch. But she now makes $300,000 a year after ditching her accounting career.

Blake Oliver: [00:17:30] And how many days? A week?

David Leary: [00:17:32] How many days? 100,000 a year. Working two weeks. But she's on call for 24 hours a day. During those two weeks.

Blake Oliver: [00:17:38] Yeah, but still.

David Leary: [00:17:39] It's I don't I thought it was interesting that, like, wow, the hours can sound kind of similar as an accounting firm. Hours.

Blake Oliver: [00:17:46] Yeah, but only your busy season is only two weeks a year.

David Leary: [00:17:50] That's true. This is two weeks every month. But it really the headline was like, I'll read the headline straight out. I was I didn't want to start the headline, but sex worker makes 300,000 a year after ditching accounting career for a work in a brothel.

Blake Oliver: [00:18:01] That's amazing. And where was she? She working?

David Leary: [00:18:04] It's called the Chicken Ranch.

Blake Oliver: [00:18:05] No, I know, but what a firm she had.

David Leary: [00:18:07] Oh, it did not say that. Oh, those details are in there, because I don't think.

Blake Oliver: [00:18:11] She'd go on, go on her LinkedIn and find out where she was.

David Leary: [00:18:14] Working. I'm not going on her LinkedIn. Her only fans page.

Blake Oliver: [00:18:18] There you go.

David Leary: [00:18:19] Let's see. Article Yeah, it does not say which firm she was at, but again, it's this like, how do we can't keep anybody in the county?

Blake Oliver: [00:18:25] That's right. I'm going to go back to some follow up to our story last week about the UI staffer in Australia who died after going to a work event, coming back to work, killed herself, had two, two suicides. Now that we're talking about going concern is reporting that UI staffers feel left in the dark after the death of their colleague last weekend. That's the headline. Apparently, UI has only sent out one email about it and it really hasn't given them any information. News.com.au AEW understands that since Sunday mornings, tragedy staff have only received one email which stated that a team member had died at the Sydney building over the weekend during a prescheduled firmwide meeting on Wednesday. Employees say the women's death was not addressed. They brushed over the incident at the start of the call and then went on to talk about the why, merger or demerger for the remaining 50 minutes. One employee told the anonymous social media page Aussie Corporate. Another current staffer said There's a black cloud looming over UI and it's been so odd because people are skirting around the event. They're either saying it's so sad or just aren't addressing it at all. And I think at this point UI has actually spent more words addressing the death of the queen.

David Leary: [00:19:33] I was just going to I just pulled that quote up. Yes.

Blake Oliver: [00:19:35] Their own employee.

David Leary: [00:19:36] Say, like, that's interesting. They did a whole quote about the death of the queen, but not their actually employee.

Blake Oliver: [00:19:41] Not their own employee. Yeah. Goes to, you know, like priorities, guys, right? Kpmg is in the news. I'm going to stick with the Big Four since we're there. But KPMG has been accused of an appalling audit that allowed a US listed Chinese biotechnology company to carry out a brazen 400 million accounting fraud. The Hong Kong High Court has this case now. What did they fail to do is the question here. And we know from our coverage of Wirecard and Luckin coffee that sometimes there are some obvious things that auditors don't do, like confirm bank account balances.

David Leary: [00:20:17] Get bank statements, get bank statements.

Blake Oliver: [00:20:20] This is according to the liquidator of China Medical Technologies. They said that the that KPMG failed to question a large related party transaction by the group, this technology company in 2006, when it acquired a Chinese diagnostics business worth $155,000 for $176 million. So they acquired a business worth 155,000, allegedly for 176 million. And KPMG didn't question that. And they are suing KPMG on the grounds that its losses at China Medical flowed from its negligent audit work, which gave the company accounts a clean bill of health in 2007 and 2008. It's asking for as much as $454 million to cover allegedly misappropriated cash and dividends that were paid out to shareholders while the company was operating under a negligent audit plus interest.

David Leary: [00:21:17] Who is suing.

Blake Oliver: [00:21:18] Them? So it's the liquidator of liquidators. Bankrupt company. Yeah.

David Leary: [00:21:23] Yeah. So the creditors, everybody. Yeah, yeah. So the liquidators like, hey, why you didn't help protect the investors and job of the auditor.

Blake Oliver: [00:21:32] This is common, right? Like if a company goes under for fraud, who do you go after? If the auditors didn't ask, didn't do their due diligence and.

David Leary: [00:21:42] Companies to have 20 to 30 to $40 billion of revenue a year.

Blake Oliver: [00:21:45] Exactly. Well, and I.

David Leary: [00:21:47] Was with them in the lawsuit.

Blake Oliver: [00:21:49] I was reading I don't know if it was a comment on this story or another story. I think it was a different story, but it was basically somebody saying that like the big four audit firms are essentially like insurance companies in that they will they buy their own insurance. Right. And then if a company goes bankrupt and is due to like an audit, it's related to an audit failure, you know, and the auditors failed then like they just get a big payout from the insurance company that ensures the audit firm. So, so like as long as, like the incentive is if you're if you're an auditor, right. A big for auditor, it's like to do a good enough job where your liability is not going to be bigger than your insurance policy, which is a very like it can be a very low bar. Right. And that's I think part of the reason why audit quality is so poor in a lot of cases. Like it's just do the bare minimum is how we incentivize things here.

David Leary: [00:22:39] Do you have any more Big Four?

Blake Oliver: [00:22:41] The PCAOB, the auditors of the auditors said that the overall quality of broker dealer audits improved in 2021, but the they see room for improvement. Lesson this of 92 broker dealer audits reviewed in the PCAOB annual report. 49% had identified deficiencies. But hey, that's an improvement because it's down from 61% in 2020. So just about half of these broker dealer audits had deficiencies.

David Leary: [00:23:09] It's an improvement.

Blake Oliver: [00:23:10] It's an improvement. And meanwhile, I had something about how TWC actually released some internal data on their own audits. Yeah. They, they see their own audit quality improving. They actually reported. And now, of course, it's reporting on itself. They said that they had a 100% internal inspection compliance rate last year and 99.3% of its reports on internal controls over financial reporting were not reissued or withdrawn. So, hey, that's a lot better than when.

David Leary: [00:23:43] So that's like a marketing pressure release then.

Blake Oliver: [00:23:44] This is why.

David Leary: [00:23:45] Yeah, like it's like, look how good we are.

Blake Oliver: [00:23:47] Yeah. Look how high quality our audits are. So only one of their 52 audits reviewed in 2020 by PCAOB had part one a deficiencies and then audits.

David Leary: [00:23:57] Would you say they do a year in.

Blake Oliver: [00:23:59] General, so they audit 700 SEC registrants and it.

David Leary: [00:24:03] Represents PKO PCAOB only reviewing a small percentage of those.

Blake Oliver: [00:24:08] Yeah. So they PCAOB looked at 52 in 2020 and 60 the year before. Now the year before, 18 out of the.

David Leary: [00:24:16] 600 could be total crap and they kind of just got lucky. Like we don't know.

Blake Oliver: [00:24:21] Yeah. I mean, theoretically, right. If it's a sample, it's a then, you know, like, that's really good, right? If only one in 52 had deficiencies. But there was something interesting in this story. So this was on accounting today. And the ABC also released some other information. They say that they have been making efforts to expand diversity in the firm. 48% of the employees are women now. 39% are racially and ethnically diverse individuals. But among partners, 24% are women and 18% are racially and ethnically diverse. So I guess that's better because I think in the past it was like 20% women partners, now it's 24%, but still only 18% racially and ethnically diverse.

David Leary: [00:24:59] It's a long way, decade plus 20 years to changes.

Blake Oliver: [00:25:03] And then there's also something here about how many hours they're working. So remember how we talked last week about how audit partners are working like a lot?

David Leary: [00:25:13] Because the partners used to not work. They'd be on their boat and all the employees be working. And now why become a partner if I'm I have to still work so much.

Blake Oliver: [00:25:21] Right. And that was a listener who wrote a message. And he was a former Andersen partner. And he said that's part of the reason, like people don't want to, you know, do the career path anymore. Is it? It used to be like partners, had good work life balance. Now they actually work more. And that's what this says from TWC. This report says that partners and managing directors are putting in an average of 349 annual hours in excess of 40 hours per week. But like everybody below them, it's less. Directors and managers work 295 excess hours, senior associates work an extra 256 hours, and associates work another 220 hours on average. So, it's actually like backwards the way it should be.

David Leary: [00:26:04] And not, what, almost an hour a day?

Blake Oliver: [00:26:06] Well, now now, here's the thing, though. When you're collecting timesheet data, you've got to you've got to understand, like, are they actually reporting all the hours or are they eating the hours?

David Leary: [00:26:14] Right. So, so it really rounds.

Blake Oliver: [00:26:16] Down, right? So, like, it's probably way more than this, right? Because people always eat hours. Like that's the biggest problem in accounting with timesheets is people eat hours, not that they build extra. And so, like I don't know if I trust this, but it does seem to support this idea that partners in managing directors don't have the work life balance you might expect. Like if you work that hard to get to that point, like, why are you working so many hours? So anyway, it.

David Leary: [00:26:40] Seems like if it's a big for firm, I want to recruit younger accountants to come work for my firm. I'd figure out how to get the partners bragging about how they only work 30 hours a week. Yeah, that would really give people like, I want to work for that firm one day.

Blake Oliver: [00:26:51] Yeah, right. Or I want to become I want to do the partner track. Right. Anyway, they say that they're investing $1,000,000,000 on automation technology. Well, they call it the next generation of auditing to hopefully, I guess, improve that.

David Leary: [00:27:09] This episode of The Cloud Accounting Podcast is sponsored by ANP. Anp is built for accountants, and with 30 plus years of payroll experience, they can be the payroll partner you can always rely on. They offer a dashboard to manage all your clients in one place. When I say manage, I probably should say balance. That fine line between control and delegation on pay lets you keep 100% control. You can delegate payroll to someone at your firm or hand off payroll duties to your client. But no matter who runs, payroll on PAYE always takes care of all tax payments and filings, even local filings and with integrations, with QuickBooks Online, Xero and QuickBooks Desktop, you can use on PAYE across your entire client base, regardless of the accounting goal they're using on pace. Partner Program offers free payroll for your firm discounts or a rev share and a dedicated support team of in-house payroll. Experts will do all the heavy lifting from setting up your dashboard to adding your clients and their employees. They'll even enter any prior wages to make it easy to switch. If you're looking for a great product with great support to match, check out on pay. Learn more about switching your clients to the award winning on PAYE payroll and HR.

David Leary: [00:28:10] Head over to Cloudaccountingpodcast.com promo slash n pay that is cloudaccountingpodcast.com promo forego and P a y on pay switch to better payroll. I have the crypto thing related thing. This comes out of a report that was done by payments dot com and bitpay. Bitpay is you can. Take care if I have a website people want to buy a blockchain podcast shirt they could pay with bitcoin through Bitpay is kind of a service, the shopping cart service. They have some survey which has a ridiculous name paying. With cryptocurrency you can crypto it, check out become a profit center for merchants. That doesn't matter, but they have some interesting data in here about the average consumer and what they have, and they bucketed them into three buckets. You have people that do not live paycheck to paycheck. You have people that live paycheck to paycheck but are comfortable. And then you have people that lived paycheck to paycheck but have great difficulty. They have difficulty. And what they've discovered through this is people that are paycheck to paycheck are the most willing to invest in crypto.

Blake Oliver: [00:29:15] That seems like it should be the opposite.

David Leary: [00:29:18] Yes. And so crypto's accounting for people that are paycheck to paycheck, it's accounting for there are not paycheck to paycheck. It's 2.1% of the portfolios people that are paycheck to paycheck, but they're comfortable with it. It's 2.3%. But people that are having difficulties paycheck to paycheck, they have 3.6% of their portfolio in crypto.

Blake Oliver: [00:29:42] Oh man.

David Leary: [00:29:43] And that's all just kind of proves like these. And we've talked about this months ago, but the whole crypto Ponzi scheme versus other Ponzi schemes, if you think about Bernie Madoff, he went after the rich people.

Blake Oliver: [00:29:53] Yeah.

David Leary: [00:29:54] Right. This Ponzi scheme is targeting the lowest of the financial ladder.

Blake Oliver: [00:29:59] Yeah. That's, I think what's worst about it. Yeah. Yeah. And it's so easy. It's so easy. And we saw that in a story on cointelegraph dot com. The headline is far too easy. Crypto research is fake Ponzi raises 100,000 in hours. So, this crypto researcher whose username is Fat Man Tara, he set up a fake investment scheme as an experiment and to teach people a lesson about blindly following the investment advice of influencers. He has an account on Twitter with over 100,000 followers, and he told his followers on September 5th that he had, quote, received access to a high yield BTC farm, unquote, by an unnamed fund, and said that people could message him if they wanted in on the yield farming opportunity. And there were a ton of people calling this out on Twitter as a scam. But then he still managed to raise $100,000 worth of BTC Bitcoin from the initial post on Twitter and on discord within a span of 2 hours. And then of course, he returned the money and he told everyone, Guys, you just got scammed. But he says he says, quote, This is his Twitter post. Quote, I want to send a clear, strong message to everyone in the crypto world. Anyone offering to hand you free money is lying. It simply doesn't exist. Your favorite influencer selling you quick money, trading coaching or offering a golden investment opportunity is scamming you. We live in unfortunate times, brazen and dox. Grifters like dogecoin roam free scamming people constantly. 99% of crypto projects are scams designed to enrich their founders and bless their hearts. Crypto brokers are far too gullible and trusting for their own good in this.

David Leary: [00:31:48] This friend is for clients. Yes, your bank account might be paying you under 1% interest if it's paying you interest at all.

Blake Oliver: [00:31:53] Yeah.

David Leary: [00:31:54] Yes. You could get in the market. It's great. Maybe every seven years you could double your money, but to just get 10% under cash guaranteed. I got actually a LinkedIn guy send an email to me about investing and his pitch was You're only getting less than 1% your bank account. But if you invest in this and the money can be held in defi crypto or whatever, whatever the fee is selling me 89% return.

Blake Oliver: [00:32:18] We're live.

David Leary: [00:32:18] David is that return for live so but 89 I might you don't in this world you don't get free money people it does not exist. You have to bust your rear and work for money like actually deal with free money. There is is create a bitcoin scam or a crypto scam and you get free money. That's probably the only free money that exists.

Blake Oliver: [00:32:37] I know.

David Leary: [00:32:38] A crypto scam.

Blake Oliver: [00:32:39] But unfortunately. We see people doing this, getting into this, and Joshua, who's on the livestream, said, Unfortunately, I saw two CPAs joining the scam trend specifically with highly questionable tax return tactics. And I think it's up to us as accountants to help protect our clients. Right. And that's one thing that we can do is educate them about this stuff. Right. Like you said, David, if the return if the yield is too good to be true, it is too good to be true. True. That's every Ponzi scheme, right? They all have yields that are just completely unrealistic.

David Leary: [00:33:16] And then and arguably, like at the highest levels of our profession, the CPA has helped push crypto. Oh yeah. Down people's throats. And they have people speaking to people with huge holdings in crypto that are constantly saying how great crypto is.

Blake Oliver: [00:33:33] Yeah. And partnering with crypto companies. Right. To create products to sell.

David Leary: [00:33:39] I mean, I haven't seen a CPA come out and say, we advise you to advise your clients to stop buying crypto. Like there is no statement of that now, you know? So, I don't know.

Blake Oliver: [00:33:51] It's crazy. And meanwhile it's weird because even though Gary Gensler recently wrote, he wrote an op ed on Wall Street Journal talking about how the SEC treats crypto like the rest of the capital markets, and basically saying that his his main point was if it looks like a security and it talks like a security and it walks like a security, it is a security. That's what he said in this Wall Street Journal article.

David Leary: [00:34:18] That's that test. I forgot what that test is called.

Blake Oliver: [00:34:21] Well, he's.

David Leary: [00:34:22] Basically put about it once.

Blake Oliver: [00:34:23] There was one that, you know, the test that came out like long after the SEC was established or not, I mean, back in the, what, thirties, forties, fifties. There's that test. But he's basically broadening it. He's saying like, look, that test, you know, that's old. If if what you're selling is like a security, then if it's marketed like a security, then it is a security, essentially. But the thing is, the SEC doesn't have like the the the power they don't have the teeth to enforce this stuff. They can only go after the biggest players. So, they've gone after, you know, blockfi. It looks like they are going after Coinbase. But again, it's so easy to set up a crypto scam, so easy to set up an exchange. They can be beyond U.S. borders like there's there's they just don't even have the capacity, the ability to stop this stuff. But meanwhile, you have people in Congress, you know, who are like opposing any additional regulation on this stuff. And so, I think the scams are going to continue for a long time. Right. And I don't know, maybe the public will just eventually educate itself or buy but I don't know.

David Leary: [00:35:24] I feel like there are just stories of people losing large amounts. Right. 20 grand. 30 grand, 100 grand, their kid's college education, whatever it might be. But I feel a lot of this grift is they took somebody for 500 or 500 a year or 500 a year, and it all starts to add up. So, like, nobody's getting screwed enough, but they're all getting screwed a little bit. And that's just that's up. And nobody's going to defend a bunch of people that got taken for 500 bucks.

Blake Oliver: [00:35:52] That's right. Where do we go from here? I got a listener email to read.

David Leary: [00:35:59] That's a good transition you've got, man.

Blake Oliver: [00:36:06] There you go. Time for our listener mail segment. Ron Baker emailed us. Hi, Blake. Just listen to your recent show. I agree with your dad. Ppp and student loan forgiveness are apples and oranges. Ppp was lawfully and duly passed by Congress, the only branch that can authorize the spending of money per the Constitution. Student loan relief was done via executive decision, which the president does not have authority to do. Even his own DOE and Nancy Pelosi said this I think it's an impeachable offense. And yes, I thought the same thing when Trump found the 6 billion to spend on the wall from the defense budget. But 400 billion is quite a bit more than 6 billion. But that doesn't really matter. Stealing ten is not better than stealing 100. Ppp was in effect, recompense for a government takings Fifth Amendment for shutting down businesses. Student loans was a payoff to an interest group. But I also agree with you, both programs were awful and the federal government has no business doing either. Have a great Labor Day, Ron, so I'm so honored. Thank you, Ron, for writing in. Thank you for your thoughts.

David Leary: [00:37:10] Thanks for.

Blake Oliver: [00:37:10] Listening. Thank you for listening. Yeah. So, so like that is something we didn't discuss about the student loan forgiveness is like whether or not this is even legal. And I do find it kind of crazy that like that is legal. Like I feel like it can't be right. How the executive does not have the power of the purse. That's Congress. Congress has that. And so, like, I don't think that the Biden administration should be able to do this right. And Congress authorized PPP they didn't authorize student loan forgiveness. So, like, if this goes through, that's just ridiculous. Right. But I do think that most voters will not understand the difference between PGP being intended to pay back businesses for shutdowns versus like student loan forgiveness. Not being that way because all they see is they see money, lots of money that went to certain groups. And that's what is basically happening here. It's like blatant, you know, interest group handouts. And PPP, as we said in the show, it was intended it was intended to do what it did. But really what ended up happening is and I think a lot of us know many stories of people who got PGP Money, who didn't need it, and then they used it to their benefit. Right. Like and we saw this in the capital markets. When stock prices go up, people take their PPP money, they invest it. Right. The prices go up. Inflation goes up. Right, like. There was more PPP money than was needed, and we can debate whether or not that was good or bad. And, you know, it probably would have been worse if we hadn't done it and all that stuff. But like, it's just what happened and it's the perception of it, not the reality of it that matters in politics.

David Leary: [00:38:44] Yeah, I guess I can agree on this argument that it's not the executive branch's decision on this. It was an overreach of power. But I think like just the spirit of it, like I'm kind of at the point like I don't really care. Like, the airlines got theirs before the airlines will get it again. The auto industry got bailed out like. But at this point, like, who cares? Again, kind of what I said in that episode is like, why not the fraudsters? We should have fraudster forgiveness. Like, we should just let everybody everybody's getting their piece. Yeah, it's like, who cares? Like, who cares? That's kind of my opinion on this. This episode of The Cloud Accounting Podcast is sponsored by FreshBooks. I was on the FreshBooks website this week and saw this blog post. Five FreshBooks Features Accountants Love. So I figured let's share it with The Cloud Accounting Podcast audience. So without further ado. Number one In-App estimates and proposals. With deep customization, you can create bespoke proposals for clients and even capture their e-signatures. Number two Pre-populated chart of accounts help you cut down on your setup times, and it helps clients feel confident when classifying their expenses. Three App Integrations Square Dropbox, HubSpot, G Suite, Gusto and Zoom. Time tracking allows your clients to take charge of their own time tracking payroll and make invoicing a breeze. Check out links you can require and collect payments up front to eliminate the need to chase clients that owe you money. If you want to learn about the benefits of working better together with FreshBooks, head over to Cloudaccountingpodcast.com. Promo FreshBooks. That is Cloudaccountingpodcast.com. Promo for Freeze HBO case.

Blake Oliver: [00:40:27] So we go to App News.

David Leary: [00:40:29] Yeah. So try it. You're familiar with trying to refuse them or it seems like if you work at enough company, somebody is doing trying it and you get paid by trying it.

Blake Oliver: [00:40:43] Yeah, I've been a tri net employee or they have been my employer of record.

David Leary: [00:40:48] They acquire lots of companies. They're big. It's a little. My opinion of them, it's a little disconnected of an experience. But when you have the foothold that they have, you have the ear of the small businesses and the small business owners. So they've made a purchase are purchasing Claris R&D. Claris is one of those fintech companies that automates the R&D tax credit process for us and bees and then takes a percentage of the off the top. Oh yeah. They kind of if try not already have some payroll data and they mixing them with Claris, they're going to proactively probably be pushing this onto every small business owner they have. And I'm still mixed on the whole R&D tax credit thing because it does feel like I'm not saying it scammy, but like I saw TV commercials on this now.

Blake Oliver: [00:41:33] Oh, yeah.

David Leary: [00:41:34] Oh yeah. It's like, call us. You have this money just sitting here, free money and it's it's turned into the and you just said in the new Inflation Reduction Act, they've raised the amount you even get on this. So we're going to see even more of this this push on small businesses to apply for this.

Blake Oliver: [00:41:50] Yeah, yeah. We actually got a voicemail from an R&D tax credit shop. I would love to play that for you.

David Leary: [00:41:57] Like a sales. A sales.

Blake Oliver: [00:41:58] Yeah. Yeah. It's amazing. I mean, I'm sure a lot of people have gotten these now. Right. So let's see if I can I don't know if this will work. I'm going to try to play it. It's an M4A file and I don't know if my our platform is going to let us do it.

David Leary: [00:42:12] Maybe we'll Lutsen with that. I can't see the chat, but if you're watching this live, have you been targeted or you're you're seeing a huge amount of marketing around the R&D credit?

Blake Oliver: [00:42:21] I just think that there's a lot of legit R&D tax credit shops and then there's a lot of illegitimate ones that are just putting these applications together using shoddy data and they're getting a piece of it and there's billions and billions of dollars.

David Leary: [00:42:35] Payable on this. Is it going to be the small business owner who they thought they were working with, an expert, and then the small business owner, the one who's going to get in trouble for this if it's questionable or is it the company? Should your should the accountants getting it be in the middle on this.

Blake Oliver: [00:42:51] If you ever get audited? That's the thing, though, right? The IRS doesn't have the resources or at least a historically hasn't had the resources to audit. So nobody's getting audited. It's you know, your odds are.

David Leary: [00:43:03] Very the next big. We're going to discover tons of fraud in this like three years down the road. Like, is this the net? It feels like there's just too many companies getting into it too fast. Yeah, and there's too much marketing the the free money. It's a really big market as, as free money. Free money, money, money. Yeah. Which is the this is how Ponzi schemes work, right. Yeah. Is this a this going to be the next big fraud discovery? It's two years from now.

Blake Oliver: [00:43:27] It's just like when when the rate of return that you're promised is too high to be true. It's not right. Just it's the same idea. And when when you see all these firms cropping up doing aggressive marketing and promising things that aren't possible, then that means there's going to be fraud. Like it's a it's a smoking it's not a smoking gun. It's it's something like that that comes before it. Right? It's the canary in the coal mine, if you will.

David Leary: [00:43:59] So should we be going for this? Because, like, I'm building out software that's being built here in the US. Yeah, it's new, new, new functionality being invented by us for the earmark, for your my part to earmark media. Yeah, right.

Blake Oliver: [00:44:12] Like we probably should.

David Leary: [00:44:13] Be applying for this.

Blake Oliver: [00:44:14] Probably. Well, I'll have to look into it.

David Leary: [00:44:17] Free money, but like we should be. This episode is sponsored by R&D Tax Credit Returned.

Blake Oliver: [00:44:24] Well, speaking of marketing offers that are too good to be true, did you hear about Credit Karma? Credit Karma?

David Leary: [00:44:30] I saw some some blurb fly by. What happened there?

Blake Oliver: [00:44:32] Also, Credit Karma is owned by Intuit. So we like to talk about it. Right. The FTC has ordered Credit Karma to pay its users $3 Million because it was telling people in marketing messages that you're preapproved when they clearly were not and then they were subsequently denied following a credit check. So apparently Credit Karma is saying that, you know, they're denying the allegations, but we're settling it just to be done with it. And only 1500 people have ever contacted us stemming from anything related to this. But that to me seems like a lot, right? Because if 1500 people bothered to contact you, how many people were harmed? It probably is 100 times more, right?

David Leary: [00:45:10] Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:45:10] So just an.

David Leary: [00:45:11] Example of one. Yeah, at least one if not 100 to 1. Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:45:14] But the thing is, like the penalty for this, right. Is, is probably like a rounding error for credit karma. So, you know, this is this is just aggressive marketing, right. Same thing with. Yeah, go ahead.

David Leary: [00:45:24] So I look at this and I'm like, what's the game here? Right. Because at some level, some part of me is like, this is why I don't believe in like big data. It's all bullshit. Like, this is why you see the same Facebook ads for something you already bought. It's just the big data game because in theory, credit, karma, intuit. Have all this information, all this big data. If anybody knows if you're going to be approved for a credit card or not, it should be credit karma at this point, right? They should be experts at this. Yeah. So so that's weird. So then the question is, why do they get a kickback from the credit? Credit card companies like like a lead. Like, hey, for everybody who applies, we kick you back $100. Like, why did this happen? It just doesn't make sense to me.

Blake Oliver: [00:46:06] Good questions that.

David Leary: [00:46:08] We don't have time. And I agree that answer 3 million seems kind of low. Yeah, because that's who's going to stop doing this. Yeah. And they settled for that. So they must have made 100 million from the credit card companies.

Blake Oliver: [00:46:20] That's probably right. Here's a story that caught my attention. Accountants try to avoid awkward conversations with clients and it cost them. And I'm putting this in the app news segment because it's a survey. It's the results of a survey by Ignition, the practice management software provider who partnered with YouGov. They polled 506 decision makers in accounting and bookkeeping firms, but with between one and 50 employees. And there's some interesting data here about awkward conversations. Nearly all 94% of the accountants and bookkeepers said they have encountered an awkward client situation in their practice, including 94% having to chase clients for late payments. In addition, 90% indicated they have clients who are not being billed for out of scope work, with 43% of respondents saying their firm just absorbs these costs and work, while 88% experienced clients being sent proposals or engagement letters with errors 2 to 3 times a month on average. And 88% of the respondents in the US said they admit to delaying or avoiding an awkward conversation with a client in order to improve or maintain the client relationship commonly. A lot of them are worried about the client's negative response or reaction, like 39%, almost a third over a third lack the information needed about the agreed upon scope. And then 34% admit that they lack the skills to negotiate with clients, so they just avoid talking to them. And then this is the number that really shocked me is like the amount who admit to writing off invoices due to avoiding conversations. 38% 38% of Accountants and bookkeepers say they've just written off an invoice so that they didn't have to have an awkward conversation with a client. And that's in the past 12 months.

David Leary: [00:48:12] So it feels like like a lot of this, if you have your ducks in order, you have a good process. You're you're sent out quotes, you have a way, you're collecting payments. Or if you're you're on a monthly plan, you're doing auto withdrawal. If you have a system in place, you're going to normally naturally have a lot less awkward situations to have awkward conversations about, and you shouldn't have to write off as much. So but yeah, is this like an indication of people just not running their friends very well? This is not this is not a reflection of people's skill sets to have these conversations. It's like people just don't run their firms.

Blake Oliver: [00:48:43] Well. Well, Brian Strike said 38% is too low. He thinks it's higher. You know, here's my recommendation is hire somebody in your firm who likes having awkward conversations, right? We CPAs, accounts and bookkeepers. We shouldn't be doing this because we like to be the caretakers. We don't want to have those difficult conversations. So, like, get somebody in your firm who's not on this wavelength and who likes to be aggressive and get them.

David Leary: [00:49:10] To do it. A rainmaker and an undertaker.

Blake Oliver: [00:49:13] That's an undertaker. I like the.

David Leary: [00:49:15] Undertaker.

Blake Oliver: [00:49:16] Finders, minders, grinders and undertakers. Yeah. You need somebody who can do that. And, you know, like, maybe you can find, like, a good admin person who is happy to do collections work. I honestly think that's like one of the things that really I mean, ideally you avoid having collections in the first place, but you're always going to have conversations about that. And yeah, one of the, one of the good pieces of advice I've heard many times is like especially with pricing, because we tend to be too nice, it's get somebody else to do your pricing or at least to validate it.

David Leary: [00:49:46] And if Rob Baker said that, get your get your spouse to yes. Price your.

Blake Oliver: [00:49:50] Time. Right. So if you're solo, right, who do you do? Like who do who who looks at your pricing, get your spouse to do it because they're going to be way more aggressive. Right. And they're going to value your time because it's their livelihood, you know, like to like maybe that's a good option, right? Get your spouse to call up these clients and follow up with them. Yeah, I'm trying to think, is there anything else in here that's really good? 92% said they experienced late payments. 31% of invoices were paid after the due date. Oh, there's an estimate here about out of scope work. So out of scope work like we all suffer from that, right? We know we're losing money from that.

David Leary: [00:50:22] Yeah.

Blake Oliver: [00:50:23] On average, the estimate is $67,000 per year of lost revenue from out of scope work. And that's like pure profit if you think about it, pure profit. So it's not just like a percentage of your revenue. It's like, you know, if you're making a couple hundred thousand dollars as a partner, that could materially impact your livelihood, right? If you were collecting for that out of scope work. And so then the question is, well, how do you get your staff and yourself to have the conversation about increasing the price, about paying for the out of scope work? And another suggestion is often it's like incentivize your staff, give them a piece of any additional scoping, right? Any revenue that comes out of like an additional project. Like that's another possibility. Yeah.

David Leary: [00:51:13] So yeah, otherwise, because if not, it's just more work. So that'll actually make your staff proactive in working with the client. Like, Oh, the client should do this. It's a really good idea. It's going to take us some work in the client. Some work, but. Why are you going to bring that up if you're not going to collect on it? Right. Or Bill for it properly?

Blake Oliver: [00:51:29] Yeah, exactly.

David Leary: [00:51:29] And if you're not incentivized, why would you bring it up?

Blake Oliver: [00:51:32] Yeah. So I thought that was a really good survey with a lot of interesting data. You can find that link in the show notes.

David Leary: [00:51:39] So Square and Sage announced that there's a square point of sale integration with sage accounting. Mm hmm. Which I. I guess I would have assumed Square would have already been integrated in the past. I don't know. Maybe it has. Maybe it's different. And but down to the covers, I did finally find an article that was actually in the true press release. They're actually working with Amica under the cover, so it's powered by Amika. So Amika built the pipes between Amika is similar to like a one sass that Intuit purchased or a like Zapier like they played the middleman between, you know, these these apps to move the data around. But that's looks like basically it's going to automate the entry of the square transaction data into sage accounting, keeping peoples books up to date and accurately sync to through the Daily Sync. And this is going to be released to United Kingdom, Ireland and Canadian markets.

Blake Oliver: [00:52:31] Yeah, yes, that's important. It's Canada, UK and Ireland. Now, are they already integrated in the US or is it just we don't get that.

David Leary: [00:52:38] It Sage's heart. I only really grasp Sage when it's Sage Intacct it's like feels like very black and white. I feel like a product offering there. What's there? But the rest of the sage products, they threw these words around like, see the sage accounting? Is that really the old sage 300? Is that the old sage 100? Like it's very hard to keep track of. Yeah, I wish there was like, like a spreadsheet somewhere that had like all the sage products, the historical names, what they are now, what countries they work in. I don't know if this exists, but I can't get to it in my head. That's. I can only keep track of Sage Intacct really. Well, when I nailed down.

Blake Oliver: [00:53:12] Quickbooks has introduced a new 1099 solution for contractor payments. It's called simply contractor payments. It is now available as a standalone offering or combined with a subscription to QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Online Payroll. So it will. Does it connect? Does it collect the W9 information? That's the thing that we all want to know. Yes. So using the new solution, contractors can complete their W-9 and provide bank deposit details themselves and take advantage of a built in format validation powered by the QuickBooks ecosystem, which automates and pre populates content. So they can also set up their own direct deposit, allowing them to get payment for their work as soon as the next day. And all the payments automatically sync with QuickBooks Online. So that will be very welcome to folks who are in the QuickBooks Online ecosystem that do 1090 nines for clients because.

David Leary: [00:54:04] So what did they do? Did they spin out like a smart version of QuickBooks that's below like simple start? That's just like a list of employees in your pumping money? Well, I think it's just structures and then you're paying them.

Blake Oliver: [00:54:18] It's just a tool. Yeah, you can use it independently, I guess, and.

David Leary: [00:54:23] It's $15 a month, includes 20 contractors, and you can add $2 a month for each additional one above the 20. But it looks like it's a stand alone thing. Be interesting.

Blake Oliver: [00:54:34] It works. Stand alone. Yeah.

David Leary: [00:54:36] Is there any screenshots? I'm clicking on the website now. That's a sign up. I don't want to sign up. Interesting.

Blake Oliver: [00:54:43] You can let us know next week what you think if you try it out. Let's see. We got a few more minutes here. Five more minutes in our stream. So. Oh, here's a good one. France catches tax dodging swimming pool owners with AI. So France taxes swimming pools and. Not surprisingly, people will, you know, fail to declare that they have a swimming pool and will not pay the tax on it. So using satellite imagery. And a new AI tool. They've discovered 20,000 undeclared swimming pools, enabling the tax office to collect €10 million, which is, I guess, approximately 10 million.

David Leary: [00:55:26] See who they partnered with on this?

Blake Oliver: [00:55:28] Know who.

David Leary: [00:55:29] It is? Google.

Blake Oliver: [00:55:31] Google.

David Leary: [00:55:32] Google. Let me Google this and make sure I don't just assume this. I'm pretty sure I heard it was it was Google.

Blake Oliver: [00:55:41] Oh, yeah. Cap, Gemini or Cap Gemini and Alphabet Inc's Google were hired for parts of the project. So they're going to pay €24 million to these two companies. And the expected income gains mean the measure will be profitable from the second year. So that's.

David Leary: [00:55:58] Innovation. Same French government that is trying to that is find Google to break them up and all this antitrust stuff and like, well, now in exchange, if you help us produce revenue, maybe we can offset this like. It just. It's yucky. It's just yucky. I don't know. I don't like it.

Blake Oliver: [00:56:14] Here's a follow up on payments. Apple Pay. Apparently, Apple Pay has become really, really popular and it took a long time. So back in 2016, Apple Pay was like activated on 10% of iPhones. Let's say that in 2022 is now all the way up to over 70% approaching. Yeah, 75%. That's really amazing, David. Apple Pay 75% of iPhones like people are using it or have activated it and can use it now. Like this is this is companies have been trying to create a cardless, phone based payment system in Apple. Did it. Nobody else has been able to do this. I know the.

David Leary: [00:56:58] Numbers are on for for Google as well, because, I mean, essentially, it's exact same functionality, right? It's just on your Google phone, you're doing the same thing on Android. Just tap my phone and pay. Yeah, but you're right. Like this. I remember being a kid and like, there was, like, commercials about this right now. Like, it's finally here, like. Like this whole. Like, I have this crazy device in my pocket, and I just tap at places to pay for things. So, yeah, you're right. It's finally here.

Blake Oliver: [00:57:23] And 90% of retailers across the US now take Apple Pay. The number when the service was introduced was 3%. So I think Apple is going to win this battle and this is what keeps people in the Apple ecosystem is now you've got Apple Pay, you get used to using it, you don't want to switch to Android and now you maybe can't. So like, like we're getting to the point almost now if they can just get the digital IDs to work, which I still haven't gotten my Arizona ID to work in Apple Wallet because there's some sort of like ID verification thing I'm failing. I think it's because I'm a relatively new resident. That's part of the reason, I suspect. But if I could just get my ID to work in Apple Wallet, then I wouldn't have to carry my wallet anymore because almost everywhere I go takes Apple Pay. And if it doesn't, what'll usually happen is that somebody working there will say, All right, just Apple, pay me ten bucks and I'll give you cash and then you can pay. Heather Smith said. I found it so hard to use Google Pay in the USA. Many businesses refused it. I use it 100% of the time in Australia. I can't believe those usage stats from my limited time there. Well, so this is not Google Pay. This is Apple Pay that we're talking about that that works. I don't know how many retailers except Google Pay. David, if you've got that info, that would be interesting to know.

David Leary: [00:58:35] I have not seen that. But yeah, I think there is some risk of putting all your eggs in one basket onto one device all under control. Do you see what happened? And we can close the show on this. What happened in Colorado?

Blake Oliver: [00:58:46] Now, tell me.

David Leary: [00:58:47] So everybody you know, everybody has their little smart thermostats now and it's been hot. We've been in this huge heat wave the last over the holiday weekend. Apparently, some customers unknowingly opted in to get $100 enrollment credit and $25 a year to give up control of their thermostat. Oh. So you had thousands of people in Colorado, 22,000 people. Basically, their thermostat changed to 78 degrees for several hours and they could not adjust it down, but they had no idea they've lost control of the devices in their house. I will not buy smart anything. Everything I have is dumb, so it's crazy.

Blake Oliver: [00:59:23] So I signed up for something similar to this in here in the Phenix area. Aps has a program. If you have a Nest thermostat, you can connect your thermostat to their systems and then they have the ability to like adjust it during critical times, like during certain times of the day when there's a lot of demand. And if you do that, you get a one time sign up bonus and then annual credit. And you know, it's like, I don't know, $100 sign up bonus and then $50 annual credit or something like that. And I was like, All right, sure, whatever. I did it. And then of course, it would like what they promised to do is like cool your house in the morning or ahead of the ahead of the surge and then turn it off so that your house like it would balance out their power demand requirements. But it never worked that way because it would like pre cool my house or try to anyway. But it was already so hot that like when they turned off the thermostat, it wasn't cooler. It was right. Because here in Arizona, your AC just starts running at like 9 a.m.. It just keeps going throughout the whole day. Right. So it didn't work like it was supposed to. Now, luckily, I was able to adjust it myself, but to unenrolled from the program, I had to call a call center. Aol Yeah, I could not turn it off like I could not. I could not. And that scares me, right? The fact that Google, which writes the thermostat software or whatever, wouldn't allow me to disconnect it myself. I'm never setting.

David Leary: [01:00:44] Up for anything. Do you have do you have nest doorbells? I have a lock you in your house. You don't get to leave. That'll be next. That'll be next. So.

Blake Oliver: [01:00:55] Well, David, that's all the time we have for today. Thank you, everybody who joined us on our inaugural livestream. Heather Bryan, Randy, Joshua. I think that's everybody that commented. Really appreciate you having having you here. It was fun. So listeners, if you're listening to us on your podcast player, you can also catch us live on LinkedIn. I think we're going to keep doing this, just testing it out, see how it goes. I love getting the live feedback. David If people want to reach you online, linkedin's a good place. Where else?

David Leary: [01:01:30] I'm on all the socials. Just @DavidLeary super easy to find.

Blake Oliver: [01:01:33] And I'm at Blake t oliver, send us your voice mails. You can email us Cloud Accounting Podcast at earmark CPE. That is Cloud Accounting Podcast at earmark. Let us know your thoughts or attach a voice memo to the conversation, to the thread, and we will play it. We will likely play it on the air. We almost always do. Ian says. Great format. Hey, thanks for joining us, Ian. That's great. Ian Crook there. Great to see you at Xero Con as well. And I guess we'll leave it at that. Have a great week, David. It's a wrap.

David Leary: [01:02:06] All right. Time for the classifieds. Do you dream of starting a bookkeeping business? But you don't know where to start? Join the Bookkeeping Biz Workshops a live four day workshop series hosted by Serena Shoup, CPA. You'll learn where to start, what it takes, what tech to use, how to build a business, not a job. Plus, how to get comfortable on discovery calls. The workshops begin September 20th, so register today at BC Workshops online. That's BC workshops online.

Blake Oliver: [01:02:41] Hey, podcast listeners, it's Blake, and I wanted to let you know about a new show I'm working on with CPA comedian Greg Kight and blogger Slash former CPA Caleb Nyquist. It's called Oh My Fraud, and it's a podcast all about financial crimes. That's right. A true crime podcast for accountants by accountants. Caleb and Greg are going to come together every couple of weeks to unpack their favorite frauds and explore the circumstances, psychology and interpersonal dynamics involved. They also fully indulge in victim blaming the defrauded widows, orphans, infirm and feeble minded. Because who can resist if you fancy yourself a trusted advisor or prefer your true crime with spreadsheets instead of corpses? Listen to this show to learn what to watch out for and to keep your clients, your firm, and even yourself safe. To subscribe, go to Oh my fraud or search. Oh my fraud. On Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

David Leary: [01:03:38] Want to get the word out about your newsletter, webinar party, Facebook, group, podcast, e-book, job posting, or that fancy Excel macro you just created? Why not let the listeners The Cloud Accounting Podcast know by running a classified ad with the show notes for the link to get more info?

Why Accountants Lose Money
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