Accounting News Roundup: Canada's CPA Not Really Coming Along; Ex-IRS Agent Admits to Bogus Time Cards; Stacy Lewis's Hat Gets Its Own KPMG | 02.15.13

Switzerland, US Sign Pact to Crack Down on Tax Evasion [Reuters]
Advancing a U.S. crackdown on tax evasion by Americans, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Thursday Switzerland and the United States have signed a pact to make Swiss banks disclose more information about U.S. account holders. The agreement is the latest in a series between the United States and other countries designed to carry out the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, enacted in 2010. The law requires foreign financial institutions to tell the U.S. Internal Revenue Service about Americans' offshore accounts worth more than $50,000.

Canada's Effort to Unify Accounting Bodies Seeing Mixed Results [AWEB]
CPA Canada was officially established January 1 with the aim of unifying the accounting profession for Canada, which would include the issuance of the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. On its website, CPA Canada says its vision for the professional designation is: "To be the pre-eminent, internationally recognized Canadian accounting designation and business credential that best protects and serves the public interest." CPA Canada, which has been in the project stage for several years, says "a single voice representing as many as 170,000 Canadian members would more effectively represent member interests with respect to domestic policy, legislation, and regulatory issues affecting the accounting profession." Currently, Canada has over forty independent accounting bodies across its ten provinces and three territories. [...] But there is discord in the unification process, as only two of the three national accounting bodies – Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) and Certified Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada) – are supporting CPA Canada. The third national accounting organization, Certified General Accountants of Canada (CGA-Canada), dropped out of the unification discussions after initially taking part in the process. 
 
Former IRS agent admits to time card fraud [KWCH]
Becky Book, 49, of Pittsburg, pleaded guilty to one count of public fund theft. She admitted to time card fraud while working as an IRS revenue agent. Book also said she prepared 14 travel vouchers, claiming mileage to appointments that she never attended. The extra hours and mileage cost the government $26,449.65.
 
Minnesota agency, Deloitte join to boost small business [PioneerPress]
Minnesota's Department of Employment and Economic Development will partner with other agencies and Deloitte Consulting to evaluate the state's support systems and contracting opportunities for small businesses. The initiative will focus on businesses with fewer than 50 employees in the 11-county metro area and with $10 million or less in revenue. The project will have an emphasis on veteran, women and minority-owned businesses.
 
Auditor Group Eyes Audit Committee Disclosures [CFO]
Indeed, one of the 2013 priorities of the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ), an organization of about 600 public company auditing firms that aims to boost investor confidence, is to improve audit- committee relationships with shareholders, according to Cindy Fornelli, executive director of the CAQ. “Is there a way to provide more robust disclosure that doesn’t interfere with management’s responsibility to be the original source of information?” Fornelli asks. She told CFO that the CAQ will hold meetings over the next couple of weeks to discuss the issue.
 
KPMG Elevates Relationship With Stacy Lewis, Becomes Official Hat Sponsor of LPGA Tour Star [KPMG]
Probably her best Valentine's Day ever!
 
The Lessons From Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne's Gun Caper [Gary Weiss]
Seriously. Don't take a gun to the airport.
 
Former AICPA President Chenok dies at 77 [JofA]
It's my understanding that he'll receive a 21 mechanical pencil click salute.
 
Two Dozen Companies Announce California Departures, Citing Higher Taxes [Tax Foundation]
Phil Mickelson is feeling vindicated.
 
Man Killed Someone For Laughing At How He Ate A Sandwich [HP]
Ronald Eugene Murray II, 26, was found guilty on Monday of voluntary manslaughter in the death of Mun Jang, who he punched and kicked on Oct. 1, 2011 so severely that Jang died two days later in a hospital, the Daily Breeze reported. The attack occurred after Murray purchased a pastrami sandwich at a restaurant called Donut King. When he took his first bite, some of the meat fell out and Jang laughed at him, according to the Associated Press. That angered Murray, who snapped, "Who you laughing at?" He became even more upset when the clerk behind the glass refused his request for another sandwich at half-price, according to Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Turk. "The real focus of his anger were the people who would not give him a sandwich," Turk said, according to the San Jose Mercury News. "The only person he could take his rage out on was the victim."

 

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