Posted in General Update Internal Thoughts

Productive Day and Strange Week

This morning has already been extremely productive (and I haven’t even hit 9am here). I woke up at 5am bright and bushy. This is strange considering I have quit coffee and my tea isn’t the largest habit. I woke up, fixed myself some oatmeal, worked on my CPA study material for about an hour and then deleted almost 2,000 duplicate photos in my iPhoto. I then backed up my photos. At this point I turned on Burt Lancaster’s 1964 movie “The Train” because I felt in the mood for an old school World War II movie. I then got on my exercise bike and did 30 minutes there.  Then I showered and am now backing up the rest of my stuff and I should be good to go, all before 9am.

Earlier this week was a little strange. I have been working out in a county school district doing their annual audit. Wednesday I got to work and noticed two older high school girls standing outside the window. They were probably 16-18 range. The little blonde noticed and and walked up and knocked on the window. I looked up and she waved at me. I smiled back and waved. Something told me I had just done the wrong thing.

After the next period (I could hear the bells) the girl shows up with three of her friends. They all knock, wave and giggle. I am now uncomfortable. There is something very predatory about a gaggle of teenage girls. I have always been uncomfortable being looked at by teenage girls, first in high school because I was attracted to them and felt shy, now because I am old enough to be their dad and am even more weirded out (not for the same reason). The flirting then commenced for the next 2 hours. I ignored them and didn’t respond but they came by every break. One of the admin people at the office commented that something had the girls in a strange mood.

This eventually stopped when another auditor arrived (a woman) and they left me alone for the day. Of course  gave me a hard time. At least I am not stupid enough like many guys to think they liked me (nor would I want them to). Its just a pack of girls testing out social boundaries. However, this morning I hadn’t had caffeine and I wasn’t in the mood to be nice (but I wasn’t mean). As I walked up to the building with my laptop the blonde came running over. She started asking me questions but I shushed her and said I had a question. She stopped and a huge smile came across her face. I then asked her what lipstick she was wearing, she said something (but I have no idea what it was except red). I smiled at her and said thank you, that my boyfriend would really love that color.

I had never intended to say that, I was tired and wasn’t thinking and that came out of my mouth. She just stared at me for a second, then the howls of laughter started up from her friends behind her. The laughter wasn’t directed at me, it was directed at her. I had evidently won some sort of exchange (not sure what it was). I wandered into the building and haven’t seen hide nor hair of her the rest of the week. Part of me feels a little bad, but I don’t have the time to deal with it, and honestly last thing I need is someone else seeing me talk to a high school girl.

Other than that, everything has been going fairly well. I hear the wife moving around so I should go 🙂

 

Posted in Dreams General Update

Another Dream

I had a strange dream this morning, woke up from it at 4:30am. I dreamed that it was the first day of class and the teacher handed us a test. It was hard to read the test, for some reason I didn’t understand the questions, or even what subject it was for. After an hour of dinking around with it I thought I had finished it. Just as I turned it in, I realized that it wasn’t the actual test, it was the test booklet and I needed to fill out the scan tron (but there were no multiple choice or anything). The class was letting out and I had to refill it out hurriedly still not able to read the questions. To top it off when I did it on the scan tron, the lights in the room were shut off and I had to use a tiny flashlight that didn’t work well.

It was a strange dream. Still not sure why I dreamt that, but it kind of sucked.

Other than that, life is going fairly well. I have finished an outstanding audit that should have been done by beginning of last September (they finally got their info to me) and I am close to being done with the audit after that, that should have been done in October. Of course I had to pull off Skykomish due to problems there, and I probably wont get to finish that until July or August (or later). I have 7 more workdays at the City of Snohomish, then its time to start the 3 month County audit.

Today I am going up to my parents. We are going to pay for and register for a time for my dad to take his driving test. Don’t get me wrong, he has been driving steadily, but hasn’t had a valid license for over 20 years due to warrants (a side effect of me growing up with bikers, warrants were fairly common). He is completely legal now and has to take the test to get it back. He will drive my car around (our car is the only completely legal car in the family, everyone else has car problems or no insurance so they are unable to pass the State Trooper’s inspection).

Once we have a date settled, I will go back later this week for him to get a little more familiar with the car and to take the test. When he passes, we are going to give him our truck and if need be I will help him get insurance. Unfortunately their health is not good enough to allow them to ride buses. My dad’s back is so messed up, as is his breathing, that he can’t walk the three blocks to get to the bus stop, let alone ride one.

When I get home today I will finish up my notes for the game tomorrow. Perhaps hubby will feel like running the solo game for me as well. If not, no worries I will just hang out with her. That is my favorite thing to do is just be around her.

Posted in General Update

Regular life update.

Three weeks from today is the magic day I sit for the CPA exam (FARS section). I ask myself “am I ready”? The answer is not really. I have read all 1600 pages of hardcopy for the test, I have finished about 1/3 of the online study materials (about the same amount of pages, but there is quizzes on each section).

Could I have been more ready? Absolutely. When I first signed up and paid the money 5 months ago I assumed I would study for a couple months and take the test. I hadn’t really paid attention to how much study it would take, so when I got through the 1600 pages in two months I thought I might be ready. I got to the online studying, took some tests and realized that was not the case.
At about that point in time is when I got promoted. Being an Assistant State Auditor 3 AIC (Auditor in Charge) means I am responsible for a whole hell of a lot more then I was. From start to finish the audits on cities, counties, water district, fire districts and about 100 other types (never had I realized before this job how many local governments there actually are). I can handle the job, I am good at it, but it took a lot more time getting into the swing of being in charge.
At that point I started the Snohomish County Financial Statement Audit. Its the largest audit of my team, and the third or fourth (depends on the year) largest state audit. I was a bit confused why I was selected (it is a tremendous resume filler if I ever decide to leave) and I know there were grumblings from people who had been with our team for 3+ more years and they have never been selected.
This audit required a lot of time and a bit of stress as I got the learning curve. This meant very little study for the CPA exam. Although it did mean a lot of exchange time built up that allowed me to take a lot of days off after that audit.
In addition we started Dying Light and that took time and effort away from studying, plus the fact that I have just finished a little over a year ago (well 18 months) about 10 years of college. I hate studying, and I definitely hate studying accounting stuff.
All of this leads me to now. I don’t have a lot more time, and I have so much more studying to do. Does this mean I will buckle down and spend 4+ hours a day studying? No, no it doesn’t. Too much is going on, Dying Light starts in 4 weeks, a new audit starts Monday and I want to see my beautiful wife and keep running games, and maybe even enjoy the remains of the summer.
Will I sit for the test? Absolutely. Who knows, maybe I will luck out. The actual test usually only covers 5-7% of our study materials (its a four hour test designed to cover almost 200 areas of financial statement treatment and GAAP pronouncements). Maybe I will luck out and that 5-7% will be in the area I feel good in.
If I don’t make it, I will probably purchase the video aspect of the study materials for this section. I have always learned better in a classroom setting with someone lecturing. For about $200 you can get the video part of the study materials for this section, if I don’t pass it this time then maybe I should invest in it. This means next time I wont even register for the test until I have passed all the study material and feel ready to go.
I will get this CPA, but I think I just wasn’t ready to put that much time in studying.
I do have to say I feel better. I know my beautiful wife wont hate me, and she knows I will get the certification. Overall, having accepted my situation I feel much calmer and can now enjoy the rest of the summer.
Posted in General Update

Sunday Update

This week has been hectic. I have only seen my wife  for two days up until the weekend. I spent most of my time working on the  magic rules for shadowrun as detailed in  . On Friday the dell technician was supposed to show up to fix my PC, but he no-showed so maybe he will show up Tuesday. The good news is that my PC is still under warranty (will need new MB and RAM), this means I do not have to get a macbookpro so quickly (will still want one).

Saturday we spent the day visiting my mother, her fourth of 18 weeks of chemo. It was rough on her, but it wasn’t the chemo, it was the shot they gave her to keep her platlets up so she can keep taking the chemo. I baked her a peach custard pie (which I am going to have to post here) and sat with my parents for a couple hours. This week I also worked out a whole bunch. Our trainer ran us hard Wednesday, and then yesterday was even more intense. We worked for a half an hour on chest presses, bench presses, incline bench presses, decline bench presses. True, my capability is not what I would like, but he worked us hard. Then he worked us out for 30 minutes in the pool, swimming laps, crunches, water sprints. That truly was the ass kicker of the week, however it made me feel great (albeit tired). I think I am going to go swim laps starting later this week on top of weight lifting. I had not realized how much it hurt to do a single lap, that will definitely be a good overall workout.

I only have 7 more working days before I am done with Sultan. Then its one week at Everett, then two days in Olympia for training (and I am taking  with me, two days in a hotel with a pool). Then back to the city and county courthouses for another week. After that it will be three weeks of Coupeville over by Oak Harbor. That will suck, a 1.5-2 hour commute each way. The good thing is I will gain 2 hours of “exchange time” each day. By the end of three weeks I will have gained an extra 30 hours of basically vacation time. Well better get ready for the game, I will follow up with an after-game update tonight.

Posted in General Update

IRS Update

Yesterday I received a phone message from the local IRS recruiter. I had turned down her the day before, I had explained I can’t work in Seattle and I had a new job. She left a message saying they would work me out of the Everett office and she had scheduled me an appointment (after I had said thanks but I can’t). She also left a cryptic message that if I didn’t take this opportunity, the IRS doesn’t generally call back in the future, the people that turn down an interview. That felt kind of weird, was that a cloaked “do it or never work here” type of threat? I really do want to work for the IRS, but the Assistant State Auditor job is going really well and I at the very least don’t feel right just dumping (and I am really hoping it works out).

Heresyoftruth and I talked last night, I am going to stick with the Auditor job (at least for now), I don’t think its fair to my current job to bail (or even look at bailing). The job seems fine so far, there have been absolutely no bad things happen. I am a little lost (ok more then a little) however there is no reason at the moment to seek a different job, at least not until we emmigrate. So I just got off the phone this morning leaving her another message that since I had only been with the State Auditor’s office a week or so that I wanted to be fair to them and if it didn’t work out in the future I hope they would reconsider interviewing me.

I am worried I made the wrong choice, but in addition to starting yet another job, I would have to drop another 7k in pay per year for training with the IRS (although my current job worries me because I was hired at higher then entry level and it means I have to learn it quicker). I guess I am just always looking for something to worry about.

Posted in General Update Internal Thoughts Opinion

Rolling the dice

There are many things wrong with where I work, and from what I am told those wrong things extend to the public accounting profession in general. Its not that they are necessarily doing something illegal (although the example I will talk about later is definitely against the tax code), its just the greed and drive for money that bothers me

A little over a week ago we had a tax class for all the first year tax accountants. It dealt with how to handle mortgage interest, and other Schedule A writeoffs. It is actually a long convoluted story, but I will just shorten it down.  The mortgage interest that is deductible on Schedule A is only from an original home loan (or combination of two homes), and is limited to 1.1 million dollars. Any interest on the value exceeding the 1.1 million dollars is not deductible.

If you get refinanced, a second mortgage, or any other additional loan (such as home equity), that interest is NOT deductible under the Internal Revenue Code. Nor can you claim any deduction on interest exceeding that first 1.1 million dollars. However, our trainer told us that we will in fact make those deductions, no matter what we thought was going on.

I brought up that I noticed several clients were claiming $200,000+ on mortgage interest per year, and not even counting if they were home equity or second mortgages, that total of interest is far beyond the value of 1.1 million dollars worth of homes, so far in excess that there is no way they are only claiming for that value (the most you really should see is about $100,000 and thats only if they get really hosed by the bank). He told me that no firm would check into those numbers, and that I should just set the deductions up. He even admitted that the IRS would have full legal reason to audit and charge fines because it is against the tax codes. Yet he told us we should do it. He said its worth “rolling the dice” against getting an IRS audit.

I did bring up that it sounded like what we were doing goes against the AICPA codes of conduct. He pointed out there is nothing illegal about taking the clients at their word (when obviously they are lying, but as long as we don’t have obvious direct proof it doesn’t matter) and that it was worth it both for the client to risk the audit, and for us to keep these clients, to continue. It all came down to profit for the firm. That was the day I was positive I didn’t want to do public accounting.

Somehow I felt slimy, and wondered if lawyers were above me on the ladder of social mores (there is a lot more to talk about, even worse stories. I will post later about those).

Posted in General Update

Official

Its official, I am now an Assistant State Auditor at the Everett Branch. I start June 23rd and I will end up taking home $50 more a month then I do currently (after we offset the old insurance with the new). 40 hours a week, a week extra of sick/vacation time, 7 more holidays and not having to work with “the asshole”. I am giving my two weeks notice starting Monday (maybe tomorrow if Natalie is in).

Heck, once I am at my new job I might post a bit about “the asshole” or how they are teaching us in class to “roll the dice” and risk an IRS audit to save our client money (one of the most recent reasons I can’t be a public accountant at this firm).

Posted in General Update

Countdown

Today I got a call from the state auditor’s office. They definitely want to hire me and they have emailed me what the benefits are. They are requesting my salary requirements (and I assume we negotiate from there). I have never had to give an initial salary request. So I went to my trusty professor of tax from WWU and she is currently contacting a different state auditor to get the low down.

She was surprised there was such flexibility (I had called her, hoping she would know). She left a message for the gentleman, and she will hopefully call back tonight with some info. I do have a range (I was also hired as a ASA2, not an entry level ASA1), but I am not sure if splitting the difference and asking for halfway through that range is too much.

Another big bonus of this new job, living in Everett, its that much cheaper rent wise then Seattle, but not as expensive as Bellingham for other day to day things. It means we will have to move eventually (as long as this pans out), I do hate moving, but it is worth it for this.

In addition the state offers six health care plans. The most expensive of the plans is less then half the price for BOTH me and heresyoftruth then my current plan is for just for heresyoftruth (she costs $450 a month for just herself, the highest state plan only costs $218 FOR BOTH OF US).

If this works out, I will make less cash monthly, but my hourly wage would be higher, there would be a lot more flexibility and no busy season.

I better go, the WWU professor is calling with some more advice on this.

Posted in General Update

Disappointing Work Update

I will make this pretty quick. There has been two rather disappointing things that have occurred this week. I do dislike the job, and I have already gone on ad nauseum about the other issues.

1. Monday I was given back an extended return. Basically earlier this month we had thrown together numbers for the return to be sent in with the extension. Not a big deal at all. I got it back and was told to ensure that the personal business showed no profit. Basically report all income, but only enough expenses to offset that income to zero. This is technically legal, althouh the IRS hates when people don’t report all their losses. So I turned to my boss and asked if he was sure. The losses were close to $300,000 and who doesn’t want at least carryover for the next year? He said no, don’t report any losses. “We don’t want the IRS to look at him closely, because of the sale we did last year.”. Now, there is nothing technically illegal about what we are doing, however it somehow bothers the ethical socialist in me. Why are we worried about IRS interest? I mean if everything is legit, this should give him some benefit over the next few years. It left me a little discontented, but its somethin I have to do.

2. The second issue is even more frustrating. I was originally told when I was hired that we would be going to 4 10 hour shifts in May. That is still the case, however we are still going to have to check email, voicemail, and check in 2-3 times each Friday. In addition we cannot take Fridays off where there is a deadline, or if a client is coming in (which is about 30% of the time). If there is a holiday (such as Memorial Day), we will only get 8 hours of credit, not 10 for the day taken off and we will have to make up the 2 hours on another day. There were about four other small bullet points on restrictions for 4 10 hour shifts. Its disappointing and I think for the most part I am just going to keep the 5 8 hour days (although on a good note I get to wear jeans/t-shirt on those Fridays).

Just relaying some of the disappointments.

Posted in Dreams General Update

Days left…13

Days left of hell: 13

Dream Stuff

First lets cover the dream. I had a strange dream that involved me, heresyoftruth, and some random people. It felt like it was taking place somewhere in early 20th century (maybe even late 19th). We were both quite a bit older (probably late 50’s or more).  We were going to medical school. We had somehow snuck past the entry requirements and heresyoftruth was there purely to show that a woman could do it.

Then it switched to heresyoftruth and myself living in a farmhouse. I get the impression it was the same dream, it was just when we were home. We both went downstairs to clean it out, carrying oil lanterns. It was a very tiny set of stairs and down below felt very old, filled with rats and snakes. Funnily enough there was a shadow of Orpheus tracking us, he seemed to be scaring off some of the rats/mice, and I kicked the remaining vermin away. Thats pretty much where it ended (or at least where my memory of it now ends).

Stuff – AKA WONDERFUL WIFE

The other thing I just wanted to comment on was how wonderful my wife is. She takes care of me, is supportive and is an awesome person. I don’t need anything else in this world. The fact that she puts up with my insanity with this overtime, and my inability to focus is just that much more I owe her for.