November 15, 2018

Accounting News Roundup: Big Deals, Bribes, and Indifferent Investors | 12.14.17

kpmg global big 4 structure

House, Senate Republicans Reach Deal on Final Tax Bill [WSJ]
The text of the bill is still being written, but in short: the top individual rate landed at 37 percent; the corporate tops out at 21 percent; pass-throughs get a 20 percent income deduction. A compromise over the SALT deduction is in the works; rather than full repeal, it may come back but be capped at $10,000. The corporate AMT gets repealed while the individual AMT lives on but with higher exemptions. There are lots of other details of course, but voting on the final bill could start as early as Monday.

Bonus: The Wall Street Journal‘s Richard Rubin summarizes all this in a punny video featuring presents, lumps of coal, and talking bears.

Disney Makes $52.4 Billion Deal for 21st Century Fox in Big Bet on Streaming [NYT]
Old school media and show business trying to keep up: “Disney now has enough muscle to become a true competitor to Netflix, Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook in the fast-growing realm of online video.”

Investors on Rev Rec Changes: Who Cares? [CFO]
The good news for any accounting team that’s worried about not being by tomorrow’s deadline is, investors are, “Meh.” Reactions range from indifference (“It’s not been a big focus.”) to preoccupation (“There’s going to be so many other issues that investors and investor relations teams [will be focused on], in particular the tax-law change that’s coming”) to unimpressed (“Basically, the rule didn’t change anything.”)

Reminder: Just because those people don’t care about the accounting, Wes Bricker has your back.

Former federal official, accountant indicted in Las Vegas bribery case [LVRJ]
File to Accountants Behaving Badly: Bribery. Fredrick J. Leavitt, a director of the financial management office for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation allegedly accepted bribes from Dustin M. Lewis to award Lewis’s firm, LL Bradford & Company, a Southern California Public Power Authority audit. What happened next probably won’t shock you: “After LL Bradford was selected as the winning bidder for the contract, according to the indictment, Lewis transferred more than $200,000 to Leavitt, who left the bureau and went to work as a tax partner for the accounting firm in January 2016.”

Previously, on Going Concern…

Greg Kyte’s Exposure Drafts cartoon features Magi seeking a 501(c)(3) charity.

From me: EY Employee Shot in Las Vegas Is Home for the Holidays

Grant Hutchinson offered 4 strange ways to keep your sanity this coming busy season. (This content is sponsored by San Francisco-based Murray, Stok & Company, an Accountingfly partner.)

In other news:

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Funny homeless guy sign

You Know That Guy Who Panhandles on Your Block? He May Be a CPA.

Anybody out there looking to help their fellow CPA, who’s down on his luck?
The Wall St. Journal is reporting that the former BDO Seidman LLP CEO, Denis Field may have to pay back a portion of $180 million that is being sought by prosecutors in the tax shelter case that involves Field and six others.
Natch, everybody has denied wrongdoing. The charges include conspiracy and tax evasion. Good luck with that.

Prosecutors Seek Ex-BDO Seidman CEO, 6 Others To Forfeit $180M

Partners at Grant Thornton are Just Getting Lazy

Grant-thornton-logo.JPGGrant Thornton is really making our lives easy today: “Grant Thornton has agreed to pay nearly £6,000 in fines and costs after it failed to correctly sign off 43 audit reports.”
Measly fine, obv but 43 audit reports? And a incorrectly signed off report is one that, “had not been signed off by a responsible individual of the firm”.
So apparently the Brits have got their interns signing off on the audits. Gold star for you today, GT.
ICAEW fines Grant Thornton over audit sign-offs [Accountancy Age]