KPMG to fine staff for late time sheets, Square wants to be a bank, real-time payroll for workers, Flux raises 7.5M, and the case for a 6-hour workday

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Show Notes

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KPMG to fine staff £100 for late time sheetsThe Guardian — The accounting company said it would impose the penalties if staff were late to file their time sheets, which record how long employees spend on tasks.

British politician pledges to break up 'cartel' of big four accounting firms in radical overhaulBusiness Insider — Leader of the Labour Party, John McDonnell, told the Financial Times that the big four firms which include EY, KPMG, Deloitte and PwC form a "cartel" that needs to be addressed.

KPMG partners receive bumper payouts despite Carillion falloutThe Guardian — KPMG, the auditing firm that gave Carillion a clean bill of health, has reported a leap in profits that will result in the average pay of its 635 partners soaring from £519,000 to more than £600,000 each.

Is There Really Such A Thing As An Independent Audit?Forbes — FloQast CEO and former Big Four auditor Mike Whitmire examines some of key issues impeding auditor independence in the profession and suggests significant changes that could dramatically improve audit quality.

Square Revives Request to Start a BankWall Street Journal — The new unit, to be capitalized with $56 million, would primarily offer loans, deposit accounts and prepaid cards to small businesses

Real-Time Payments Gathering Steam For WorkersPYMNTS — Earnin – which facilitates real-time payroll payments – announced Dec. 20 that it has raised $125 million in equity financing. The Earnin app allows people to be paid “the minute they leave work,” and claims to serve employees working for 50,000 employers from all 50 states.

Flux raises $7.5M Series A to bring its digital receipts platform to more banks and merchantsTechCrunch — Flux bridges the gap between the itemised receipt data captured by a merchant’s point-of-sale (POS) system and what little information typically shows up on your bank statement or mobile banking app.

The Case for the 6-Hour WorkdayHarvard Business Review — The key takeaway: "Organizations are spending big money on digital transformation, but they could reap an immediate, and far more cost-effective transformational benefit just by changing the way they work, instead of what they use to work."

Transcript

Cloud Accounting Podcast E51: KPMG to fine staff for late time sheets (transcribed by Sonix)

Blake Oliver: The reporter reached out to the other Big Four firms and asked for comment, and EY trolled KPMG, and said, "EY has a culture where people understand the importance of submitting time sheets."

Blake Oliver: Welcome to The Cloud Accounting Podcast. I'm Blake Oliver-

David Leary: And I'm David Leary.

Blake Oliver: This week, the Big Four are in the news, specifically KPMG is catching a lot of flak.

David Leary: I guess it's self-inflicted flak, right, if that's the way to think of it?

Blake Oliver: This is specifically KPMG in the UK. They have not had a good year, ever since the collapse of Carillion, who they were ostensibly auditing, and then, suddenly, that company just went out of business without any notice. People are kinda pissed about that.

Blake Oliver: They just haven't had a good year. I guess the reporters have been piling on, and this story at the end of the year doesn't really make them come off very good. David, do you wanna talk a little bit about the details, here? What's this with time sheets?

David Leary: I think this just came out yesterday. On December 20th ... I saw it first thing in the morning, December 20th. It was in The Guardian. The title of the article is, "KPMG to Fine Staff £100 for Late Time Sheets." Needless to say, on social media, I've never seen an article go so hot, so quick. It might be the article of the year. People just laying into 'em about the stupidest ... This is the dumbest thing anybody's ever seen. It almost speaks for itself. It's pretty shocking that we're in 2018, and this is still happening.

Blake Oliver: There's so many layers to this, right? Number one, it's a real dick move to fine your own staff for being late with their time sheets. Why not incentivize them to be on time with their time sheets? Why do have to fine them for being late? Then, there's just the fact that time sheets are stupid. I could never go work for a place where I have to fill out a time sheet ever again. I can't do it.

David Leary: The accounting firm says penalties will come out of employees' bonuses. That means, all year, you're working away, you're turning some in late, here and there. Then, all the sudden, you get your bonus, and it just has this dock you weren't expecting.

Blake Oliver: Yeah. A fun bit in the article is the reporter reached out to the other Big Four firms, and asked for comment, and EY trolled KPMG, and said, "EY is a culture where people understand the importance of submitting time sheets. In the event that people do not submit their time sheets, EY takes steps to reinforce its policy. This does not include a monetary fine, or locking people out of the system."

David Leary: That quote ... How do you know if EY is trolling themselves on that quote?

Blake Oliver: They probably think they're ... Some PR person probably thinks they're being clever, there, but you're associating your culture with people submitting time sheets on time? That's how you're defining culture at your accounting firm?

David Leary: They understand the importance ...

Blake Oliver: Oh, God ... Here's what's really bad about this. I was curious, what other bad stories have come out about KPMG, since the Carillion fallout. There was another one, not too long ago, December 5th. This is in The Guardian, saying "KPMG partners receive bumper payouts, despite Carillion fallout.".

Blake Oliver: Apparently, profits have jumped 18 percent since this happened, since they gave Carillion a clean bill of health, and it fell apart. The 635 partners that work at KPMG in the UK make an average of £600,000 per year, and that's up ... Last year, they made 519,000.

Blake Oliver: Not only are they failing in their duty to be auditors, they are penalizing their staff £100 per late time sheet, and they, themselves, are making 18-percent more money this year. It's kinda hard to imagine them being bigger jerks.

David Leary: You know how they were talking about the banks, right? That 'too big to fail' mindset of the mortgage crisis of 2008? Do you think we're kind of in that grey area, now, with the big accounting firms?

Blake Oliver: Well, that's the thing, and that's exactly the terminology that has been used to talk about the Big Four in the UK, by UK politicians, critics, over the last year. There is actually a proposal ... Well, it's a report that was commissioned by the Labour government. The Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, commissioned a report on the Big Four firms from a guy whose name is Prem Sikka. He's a Professor of Accounting at Sheffield University.

Blake Oliver: The report is just devastating, and it calls for the breakup of the Big Four. Apparently the Labour government is drafting legislation that would break them up; basically, require any firms that do audit to only do audit, and not do other consulting services to guarantee, and protect their independence.

Blake Oliver: Additionally, the Big Four would have to rotate ... All audit firms would have to rotate every five years, which is a lot stricter than the EU regulations, or, especially here in the United States, where you'd actually never have to change firms, which is why ...

Blake Oliver: Is it KPMG has been auditing, in the US, GE for like 109 years? Of course, people are not very happy about how GE is doing, and there have been a number of unexpected charges they've had to make on their financials. Things are not going so great for them, right now [cross talk]

David Leary: This is not just a UK thing, as well ... I think, the Big Four, we're seeing the same ... I think, a couple weeks ago, there was an article circulating about kind of the ethics of auditing, and how it's unethical. Really, I think this article does touch on that whole concept, which seems insane to me. Hey, you can audit them, but you can also be the consultant to them, at the same time.

Blake Oliver: That's the problem. First, just the fact that, as an auditor, you are selected, and paid by your client. No amount of professional skepticism can make you independent in that situation. You have a customer, and so, that's a problem, in and of itself. Maybe that can be ameliorated, or dealt with in some way, with ethics training, and with the proper safeguards, but the big problem is that these audit firms are doing a lot of non-audit work for these clients. There's an incentive to have a good audit, because you don't wanna lose the client, and that's a huge problem.

Blake Oliver: Our CEO, Mike, here at FloQast, he wrote an article in Forbes - I'll link to it in the show notes - calling out this independence issue. We were really inspired by guys like Ron Baker, who say that because of the financial relationship, it is not possible to be an independent auditor in a lot of situations. We really need to do something about this, if we want to have truly independent audits that means something.

David Leary: I think this is a story that's gonna continue, maybe, in 2019. This is gonna be a lotta ... It's like a flywheel, and it's just getting faster, and faster, and faster, right now; this, "Break up the Big Four; Break up the Big Four." We're probably gonna see something happen here. Either a) another collapse, or there's gonna be some ... Chances are probably a collapse will happen before [cross talk]

Blake Oliver: Yeah, it's inevitable. KPMG's been just unlucky, I think, in this situation, but I bet you that the same problems exist at all the other three Big Four. Something will happen, and there'll be another huge scandal, and that will finally, perhaps, drive reform, which needs to happen. I don't know.

Blake Oliver: What do our listeners think? Do you think that the Big Four will ever be broken up? Do you think that audit in the UK will be able to become independent if they pass the right legislation? I'd love to hear your take. I have never done audit, myself, so I'm looking in as an outsider, and I would love to know what you think.

David Leary: I'm sure the root cause of all these problems are time sheets. That's it.

Blake Oliver: Yeah, right, time sheets. Probably. Really, we'd have to do a study to find out-

David Leary: It's the time sheet mindset, right?

Blake Oliver: Yeah. It's just people hate filling out time sheets so much that it just impacts all the other work that they do.

David Leary: But it's so important. Not important ... It's not important, but in these cultures in organizations, it dictates everything - the billable time. If the time sheet's dictating everything, of course it's impacting all the other decisions they make. I can't wait to actually ... I'm looking forward to trying to listen to Ron Baker [inaudible] podcast, where they will, I'm sure, go off on this article.

Blake Oliver: I hope so.

David Leary: I'm definitely ... If they're listening, I'm looking forward to that. What else happened this week, Blake?

Blake Oliver: There was some tech news, some fundraising news. A company called Flux raised $7.5 million in a Series A to bring its digital-receipts platform to more banks, and merchants. This is a story that appeared in Tech Crunch.

Blake Oliver: Also a London-based company. What Flux is, is a technology platform for banks, and merchants to power itemized digital receipts. In a nutshell, the idea is that when you go to a store, and you buy something on their point-of-sale, you get an itemized receipt printed out.

Blake Oliver: That information on the itemized receipt doesn't appear on your bank statement. All you get on your bank statement is the amount, vendor name, some gobbledygook, usually, that goes along with that, and the, did I say date, and amount.

Blake Oliver: The idea with Flux, what they wanna do is they actually wanna take that itemized receipt, and attach it on your bank statement. They are working with banks to link point-of-sale systems, and get that detailed purchase information into your online-banking feed, which-

David Leary: Yeah, they're totally attacking this differently from everybody else. Everybody else is like, "Oh, we'll take a picture of a receipt. You'll have an app in your pocket." This instantaneous, as soon as you ... It's geocached, and geofenced, and the second you walk out of that restaurant, or that merchant, the receipt'll be on your phone. Then, you could categorize it, and then it'll go into the accounting system. Then, the online bank will have to match it up. They're attacking it as, "Why don't we just make the banks smarter?

Blake Oliver: Yeah, it makes so much sense. Scanning. taking a picture of a piece of paper shouldn't have to happen at all. This is way better; this is going to the root of the problem. I'm excited to see what they do.

Blake Oliver: The only problem they have is it's a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation, as is mentioned in this article. How does Flux get banks to buy into this, if they don't have merchants who are- point-of-sale systems that are connected to Flux? Then, how does flux get point-of-sale systems to connect, and pay, if the banks aren't already interested?

David Leary: They might have to work backwards, and launch, really, like in Australia, because I think Australia's got what? Six banks? It's just the ability to implement an across-the-board/across-industry solution like this probably is simpler doing it in Australia. Until we see it really implemented, it's gonna be ... It could be a while.

Blake Oliver: It would be so cool to, imagine you're using QuickBooks Online, or you're using Xero, and on your bank feed, instead of just one transaction coming through for the whole purchase, you get the total amount, and then you get all of the individual items, automatically ... Then, the AI in those platforms can code that, depending on what it is you purchased. That would take so much of the work out of bookkeeping; just be fantastic.

David Leary: In theory, QuickBooks, and Xero could handle this, if the banks sent the data [cross talk]

Blake Oliver: Right, if it was in the bank feed, yeah.

David Leary: I actually got into a discussion, earlier today, about this, with checks. Checks are digital; they've been digital for a decade here. The only thing you ever get in your feed is the check number, the amount, and the date, which really starts to make me suspect that, even in a paper bank statement, you don't even get the payee from the check, which tells me the banks may not be scanning that, or storing it anywhere, because if they were, one bank, somewhere, would put that on a bank statement, even on accident. The banks aren't even storing this information. They don't have the information to give to accounting systems. We'll have to watch this one. It's an interesting play.

Blake Oliver: I think I think it'd be a very, very powerful tool; very valuable. Speaking of tech in the payments, and banking, and FinTech world, you've got a couple of stories about that.

David Leary: Yeah, I think we've been talking about banks, like Intuit's becoming a bank, and these other ... I was saying Starbucks could become a bank. Apple could become a bank. Well, Square ... Everybody's familiar with Square, for the swipe point-of-sale ... Everybody's interacted with a Square terminal, by now.

David Leary: Square has actually officially applied to become a bank. They have a new venture, called Square Financial Services. They actually want to become a true bank, and basically cut all the banks out of the play.

Blake Oliver: What would that ... Would they have branches, or would it be a virtual bank? Are there any details on this? I'm really curious.

David Leary: It says there won't be any brick-and-mortar branches. You open your Square account, you accept payments, your money's in your Square bank account. Square is now on payroll; you pay your employees from your Square account. You now use your Square account ...

David Leary: The next step is Square bill payment, B2B bill payments. I've not seen that yet, but I'm sure it's on a whiteboard somewhere at Square. That makes so much sense. That's the next thing. It's not just talk about becoming a bank. They're actually taking the steps, and going through the approval process, too, because-

Blake Oliver: They're already lending billions of dollars, which is the primary function of a bank, other than helping you store, and transmit cash. I don't see this being a big difficulty ... Other than getting licensed, I think this is very natural. It makes a lot of sense.

David Leary: Yeah, the regulations, and-.

Blake Oliver: I'm sure there's a ton of regulation they've gotta deal with-.

David Leary: Yeah, stuff that's in the way.

Blake Oliver: Well, that's awesome.

David Leary: It's coming. The other trend I think we've talked about the last couple weeks, not just banks, is instant payroll; getting rid of this waiting two weeks to get paid. A couple of things happened. It's all in the same article. This is actually on PYMNTS.com, but it's payroll-related.

David Leary: The title of the article is, "Real-Time Payments Gathering Steam for Workers." Started out, Earnin ... It's almost like payday loans, but it's same-day, or next-day payroll, so you can connect Earnin to ... Let's say I work for Walmart. I can connect Earnin to my Walmart time sheets, and then, every day I work at Walmart, Earnin will put money in my bank account for my paycheck [cross talk].

Blake Oliver: I clock in, in the morning, I clock out in the evening, and I get paid immediately.

David Leary: I don't think it's real-real-time, but it's maybe the next morning? It's very close to real-time.

Blake Oliver: I'm getting a daily deposit, now, for the work that I did, instead of having to wait two weeks.

David Leary: Yeah, and it's just not this startup. Paychex is now integrated with QuickBooks Online to get data moved faster, and get to real-time. Then, the Gusto CEO, Josh Reeves, he has a quote, which is kind of interesting, and I'll read this straight. Cold read here, so let me not stumble on it. "We should look back at a time, and a day, when you had to wait weeks to get paid, after you've done your work, in the same way we look back, when we used typewriters, instead of using a computer." That's where we're headed. We are headed to same-day pay.

Blake Oliver: It makes so much sense. There is really no reason, these days, with the automation that we have, that we need to batch up days, and hours that we have worked into two-week periods, or bi-monthly periods. Why not just pay everybody out, every day?

Blake Oliver: When I had my own firm, I paid everybody weekly, when I started. Some people asked me why. My partners said, "Why are we doing this? It's more work." I said, "Actually, no, it's really the same amount of work, because I've gotta go, and approve the time sheets, anyway, so I'm just reviewing them more frequently."

Blake Oliver: It's better for the employees, because they're getting paid sooner, and so they're not having to borrow money, if they if they are living paycheck to paycheck, which, unfortunately, a ton of people do in this country. I imagine that ... I was employing bookkeepers; a number of them could have been living paycheck to paycheck; it's not like they're gonna tell me.

Blake Oliver: By doing this, I'm making life better for them, and I am improving my own cash flow as a business, because, now, I've got it going out weekly, instead of bi-weekly, and when you're a new business, it's really helpful to not have liabilities sitting on your books. You wanna just pay those out quickly, so you don't get in trouble.

David Leary: It's gonna be interesting how this impacts the economy, on the whole, because the people ... This is technology that's gonna actually truly affect people's lives. For sure, the payday-loan industry is probably scared to death of this. They're probably even trying to get regulations to stop this-

Blake Oliver: Payday loans are awful. We should be doing everything we can to get rid of them, because they don't add to the economy. They're just sucking money out from workers who really need it most of all - hourly workers.

Blake Oliver: In this article, here at the bottom, there's a stat here that says Americans spend about $9 billion annually on interest from payday loans, and credit-card debt has neared $1 trillion. Employers, by paying people out more frequently, could really help this.

David Leary: It's gonna affect payday loans, for sure. It might affect credit-card debt, in the short term. The real interesting thing is how is this gonna really affect people's behaviors?

David Leary: A good example of this is when I created "View My Paycheck," back in the day, it let people get online, and see their pay stubs. Normally, people would get their paycheck on Friday; they check their pay stub on Friday.

David Leary: Well, we set it up to where the pay stubs, people could view their pay stub before they got paid. What happens, all the site traffic shifted from a Friday to a Wednesday. Their behaviors completely changed, because they're starting to plan around their paycheck for the end of the week.

David Leary: It'd be interesting, if people are expecting to get paid every single day, how it ripples through the rest of the economy, because their behaviors are gonna change. Are people gonna accidentally go to dinner every night, and then not have enough money, still, at the end of the week to pay their bills, and then they have to get a new payday loan? I don't know, but this is going to have a direct impact on millions of people in this country.

Blake Oliver: Yeah, that's great. Well, a positive impact of technology on not just the elites, and not just the people who are tech-savvy, and professionals, and whatnot. It's great for us, but we don't ... It's not gonna change our lives from that standpoint, but this will really help those hourly workers. I like that.

David Leary: This is game-changing, from a 'what we do matters' type perspective.

Blake Oliver: Cool. What else do we got that's new?

David Leary: We could keep talking about work. We were talking about next-day pay. I think you have an article about working six hours a day, right?

Blake Oliver: Yeah, I like this one a lot. Let me pull this up here. I've been saving this one for a good time to share, because it's-.

David Leary: When is this dated? When is this dated?

Blake Oliver: This article appeared on December 11, in Harvard [cross talk] Business Review, so, you know it's serious, okay? The headline just makes me smile every time I read it. It's called "The Case for the 6-Hour Workday." Who doesn't wanna work six hours?

Blake Oliver: If you think about it, why do we work eight hours? Why is that the default? It wasn't always that way. In 1900, most people worked way more than 40 hours a week. It was only when, in our somewhat-Socialist tendencies in the early 20th century, when we passed all these worker's rights acts, and limits on regular hours, and overtime, and all that stuff ...

Blake Oliver: We didn't have that before we passed all that legislation. That's when the 40-hour workweek basically became a thing in ... I think it was in the '30s. We had all those laws that prevented six-year-olds from working in coal mines, and stuff like that. It was the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, when we got these rules. That's when the 40-hour workweek got implemented.

Blake Oliver: It's time to step back, and ask ourselves, why do we even need a 40-hour workweek? With technology, maybe we don't need it. Maybe we can go quicker than that. This article features a guy named Adam Grant. He's an organizational psychologist, and a New York Times best-selling author of "Originals - How Nonconformists Moved the World." He says that the more complex, and creative jobs are, the less it makes sense to pay attention to hours at all. He questions why the eight-hour workday still reigns supreme. He says, quote-.

David Leary: Because companies bill for time.

Blake Oliver: Well, yeah, accounting firms. A lot of accounting firms do, and, of course, if they cut their hours to six, then it will be a problem. What about companies that don't have time sheets, right? Why do we still work from 8:00 until 5:00? Why do we come into the office, and have that schedule? Because we've always done it that way; because it's hard to imagine doing it any other way.

Blake Oliver: This guy, Adam Grant, he says that, like most humans, leaders are remarkably good at anchoring on the past, even when it's irrelevant to the present. To summarize this, I'm gonna do my best ...

Blake Oliver: The argument is that, in a modern office, where you do knowledge work, you're a professional; you work for a tech company; you're a white-collar worker; you come in, and you think about things, and maybe you work on a computer all day long ... That the modern office environment of 9:00 to 5:00, 8:00 to 5:00, or whatever it is, is not productive. It's not designed to help you in what you do.

Blake Oliver: That was designed for an era of tasks, when you came in, and you sat at your desk, and you performed a bunch of tasks that were always the same. It was important that you be there, and that you'd be working a set time, that sorta thing.

Blake Oliver: He says that that totally fails, when it comes to knowledge work, because workers are constantly being distracted. They are spending up to six hours per day on email. The average employee checks emails 74 times per day, and people are touching their smartphones 2,617 times per day. Basically, employees are in a constant state of distraction, and hyper-responsiveness. They're sitting at their desks all day; they're in the office, or they're doing meetings, and they're not actually getting a lot of work done.

Blake Oliver: The article cites Jason Fried. He's the co-founder of Basecamp. I highly recommend you check out the Basecamp blog. He's the author of a book called "It Doesn't Have to be Crazy at Work," which also fights this concept of the traditional workday, with lots, and lots of meetings.

Blake Oliver: Basically, people waste a lot of time at work - that's the takeaway from this article. The idea is if you get rid of a lot of that stuff, which includes unnecessary meetings, unplanned interruptions, tons, and tons of unnecessary email, unnecessary traveling, distractions in the office ... If you got rid of that, and let people focus on their work in uninterrupted blocks, they could do the same amount of work in six hours, versus eight.

David Leary: I think most people do six hours ... 40 hours a week, in six hours, once a week. The rest of the week is just wasted off. Two thoughts on this. A) I think some of the genesis, too, is people like things to be nice, and boxed out. You sleep for eight hours; you work for eight hours; you do something else for eight hours. That's kind of where ... I think a lot of it's just a human thing of us trying to have some sorta mapped-out balance to our lives. That probably drives a lot of this.

David Leary: The interesting thing, I think, where this ties into your article was last week, or the week before, about the universal basic income. In theory, as more things get automated, maybe instead of letting some people work, and some people not work, how about everybody just work a little less? You spread this automation, and robotic gains that we're gonna have that are gonna take everybody's jobs, you spread that across to everybody, and everybody gets to have a six-hour workday.

Blake Oliver: Here's the thing is I think we actually could. I think we could all work six hours a day, and get the same amount of work done, if we just worked. Disclaimer: I'm not talking about traditional jobs that are hourly in nature, that are task-based. I'm talking about jobs that are professional jobs; the kind where you're a knowledge worker.

Blake Oliver: Just from my own experience, having been a musician, this is a great example, all right? At least, I hope it is, David. Hear me out on this one. When I was studying music, there was always the question - how much should you practice every day? The idea is you wanna practice as much as you can to become really good, but you don't wanna overdo it, just like with sports.

Blake Oliver: Some people would try to practice all day long; try to practice eight hours a day, 10 hours, 12 hours. They're like, "I'll do whatever it takes!" These people, in my own experience, did not get any better. In fact, probably did worse than folks who practiced less, but the people who were practicing less, like four to six hours a day, were doing it in a super-focused way.

Blake Oliver: That means you go into the practice room, and you really think about what you're gonna do. Then, you practice in a focused way on specific challenges you're having; you're really thinking it through; you're being intelligent about it. That is 10 times more productive than if you just go into a practice room, and don't think, and just mindlessly play through your pieces.

Blake Oliver: This, to me, is the same thing. Most of the time, we're just going into our offices, and we're kinda mindlessly working. We're not consciously thinking about what we're doing; what's really gonna make a difference in the business, because not all work is equal.

Blake Oliver: There's that whole Pareto principle, which is that 20 percent of the work you do produces 80 percent of the results. If you think consciously, and you go into your office, and you spend four hours doing really impactful work, then you've just beat out everybody who just went in, and spent eight hours doing kinda meaningless work.

Blake Oliver: Kinda just going off on a rant, here, but it's ... If it works in music, and in sports, where you can't do eight hours a day - it's just not even possible, because of the physical demands - I think it should work with our brains, too. Our brains are muscles. You can't use your brain for eight hours straight, every day.

David Leary: Yeah, and I think the other argument in this article is there's just a lot of inefficiency things that happen at work. For some reason, it happens worse with knowledge workers, because, if I was building a bridge, and I had a team of 100 construction workers, and I wasted 60-70 percent of their day - bringing them into meetings, yapping 'em up, they're yapping, "Hey, check an email ..." blah, blah blah, that bridge will never get built; noting will actually get produced. It's just like we're broken in the knowledge-worker economy, somehow, I think.

Blake Oliver: Here's the great takeaway at the end: "Organizations are spending big money on digital transformation, but they could reap an immediate, far more cost-effective, transformational benefit, just by changing the way they work, instead of what they use to work.".

David Leary: Point taken.

Blake Oliver: As a tech guy, I do think it is important to do the digital transformation, because it does give you so many more efficiencies to be working in the cloud, versus on paper, but here's what I will agree with: if you do the digital transformation, just change the tools, without changing the method of work, the way you work, then you won't see any benefit.

Blake Oliver: You'll still be in those pointless meetings, even if those meetings are on Zoom video chat. You'll still be wasting time on Slack, versus email, if you don't change how you are doing work together. Yes, the way you work is more important than the tools, in the end. This is why-.

David Leary: Good point.

Blake Oliver: This is why time sheets are awful, because they prevent you from making any of this change. If you're responsible for a certain amount of billings, you can't become more efficient. If you do, you reduce your billings. It's just it's so stupid.

David Leary: You're summarizing it, right? You're tying in the whole podcast, from the time sheet story to this. You've book-ended the whole thing perfectly.

Blake Oliver: Oh, wow, we did! I love it.

David Leary: One suggestion I would have is people could just get their laptop, and work til your battery goes dead, which mine is now at ... I'm pushing 24 minutes left I have on the ... I could crash at any time here. We probably should wind up soon, because I am running out of juice. I think we could do one more story, if you have something you really, really love.

Blake Oliver: No, you know what? This was good, and we did book ... We came full circle, so let's cut it here, and save everything for our Christmas-week episode, our holiday episode, next week.

David Leary: Yeah, we're hoping, everybody, that we have a theme next week, maybe like ... There's a lot of blog posts, there's a lot of things out there, like the 2018 blah, blah, blah ... Trends for 2019. I think we're gonna try, and find a lot of those articles that are like that, and chat 'em up.

David Leary: If you have an article, and you're like, "Hey, I saw the 2019 Guide to Instagram Followers ..." Anything you see like that, send to us, and we'll try to talk about it next week.

Blake Oliver: That sounds great, and, if you are an auditor, and you have an opinion on the possible breakup of the Big Four in the UK, or independence issues, anywhere, including in the United States, I would love to hear from you. You can reach me on Twitter; I'm @BlakeTOliver. What about you, David?

David Leary: Don't contact me, if you're an auditor, but I'm @DavidLeary on Twitter.

Blake Oliver: If you have opinions about time sheets, I think David would be interested in hearing those, too, right? If you are a defender of the time sheet, or perhaps, you know, maybe I've gone too far with this six-hour work day ... I know there are people who think time sheets are stupid, but they can't imagine working less than 40 hours a week. I wanna hear from you. I wanna know your thoughts. I'm sure David would appreciate it, too. Connect with me on LinkedIn, as well. David this was a real pleasure, as always. I look forward to chatting with you on the next episode.

David Leary: See ya later, everybody.

Blake Oliver: Bye.

David Leary: Bye-bye.

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