June 22, 2018

Accounting News Roundup: Big 4 Wrestling with China; Corporate Tax Reform for Adults; Be a Better Tax Client | 02.28.12

"Big Four" auditors brace for big changes in China [Reuters]
The Big Four global audit firms, which dominate the Chinese market, are negotiating with Beijing to lessen the impact of forced changes that could mean only accountants with Chinese qualifications can be partners in their audit practices. The overhaul comes at a delicate time for an audit industry reeling from a rash of accounting scandals at Chinese companies, particularly those listed in high-profile overseas markets such as the United States. Any reduction in the audit capacity of KPMG, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) would increase foreign regulators' and investors' concerns about Chinese auditing.

Olympus Picks Insiders to Lead [WSJ]
Olympus Corp. is proposing changes to its top management with the nomination of Hiroyuki Sasa, the little-known head of its medical equipment marketing business, to be its next president as the scandal-hit company seeks to bolster its reputation and finances. The Japanese camera and endoscope maker also said Monday that it selected Yasuyuki Kimoto, a former senior managing director at Olympus main lender Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., to be chairman. With Messrs. Sasa and Kimoto, a slate of directors for its new 11-member board will be submitted to shareholders for a vote at an extraordinary general meeting set for April 20.
Former S.E.C. Lawyer Agrees to Pay $556,000 to Settle Madoff-Related Claims [NYT]
The family of a former top lawyer for the Securities and Exchange Commission, David M. Becker, agreed to pay about $556,000 to settle claims over inherited money linked to Bernard L. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. The payment is equal to the entire amount of profit that Mr. Becker and his brothers inherited from a Madoff account held by their mother, who died in 2004, according to a statement Monday by Amanda Remus, a spokeswoman for Irving H. Picard, the trustee liquidating Mr. Madoff’s firm. Mr. Picard, in a November 2010 lawsuit filed in bankruptcy court in New York, originally claimed that the Beckers had received $1.5 million in fictitious profits. Mr. Becker, who left the S.E.C. in 2011 and is now a partner at the Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton law firm, faced criticism last year after Mr. Picard’s lawsuit was made public, suggesting he might have had a personal financial interest in policies he worked on at the S.E.C. related to how Madoff customers should be compensated.
Tax experts think deal could be done on corporate code overhaul this year [The Hill]

Despite what appear to be long odds, a handful of Washington tax experts think Congress and the Obama administration could actually make real progress on corporate tax reform this year. These optimists — who admittedly represent a minority opinion in town — point out that lawmakers have a relatively open calendar for the rest of 2012 following this month’s extension of the payroll tax cut. And they maintain that what others say are factors working against a tax overhaul this year — the likely hard-fought presidential race and the at-times strident partisanship on Capitol Hill — could actually help the push for reform.  
A Grown-Up Conversation About Corporate Tax [Martin Sullivan]
MS: "We need a major new source of revenue to make up for an obsolescent corporate tax. That new revenue source is obvious to most policy experts. As shown in the table, the economies around the globe that we are presumably trying to emulate with lower corporate taxes have VATs, and, for the most part, they are raising consumption taxes while they cut their corporate taxes."
Another "Case" of Terrible Decisions Borne of Terrible Accounting Rules [Accounting Onion]
Tom Selling: "In the revenue recognition project's nascence, the boards did solemnly aver that new standards would result in a much more faithful portrayal of economic reality: the driver of income would be changes to assets and liabilities, which would be measured at current values. But, once the boards got the message from issuers that they wouldn't easily give up the revenue recognition rules they knew and loved, the project has devolved into a (futile?) face-saving quest to put old wine in new bottles – i.e., to write one reasonably brief standard that would return the same (or better) values as hundreds of rules that comprise existing U.S. GAAP."
Be a good tax client [DMWT]
This does NOT start with a shoebox.
Weird 'dog-headed pig monster' terrorizes Africa [MSNBC]
Residents in northern Namibia, on the southwest coast of Africa, have reported being terrorized by a bizarre dog-pig hybrid creature. The animal is said to be mostly white and unlike anything the villagers have ever seen, with a doglike head and the broad, round, nearly hairless back and shoulders of a giant pig. The beast was spotted chasing and attacking dogs, goats and other domestic animals in this arid region not far from the Kalahari desert.


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Accounting News Roundup | 01.21.10

How to find the “best and brightest” [CPA Success]
This may be a better topic for the friendly HR professional but figuring out who these future accounting rock stars are before they show up on their first day is “more art than science”, as Tom Hood notes.
Popular to some old-school thought, GPA does not always indicate who’s going to dominate in the real world and “soft skills” — besides being a terrible term — are in more demand than ever.
Help The The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago Help Haiti [Re: The Auditors]
The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago is having a drive today and since Francine’s friend is the CFO, we’ll be glad pass around the news:

One of my oldest and dearest friends, Guillermo Becerra, is the CFO of the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago. I asked him how I could help him, and the Red Cross, during what must be an incredibly busy time post-Haiti earthquake.

“The Chicagoland community will come together on Thursday, January 21 to give to the American Red Cross as we help the people of Haiti recover from the catastrophic earthquake that devastated their country last week.
The Chicago Helps Haiti media relief drive begins at 5 a.m. and lasts until 11 p.m. Nearly every TV and radio station in our area will be promoting this fundraising effort throughout the day. You can help too, by giving via phone or online, and sharing your thoughts here, on Facebook or Twitter, and by asking others to give.
To give from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. CALL 1 (877) 565-5000 or visit www.chicagoredcross.org/haiti

Plus, we’re guessing that if you give, your 2009 tax return isn’t much of a concern.
If Your Password Is 123456, Just Make It HackMe [NYT]
The Times is concerned that you have a shitty password which puts you at a huge risk of being hacked by someone sitting in their parents’ basement.

Imperva found that nearly 1 percent of the 32 million people it studied had used “123456” as a password. The second-most-popular password was “12345.” Others in the top 20 included “qwerty,” “abc123” and “princess.”

You know who you are, ye with stupid passwords. Also, don’t even think of changing it to “654321” because that drops in at #19.

Accounting News Roundup: Haiti Relief Passes Senate; Accounting Job Surge? CPAs Basically Control People’s Lives | 01.22.10

Senate votes for faster tax breaks for Haiti gifts [WaPo]
As expected, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation yesterday that allows taxpayers to deduct donations made for Haiti relief efforts. You have until the end of February to donate so that it may be included on your 2009 return.

Maybe it’s bad legislation but we’ve been over that.

CPA Jobs Set for Surge. But When? [CPA Trendlines]
That’s the question, isn’t it? Rick Telberg, who has done a great job of tracking the Bureau of Labor Statistics on accountants, points out that while the latest BLS forecasts a 22% increase (279,400 jobs) by 2018, there’s no indication that it’s happening now:

[M]any tax, accounting and finance professionals are still slogging through the Great Recession. The Association for Financial Professionals, for instance, reported that about one in four respondents say their organizations will contract in 2010. At the same time, a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey of private companies found 43 percent of CEOs and CFOs still budgeting no expansion over the next 12 months to 18 months. The data just seem to reinforce economic uncertainties and a weak outlook.

The BLS is looking past the past the recession for the jump in opportunities but just when the hell will that be? Just because the economy isn’t contracting currently, doesn’t mean it won’t in the future and this “recovery” has been tepid at best.

Theismann to CPAs: You Are the Conscience of America [Web CPA]
Joe Theismann gets it. He knows that without all of you out there in CPA land, your clients don’t stand a chance. They’d be finished. Finished!

“You’re the conscience of America,” Theismann told conference-goers. “You are the survivors in tough times. With accountants, I’m not looking for someone to file taxes and do my financials. I can do that myself online. In your position you can basically control people’s lives.”

So get out there and control somebody’s life. Joe Theismann is expecting it.