CFO’s Realizing Blockchain Potential Sooner Than Predicted

By Torrey and Gray | September 21, 2018

With cyberattacks expected to cost over $6 Trillion annually by 2021, corporate leaders are embracing the benefits of blockchain technology more rapidly than predicted only a year ago.  Spending in this area is projected to exceed $400 million in 2019, up from $315 million in 2017. For the full article in Accounting Today, click here. Torrey & Gray places accounting and finance professionals that drive your company’s goals forward.  Contact us if you need permanent employees or temporary staff.  We place CFO’s, Controllers, Treasury Professionals, Accounting Managers, Finance Leaders, etc.  Based in Hoffman Estates, IL, we serve the Chicago and…

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Public Companies at 40 Year Low

By Torrey and Gray | August 22, 2018

As reported in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, the number of publicly held companies in the U.S. is lower than is was in 1976.  GDP is much higher.  So more money is concentrated in fewer companies, which we would argue poses greater volatility and investor risk.  Why is this?  Reasons include – as we discussed yesterday – fewer new business startups is one example.  Huge costs associated with reporting requirements for IPO’s, low interest rates which fuel private equity investment and increased borrowing, increased pressure on employee benefit costs, higher sales tax – which impacts retailers all contribute. Getting back…

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New Unemployment Claims Approaching 50 Year Low

By Torrey and Gray | August 20, 2018

Goldman Sachs analyst Spencer Hill suggests a combination of factors may lead to a 50 year low in initial unemployment claims.  It is possible we may soon see the number drop below 200,000 for the first time since 1969.  Leading causes include a shift in the workforce away from manufacturing industries, which have more cyclical staffing needs than others.  Another is a decline in new business startups.  A climate of increased regulation including mandatory healthcare – which has caused skyrocketing insurance costs, have led to fewer startups.  Unfortunately, the statistics for new business startups is also approaching a 40 year…

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Morgan Stanley and other banks positioning for Crypto talent

By Torrey and Gray | August 2, 2018

In another high profile move by a large bank, Morgan Stanley announced the hiring of Andrew Peel as their new Head of Digital Assets.  Peel had been considered to be the top Bitcoin expert at CreditSuisse. For the article click here: https://www.ccn.com/morgan-stanley-poaches-credit-suisse-bitcoin-expert-to-head-crypto-division/  Other reports indicate the trend of employees leaving traditional financial services firms for blockchain and cryptocurrency is accelerating globally.  Goldman Sachs has seen a handful of executives leave for crypto hedge fund Galaxy Digital Asset Management. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/09/another-goldman-exec-dumps-wall-street-for-crypto-world.html Asim Ahmad left BlackRock because after investing in crypto on the side, he “got to the point where the one day volatility of…

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High Fees Lead to Kroger halting Visa Payments

By Torrey and Gray | August 1, 2018

Most consumers to not realize or care that whenever they use their Visa branded payment cards, the merchant has to absorb fees of 2% to sometimes 10% or more. Grocery stores like Kroger typically have high overhead and low profit margins. Having to shell out even 2% of sales can have a dramatic effect on profitability. As this chart indicates, their margins percentages have declined by 11% over the last 10 years. How can retailers compete? They are looking into lower cost alternative payment methods such as cryptocurrency merchant platforms. Some platforms include CoinPayments, which offers crypto merchant settlement for…

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Chicago Federal Reserve Bank Sees Financial Conditions Loosening

By Torrey and Gray | August 1, 2018

This weeks’ financial condition index report from the Chicago Fed indicates a continuing trend of loosening financial conditions. This environment can stimulate labor markets by encouraging employers to consider spending more money to hire new employees. https://www.chicagofed.org/research/data/nfci/background

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Ernst & Young Accounting Firm Enters Digital Currency Market

By Torrey and Gray | July 26, 2018

Large established organizations are scrambling to catch up with blockchain technology – so they are buying up pieces of the puzzle as they try to figure out their place in the growing digital asset economy.  Accounting Today reports E&Y has acquired a startup in San Francisco with some cryptocurrency patents.  Among these is a tool to track digital asset transactions and inventory while better preparing asset holders for tax preparation.  For the Accounting Today article click here. Torrey & Gray is a staffing and recruiting firm that places both temporary and full time accounting and finance professionals in the Chicago…

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Masters in Accountancy programs added to STEM designation list

By Torrey and Gray | May 24, 2018

In a move we have advocated since 2009, the University of Illinois (and Ohio State, among others) recently had their Masters’ in Accountancy program added to the qualifying list of STEM majors.  This is significant because the designation allows foreign nationals an extended work visa timeframe post graduation without requiring an H1B visa sponsorship.  Normally, a foreign student will be allowed up to 18 months to work in the US without work visa sponsorship.  However, STEM degrees enjoy up to a 24 month extension.  A major consideration is the level of mathematics included in the degree, and each program is…

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Amazon and Apple getting into banking, payments

By Torrey and Gray | May 16, 2018

A recent article from CNN suggests Amazon and Apple are venturing further into payment systems, credit cards and even cryptocurrency.  They see current financial systems “ripe for disruption” and hope to expand services and products offered to their already massive and loyal customer bases. Other emerging services are existing cryptocurrencies venturing into banking and merchant services.  It is already possible to easily accept crypto using platforms such as Token Pay (www.tokenpay.com), which recently announced the acquisition of a 10% stake in a German bank and is reportedly in talks with a South American sports betting company.  They are in the…

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Cryptocurrencies are headed into the Classroom, oh and did we mention Wall Street too?

By Torrey and Gray | May 9, 2018

A recent article in The Journal of Accountancy highlighted the demand for education and training in the field of cryptocurrencies.   Still far from mass adoption, crypto and the related blockchain based technologies springing up constantly are going to forever change the world we live in.  There is so much happening right now in regards to blockchain, privacy, immutability of records placed into blockchains, it really is an exciting time for some, and a terrifying time for others. In order to remain relevant in the education marketplace, schools must begin introducing these concepts if they have not already begun doing so.…

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