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  • The Wall Street Journal - Breaking News, Business, Financial and Economic News, World News & Video - Wall Street Journal - Wsj.com on 2014-04-17
  • Recent Filings | Hilltop Holdings on 2014-03-03
  • Why So Many Big 4 Professionals Fail To Lead on 2013-12-29
      • 1. We experience so much more than we consciously realize

         

        Our conscious minds have a very limited capacity compared to our subconscious minds. In his book “The Art of Learning”, Josh Waitzkin discusses how we only truly absorb a fraction of what we experience, and even then, what we absorb is truly a unique “window” into what really happens.

         

        Every experience can offer you countless new lessons – but only if you take the time to pause and reflect on the experience.

         

        And this doesn’t have to be a major undertaking. Here are some suggestions for how it can be done with minimal investment of time:

         
           
        • Spend 15 minutes at the end of the day and ask yourself “what did I learn today?”
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        • At the end of each week, spend 30 undisturbed minutes to reflect on the experiences you had that week. Focus on the best things and the worst things that happened; that’s where the greatest potential lessons lie.
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        • At the end of the year, spend an afternoon reflecting and evaluating what happened to you during the year. Recall your successes, failures, goals you achieved, and targets you missed.
      • Engagements and Projects

         

        When you join a project team or an engagement, you should prime your conscious “window” of focus by asking:

         
           
        • What experience do I want to gain from this engagement?
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        • What experience can I ideally gain from this engagement?
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        • How can I make sure the people who supervise me provide me with the opportunity to gain those experiences in this engagement?
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        • How can I make sure they recognize and record the experiences I gain through this engagement?
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        • How can I use this to lead to other experiences I want to have in the future?
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        Today and Tomorrow

         
           
        • How often do you pause to reflect on your experiences?
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        • How do you record what you’ve learned?
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        • How do you evaluate your year?
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        • If you decide to make reflection on your experiences a discipline in your life, how will you do it?
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        • How will you instill the lessons you’ve learned here to your children, so that they can benefit from it for the rest of their lives?
  • How To Write Audit Tick Marks - The Big 4 Playbook on 2013-12-29
    • First let me show what typical documentation in a tick mark will look like:

       

      X Firm (Insert whatever firm you are working for) obtained from Dan Smith, Assistant Controller, the invoice XYZ Company received from ABC Company for the purchase of the chainsaw. X Firm matched the invoice number, date, and amount with the accounts payable selection. Invoice appears reasonable. Further, X Firm received from Mr. Smith the check stub and bank statement related to the invoice selected.  X confirmed the check was for the invoice selected and noted the date of the check was after 12/31/XX. X Firm matched the check to the January XXXX bank statement as well. As such, X Firm confirms the invoice was paid after 12/31/XX. Appears reasonable that this selection is included in the ending accounts payable balance.

    • First let me show what typical documentation in a tick mark will look like:

       

      X Firm (Insert whatever firm you are working for) obtained from Dan Smith, Assistant Controller, the invoice XYZ Company received from ABC Company for the purchase of the chainsaw. X Firm matched the invoice number, date, and amount with the accounts payable selection. Invoice appears reasonable. Further, X Firm received from Mr. Smith the check stub and bank statement related to the invoice selected.  X confirmed the check was for the invoice selected and noted the date of the check was after 12/31/XX. X Firm matched the check to the January XXXX bank statement as well. As such, X Firm confirms the invoice was paid after 12/31/XX. Appears reasonable that this selection is included in the ending accounts payable balance.

      • Whoa, there’s a lot to take in there. So let’s break down the key elements of what to include:

         
           
        • Note who is performing the testing (X Firm)
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        • Note who you received the evidence from and what their title is. You only need to state this once in the tick mark.
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        • Document all evidence documents you received.
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        • State how you determined that the evidence is reasonable in your mind.
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        • Lastly, conclude why or why not you think your selection is reasonable.

    4 more annotations...

  • Keys to being a Top-Rated 1st Year | Big 4 BoundBig 4 Bound on 2013-12-29
      •  2) Develop a systematic organization method – or use my technique

         

        On my desktop, along with a ton of other random stuff (although I prefer to keep things orderly)

         
           
        • “Current Client” – A folder for whatever client I’m on. I usually put it separate from other folders/files. I also drag it to the quicklaunch menu in windows for quick acces or if I have other screens open and don’t want to go to desktop.
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        • Clients – Here I keep a folder containing folders I used on past clients. When I roll off the engagement I move the files here. Never delete anything.
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        • Temp – I keep a “temp” folder for items that I don’t really need to organize, but I just don’t want them to clutter my desktop. This is usually if I need to email someone something and have to save it somewhere first.
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        • Reference – I keep files from training or company guidance that may be relevant. Also controls the testing matrix and those types of things
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        • Pending items – This will be a big help and I wish I had this sooner. What I usually do is take whatever sections I’m assigned on my current client, take the prior year file and somehow get it into a project management mode in excel. (Depending on your firm’s software, it may be easy to do). For each test and file that was in the workpapers last year, I put it in a row in excel (Obviously things may change, but you won’t be expected to know when a change in audit strategy is needed for a little while). I do is keep a running check on what is finished and what I will need to complete it. I will also list questions I need to ask to complete as well as whatever is pending the client . I like to put something like “sent request for XYZ detail 8/21/13.” You can get creative with color coding green/yellow/red ect. This sounds basic/overkill but you will soon realize how important organization is.
      • Within the client folders, I have a folder for controls testing, substantive testing. These two will hold the bulk of the documents for a client. I also in this main client folder I keep:

         
           
        • Trial balance, PY trial balance
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        • Financial Statements
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        • Assignment Schedule – a schedule of when my sections are to be complete. Usually given to you by a senior when you start the engagement.
      • Within the controls or substantive folder I have a sub-folder for each process, such as fixed assets, expenses, revenue – whatever I’ll be working on. Within those folders, depending on how many tests we do for each section, I will have a subfolder within them. So for example substantive procedures over fixed assets I might include:

         
           
        • Fixed Asset Rollforward
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        • Construction in Progress
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        • Depreciation
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        • Valuation/Impairment

    3 more annotations...

  • Lou Gehrig - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia on 2013-12-26
    • Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.

       

      Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I'm lucky.

       

      When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift — that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies — that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter — that's something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so that you can have an education and build your body — it's a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed — that's the finest I know.

       

      So I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for. Thank you.

       
       
       
       
       — Lou Gehrig at Yankee Stadium, July 4, 1939[55]
  • MWO: Forums - Logitech Performance Mouse Mx on 2013-12-24
    • FYI SetPoint is really crap, but the software for the Logitech G series (Gaming mice) is much better. Do not let the crappiness of the Logitech non-gaming software put you off their gaming mice. The G700 is awesome for MWO.
       
       For non G-series mice, you may want to try UberOptions (google it) which is a modded older version of setpoint that gives you some more options for some of the buttons (Up and Down arrow on wheel for example - normally the wheel is not programmable).
       Another option is to use XMouse, though ideally to use this you should uninstall setpoint. If you have non-standard buttons (eg the Search button on an MX620) then you may have to use AutoHotkey to map it to something else (Code VKAA is the search button iirc) else it will be unmappable.
  • ROCCAT STUDIOS V3.0 - PRODUCTS » Gaming Mice » ROCCAT Pyra Wireless on 2013-12-24
  • Mike Tyson Explores Kierkegaard on 2013-12-16
    • Reading between the lines here tells me that Mike is a seeker as opposed to an intellectual. Most intellectuals don't find the prize because, at bottom, they are aiming for a form of self-actualization. True seekers welcome humility. Christ said: 'Seek and ye shall find'. My two cents: Try C. S. Lewis.
  • 3 Shirt Plackets Common For Dress Shirts | Art of Style on 2013-11-29

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