'Tis the Season

I received a holiday card the other day from my accountant’s office. It said:

All of us at the [redacted] Group would like to take this opportunity to wish you a joyous holiday season and a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.

We are grateful to all our clients and friends who have made our continued success possible.

We have chosen to forego our annual holiday parties in recognition of the uncertain economic times we are all facing and instead have chosen to make a charitable contribution on your behalf.

I am well accustomed to the “charitable contribution on your behalf” message — not that I’m expecting a gift from my accountant — but the “uncertain economic times” has a real, well, depressing ring to it. At the very least, I admire the firm’s getting out in front of the bad news by sending out its card in early November. I have a feeling this isn’t the last of its kind I’ll see this year.

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  1. Mike Nemecek says:

    Curious: did they specify the charity and the amount of the contribution/gift?

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  2. Brad says:

    Who gets the donation write-off when the accountant is making the donation on behalf of the client?

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  3. DK1 says:

    Was the charitable contribution really made “on your behalf”? It was made in lieu of a holiday party, which is generally for employees, not clients.

    You might want to make sure your accountant’s generosity didn’t go the “Human Fund”, a la George Costanza.

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  4. AaronS says:

    How convenient! They save, say, $50,000 on a Christmas Party, and donate $20,000 “on your behalf” to some charity.

    That way, they save money, get some sort of write-off (perhaps), and make you, their customer, feel all warm and fuzzy about them.

    I’m not buying it. Ask them to send you YOUR portion of the donantion, and you will donate it yourself.

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  5. Nosybear says:

    Got the same crap here. The holiday turkeys are scrapped because “we’re an international company and it’s not fair to those of us who work overseas and do not celebrate Thanksgiving….” It’s “been donated to the International Red Cross in you name….”

    Okay, so now when do I, in the spirit of fairness, get six weeks of vacation a year (or my European colleagues donate three of theirs to charity)?

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  6. spelling nerd says:

    Your accountants don’t know how to spell “forgo.” :)

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  7. Brad G says:

    Whoever actually makes the contribution (in this case, the accounting firm) gets the tax deduction.

    I agree with DK1, taking away the holiday party just lowers the morale of the employees at the accounting firm. The benefits associated with such a party far outweigh the costs of a party. Even a cheap social gathering is beneficial. In my opinion, bad decision on the accounting firm.

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  8. charles says:

    What? I say have the stinking party.

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