Accounting News Roundup: Female CFOs Getting the Shaft on Pay; Groupon Sued; Muddy Waters' Latest Warning | 04.04.12

Female CFOs in U.S. Paid Less Than Men, Study Finds [Bloomberg]
Male chief financial officers at U.S. companies are paid an average of 16 percent more than their female counterparts of similar age at companies with comparable market values, according to a study. The report by New York-based GMI Ratings, a corporate governance consulting firm, is based on an analysis of salaries of more than 1,900 CFOs at Russell 3000 Index (RAY) companies with a market value of $100 million to $25 billion in 2010. About 150 of the CFOs were women. Female CFOs received on average $1.32 million a year in total compensation, compared with $1.54 million for their male counterparts, according to a model based on the analysis. Compensation included base salary, bonuses, grant-date value of stock awards and stock option grants and retirement benefits. The firm said its model accurately predicted a CFO’s gender. The lower the salary, the more likely the CFO would be female.

Groupon sued by investor for accounting errors, IPO [MSNBC]
Groupon, the world’s largest online coupon website, is being sued by a shareholder for misleading investors about its financial results and concealing weak internal controls. According to a complaint filed in federal court in Groupon’s hometown of Chicago, the company overstated revenue, issued materially false and misleading financial results, and concealed how its business was not growing as fast and was not nearly as resistant to competition as it had suggested.
 
MF Global’s Inscrutable Accounting Error [CFO]
While securities dealer MF Global was melting down financially, the company’s finance and treasury departments — in conjunction with futures-market regulators — were on the hunt for the accounting error that wasn’t. MF Global’s general counsel and the CFO of its broker-dealer unit appear to never have had any evidence that faulty reporting had caused a deficit in customer-segregated accounts. But they persisted in their belief for as long as three days, according to a time line of the firm’s final days constructed by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The reason? The amount was so large “it was too big to be anything else.”
 
Muddy Waters: Be wary of Hong Kong listed Chinese companies [CNN]
"There was a propensity for fraudulent Chinese companies to list their shares in the West, but I think that trend has slowed down quite a bit ever since short sellers like Muddy Waters have come onto the scene," Muddy Waters founder Carson Block told CNNMoney during an interview at the Council of Institutional Investors spring conference in Washington, D.C. "Now we're starting to hear rumblings out of Hong Kong," Block said. "Could Hong Kong be the next bastion of fraudulent revelations? It's difficult to say. But investors need to be wary." He noted that in the last month, Deloitte -- one of the Big Four accounting firms -- quit as auditor of two Hong Kong-listed Chinese companies.
 
TurboTax for iPad Was Better Than My Accountant [Gadgetwise/NYT]
Blasphemy!
 
Wealthy Smartphone Users Like Angry Birds and Facebook [TWR/WSJ]
Possibly related: Poor smartphone users like Angry Birds and Facebook.

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