November 17, 2019

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Sir David Tweedie’s Accounting Rock Star Status Is Safe Despite His Failure to Converge Standards

In case you forgot, Sir David Tweedie is retiring next week as the head of the IASB. It’s been quite a run for Tweeds and good money says his friends at the Board will send him off in style worthy of a knighted Scotsman (read: getting him blind drunk and some hooliganism). He’s had many accomplishments in his time running the IASB but there’s one goal that will ultimately elude him when he hangs up the eyeshade. That is the dream of converged accounting standards. It certainly has been a noble quest worthy of his accounting “rock star” status but you can’t help but imagine that you might happen across SDT in a pub muttering to himself over a pint about “the one that got away.”

Sir David’s biggest project has been convergence of IASB’s rules with those of America’s Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). The two had set a June deadline, timed to coincide with Sir David’s retirement, to iron out their differences. That won’t be met.

Just because he won’t reach his ultimate goal that doesn’t mean Tweeds hasn’t tried. Or been BEEN INFINITELY FUCKING PATIENT with the Yanks.

But you can’t do it all. So now the task of accounting rule copulation will now fall to Dutchman Hans Hoogevorst but if Sir David is feeling a little like a failure, he should know that there are people out there still think he’s pretty badass since he got the SEC to come to the table:

Sir David should not be too disappointed that convergence is not complete. That the process has come as far as it has—and that America’s Securities and Exchange Commission might decide later this year to adopt IASB’s standards—is something no one could have predicted ten years ago, says Nigel Sleigh-Johnson of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales.

So enjoy your retirement, oh knighted one. Your double-entry immortality is secure.

The balladeer of the balance-sheet [The Economist]

Confidential to Sir David Tweedie: Mary Schapiro Isn’t Hearing Encouraging Words on IFRS

Speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s annual CFO Network meeting in Washington D.C., Schapiro readily admitted that there isn’t a big push from either multinationals or shareholders to move to international financial reporting standards.

In response to a question from Bank of America’s CFO, Chuck Noski, Schapiro said, “We have not heard from a lot of shareholders that we have to go (to IFRS). We’ve heard the contrary… ‘Why would we take this step toward international accounting standards?’” [CFOJ]

Sir David Tweedie’s Patience Is Wearing Thin

He may be on his way out the door but still IASB chair David “that’s Sir David to you” Tweedie is still sick of all our heel-dragging on IFRS in the U.S. He hasn’t gone so far as to say we’ll be left in the capital market dust if we don’t adopt tomorrow but he’s clearly fed up with our procrastination.


Via CFO.com:

If they put off a commitment to international financial reporting standards beyond 2011, U.S. accounting rulemakers and standard-setters would impose “unnecessary costs and risks on U.S. companies,” Sir David Tweedie, chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board, said Wednesday at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce gathering on the future of financial reporting.

The major risks are competitive ones, said Tweedie. U.S.-based multinationals already must fill numerous sets of accounting books. Many must file their financials under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles even as they report on the activities of their overseas subsidiaries under IFRS or the standards crafted by individual nations, he pointed out. At the same time, their foreign competitors can use IFRS for all purposes, even for filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, he added.

As is, the transition to IFRS is estimated to cost American companies $35 million per year (remember 3 years of restatements will be required). We’re not sure if he has access to different estimates that somehow make qualified IFRS monkey restatements more expensive in 2012 and beyond than they would be by the end of this year but it seems painfully clear that he means business.

I’m not sure if he missed the memo but we don’t seem as enthusiastic about convergence as we did when we delayed the release of a roadmap in 2008. Three years later, we don’t appear to be any more prepared for the transition than we were then and still have three (or make that four) more good years to drag our heels according to recent statements by the SEC.

How much clearer does Tweeds need it? We’re just not that into your standards.

Sir David Tweedie Confirms Your Accounting Firm Mafia Suspicions

As you probably remember, head knight of the double-entry accounting round table, Sir David Tweedie, is retiring in a few months to be replaced by this guy. Until then, however, the wily Scotsman will be running the show and he’s still pitching IFRS as if the life of the financial reporting universe depended on it. Just like Bob Herz, he’s in this thing until the very end.

CFO has a brief Q&A with SDT and despite the USA’s pussyfooting around the issue, he manages to rush to our defense at the suggestion of haters that the IASB should give us the “throw the bums out” treatment:

Some critics grumble that if the United States does not adopt IFRS, it should be ousted from the IASB and the board of trustees. What’s your opinion?

I get quite angry at some of the comments we get insisting that the United States be ousted. People say that America would have to come around because the U.S. share of global-market capitalization is falling all the time. The complaint is, “We’re not having [the United States] tell us what to do if they don’t use international standards.” I can understand that, and you can have international standards without the United States. But you can’t have global standards without the United States. So there is more work to be done on that issue.

So in other words, suck it world! You can keep your international standards. We’ve got a knighted Scotsman who even said you’ll make due without us. Call it whatever you like, just don’t call it “global” without us. Because you can’t spell “global” without “A”… which stands for…er….”America.” BASTARDS.

[BREATHE] Never mind that. The most interesting bit is that Tweeds appears to blow the lid of the Big 4 omertá:

What’s been your experience with professional judgment? Many U.S. practitioners say a heavy reliance on judgment won’t work in America’s litigious environment.

As a technical partner at KPMG, I was always being asked to evaluate situations that were outside of issued guidance. It’s the same in the United States — you get questions you’ve never thought about before, and there’s nothing in the standards addressing it. So you kick it around with the client, the client partners, and other senior partners in the firm. You come up with a position.

[My approach was to] ring up Deloitte, for example, and say, “Have you had one of these [situations]?” There is sort of a technical-partner mafia that gets together and says, “Yeah, we had one of these.” So, in a way, the profession fixes the problems.

So whether this is happening under the nose of the brass or with their full and unmitigated support can’t be determined, although we won’t be surprised if the old man ends up “retiring” early.

Tweedie Takes a Bow [CFO]

Sir David Tweedie Would Appreciate It If You Quit Complaining About the New Accounting Standards

This means you PricewaterhouseCoopers. You’re acting like this convergence/IFRS adoption is just happening too fast, well, Tweeds isn’t having it.

As for you companies out there that actually have to keep their books in tiptop shape, Sir Tweeds isn’t so amused by your bellyaching either. And for the love of God, would everyone quit playing dumb:

“Let’s look at what we’ve got out there at the moment – leases, revenue recognition and insurance. If you’re not an insurance company you’ve got two. Big deal,” he said.

“I’m not terribly sympathetic. It’s not as thought these have sprung out of no where, we’ve been working on these, they’ve seen the drafts coming, they know what we’re doing.

Furthermore, maybe if you got some of your people on this instead of writing a comment letter every two seconds, this wouldn’t seem like such monumental task.

“It’s tough, but goodness it’s tough for us too. We can’t keep getting all this advice. We always get conflicting advice. ‘You must have these done by June 2011, but don’t give them to us all at once’,” he said.

Tweedie “not terribly sympathetic” to concerns of standard-overload [Accountancy Age]

Sir David Tweedie Is Leading U-S-A Chants

Some of you might think that Sir David Tweedie is trying evangelize IFRS all over this great U.S. GAAP land because A) he’s a wily Scotsman who isn’t afraid to wear a kilt to the office and sure as hell isn’t going to let a bunch of know-nothings tell him what’s best and B) he’s trying to throw his title.

Or maybe you just think he doesn’t care if the US of A is down with the financial reporting Kumbaya. Well Tweeds is Stateside putting everyone on notice that if that’s what you believe, you would be wrong. DEAD WRONG.

“The world is moving to a single set of high-quality global accounting standards, and this is too important an area for the U.S. not to be involved…After almost a decade of work to improve IFRS and U.S. GAAP and to seek their convergence, it’s time to finish the job.”

That’s the best he can do. And don’t bother asking him for the title, he can’t give it to you.

International Accounting Standards Board Chairman Sir David Tweedie Addresses AICPA Governing Council [AICPA]

Sir David Tweedie’s New Promise: To Retire in 2011

Every knight lays down his sword at some point and Tweeds is no exception. The IASB Chairman will hang up his 10-key when his current term ends in June 2011.

According to Emily Chasan at Reuters, DT thought about calling it quits last year after the pols torpedoed mark-to-market in the name of bank lobbyists. Sensing that the true Holy Grail was within reach, Tweedie stayed on:

[H]e has said he stayed because he wanted to continue the convergence process, which is beginning to reach its goal of having a single set of high quality accounting standards used around the globe. The U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board and the IASB have redoubled efforts to complete their major convergence projects by a June 2011 deadline set by the G20 group of leading countries.

Now the International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation, which oversees the board, is on the search for the next bean counter in shining armor. Since Tweeds gave plenty of notice, it won’t likely be the shitshow search like Bank of America has on its hands (until very recently perhaps) but the IASCF is searching all the corners of the world for the replacement and they need to come up with somebody good.
If they put some empty suit in there, the likes of Silvio Berlusconi will be writing the revised contingent liabilities standard. Lord knows we don’t need that. We need someone that doesn’t mind telling pols to BTFO of accounting biznass. Pols like Eddy “If you had just involved us in the monitoring of the IASB we wouldn’t be in this mess” Wymeersch, who probably couldn’t tell the difference between his ass and the basic accounting equation. Feel me, IASCF?
Now since that’s clear, if you’ve got any suggestions or purely want to speculate on who you will be in the big chair next (Tim Flynn? Mary Schapiro? Phil Mickelson? that smug guy in the cube next to you that got a 98 on FARE?) drop them in the comments.
IASB’s Tweedie to retire when term ends in 2011 [Emily Chasan/Reuters]
Trustees seek nominations for Chairman of the IASB from 2011 [Press Release]
See also: Kroeker Stresses Importance of Investors in IFRS Decision; Search Is On For Next Chairman Of IASB When Tweedie Retires in 2011 [FEI Financial Reporting Blog]

ANR: A Few Bad Fraudsters; Sir Tweedie Dum Defends IFRS; A Day (Or Two) Without Colin | 11.02.12

Ed. note: AG here, kids. Colin is once again shirking his duties for a couple days to go ride around exotic farmers' markets on his bicycle in Calcutta or something so you and I will be spending today and Monday together in one another's warm embrace. Get excited now, it's going to be a long […]

ANR: SEC’s Snafu; Herz and Tweedie Practically Begging for IFRS Switch; IRS Meets Expectations | 04.25.12

Source's Cover Blown by SEC [WSJ]Federal securities regulators, in a sensitive breach, inadvertently revealed the identity of a whistleblower during a probe of a firm that ran a stock trading platform. The gaffe by the Securities and Exchange Commission occurred during an investigation of Pipeline Trading Systems LLC when an SEC lawyer showed an executive who […]

Accounting News Roundup: Tweedie Warns of Global Accounting Rules ‘Last Chance’; Security Tops Misconceptions About Cloud; Clifton Gunderson Acquires Fifth Firm Since May | 10.29.10

Accounting chief says last chance for global system [Reuters]
Efforts to create a single global accounting system will be set back a generation if they do not succeed within 12 to 15 months, the chairman of a global accounting rule-setting board said on Thursday.

“This is our last chance really,” said Sir David Tweedie, chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board, which sets accounting rules used in over 100 countries.

“The next year is critical, this is it,” he told a New York Society of Security Analysts conference. “We can’t kick this tin down the road much longer.”

Cloud misconceptions: security tops the list [AccMan]
This is an important finding because it lends credence to the notion that once adopters have tasted what the cloud offers, then many of the issues raised by naysayers start to evaporate.

As accounting industry shifts, Reznick Group beefs up staff [Baltimore Business Journal]
Twelve positions in the Baltimore area now available.

Time for a New Set of Return Deadlines? [Tax Update Blog]
Joe Kristan thinks moving the partnership deadline up to 3/15 makes sense.


Clifton Gunderson acquires Rockford, Ill., accounting firm [MJS]
Farrell & Associates becomes the latest to join the CG stable.

Verizon to pay $25 million settlement for overcharging [Reuters]
The top U.S. mobile service, Verizon Wireless, has agreed to pay the U.S. Treasury $25 million on top of more than $52 million in refunds to consumers for overcharging them, the U.S. regulator said.

The venture of Verizon Communications Inc and Vodafone Group Plc said earlier this month it would pay refunds to 15 million cellphone customers erroneously charged for mobile Internet use.

Accounting News Roundup: Dutch Minister Replacing Tweedie as IASB Chair; REMINDER: Nonprofit Deadline Is Friday; Panel Recommends Separate Board for “Little GAAP” | 10.12.10

Former Dutch minister picked as IASB chairman [FT]
“The head of the Dutch financial markets regulator has been given the pojob of running the body that sets the accounting rules followed in the European Union and an increasing number of other countries.

Hans Hoogervorst, a former Dutch finance minister, was on Tuesday named chairman of the London-based International Accounting Standards Board, which sets the IFRS accounting norms.

He will take on the job at the end of June 2011, succeeding Sir David Tweedie, the Scot who has occupied the post for a decade.

Mr Hoogervorst, chairman of the executive board of the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets, is not an accountant.”

I Can Afford Higher Taxes. But They’ll Make Me Work Less. [NYT]
Wherein we discover one more example of how tax cuts (or lack thereof) will affect someone.

Gap scraps new logo after online outcry [Reuters]
“GAP Inc scrapped a new logo on Monday just a week after launching it following an “outpouring of comments” online and from customers in support of the original blue box design it’s had for more than 20 years.

Gap rolled out an updated version of the logo last Monday on its website and planned to include it in its holiday marketing, a spokeswoman said.

But the company saw more than 2,000 comments on its Facebook page on the issue, with many people railing against the new logo and calling for a return to the old.”

Friday Is the Drop-Dead Date for Small Charities Wanting to Stay Tax-Exempt [Tax Update Blog]
You’ve been warned.


One Step Closer to Little GAAP [CFO]
“A blue-ribbon panel has recommended that a new set of accounting standards be drawn up for private companies based on U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. The panel also recommended that a private-company rulemaking board be established, separate from the Financial Accounting Standards Board, which currently writes and revises U.S. GAAP.

The details of how the rules will be developed — and how FASB and its parent organization, the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF), will be involved in the process — will be outlined in a report issued in December, said panel chair Rick Anderson, chairman and CEO of accounting firm Moss Adams, during the panel’s fourth and final public meeting on Friday. The final product, often dubbed “little GAAP,” will be a pared-down version of the full set of rules, requiring fewer disclosures and less-detailed measurements of some assets and liabilities.”

Wal-Mart Lands Agreement to Sell iPad [WSJ]
“Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it will start selling Apple Inc.’s iPad on Friday at hundreds of stores throughout the U.S.

Wal-Mart landed the tablet computer a little later than two of its largest retail rivals: Best Buy Co., which has been selling the iPad since its launch in April, and Target Corp., which began carrying it this month.

The Bentonville, Ark., retail giant said that what it lacked in timeliness it will make up for in sales heft. It vowed to slowly ramp up the number of U.S. stores carrying the iPad to more than 2,300 by the height of the holiday season in mid-November.

There will also be no Wal-Mart “rollback” price cut on the iPad: The tablets will sell for Apple’s suggested retail price, which starts at $499 for the cheapest version with 16 gigabytes of storage and wireless internet access but no 3G mobile connection.”

Accounting News Roundup: Tweedie’s Final Months; Lease Accounting Proposal Coming Soon; UCF Accounting Student’s Body Found | 08.16.10

Goldman CFO Viniar Gets $4.5 Million Options Windfall [Dow Jones]
“Goldman Sachs Group (GS) Chief Financial Officer David Viniar received $4.5 million by exercising more than 67,000 options as part of the investment bank’s disclosure Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

According to the filing, Viniar was among six top executives who have converted sing stock options into a windfall of $24 million, cashing in on benefits they received years before the government’s 2008 rescue of the nation’s biggest financial firms.”

Tweedie faces greatest challenge in last days [FT]
“Sir David Tweedie says his staff are concerned about what he might do in his last months as head of the International Accounting Standards Board, the powerful global rule setter that he has chaired for a decade.

‘I think people are quite worried about how I might do in my last six months here, with all my vendettas and all these grudges I’ve been storing up . . . I think they are worried that I might let them go,’ he says with a laugh.”

Rulemakers Plan Global Overhaul of Lease Accounting [Reuters]
“U.S. and international accounting rule makers are planning to propose an overhaul of lease accounting as soon as Tuesday, in a move expected to affect some $1.2 trillion in leased assets.

Traditionally, accounting rules have given companies a lot of leeway in how they record leases for assets ranging from store locations and restaurant equipment to airplanes and machinery. As a result, only certain types of leases appear on the balance sheet, while a majority of a company’s leases can often be kept off the balance sheet and hidden from an investors’ view.

But the Financial Accounting Standards Board, which sets U.S. accounting rules, and the London-based International Accounting Standards Board, which writes accounting rules for more than 100 countries, will aim to change all that this week by proposing to bring many of these assets onto corporate balance sheets.

‘It’s something that needs to be done,’ said John Hepp, a partner in accounting firm Grant Thornton’s professional standards group. ‘Lease accounting is broken.’ ”

Hunt for IASB head hits hurdle [FT]
“The search for a successor to Sir David Tweedie, chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board, which sets accounting rules for most of the world outside the US, has hit difficulty in the face of opposition in Europe to how the process has been conducted.

Sir David has presided over deteriorating relations since the financial crisis, with some senior European officials raising concerns about the transparency of his decision-making amid criticism that he has prioritised an effort to get the US to adopt international rules at the expense of European interests.”


PricewaterhouseCoopers taps Kevin Kelly to head Birmingham office [Birmingham News]
Kevin Kelly is new the managing partner for PwC’s Birmingham office. He replaces David Pickett who is the new OMP in Nashville.

UCF accounting student killed [Central Florida Future]
“Orange County Sheriff’s officials have released the names of the two people who died Saturday in an apparent murder-suicide, after a woman was found dead in an apartment about five miles south of UCF, and a man was found dead at a local shooting range.

Jennifer Lynn Roqueta, an accounting major at UCF who had just turned 21 in May and a server at Buffalo Wild Wings in Waterford Lakes, was identified as the victim on Sunday.

The suspect, who was identified as Ryan Ray Scurlock, 24, was found at the Shooting Gallery gun range located at 2911 39th St. in Orlando.

The investigation stems from Saturday’s incident in which the OCSO received several calls from Scurlock’s acquaintances requesting they check on his well-being because they had received alarming text messages from him that indicated he was distraught.”

Former Fed official joins KPMG [WaPo]
Jon Greenlee is joining the Tyson’s Corner office as a managing director in KPMG’s financial services regulatory practice. He previously worked as an associate director of risk management in the Fed’s division of banking supervision and regulation.

Satyam auditors to face Sebi probe [Hindustan Times]
“Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) will have to face an inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). The Bombay High Court on Friday dismissed PwC’s petition challenging Sebi’s show-cause notice dated June 30, 2009 seeking to prohibit PWC from auditing accounts of listed companies.”

That’s not a tax bill, THIS is a tax bill: Crocodile Dundee star Paul Hogan hit with £8m in charges [Daily Mail]
“But in a American TV interview last year, Hogan, 70, vowed that the taxman would not get a penny more of his money and added: ‘Come and get me, you miserable b******s.’ ”

Eide Bailly merges with R T Higgins [Denver Business Journal]
Top 25 firm Eide Bailly’s merger with RT Higgins brings the the firm’s total staff to over 1,200 in nine states.

Accounting News Roundup: Former Dell Staff Facing SEC Action Related to Accounting; Herz, Tweedie to Present on Global Issues at GWU; NASBA Taking Back Some March Scores? | 04.02.10

We’ll be posting on a lighter schedule today. Hopefully many of you are enjoying a long weekend.

Dell says several former staff may face SEC action [Reuters]
Some former Dell employees are facing possible SEC actions related to the company’s accounting. The Commission started its inquiry back in 2005 and Dell disclosed that the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York had subpoenaed documents shortly after in 2006. This all led to the Accounting Code of Conduct that the Company implemented last fall. The company stated that it believes ‘monetary penalties’ will be part of the settlement but otherwise they’re keeping a lid on it.

FASB Chairman Robert H. Herz and IASB Chairman Sir David Tweedie to Discuss Global Accounting Issues at The George Washington University [FASB]
Herz and Tweeds will be at G Dubs on Wednesday, April 7th kicking around global accounting issues. “Greater Global Transparency in Financial Reporting: Lighting the Path for Investors” starts at 6 pm and is free and open to the public, so you best get there early before the groupies overrun the joint.


NASBA Takes Back (Some) Passing CPA Exam Scores for March [JDA]
In what could amount to the worst April Fool’s joke in history, Adrienne is reporting over at JDA that NASBA is taking back some of the scores for March after extending the test dates in the third month:

[F]rom a reliable source within the Big 87654 that test-takers outside of the blizzard-affected areas have actually gotten their scores taken away and thrown out. Yes, that means all of you who put it off until the very last minute and rescheduled for the March extension are pretty much screwed unless you also got snowed in on top of it. Yes, those of you who paid for and passed the exam in March.

Huh. We’re checking into this. We’ll get back to you if we learn more.

Japan Getting Cold Feet on IFRS

On the day of Sir David Tweedie’s retirement, no less.

The Journal reports:

Japan is considering postponing the mandatory introduction of global accounting standards for all listed companies beyond the original target date of 2015, amid strong opposition to the change from the country’s business community. Japan’s financial services minister, Shozaburo Jimi, said Thursday at a Business Accounting Council meeting, hosted by the Financial Services Agency, that making Japanese companies adopt the rule—known as the International Financial Reporting Standard—within a few years could be a big burden and costly for businesses. “If Japanese firms are required to move to IFRS, we will need enough time, five to seven years, for preparation,” Mr. Jimi said, adding that discussions over the matter will take time.

Japan May Delay Accounting Shift [WSJ]

FASB, IASB Making Damn Sure They Don’t Mess Up Their Revenue Recognition Proposals

Because, god, wouldn’t that be awkward?

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the US-based Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) agreed today to re-expose their revised proposals for a common revenue recognition standard. Re-exposing the revised proposals will provide interested parties with an opportunity to comment on revisions the boards have undertaken since the publication of an exposure draft on revenue recognition in June 2010.

It was the unanimous view of the boards that while there was no formal due process requirement to re-expose the proposals it was appropriate to go beyond established due process given the importance of the revenue number to all companies and the need to take all possible steps to avoid unintended consequences.

Sir David Tweedie admits that, “It is important that we get this right, first time,” and “the boards and staff have undertaken an unprecedented level of outreach to get us to this point, and why we are keen to treble-check that our conclusions are robust and can be implemented with minimal disruption.”

Maybe I’m reading too much into that statement but it sounds as though the Boards may be trying to stave off more nasty letters.

[via FAF/IFRS Foundation]

We’ve More or Less Got Converged Fair Value Accounting Standards

As CFO notes, “[T]he largest differences may lie in the differences between British and American English,” but these are the ones you’ve been waiting for.

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) today issued new guidance on fair value measurement and disclosure requirements for International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) and US generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

The guidance, set out in IFRS 13 Fair Value Measurement and an update to Topic 820 in the FASB’s Accounting Standards Codification® (formerly referred to as SFAS 157), completes a major project of the boards’ joint work to improve IFRSs and US GAAP and to bring about their convergence.

The harmonisation of fair value measurement and disclosure requirements internationally also forms an important element of the boards’ response to the global financial crisis.

Of course what’s most important is that wily Scotsman and knight of the double-entry roundtable Sir David Tweedie will be able to call it a career knowing that he saw this thing through. He sounds pretty pleased with the effort saying, “The finalisation of this project marks the completion of a major convergence project and is a fundamentally important element of our joint response to the global financial crisis. The result is clearer and more consistent guidance on measuring fair value, where its use is already required.” Hans, you can take it from here.

FASB and IASB Hand-Holding Agenda Nears Completion, Or So We Hear

We’re sure all of you have been anxious for an update since the last FASB/IASB progress report last November, wait no longer.

Here’s what we’re proud of having accomplished since:

Completed five projects: In the next few weeks the IASB will issue new standards on consolidated financial statements (including disclosure of interests in other entities), joint arrangements and post-employment benefits and both boards will issue new requirements in relation to fair value measurement and the presentation of other comprehensive income.

Given priority to the three remaining Memorandum of Understanding projects, as well as insurance accounting: The Boards have made substantial progress towards completion of the three remaining MoU projects covering financial instruments accounting, leasing and revenue recognition, as well as their joint project to improve and align US and international insurance accounting standards.

Provided for further time to finalise their convergence work: The boards have agreed to extend the timetable for the remaining priority convergence projects beyond June 2011 to permit further work and consultation with stakeholders in a manner consistent with an open and inclusive due process. The convergence projects are targeted for completion in then second half of 2011 (however, the U.S. insurance standard, which has not yet been exposed, is targeted for the first half of 2012).

Wait a second, did they really say that putting off more convergence work is an accomplishment? That’s our kind of work right there. IASB Chair Sir David Tweedie and FASB Chair Leslie Seidman didn’t let that little detail deter them from patting themselves on the back for a job well done. Said Sir David, “the convergence programme continues to raise the standard of financial reporting worldwide, delivering much-needed improvements in key areas and providing a solid platform for global high quality standards.” What is that even supposed to mean? Sounds like the same pro-convergence gibberish we’ve been hearing all along.

Someone come get us when this actually means something.

IASB Chairman: We Don’t Issue Low-Quality Accounting Standards

Rule makers concluded this week that “we all could benefit from a few more months to develop these standards, some of which really go to the core issues of many companies,” said Leslie Seidman, chairman of FASB, in a podcast issued Thursday. Sir David Tweedie, chairman of the IASB, said rule makers still intend to finish their convergence work by year’s end. The delay, he said in the podcast, will “enable us to check whether our conclusions will last the test of time. … We would never release a standard before it is ready and ultimately it must be a high-quality standard or you just can’t issue it.” [WSJ]

Accounting News Roundup: IASB Urges U.S. on IFRS…Again; Film Credits Showing Life in Idaho, Arizona; Auditors Feel They’re Skeptical Enough | 03.11.11

BOJ Pledges Liquidity on Japan Quake as Toyota Shuts Plants [Bloomberg]
Japan’s central bank pledged to ensure financial stability after the strongest earthquake in at least a century forced Toyota Motor Corp. to shut some plants, knocked out oil refineries and sparked a plunge in stocks. The magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck off the coast of Sendai, a city of 1 million in the northeast, unleashing a tsunami as high as 10 meters (33 feet) that engulfed towns along the coast. The Tohoku region, which includes Sendai, accounts for about 8 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, according to Macquarie Song>IASB urges US to adopt new accounting rules [FT]
Speaking in Washington DC on Thursday, Sir David Tweedie sought to reassure the US that it would not be ceding control of its accounting system to foreign politicians if it adopted the IASB’s rules. The plea by Sir David comes at the same time as a push by the European Commission to secure a greater say for public authorities in the oversight of his organisation. The US Securities and Exchange Commission is due to decide this year whether to jettison US accounting rules in favour of adopting the IASB’s international financial reporting standards (IFRS), which are followed in the European Union and a number of other countries.

Has India Abandoned IFRS? [The Accounting Onion]
Paging Sir David…

Medical marijuana subject to new LA tax [DMWT]
If only it were that simple.

3 Accounting Associations Merge to Form IGAF Polaris [AT]
Three international accounting associations—Polaris International, Fidunion and IGAF Worldwide—are merging together to create one of the largest associations of independent accounting firms in the world. The merged association, which will operate under the name IGAF Polaris, will contain 385 member firms with combined annual revenue of over $1.82 billion. The association will include a combined total of 2,402 partners, 16,304 professional staff operating out of 846 offices in 88 countries around the globe.

Arizona and Idaho Look Again to Film Tax Credits [Tax Foundation]
Joe Kristan is getting heartburn.


Pentagon accounting problems ‘serious’: Treasury [AFP]
Essentially the DoD is unauditable.

Ford truck crashes into public accountant’s office in Dodge City [Dodge City Daily Globe]
Yes, that Dodge City.

Deloitte Announces Alliance Agreement with MicroStrategy to Deliver Business Intelligence and Analytic Solutions [PR Newswire]
Under the agreement, Deloitte will combine MicroStrategy’s advanced business intelligence (BI) technology with its broad array of consulting, advisory and implementation services to assist their mutual clients in meeting information, business intelligence and analytic needs. The alliance includes collaboration on solution, service and market development, education, training, sales and delivery.

Auditors reject lack of scepticism concerns [Accountancy Age]
Auditors have rejected the suggestion that there [sic] work requires more scepticism. Following the release of a discussion paper from regulators on whether auditor scepticism needs to be increased, firms defended their attitude and working processes to provide audits. Some noted that the application of international financial reporting standards (IFRS), which can provide a range of potential outcomes, is confused by regulators as a lack of scepticism.

Accounting News Roundup: Cuomo Has Ernst & Young in the Crosshairs; PwC Report: Petters Fraud Attracted $36 Billion; Few Will Pay Estate Tax in 2011 | 12.20.10

Auditors Face Fraud Charge [WSJ]
New York prosecutors are poised to file civil fraud charges against Ernst & Young for its alleged role in the collapse of Lehman Brothers, saying the Big Four accounting firm stood by while the investment bank misled investors about its financial health, people familiar with the matter said.

State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is close to filing the case, which would mark the first time a major accounting firm was targeted for its role in the financial crisis. The suit stems from transactions Lehman allegedly carried out to make its risk appear lower than it actually was.

Petters’ schemes drew in $36 billion, report says [MST]
This makes for lots of paper cuts, “PwC said it obtained financial data that would fill more than 560,000 bankers boxes. It said it found 87 accounts in 21 different banks that were part of the investment scheme.”

IRS Agent Accused of Stealing Tax Refunds [NBCNY]
Fern Stephens, a revenue officer at the Internal Revenue Service, is being charged by the U.S. Attorney’s office for stealing more than $160,000 in unclaimed tax funds from 12 taxpayers, according to federal court documents.

Former ECB Member Padoa-Schioppa Dies [WSJ]
Since July, Mr. Padoa-Schioppa chaired the board of trustees of the IFRS Foundation, which oversees the International Accounting Standards Board and helped promulgate the move toward a single set of accounting rules used worldwide. Sir David Tweedie, the IASB’s chairman, said in a statement Sunday that Mr. Padoa-Schioppa “possessed a rare combination of intellect and vision, delivered with a wry smile. He was a friend and colleague and will be missed by many, many people.”


Icelandic Bank Fails in $2 Billion Bid to Sue Former Execs, Auditor in New York [The American Lawyer]
A judge refused to hear Glitnir Banki’s suit against PwC and former execs.

Estate Tax Will Return Next Year, but Few Will Pay It [NYT]
Almost no one will have to worry about paying the estate tax under the tax legislation just [signed into law]. By one estimate, from Alan Rothschild, the chairman of the American Bar Association’s real property, trust and estate law section, less than one-half of 1 percent of people who die in 2011 will be hit by the estate tax. In contrast, 10.5 percent paid the estate tax in 1977.

Off-Balance Sheet Accounting 2.0

“They will help investors to better understand off-balance sheet risks, and to alert them to the possibility of so-called window dressing transactions occurring at the end of a reporting period.”

~ Sir David Tweedie talking up the new rules that were published by the IASB today.

Accounting News Roundup: AIG Rolls Out Repayment Plan; Wal-Mart Names New CFO; IRS Files Lien Against Sharpton | 09.30.10

AIG to Convert Preferred Shares Into Common to Repay U.S. [Bloomberg]
“American International Group Inc. agreed with U.S. regulators to repay its bailout by converting the government’s holdings into common shares for sale, a step toward independence for the insurer whose near collapse two years ago threatened the global economy.

The U.S. Treasury Department will convert its preferred stake of about $49.1 billion for 1.66 billion shares of common stock and then sell the holdings in the open market, AIG said today in a statement. Common shareholders, who hold about 20 percent of the company, will have their stake dilutent, the insurer said. Those investors will receive as many as 75 million warrants with a strike price of $45.”

Spain loses AAA status, stands firm on austerity [Reuters]
“Spain lost its final top-line debt rating on Thursday as the government sought backing from lawmakers for a budget it hopes will be austere enough to convince markets it can slash the deficit at a time of economic weakness.

Moody’s become the third and last rating agency to cut Spain out of the highest AAA category which has helped it finance its debt relatively cheaply. The one-notch cut had been expected and the agency said it hoped not to have to cut again soon, bolstering Spanish debt markets.

But the agency also said a poor growth outlook meant Madrid would have to take further steps to meet its deficit targets in years to come. The Bank of Spain said a sluggish recovery would slow further in the third quarter.”

IASB head knows all about cross-channel frictions [FT]
“In a decade spent overseeing international accounting standards, Sir David Tweedie has become an amateur student of French psychology.

The Scot has locked horns with France several times as head of the International Accounting Standards Board, the body that sets the International Financial Reporting Standards rules followed in the European Union and other countries.

His fascination for his adversary is such that he recently thrust into my hands an academic paper entitled “France and the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ Model: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives”. The article explores the hostility often felt in France towards the British and American way of doing business.”

McDonald’s May Drop Health Plan [WSJ]
“While many restaurants don’t offer health coverage, McDonald’s provides mini-med plans for workers at 10,500 U.S. locations, most of them franchised. A single worker can pay $14 a week for a plan that caps annual benefits at $2,000, or about $32 a week to get coverage up to $10,000 a year.

Last week, a senior McDonald’s official informed the Department of Health and Human Services that the restaurant chain’s insurer won’t meet a 2011 requirement to spend at least 80% to 85% of its premium revenue on medical care.”


Wal-Mart picks successor to longtime CFO [Reuters]
“Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) named Charles Holley to succeed Chief Financial Officer Tom Schoewe, who will retire on November 30.

The world’s biggest retailer said on Wednesday that Schoewe, 57, will stay at Wal-Mart until January 31 to help with the transition.

Holley, 54, joined Wal-Mart in 1994 and is treasurer and executive vice president of finance.

Those credentials should make him a capable CFO, said Wall Street Strategies analyst Brian Sozzi, though Wall Street could view the transition negatively since it adds uncertainty.”

All We Are Saying Is Give Dick Fuld a Chance [Jonathan Weil/Bloomberg]
Names being floated to replace Larry Summers as the National Economic Council include Citigroup Chairman Dick Parsons and Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy. Jonathan Weil sees where Obama is going with this:

“There’s much we can learn about the kind of person the president is looking for by studying these two contenders’ credentials. In addition to CEO chops, it seems Obama is seeking someone who also has served on the board of directors of at least one company that either had a massive accounting scandal, blew up so spectacularly that it threatened to take down the global financial system, or both.”

…and doesn’t think he’s aiming high enough. He has some of his own suggestions.

Memo to Media Departments: Here Are Three Ways to Make My Job Easier – rebuttal [AccMan]
Dennis Howlett’s rebuttal to Adrienne’s plea to PR types.

Sharpton faced with fresh tax woe [Tax Watchdog]
The Rev. owes around $538k to the IRS for 2009. His lawyer is a tad confused by the whole thing and says everything will paid up by Oct. 15th.

Accounting News Roundup: EisnerAmper Partner: GM Balance Sheet ‘Stronger’ Ahead of IPO; KPMG Moves on From New Century, Countrywide; No Bookie Needed for Betting on Grades | 08.19.10

GM’s balance sheet draws praise ahead of IPO [MarketWatch]
“Peter Bible, partner-in-charge at accounting firm EisnerAmper LLP, said General Motors is now carrying a much stronger balance sheet than its predecessor, based on the company’s initial public offering filed late Wednesday. ‘Their debt-to-equity ratio looks handsome,’ Bible said in an interview. ‘This thing has gotten restructured quite a bit. GM’s health care liabilities have fallen significantly. As I look at the balance sheet, it is much healthier.’ ”

Move to converge just exported crisis [Re: The Auditors]
KPMG has put two major lawsuits behind them – Countrywide and New Century. One major difference between these two cases was that New Century had a bankruptcy examiner’s report while Countrywide did not.


Judge Denies Online Religious Group’s Bid for Church Status [WSJ]
A virtual “church” gets denied the whole “church” thing.

For the rich, ’tis better to give than wait [Reuters]
“With U.S. taxes almost guaranteed to rise next year, the rich have a rare opportunity to distribute some wealth and preserve their fortunes.

A weak economy has led to razor-thin interest rates and beaten-down valuations, which make giving less costly for and potentially more rewarding to heirs. Moreover, the U.S. government is widely expected to rein in a popular tax-avoidance scheme.

‘This is a golden era for shifting estates and giving assets away,’ said Bill Fleming, a financial planner for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Hartford, Connecticut. ‘If you have an estate plan, keep going: Uncle Sam soon will be back in your pocket.’ ”

Wager 101: Students Bet on Their Grades [WSJ]
“The website attracted wagers by 600 students from two colleges last year, said Mr. Gelbart and co-founder Steven Wolf, graduates of Queens College. This month, the site expanded to let students on 36 campuses—including Harvard, Stanford and Brigham Young University—place bets. More than 1,000 new bettors have signed on.

Lisa Lapin, a Stanford University spokeswoman, said school officials were ‘appalled’ when they learned Stanford students could place bets on their grades, adding, ‘the concept of betting on academic performance is contrary to academic development.’

Lance Miller, a finance major at the University of Pennsylvania, says the criticism misses the mark. Mr. Miller, with a GPA of 3.6, won about $80 on two $40 bets that he would earn A’s in business courses.

‘We’re acing classes to make money—isn’t that what they call a win-win?’ said Mr. Miller, 20.”

Facebook’s Places Feature Lets Users Share Their Whereabouts With Friends [Bloomberg]
“Services that help Web users share their whereabouts and find nearby friends could generate as much as $4.1 billion in annual ad sales by 2015, according to Borrell Associates. The features can help marketers more easily target customers — say, by reaching shoppers when they’re close to making a purchase.”

Accounting News Roundup: Big 4 Firms Looking to Cash in on Climate Change; GM Is Back from the Dead; The End of Fan and Fred? | 08.17.10

Barclays in Sanctions Bust [WSJ]
“Barclays PLC agreed to pay $298 million to settle charges by U.S. and New York prosecutors that the U.K. bank altered financial records for more than a decade to hide hundreds of millions of dollars into the U.S. from Cuba, Libya, Iran and other sanctioned countries.

Monday’s settlement agreement of criminal charges is an embarrassment for Barclays, which became a major player on Wall Street by snapping up the collapsed U.S. operations of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008 and has been trying to burnish the U.K. bank’s reputation on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean as a good corporate citizen.”

Cashing in on cleantech [The Guardian]
“While E&Y claims to be the first to set up a practice specifically for cleantech, in recent years PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, KPMG and E&Y have all launched dedicated practices for sustainability and climate change.

Steven Lang, who leads the cleantech division in the UK and Ireland, recently explained the attraction to Business Green: ‘We’ve seen major amounts of capital flowing into clean energy and clean technology and governments increasingly want to use the sector as a driver for international competitiveness.

‘The drivers are there for this to be a major growth area over the next five years.’ ”

GM IPO filing expected Tuesday [Reuters]
It’s like you never left, GM. “General Motors Co has completed the paperwork for an initial public offering, and timing of its filing with the U.S. securities regulators rests with the board of the top U.S. automaker, sources familiar with the process said on Monday.

The initial prospectus, expected to be for $100 million, is likely to be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, two people said, asking not to be named because the preparations for the IPO are private.”


IASB details recruitment process for Tweedie replacement [Accountancy Age]
“In a newly created section of the IASB website, the body has outlined the process it has followed since September 2009, as it searches to replace chairman Sir David Tweedie, who steps down in June 2011.

Among the documents is a letter sent to the European Commissioner’s office on 3 December, 2009, from Sir Bryan Nicholson, who has led the IASB’s recruitment process.”

Woman due in court for pie attack on US Sen. Levin [CT]
“A woman accused of hitting U.S. Sen. Carl Levin in the face with an apple pie during the Armed Services Committee chairman’s constituent meeting in northern Michigan is due in court.

Twenty-two-year-old Ahlam M. Mohsen of Coldwater will be arraigned Tuesday. She is being held without bond after being arrested Monday on a felony charge of stalking, and misdemeanor counts of assault and disorderly conduct”

Apple?

Facebook Partnership Is Proven by $3,000 Check, Lawyer Says [Bloomberg]
“The western New York man suing over claims he owns 84 percent of Facebook Inc. has a copy of a $3,000 cashier’s check his lawyer says is proof of a contract with Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg.

The purported 2003 check is made out to Zuckerberg and dated three days before Paul Ceglia claims the two men signed a contract, according to the attorney. That agreement, Ceglia said in court papers, entitles him to control of the world’s biggest social networking website.”

Conference To Debate Future Of Fannie, Freddie [NPR]
Euthanasia seems like a good option here.

Imagine a Future Free of Questions on Revenue Recognition

“It is an important step towards a single global principle-based standard that would make it absolutely clear when revenue is recognised-and why.”

~ Sir David Tweedie is pretty happy with how the converged revenue recognition standard turned out.

Mary Schapiro Isn’t Too Concerned About the Convergence Delay

Earlier in the week we heard the devastating news that the FASB and IASB’s convergence efforts, despite a good hustle, would not meet the G20’s deadline of June 2011.

FASB Chairman Bob Herz indicated that this was a serious case of the Boards having bigger eyeshades than their double-entry stomachs could handle but he tried to squelch the disappointment by assuring everyone that the mission is not a failure and the Boards would “get most if not all of [the accounting standard proposals] done by the end of 2011.”

Roberto and IASB Chair Sir David Tweedie, feeling bad about how the whole thing turned out, decided to send a letter to the G20, presumably to keep them from getting their panties in knot:

It is expected that this action by the FASB and IASB will not negatively impact the Securities and Exchange Commission’s work plan, announced in February, to consider in 2011 whether and how to incorporate IFRS into the US financial system.

We appreciate the support of the G20 for the development of a single set of high quality global accounting standards. The two boards remain committed to achieving that objective. We shall continue to provide timely updates regarding our progress.

Ohhh, right. The SEC. What do they think about all this? Judging by Mary Schapiro’s attitude of “assuming completion of the convergence projects” as a precursor to IFRS, she’s totally cool with it, making her thoughts known in a statement yesterday:

The boards believe that the modified plan will contribute to increased quality in the standards because it provides additional time for stakeholders to thoroughly consider the proposals and give both boards quality feedback. I view this as time that is well invested.

Quality financial reporting standards established through an independent process are threshold criteria against which the Commission’s future consideration of the role of IFRS in the U.S. reporting system will be based. I foresee no reason that the adjustment to the targeted timeline for certain joint projects should impact the staff’s analyses under the Work Plan issued in February 2010, particularly when that adjustment is designed to enhance the quality of the standards. Indeed, focused efforts on those standards the boards consider highest priority for the improvement of U.S. GAAP and IFRS will facilitate the staff’s analyses.

Accordingly, I am confident that we continue to be on schedule for a Commission determination in 2011 about whether to incorporate IFRS into the financial reporting system for U.S. issuers.

In other words, no rush guys. Take it from Mary, this happens all the time.

IASB and FASB update to G20 Leaders [IASB]
Chairman Schapiro Statement on FASB-IASB Decision to Modify Timing of Certain Convergence Projects [SEC]

Accounting News Roundup: Japan Adopting International Fair Value; GAO Not Down with PCOAB Risk Standards; Oscar Gift Bags = $91k Income | 03.08.10

Japan embraces new fair value rule [Financial Times via Accountancy Age]
Here’s a novel idea: making a decision on IFRS! Japan’s Financial Services Agency will be allowing companies to adopt the international version of the new fair value rule developed by the IASB, starting Wednesday. Since the world’s second largest economy is opting to pull the trigger on IFRS it may throw the G20’s request/demand for the world to get all kumbaya when it comes to accounting rules.

“Fair value accounting…as unleashed one of the most divisive debates to have emerged from the credit crisis, threatening to disrupt a pledge by the G20 group of leading economies to create a single, global accounting system by mid next year,” reports the FT and judging by the SEC’s indecisiveness, they may be right. With this latest development, now leaders will be able to blame each other’s securities agencies for their particular actions that will likely lead to divergence.


The allowance of Japanese companies to adopt IFRS 9 could also give Knight of the Accounting Roundtable, Sir David Tweedie, even more leverage when dealing with countries around the world to adopt the IFRS.

Right or wrong, the Japanese are sending a signal that they are prepared to move forward while the SEC prepares to have more meetings.

GAO Criticizes PCAOB Approach to Audit Risk [Web CPA]
The General Accountability Office, never shy to point out the faults of others (that’s kind of what they do, after all), isn’t so keen on the PCAOB’s latest “risk assessment” audit standards. This after the PCAOB originally proposed standards in 2008 and then revised and re-released them late last year.

The GAO feels that the ‘duplication and inconsistencies’ created by the PCAOB’s new standards would likely lead to…more billable hours! So, as you might imagine, some firms are on board:

PricewaterhouseCoopers told the PCAOB, “We fully support the board’s objective to update interim standards regarding risk assessment,”

And some, not so much:

McGladrey & Pullen…warned that “unnecessary differences between the board’s standards and those of other standard-setters increase the costs of performing all audits because firms must develop and maintain two, and even three, audit methodologies and training programs, with no corresponding benefit to audit quality.”

Personally, we’re skeptical of anything that has the unmitigated support of the biggest players in the industry but from a more practical standpoint, do auditors really need more rules to follow? And now this could add to the workload? Is that really necessary?

Oscar Swag Bags to Result in $91k Income to Celebrity Presenters [TaxProf Blog]
Celebrities have enough tax trouble the way it is, how is giving them gifts going to make their tax returns easier? We’re guessing most of them have smart CPAs working for them that will suggest that they give it all to charity but we may be underestimating the temptation of free luxury swag.

Accounting Has Finally Broken into the Hitler Meme

Since the Times ran a story on this cultural trend in fall of 2008, and the following video was posted in December ’09, you might say that accountants are again, late to the party but whatevs. And of course it’s an IFRS spin.


While somewhat humorous, it’s still based on a Canadian company and there’s no mention of Sir David Tweedie, which we think is an unforgivable oversight. That being said, it is encouraging that there is at least one Downfall remake out there that encompasses accounting. Personally, we’d like to see some of the following topics addressed using the clip:

• Patrick Byrne getting the news that Overstock has to restate their financial statements, again.

• Tim Flynn learning that the KPMG Salt Lake City office actually accepted the Overstock audit engagement.

• Stephen Chipman receiving word that Grant Thornton was fired from the Koss engagement because VP Sue Sachdeva made off with $31 million and it was discovered by American Express.

• Barry Salzberg finding out that Deloitte only ranked 70th in the Fortune 100 (behind E&Y and P&M) after being #1 on the BusinessWeek list.

We’re sure there are other possibilities. We encourage you to get to work on this ASAP.

Accounting News Roundup: IASB Chairman Won’t Converge at ‘All Costs’; Phony IRS Agent Racks Up $55k Hotel Bill; Stuy Town to Become “Trump Town”? | 01.29.10

IASB plans no fair value changes for EU-chairman [Reuters]
Sir David Tweedie has put his foot down again, so listen up. The IASB is not going to bend over backwards for you, the EU, or the FASB when it comes to fair value, get it? The world is at stake here. You non-knights out there need to just BTFU and let the man do his job. Tweeds told reporters in Brazil that the EU can stick it, “‘We cannot always allow Europe to tell us what to do. This is global. We are the IASB, not the European accounting standard board'” Got it?

You too, FASB. SDT said that he won’t converge accounting standards at ‘all costs,’ because he knows not everybody likes to place nice and seems to be okay with that. The man has short-timer’s so he doesn’t really care what you do. Have a nice life, Bob Herz.


Woman charged with posing as IRS agent [San Francisco Chronicle via The Tax Lawyer’s Blog]
Sheryl Lynn Vertoch had been staying at the Inn Marin Hotel in Novato, California for over seven years telling the staff there that she was an IRS agent. Among her many adventures working in fantasyland, were testifying in the Enron case and being only one of six IRS agents that could investigate large public companies.

This all sounded good enough for the staff at Inn Marin, until Ms. Vertoch couldn’t pay her bill starting in 2008. The story was the IRS was getting stingy and wasn’t going to pay her until her current investigation was over. The owner of the hotel — finally fed up with an apologetic IRS — phoned the cheapskates up to complain because this was an outrage to hang this hardworking federal employee out to dry.

The IRS blew Vertoch’s “cover” and she’s now been arrested for impersonating a federal employee and she’s got a $55,000 hotel bill to deal with.

Trump says he’ll jump at StuyTown takeover [NYP]
The Post is reporting that Stuy Town may become Trump Town, although it’s not entirely clear where we’ll see the iconic Trump name on the equally iconic brick buildings. The Donald joins many other high profile investors interested in the property including Wilbur Ross and WinnCompanies. One thing is for sure, whoever comes out top in this thing will certainly have no trouble following the Tishman/BlackRock fiasco.

Non-Knights Don’t Think Rule Convergence Is All That Important

Thumbnail image for tweedie_knight_jpeg.jpgNot everyone is as hung up on converging U.S. GAAP and IFRS as Sir David Tweedie.
As you may recall, Tweeds delayed his retirement in order to see the rules copulate and bring forth debit and credit harmony.
As admirable as his commitment to the project is, not too many people share his enthusiasm:

A survey by CFA Institute , an international association of more than 16,000 investment professionals, showed that three quarters of respondents believe that improving standards so they are more useful for making investment decisions is “at least as important if not more important” than reducing complexity or convergence.
While respondents generally support convergence, only 6 per cent of those surveyed, including research analysts, portfolio managers, corporate financial analysts and accountants, believe converging the International Accounting Standards Board and its US rival should be the primary objective.

It’s bad enough that Tweeds gets hassled by non-knighted clowns that don’t know a debit from their ass but now there’s a survey out there that says his pet project isn’t that important.
Plus, the SEC doesn’t seem too hung up on it and the FASB has its own problems. Has double-entry chivalry lost all its meaning?
Investors cool on audit convergence [FT]

You’d Think that Once You’re Knighted You Wouldn’t Get Hassled by Non-Knights

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for tweedie.jpgDoes there happen to be a law in the EU that says that if you’re not a knight you have to keep your piehole shut when it comes to accounting rules? Because if there isn’t, there needs to be. We may give Sir David Tweedie a hard time here (mostly because we’re jealous of the prefix) but we hardly think that he needs pressure from anyone on double-entry accounting.


Despite the knighted one keeping his promises, Eddy Wymeersch, chairman of the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) has made it known that the IASB isn’t floating his boat and he would like to go back to the bureaucratic drawing board.
Reuters:

Wymeersch questioned whether there was adequate accountability at the IASB, a London-based body that has already made several changes to its governance, such as setting up a new monitoring group.
“I can remind you the CESR thought it should be in the monitoring group but that did not take place. In my view, this has to be drawn up again and start from scratch,” he said.

Please, non-knight Eddy Wymeersch, remind us that you suggested that you should be allowed to stick your beak into the IASB’s business. We have trouble remembering that politicians all across the blue marble so desperately want to be involved in the oversight of accounting rules.
EU regulator calls for accounting overhaul [Reuters]

Accounting Rulemakers Already Talking Plan B on Fair Value

Thumbnail image for tweedie.jpgSounds like Bob Herz and Sir David Tweedie are phoning it in with regards to fair value rules.
Herz and Tweedie and their respective accounting wonks met in Norwalk, CT on Monday and they’re all but admitting that there’s no chance that they’ll get on the same page:

At a joint meeting in Norwalk, Connecticut on Monday, members of the London-based International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) sparred over whether fair value, or “mark-to-market,” accounting rules should be expanded to a broader array of financial assets, such as loans and deposits.
In a move opposed by the banking industry, the FASB has proposed that all financial instruments be valued at market levels, while the IASB has proposed to have those assets valued at “amortized cost,” which would mostly provide information about expected cash flows.
“If FASB and IASB can’t agree on mixed model or full fair value model … the next best thing is something to move between the two,” Sir David Tweedie, chairman of the IASB, said on Monday…”By the end of 2010… if we can’t get it together, we should be appreciably together,” Tweedie said.

Plan B is already in full effect! Instead of one fair value rule, the two standard setters will provide a “presentation for fair value for more financial assets on corporate balance sheets so that investors would be able to quickly reconcile numbers in U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) or International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).”
Some board members are worried that this approach may be too confusing, however. Confusing financial statements? That’s only a problem for average investors. No biggie.
Oh, well. We know 2010 is coming up fast and those politicians get impatient when the bank lobbyists are threatening to cut off the money. Thanks for trying guys. You did your best.
Accounting boards try to reconcile fair value views [Reuters/Emily Chasan]

TIL: There’s an Accounting Hall of Fame and It’s Got Some Familiar Names Along with Some Unfamiliar Ones

Browsing Reddit the other day for interesting accounting topics as one does when one has written nearly 3,000 posts over a span of 10 years on the subject, I came across this. I have to say, it’s not every day I find some dusty old corner of the industry that’s new even to me but […]

Save the Date: PCAOB April Public Meeting on the Auditor’s Reporting Model Proposal

The PCAOB is preparing for its April 2-3 public meeting this week, and while I really wanted an excuse to spend two days in Washington trolling the PCAOB IRL, I decided catching the webcast from the comfort of my Lovesac in my pajamas was a much better decision. The panelists aren't much to write home […]

Footnotes: Jim Turley Gets His Gay Wish; Tax Cheats Under the Microscope; Some Feel Good For Troops From Ohio | 01.28.13

Boy Scouts close to ending ban on gay members, leaders [NBC] Bank of England is wrong on accounting rules, says Sir David Tweedie [The Telegraph] The Deloitte Foundation Announces Recipients of the 2013 Doctoral Fellowships in Accounting [PR Newswire] Davos message clear, says KPMG chief [The Australian] IRS to Seek Details From UBS on Possible […]

SEC Completely Aware That Their Final Staff Report on IFRS Is Totally Jinxed

When a supporter of IFRS thinks about the SEC and how they've managed to successfully stall on making anything that closely resembles a decision about the future of financial reporting in the United States, it probably causes (s)he to fly into a rage that can only be abated by watching a live puppy cam for […]

ANR: Cleverly Rigged Accounting Ploys; More Accounting Failure Down Under; Raining Tax Bombs | 05.29.12

Tweedie: Auditors must change “golf course” perception [Accountancy Age]ICAS President Sir David Tweedie has said that the Big Four must change the perception that their relationships with the FTSE 100 companies they audit are too cosy. Speaking on BBC Radio 4's In Business programme, Tweedie said that auditors need to get rid of the perception that […]

ANR: Ernst & Young Resigns As Sino-Forest Auditor; Can Ex-PwC Boss Change Goldman?; AICPA Has Suggestions for COSO | 04.05.12

Sino-Forest Announces Resignation of Auditor [SF]Sino-Forest Corporation ("Sino-Forest" or the "Company") announced today that Ernst & Young LLP ("E&Y") has notified the Company that it has resigned as the Company's auditor effective April 4, 2012. In its resignation letter to the Company, E&Y noted that the Company had not prepared December 31, 2011 consolidated financial […]

Accounting News Roundup: How to Break Up the Big 4; South Carolina Gov May Be Indicted for Tax Fraud; Taxes and the ACA | 03.30.12

Billions Lost in Tax-Refund Scam [WSJ]Federal authorities are struggling to crack down on what they describe as a widespread scheme that has already likely defrauded the Internal Revenue Service of billions of dollars using the stolen identities of Puerto Rican citizens. The perpetrators of the scheme, authorities say, swipe the Social Security numbers of Puerto Rican […]

Non-U.S. Survey: IFRS Is Getting More Popular

Global Reporting Standards are gaining popularity among investors and finance executives, according to a new report by ACCA. Around 170 senior executives and investors were questioned. More than 40% said international financial reporting standards improve access to capital, while around 25% believe the global standards have lowered capital costs. ACCA chief executive Helen Brand said: “Growing support amongst CFOs and investors for [IFRS] must be considered carefully” by US regulator the SEC as it debates converging US GAAP with international standards. “We believe a positive answer from the SEC would give a tremendous boost to the cause of financial reporting and more importantly the world economy.” [Accountancy Age, Earlier]

Who Among Us Considers the IASB a “Success Story”?

Count IASB Vice Chairman Ian Mackintosh as one.

Ian Mackintosh called the IASB a success story, saying global standards are now accepted in more than 120 countries and high-profile non-signer the US will make a decision later this year.

A high-profile non-signer who increasingly sounds pessimistic about the whole exercise. Oh! India and Japan aren’t sold either. Sounds like a winner, doesn’t it?

Investors: IFRS unfit for purpose [Accountancy Age]

What’s on Incoming IASB Chairman Hans Hoogervorst’s Plate?

Your next IASB chairman, Hans Hoogervorst, already has a few things on his to do list (right after scratching Sir David Tweedie’s name off the door), one of which involves restoring investor confidence by redoing last year’s bank stress tests in Europe since it seems they were not really credible, “One reason for scepticism was that sovereign bonds on the banking book were deemed to retain their full value, despite the fact that many were trading at steep discounts in the market,” he said. “The fact that some Irish banks that had passed the test later turned out to be insolvent only served to reinforce the doubts in the market.”

Doubts? That’s a kind way to put it.


Speaking at the two-day European Commission financial reporting and auditing conference, Hoogervorst also wanted to make sure everyone is clear on who rules the IASB. Despite appearances that rules are made by a handful of influential Europeans who like to play with accounting regs, he insisted the IASB is a multi-national group in which everyone gets a say. Or rather, he insisted that he’ll be trying to make sure the IASB is perceived as such, “It’s very important that we develop a governance structure that is more inclusive. At all costs we should avoid the perception that IFRS is dominated by a small group of nations,” he said. He did not seem to clarify if he was more worried about the actual structure of the IASB or just the appearance, nor did he mention how many U.S. delegates will have at the IASB’S table if we were to stop dragging our feet and just adopt already.

While auditors are taking a lot of heat for failing to catch just how bad off European banks were, H-squared doesn’t seem to feel they deserve so much criticism as they were simply following the rules. “How critical will auditors be when they see that regulators consider that severely discounted securities carry no risk?” he asked, obviously rhetorically.

Also in attendance at the conference, Federal Reserve senior associate director and chief accountant Arthur Lindo, who is hopeful that we here on this side of the pond will “move diligently towards some form of IFRS in the near future.” What Lindo did not say was whether or not the Fed would also adopt these rules or continue to use their freakish hybrid of GAAP and government accounting that they make up each and every year. Perhaps convergence will mean throwing in some IFRS into their 300+ page financial accounting manual.

Looks like Hans is going to have his hands full for the foreseeable future. Veel geluk met dat!

Accounting chief calls for more credible bank test [Reuters]

To Keep People From Nodding Off, Stephen Schwarzman Reminded Everyone How Much He Hates Mark-to-Market Accounting

The Blackstone Group co-founder, chairman and CEO is in Seoul hobnobbing with various other titans of industry, finance and politics for the G-20 Business Summit and as you might expect, things can get a little drab.

Dark suits, heavy lunches, important people trying to one-up each other’s stories and so on and so forth can really get tiresome so in order to “keep people awake,” SS brought up a topic near and dear to his heart:

[I]n the United States, we eliminated mark-to-market accounting in 1937, and why did we do that? We completely bankrupted our system before, and for some reason, somebody who liked something called transparency decided to have mark-to-market accounting come back, around the turn of the last century. So it in no way surprises me that we had a catastrophic collapse as a result of implementing mark-to-market accounting.

Not exactly sure who “somebody” is but one guy has retired and another is on his way out, so this could be Schwarzman’s reminder to the outgoing MTM cheerleaders that he hasn’t changed his stance that the whole thing just sucks.

Some French Guy Still Trying To Tell the U.S. What to Do Re: IFRS

Look, pal. We get that you’re anxious to slap these sets of accounting rules together like an IKEA ottoman. We also get that you and a certain knight want – nay – need the RW&B to be on board.

But we don’t know who you’re trying to boss here. See, we’re fairly certain you’d be speaking German if it wasn’t for us. Furthermore, in case you haven’t noticed, we like dragging things out until the last possible minute. Or just ignoring things until we have a giant mess on our hands and then we try cleaning up. Why would we treat IFRS any different?


We understand it’s a new century, millennium and you guys have a rough go in the World Cup but you can give it a rest.

We’ll get to IFRS when we’re good and ready and just because today is Bob Herz’s last day at the FASB doesn’t mean you need to get all anxious about it:

The US is due to make a decision about whether fully buy in to international standards in the latter half of next year. There has been speculation that the appointment of a new chairman for the US standard setter, FASB, could determine which way the world’s biggest economy will go on international standards.

In a speech yesterday to a conference organised by European financial think tank EUROFI, Barnier welcomed the involvement of the US in the Basel talks on financial regulation. But he added that the US should not part company with IFRS.

“It’s essential that we adopt the same prudential framework. I say this very simply, we cannot afford to take the risk of divergence in this area. And this is also the case for accounting standards,” he said.

EU chief urges US to buy into IFRS [Accountancy Age]

Bob Herz Retiring as FASB Chair

Eight “successful” years is a helluva run, Bob. Not sure if he’s upstaging Tweedie’s exit next year or what. They’re buds and all. So now the speculation should probably start as to who will replace Roberto. Leslie Seidman will be running things as the “Acting” Chair and if you take the PCAOB’s as example, that “Acting” Chair can sit tight for awhile. Dan Goelzer has been “acting” as the Chair for over at the Board for over a year now.

So the important question is, who’s next to fly this ship? Taking shit from bank lobbiesenerally being known as being the biggest double-entry nerd in a gray suit this side of the pond is not an easy gig. We’d suggest a deputy accountant but there’s probably some silly qualifications that she will disqualify her. Does Tim Flynn put down the bag at KPMG? Do we finally get serious and get a knight to run this thing? Suggestions welcome.

NORWALK, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Board of Trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) today announced that the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) will grow from five to seven members. The FASB previously operated with seven board members from its inception in 1973 until 2008. In addition, Chairman Robert Herz has decided to retire from the FASB after more than eight years leading the standard-setting board. FASB member Leslie Seidman has been appointed Acting Chairman, effective October 1, 2010.

“Returning the Board to the seven-member structure will enhance the FASB’s investment in the convergence agenda with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), while addressing the unprecedented challenges facing the American capital markets in the months and years ahead”

“Returning the Board to the seven-member structure will enhance the FASB’s investment in the convergence agenda with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), while addressing the unprecedented challenges facing the American capital markets in the months and years ahead,” said FAF Chairman Jack Brennan. “The FAF Trustees believe this is the right investment in the standard-setting process at the right time that will enable it to accomplish the many duties that are so critical to the organization’s constituents.” The transition to a seven-member board will occur as soon as the process to recruit and evaluate candidates is complete, which is expected in early 2011.

Mr. Brennan added: “On behalf of the Board of Trustees and, especially, all investors and others affected by the FASB’s work, I want to offer my sincere thanks to Bob Herz for his strong leadership of the FASB in, arguably, the most challenging period in its history. We greatly appreciate his service and congratulate him for a job well done. Moving forward, we are very fortunate to have a highly respected, experienced leader like Leslie Seidman to assume the duties of Acting Chairman.”

Robert Herz, Chairman of the FASB, said: “My more than eight years as Chairman of the FASB have been among the most professionally challenging and personally satisfying of my career. There are hundreds of people I need to thank for their strong support and invaluable contributions to our standard-setting activities. First and foremost, I offer my deep appreciation to my fellow board members and our dedicated and talented staff. I’m very proud of our accomplishments, and I’m confident the board will continue to successfully meet the challenges ahead.”

Ms. Seidman has been a FASB member since July 2003. She has also served the FASB in various staff roles. Prior to joining the board, Ms. Seidman managed her own firm, providing consulting services to major corporations, accounting firms and other concerns, and previously served as vice president of accounting policy at J.P. Morgan & Company. Ms. Seidman started her career as an auditor in the New York office of Arthur Young & Company (now Ernst & Young LLP) and is a certified public accountant.

Accounting News Roundup: FASB, IASB May Be Overachieving on Convergence; PwC Wants Your Fat; Who’s Betting on Legal Internet Gambling? | 05.19.10

FEI Implores FASB, IASB to Slow Down [Compliance Week]
Financial Executives International is concerned that the FASB and IASB have gotten a little too ambitious in their convergence efforts and has written a letter to the Boards’ respective Chairmen that basically says, “Easy, tiger.”

Everyone knows that those knowitalls at the G-20 were insisting the accounting rule mavens to make convergence happen by next summer but FEI is trying to take pragmatic approach to this:

Arnold Hanish, chairman of FEI’s Committee on Corporate Reporting, said in his letter to the two boards the group is concerned about the “unprecedented volume as well as the complexity of proposed standards” that the two boards are developing. The committee fears the vast scope and aggressive timeline for the proposals will not allow adequate analysis of how the rules will work, which will lead to implementation problems and amendments further down the line.

In other words, this isn’t quantum mechanics, but it’s not Fisher Price either. Mr Hanish did his best to remind Bob Herz and Sir David Tweedie just how overambitious this little project is:

Our member companies are extremely concerned with the 10+ Exposure Drafts (EDs) that are in final stages and will be released for public comment through the third quarter of 2010. During any single period in time in its 38-year history, the FASB has had no more than 3 or 4 significant EDs out for public comment.

FEI doesn’t seem convinced that this unprecedented overachieving by Herz and Tweeds is going to result in the “one set of high quality standards.” They would prefer that hte Boards get this right the first time so they don’t have to slap the proverbial duct tape all over the efforts later.

Cabbies, Accountants Look to Chip-Fat Fuel on Cost, Environment [Bloomberg]
PricewaterhouseCoopers’ London office is trying to do its best for the environment by using local chip-fat converted into biodiesel to supplement its energy needs:

PwC is seeking local sources for 45,000 liters of biodiesel to meet one quarter of its monthly office fuel needs, said Jon Barnes, head of building and facilities services at the firm.

“I’m trying to locally source used chip fat from restaurants,” he said. “It’s a pretty pointless exercise of using biofuel if it’s been all round the world on a ship.”

Sounds like a bang-up idea but P. Dubs is always looking for an angle, “Having a renewable source for some of PwC’s office’s energy needs could help the company sell its services to clients wanting to do the same.”

House Holds Hearing Today on Tax and Internet Gambling [TaxProf Blog]
The House Ways & Means Committee is holding a hearing today to kick around the possibility of legalizing Internet gambling here in the US of A (and taxing it, of course). It kicks off at 9:30 am ET and with any luck, you’ll be legally losing your mortgage payments for the 2010 football season.

Accounting News Roundup: Deloitte ‘Encyclopedia’ to Join IASB; South Carolina’s $60 Million Accounting Snafu; CFO Job Market No Longer ‘Totally Dead’ | 04.16.10

Deloitte’s Paul Pacter Appointed to IASB [Web CPA]
Paul “Financial Reporting Encyclopedia” Pacter will resign his part-time position at Deloitte to take a seat on the IASB. Since 2000, he has been on Deloitte’s IFRS leadership team and has worked as the Director for small and medium sized entities for the IASB.

Sir David Tweedie said in a statement that “Paul is a walking encyclopedia on global financial reporting. He served as the determined leader of the development of the IFRS for SMEs, is an expert in both IFRS and U.S. GAAP, and in his spare time has run one of the most popular financial reporting Web sites on the Internet. He will bring a global perspective and immense energy to the board.”


Nearly $60 million accounting error means state budget cut [Charleston Business Journal]
Relative to other states that shall remain nameless, South Carolina’s problems aren’t really a BFD but somehow $60 million being “erroneously…counted as part of the state’s general fund,” as opposed to being earmarked for specific appropriations is still not good.

As a result of this little booboo, $60 million in budget cuts must be found with less than three months until the end of the state’s fiscal year. Such a short time frame could presumably lead to some desperate slash and burn methods. And here we thought the subversive organization legislation would have been a huge revenue stream for the Palmetto State.

Is There a Pulse in the CFO Market? [CFO]
Apparently the CFO job market is no longer ‘totally dead’ as it was from December 2008 to October 2009 and since some are feeling ‘overworked and under appreciated’ (just like you!) there promises to be a bit of a CFO exodus.

The FASB Buckles

bob herz.jpgBob Herz must be feeling a little blue now that his buddy Tweeds announced that he is hanging up his eyeshade.

This melancholic state has apparently led Herz to the conclusion that it’ll be okay to let banking regulators “use their own judgment” when it comes to letting banks stray from almighty GAAP:

“Handcuffing regulaorting GAAP to always fit the needs of regulators is inconsistent with the different purposes of financial reporting and prudential regulation,” Mr. Herz said in the prepared text.
“Regulators should have the authority and appropriate flexibility they need to effectively regulate the banking system,” he added. “And, conversely, in instances in which the needs of regulators deviate from the informational requirements of investors, the reporting to investors should not be subordinated to the needs of regulators. To do so could degrade the financial information available to investors and reduce public trust and confidence in the capital markets.”

Mr. Herz said that Congress, after the savings and loan crisis, had required bank regulators in 1991 to use GAAP as the basis for capital rules, but said the regulators could depart from such rules.

Herz is calling it “decoupling” of the rules which sounds a hell of a lot like “the rules are the rules only when they don’t work out so well for banks.” Not sure about anyone else but it sounds like Herz is caving to political pressure after insisting that everyone butt out.

Because if we read that correctly, any time banking regulators are feeling sketchy about the market’s ability to put value on the banks’ assets, they’ll just call a time out on fair value with no ringing up the FASB, auditors, or anybody else to get a permission slip?

Will banking regulators even know when the market is being irrational? If you were to ask JDA, she’d probably say, “No fucking way.”

A less irreverent but similar point of view from Daniel Indiviglio at the Atlantic:

I worry that if regulators are provided this flexibility, then they will always suspend mark-to-market accounting when a crisis hits. But in cases where the market permanently corrects the value of assets downward, their values would remain elevated in the regulators’ eyes. Then, once the crisis appears to improve, banks will eventually cause a sort of secondary crisis when they are forced to begin realizing the decline in the value of those assets.
Moreover, I worry about how investors will react to this change. Imagine you’re an investor. A crisis hits, and regulators step in to suspend mark-to-market accounting for a bank you own equity in. Are you worried? I sure would be — regulators were so concerned about the bank’s assets that they felt forced to suspend mark-to-market accounting! As an investor, I’ll still do my own math to figure out what I think the bank’s assets are worth. So investors might dump the stock anyway, endangering the value of the institution despite this move by regulators.

So it’s fair value unless we’re in a potential shit + fan situation. In the off-chance that the regulators recognize the impending disaster, they’ll tell the banks to forget fair value for now. Then once everything is hunky dory, we go back to fair value. Whatever, we’re over it.

Board to Propose More Flexible Accounting Rules for Banks [Floyd Norris/NYT]
Should Regulators Be Able To Suspend Accounting Rules? [The Atlantic]
Also see: Decouple US accounting rules, bank regulation-FASB [Reuters]

The Knighted One Keeps His Promises

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for tweedie.jpgSir David Tweedie and his fellow non-knighted wonks have released IFRS 9, Financial Instruments today to much anticipation. For those companies that were chomping at the bit, you can adopt pronto but nothing is mandatory until the end of 2012.
You got to hand it to Tweeds. The BSD at the G20 demanded that the IASB take another look (read: change) at this fair value thing ASAP and he delivered, AS PROMISED:

We have delivered on our commitment to the G20 and stakeholders internationally to provide an improved financial instrument standard for the classification and measurement of financial assets for use in 2009. Benefiting from unprecedented levels of consultation with stakeholders around the world, the IASB has made significant changes in its initial proposals to improve the standard, provide enhanced transparency and respond to stakeholder concerns.

Very impressive, so the ball is your court, Norwalk. You better get off your asses and come up with something good because none of you have knighthood and we haven’t seen much evidence of your re-quadrupled efforts. We already know that you’re talking Plan B but give us something, anything. You’re worried about Congress, sure but the Europeans are making you look bad. Is there any American knight-ish equivalent that Bob Herz could get that would help give him a boost in confidence?
If you’ve got suggestions, leave them in the comments. We’re at a total loss.
IASB completes first phase of financial instruments accounting reform [IASB Press Release]
New fair value standard rushed out by IASB [Accountancy Age]

IASB, FASB Are Really, Really Getting Serious About Convergence

Thumbnail image for merge.jpgDo you have doubts about the IASB and FASB’s commitment to accounting rule convergence? What? The name change idea didn’t convince you?

Well, David Tweedie and Bob Herz both addressed doubters attendees at a joint conference of the American Institute of CPAs and the International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation in New York to let them know that they are redoubling and in some cases, retripling their efforts to get this done.

The boards intend to hold more joint face-to-face meetings, in some cases by video conference, in order to make faster progress.

“We’re going to work on these issues together every month,” said Tweedie. “That’s why we think we’ll make our June 2011 target date.”

Monthly meetings. Some will be face-to-face. When they can’t do that, there will be video conferencing. Is there any doubt how serious they are taking this? This should be a piece of cake now. Oh sure, maybe they’re going to agree to disagree on the fair value thing but who said that’s important?

Wait a minute. Sir David Tweedie’s confidence seems shaky:

The approach may or may not work, and Tweedie acknowledged that some of the standards may take several years to be finalized. In many cases, they will be moving targets. But the goal of achieving a June 2011 convergence of the two sets of standards still seems doable, he insisted, and it would be a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

Good lord. Which is it people? Let’s just agree that accounting standards will be kinda-sorta converged by June 2011 and the rest of them will be converged “at a date yet to be determined”. We understand that the pressure is tough. No need to commit to anything.

IASB and FASB to Meet Monthly on Standards Overhaul [Web CPA]
Accounting Standard-Setters Will Get Much Chummier [Web CPA Debits & Credits]
Earlier: IASB: You Want a New Fair Value Rule? You Got It. Just Don’t Ask Us About Convergence

IASB: You Want a New Fair Value Rule? You Got It. Just Don’t Ask Us About Convergence

tweedie.jpgThere’s no doubt that you’ve been awaiting the IASB’s new fair value rule with feverish anticipation. Well, your wait is nearly over because when Sir David Tweedie says he’s going to do something, by God, he means it:

In an address to a meeting of European Finance Ministers, which have in the past been critical of the IASB’s response to the financial crisis, Tweedie has sought to ease concerns by announcing that he is on track to deliver a new fair value standard by the end of this year.
“I gave a commitment to deliver on this timetable. We will publish the new standard in November,” he said.

This is all very exciting for Tweedie and the IASB since it feels pretty damn good anytime you stick it to your critics but…
Small problem: The new rule still won’t require loans to be marked to fair value which is the exact opposite plan of Bob Herz and the FASB, “FASB’s proposal will see all assets measured at fair value. The IASB’s mixed measurement model would see banks’ loan books valued on an amortised cost basis.”
Obviously the two rulemakers, fresh off the tongue lashings they received from their respective governments for their part in the worldwide economic meltdown, decided that they had no choice but to put out the fair value fire pronto. Meanwhile, convergence of accounting standards (what the IASB is really serious about and could be the next Big 4 gravy train) remains a pipe dream.
Fair value standard will be released next month: Tweedie [Accountancy Age]

IASB Chairman Would Like the SEC to Get With It

TOLD YOU.jpgSir David Tweedie, IASB Chairman, would sure appreciate it if the SEC would make up its damn mind about whether or not to commit to converging U.S. GAAP with IFRS. He spoke at the American Association of Accountants (AAA) annual meeting in New York yesterday and figured he might as well call out the SEC, who seems to be stonewalling him. He’s giving them until 2011 to figure it out.
Tweedie has been making like some kind of financial reporting missionary, going all around the world preaching the good word of IFRS. He’s said he’ll have 150 believers by 2011. But everywhere he goes, all anyone can talk about is whether the U.S. is converted yet.
More, after the jump

“That is a question I am asked all around the world. The convergence program is designed to reduce the cost of transition. FASB is riding two horses: US GAAP and trying to converge at the same time, but so are we.”…If you’re going to have global standards, we need the US, but it can’t go on indefinitely,” he said

We’re impressed that the knighted bean counter is putting his foot down here. We figured the SEC and the FASB could just continue doing whatever it is they do and Tweedie would just keeping asking them about it every month or so like they owed him fifty bucks.
Tweedie Warns of 2011 Deadline for IFRS Choice [Web CPA via Accountancy Age]