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Accountants Will Fill Out Timesheets in the Metaverse

Caleb Newquist Editor-at-Large, Gusto 
nft not free of taxation

December 23, 2021

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Programming note

This is the final On the Margins of 2021. It was a… year. I’d like to think we kept things interesting around here. Remember when we discussed accounting’s lack of diversity? And advising on vaccine mandates? And death as a productivity hack? Those were fun. 

I could go on, but why don’t you just cruise the archive and catch up. Meanwhile, I’m going to see if I can sit through this Beatles documentary. Just kidding, there’s no way; I have two kids under five.

OTM will return on January 13. And now, the newsletter.

How X will change accounting

Sure, why not:

With venture capital funding of metaverse-related startups doubling to over $10 billion this year, there’s no better time to talk about how virtual and augmented reality technologies will impact the accounting profession. And more specifically, how it’s going to ultimately differentiate firm value.

I’d argue that there is a better time: not now. Whatever the metaverse is, at present, it’s pretty clear that it’s largely for weirdos that can’t manage to have a conversation in virtual reality, let alone real life. 

Whenever a new innovation comes around, the accounting world has this tendency to jump on the hype train, which is fine. This is how it more or less works. But nothing really changes the fact that many accounting firms have, until the last couple years, been pretty slow to pick up these trends, not to mention the changes in staffing, business models, service offerings, etc. This feels a little bit like the blockchain hype that went on for several years last decade. There are certainly interesting things happening with blockchain, but has it made a difference to the readers of Accounting Today? I’m not so sure.

I mean, tons of people are still filling out timesheets for crying out loud. Oh, you’re going to be tracking billable hours at a happy hour in the metaverse? That sounds terrible. 

CMB clients

Everyone’s favorite cartoonish mega billionaire (CMB) client, Elon Musk, talked to, of all places, the Babylon Bee, which is a conservative satire site. I don’t know if you can really call yourself a satire site when you do a “real” interview, but that’s a conversation for another day.

Anyway, Elon just wanted everyone to know that his taxes—the taxes of the richest man on Earth—are super simple:

“I don’t have any offshore accounts, no tax shelters,” Musk said in the interview. When asked if H&R Block could do his taxes, he said: “H&R Block could easily do my taxes. I don’t need H&R Block, I could do it. It would take a few hours. My taxes are very basic.”

Of course! If there’s one thing you can expect from a CMB client, it’s that they’ll always keep you guessing. In this very special case, you don’t even have to prepare the tax return! I’m sure that won’t be typical for most CMBs, but it’s nice to know that some of these self-sufficient ones are out there.

Resolutions for 2022

Say “no” more? Care less? Live better? Work weekends worse? All seem appropriate, but maybe you need something easy. Roxane Gay, the New York Times Work Friend, has just the one:

No one should ever schedule an 8 a.m. meeting. That is, indeed, far too early. 

It’s a little unsettling that it even needs to be said after the last two years, but there you go! You shouldn’t have any trouble keeping this one through February or the rest of your life.

Millennials do it all

Last we checked in on the mysterious Millennial, we discussed that they are clients now, and much like clients of yore, they want things done and done well. You’re serving them after all, so it strikes me now, as it did then, that they were completely within their rights to demand service—born after 1980 or not. Not really that strange when you think about it.

You know what else isn’t strange? Millennials buying things! Last week the Wall Street Journal discovered that they buy houses, and this week it’s art and luxury goods. Oh, and maybe you’ve heard, but Millennials are having kids now. 

It’s funny how they’ve managed to figure all this out. Next thing you know, they’ll start retiring! And getting old! And dying! I’m looking forward to the WSJ deep dives into all those things.

Fresh from Gusto

Maybe you heard, but Gusto recently turned 10. To celebrate, we’re giving everyone who completes either People Advisory Certification or People Advisory Accelerator by December 31, 2021 a free gift. BUT WAIT! If you’re not a Gusto Partner, you can enroll in Accelerator for free by using the Coupon Code GUSTO10 now through December 31, 2021. You can earn up to 10 CPE credits.

Also: You can now manually adjust S-Corp benefits contributions by line of coverage—  including medical, dental, and vision—directly from the client list dropdown menu in Gusto Pro.  Learn more



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Caleb Newquist
Caleb Newquist Caleb is Editor-at-Large at Gusto. In 2009, he became the founding editor of Going Concern, the one-of-a-kind voice on the accounting profession, serving in the role for 9 years. Prior to Going Concern, Caleb worked as a CPA for nearly 6 years in New York and Denver. He lives in Denver with his wife, two daughters, and two cats.


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