August 21, 2018

Accounting News Roundup: India Bans PwC for Two Years Over Satyam Fraud | 01.11.18

pwc colonial award

India Bans PricewaterhouseCoopers From Auditing Listed Firms for Two Years [WSJ]
The Securities and Exchange Board of India banned PwC affiliates from auditing listed companies for two years over the $1 billion Satyam fraud (India’s Enron, if you prefer). As you may recall, PwC partners were sentenced to jail for this debacle, but the firm has maintained that “its accountants were duped” and “is confident it can reverse the order in court.”

The Big Three [Reuters/Breakingviews]
A column from Una Galani suggests that India’s ban of PwC “might also prompt multi-national companies in India to dump the auditor in other jurisdictions too, just to make it easier to file their global accounts.”

Apple Could Get a $4 Billion Boost From Tax-Law Quirk [Bloomberg]
In what appears to be a stroke of dumb luck (or savvy lobbying), companies, including Apple and Microsoft, whose fiscal years began before January 1 (when the new tax law took effect) “get an extra chance to reduce foreign cash they’ll accumulate this year — which they can do by distributing cash dividends to their U.S. parents before tallying up what’s left to be taxed.” One tax law professor stated the obvious: “Are there planning opportunities? Yes, most likely.”

Elsewhere in Apple taxes: UK squeezes extra £136m tax payment from Apple

I.R.S. Paid $20 Million to Collect $6.7 Million in Tax Debts [NYT]
Not too good, man. Taxpayer advocate Nina Olson also reported, “private contractors in some cases were paid 25 percent commissions on collections that the I.R.S. made without their help.”

Audit committees will be dealing with new accounting standards and tax reform this year [AT]
A couple of KPMG reports state that, yes, members of the junk drawer committee will stay busy with revenue recognition, tax reform, and cybersecurity, among the usual stuff.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Greg Kyte’s Exposure Drafts cartoon showed that you can’t run from the billable hour.

In Open Items, Updated PCAOB Staff Guidance on Determining Auditor Tenure

From the archives: Deloitte Resents the Depiction of Its Independent Review Foreclosure Work as “Story Time”

In other news:

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In Case You Need Another Reason to Hate the French

french flag.jpgWalking around the PwC office in Midtown Manhattan, our blogospondent in the field happened across a couple of young ladies having the picture taken in front of the P Dubya sign out front, proudly posing as if it was their names on the building at 300 Madison.
Said blogospondent approached the young ladies and asked if they worked at the P Dub and they responded in heavily French accents, “yes”. As result of further prying, it was revealed that the ladies do work a lot during “busy times”, sometimes between 50 and 60 hours a week!
This compared to an American tax associate who we spoke to just a couple days before who, in the last fifteen days, had worked 185 hours.
Let’s recap: America – 185 hours in 15 days in the middle of June vs. France – 50-60 hours in one week during the “busy time”.
American vitriol towards the French may now ensue.

PwC Needs a Lesson or Two in Spin

240px-PricewaterhouseCoopers.svg.pngIn, lets talk about anything but Satyam, PwC news, the largest Big 4 firm was rated highest among professional service providers on brand recognition in the Brand Finance Top 50 ranking of Best Brands of British Origin.
“Chairman of PwC [in the UK] Ian Powell said the recognition was ‘testament to the strength and reach of our clients, the talents of our people, and the contribution that we make to the wider community.'”
We won’t take anything away from PwC but sometimes bad news is the best news for brand recognition. So this whole Satyam thing is probably not getting the credit it deserves. Come on P. Dubs! Lemons into lemonade!

PwC most recognised professional services brand
[Accountancy Age]