Bloomberg: Companies Filing IPOs Shouldn’t Underestimate Accounting Challenge

Wayne Spivak of SBA * Consulting is quoted in this article Bloomberg article:

Bloomberg BNACompanies Confused About Upfront Fees for Cloud Services Rule

Bloomberg BNA –

Reproduced with permission from Accounting Policy and Practice Report, 77 APPR, 4/24/17. Copyright
 2017 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033)

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Companies Filing IPOs Shouldn’t Underestimate Accounting Challenge

Customer Service – Cases of truly despicable service

Customer Service, part of the value proposition of any company.  Here is my story with three organizations, large companies, listed companies.  All three need to improve their customer service, but two of them provided “truly despicable service”.

Customer Service stories

I recently had fraud on my American Express Card.  The responses by Google and Uber can only be described as criminal neglect and attributing or co-conspirator to a fraud.

One would think that they would do everything in their power to track down and stop fraud from their systems.  WRONG!

One would think they would have records of charges made under their merchant account.  WRONG AGAIN!

One would think that they would be supportive and apologetic.  SO VERY WRONG!


Uber Customer ServiceMy card was charged for four trips in April 2017.  Funny thing, not only does my account on Uber show that I only made two trips, that’s in my entire time as a customer of Uber in September 2016.

Therefore, after clicking around on their web site I find the “I think my account has been hacked” link.  I send them the details of the four charges.

Here is there response:

Happy to explain, Wayne.

Your statement currently shows an authorization hold.

Occasionally, Uber may charge an authorization hold to your account to verify the payment method. Authorization holds are voided by Uber within hours of being made, and will disappear from your payment method within a few business days, depending on your bank or credit card company’s policy. If you have questions about how long the hold amount will appear on your statement, please contact your bank or credit card company for further information. However we can confirm that you were not actually charged for this amount.

Successful authorization confirms that the payment method will accept future payment requests from Uber.

We appreciate your patience during this process. Please reach out with any questions.

Sent by HB on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 9:45:56 AM

While my email showed two charges were show to have gone through and the other two charges pending, No charge should have been made against my card, period.

How insulting and lazy of Uber.


Google Customer SerivceI have never purchased anything from the Playstore.  I was testing BlueStacks, so needed to give them a Credit Card.  Sometime in January I had a few charges that Google was never able to find on their system and I received a new AMEX credit card number.

This time, I had over fifty (50) charges either posted to my account or pending, each for $.108.  I contacted Google.

After a series of idiotic and stupid emails on Google’s part, they finally said:

We’ve investigated the charges dated April 17 & April 21, 2017 and confirmed that they weren’t made from your XXX account. However, we can’t find the details related to the transaction, hence we don’t have an option to refund.

Amazing.  The premier data collection company next to probably the Mormon Church and they can find over FIFTY charges made to my account.  They also insulted me by writing

If you have more than one Google Account, it’s possible the charge came from a different account. You may also want to check if family or friends made charges using your payment method.

American Express

For the most part AMEX has been extremely helpful in this regard.  The charges or pending hasn’t been reversed yet, but they are on notice.  I had asked that any charge made by Google be blocked period, they said they would comply but didn’t (and that’s how 50 more pending charges appeared and my second American Express card was required in the space of two days.

They also didn’t live up to what they told me about timing and the activation of my old card to my new card, or how the web site would work, but hey their loosing since I’m not charging.

AMEX also said they are having many issues with Uber.  Interesting since they just began a partnership for at least Platinum cardholders.  I wonder how long that partnership will last.

Calling Law Enforcement

Makes you wonder why have not started major investigations into their complicit nature with fraud?  Where are the Attorney Generals of our fifty states?  The Security and Exchange Commission and/or the Department of Justice? Isn’t customer service and their responses when evasive or downright stonewalling part and parcel of the fraud?

Lessons that should be learned

Do not treat your customers like idiots.

Making statements that are insulting doesn’t keep customers.

Do not make light of fraud.

Be aware, social media is a powerful tool that can hurt the bottom line, think United Airlines!


Google Plans Ad-Blocking Feature in Popular Chrome Browser

GoogleGoogle, a company that never stands still is about to put a major kink in e-commerce.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Chrome will be able to block ads.  This change is on the heels of  a list of unacceptable ad types by the Coalition for Better Ads.  These ad types include pop-up ads, ads with countdowns, sticky adas, auto-playing video ads with sound among those the Coalition finds objectionable.

Websites that depend on advertisers may find revenue’s decreasing.

Google is not entirely altruistic

According the the WSJ, Google is trying to rein in the expanding marketplace for 3rd party blockers.  The Journal estimates that 26% of users nation-wide are employing some type of blocker and the marketplace for blockers may endanger Google’s $60 billion in revenue.

How will this impact your company?

If you’re an advertiser that uses unacceptable ads, maybe now is the time to redefine your advertising technology and marketing plan.  The Coalition’s research of what consumers find objectionable or at least annoying is partially behind the technology of ad blockers and Google’s move.  According to the Coalition, they surveyed over 25,000 users in their first phase of research.   Participants disliked four different type of desktop ad technologies and eight mobile web experiences.  It is these twelve ad-types (which eight are unique) that are now deemed unacceptable.

Marketing and Marketing Technology

Companies need to be on top of what is not only happening in their industry, sector and sub-sector but in business in general.  It is important to have planning and budgeting meetings that examine changes in the landscape.  Pre-planning is always less expensive and ultimately a prelude to larger revenues than the alternative; fire-fighting.  For those unfamiliar with that term, it’s when you are caught unaware and need to deal with emergencies that could have been prevented or mitigated ahead of time.

A New Look, a new logo: Growth is Good

After adopting a QR-tag as a logo in 2011, SBA * Consulting has decided a new look, a new venue for the dissemination of information was required.

QR-tags impact has waned, but SBA * Consulting and both its tag line Growth is Good” and its mission hasn’t.

Our newly designed logo

Our old symbol

SBA * Consulting LTD logoSBA * Consulting Logo


New services

We’ve added new services to our small and start-up clients.  Virtual bookkeeping Services utilizing the Xero SaaS based accounting system, with suggested add-ons for all customers: Hubdoc, Expensify, Float or Spotlight Reporting.  Xero has hundreds of vertical and horizontal 3rd party add-ons so almost any small business can operate.

Bloomberg: Companies Confused About Upfront Fees for Cloud Services Rule

Wayne Spivak of SBA * Consulting is quoted in this article Bloomberg article:

Bloomberg BNACompanies Confused About Upfront Fees for Cloud Services Rule

Bloomberg BNA –

Reproduced with permission from Accounting Policy and Practice Report, 71 APPR, 4/14/17. Copyright
 2017 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033)

Click to read the article:Companies Confused About Upfront Fees for Cloud Services Rule