Monday, December 20, 2010

TaxDan tax help

Great site for individuals to find tax information at:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

American Express Green Card and Plum

As a small business owner, I started using AMEX Plum for all of my purchases when I began the business in early 2009. I have used the green card for personal use for 20 years and always paid on time.

Recently, I was running late on the personal card and called to explain that I would be paying but needed time...and asked to be on a finance plan. I was told-we don't do that-you need to pay in full. After several calls, AMEX was paid in full and yet, the cancelled my account.

The Plum card was paid on time and often early-and yet AMEX cancelled that card too. I'm fed up with them-horrible customer service and trying to run people into the ground!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Live and Learn-working with recruiters

I have worked with recruiters over the past 20 years. As with any, there are good and bad.

I'm recently frustrated to understand more about their markup for project resources. A company may be paying $125 an hour, paying the person doing the work $25-$40 an hour. And, there's also enough margin to be able to provide a cut to other people in the middle.

It's a bit of a scam for companies and I hoped the access to information on the Internet would eliminate this...and it has to some degree.

Lesson for employers-know who you work with and try to cut out the middle men!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Verizon Palm Pre Plus spell check

I recently upgraded from a Blackberry 9630 to a Palm Pre Plus with Verizon. It took me several searches to find it-but the Pre doesn't have a good spell checker installed, which is unbelievable!

I finally found a great auto correct app that works similar to the Blackberry.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Balancing services

Our services continue to grow at DGA. We're pleased to work with some very high caliber companies and CFO's and we expand through our marketing and networking efforts.

The risk services and process improvement business is our core and we will focus on strengthening our team and our service offerings.

Since the first quarter of the calendar year has been traditionally slow for our services, we're planning to begin a tax practice later this year-offering CPA quality tax preparation service at reasonable prices.

Our new website will launch in the next few weeks:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Small companies and 404 compliance

With financial and regulatory reform underway, companies with market cap under $75 million won't need their auditors to sign off on the internal controls as part of SOx 404. However, management must still comply with meeting the requirements of their assertion as to the adequacy of ICFR.

And that means, that the public accounting firms need to cut their fees for SOx 404 assistance or let more agile and focused professionals and smaller firms do the work. CFO's are coming to realize they can save a lot of money on fees.

I recently talked with a CFO who is now paying less than 1/3 of what he paid last year-for virtually the same work!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Pushing rates down for consulting firms

A colleague of mine recently asked me how I'm doing in business on my own. I said I'm doing okay and continue to build client base. I asked how he's doing and his response: great, except guys like you are pushing our rates down.

I find this to be a jab of frustration from the larger consulting firms. I don't have the overhead that the larger firms do, and provide a better level of service, at a fair price. The larger firms became accustomed to higher rates in the wake of SOx 404 and now they struggle to maintain compensation structures that don't fit the economy.

Here's my take: the model of the Big 4 and consulting firms is broken and it's time to make changes to fix this. Outsourcing work to India or the Philippines will reduce costs, but risk increases in trying to manage quality of service.

Seriously-is any partner's time worth upwards of $400-$700 on your engagements? I think not!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Consultants and their fees...

I ran across an article in CFO Magazine, June 2010 that I found to be on point. See

There's no question in my mind that the larger firms are struggling with their fee structures in light of the overhead they have and the hangover from SOx 404 fees. So, a logical option is to staff projects with less qualified professionals-'NO YOU SAY'?  Yes-that will be inevitable. And in my experience, many of the best people have already left the firms and moved to industry or other roles.

Keep on keeping on...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I'm working on a large due diligence project and had to find a way to transfer large files to my team. I set up an FTP site through my web host;

Then I had to find ftp software that worked for me and for the team. I tried GoFTP and it was okay. Then tried SmartFTP and really like it. It's faster, easier to use and works well for the team.

Much better than flash drives and cd's!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Forensic accounting projects

Leveraging my experience in litigation support and expert witness testimony, we've been asked to propose on a forensic accounting project for a condominium association. Looking forward to hearing from and working with the board, on behalf of the association.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Market seems to be improving

I'm seeing more activity on LinkedIn and other sites related to contract opportunities. I still know several great people that are out of work (in the internal audit space).

Internal audit is my strongest skillset-followed by forensic accounting and due diligence. Looking forward to the Forensic Accounting conference in Chicago next month.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Forensic Accounting

We will be presenting at the IL CPA Society's Annual Forensic Accounting conference on June 2, 2010. Currently preparing materials for our session on SAS 99 and internal controls.

Please attend the conference...more information is available at:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Brochure...ahh yes, a brochure

April 1 is officially one year in business as Daniel Gaffney & Associates, LLC. It's been a great year; got off to a slow start but picking up every day. It's very liberating!

And after pushing off having paper collateral material, I'm developing a brochure on our service offerings. Very excited to be working with an outstanding guy-Jerry Freund at Mid America Printing in Chicago. See

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The firms keep cutting

Yes, the public accounting firms keep cutting professionals.

My former firm, Crowe Horwath cut a few more in IT advisory in the last week or so. And one is a friend of mine, who is one of the best in IT security. I'm sure they made his life miserable and created reasons to terminate him. That's their way...

The partners in the Big 4 and second tier firms have to protect their profits, and anyone who doesn't follow their blind leadership is chopped.

I said to my wife two days before being cut from Crowe....I just can't see myself being a partner in one of these firms. Fortunately, they made me choose a new direction.

I can only say thank you to the firms for pushing me out of their culture!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


It seems I can use dotnetnuke for my surveys! Awesome that it will be part of my overall marketing programs.

Online surveys...

I plan to develop and issue a survey to CFOs and internal audit leaders, and trying to determine best tool online for doing so....


and others...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

And off to another year!!

Today is the one year anniversary of my leaving Crowe Horwath. While building the business has been slower than expected, I'm keeping my head above water and looking forward to this new year.

I've expanded on the service offerings that I originally set out to deliver. I'm now delivering IT SOX and SAS70 controls testing assistance for Blackman Kallick in Chicago. Also completed an audit of a payroll process for a client of Hudson Resources.

While I'm still refining my niche, I do see a stronger market for IT audit, IT project management and assurance service needs.

Last year was fun and onward and upward!!