Accounting News Roundup: PwC Will Audit Your Blockhain and Britain Goes After Big 4 | 03.16.18

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PwC Has an Answer for the Blockchain: Audit It [WSJ]
Does a decentralized ledger that verifies all kinds of transactions between hundreds of massive companies across thousands of computers need to be audited? PwC says, “Yes”:

The Big Four accounting firm plans to unveil a new offering Friday that will provide an outside look at clients’ use of the blockchain—making sure companies are implementing and using it properly, and allowing people within a company to continuously monitor its blockchain transactions. The move will facilitate and encourage companies’ use of the new technology, PwC says. Attesting that all is going as planned will help ease any internal concerns about blockchain and get people to feel more comfortable with its use, it adds.

“There’s going to have to be some kind of independent validation that the technology is functioning as intended,” said A. Michael Smith, a PwC partner in charge of internal technology audit solutions.

Okay, sure. But how many times do you need that service? Companies aren’t constantly asking their third-party IT consultants if their internet is working, are they? After a couple of times, won’t the clients turn to PwC and go, “The computers have got it, guys.”

Probe urged into break-up of Big Four accountants [FT]
The U.K.’s Financial Reporting Council wants the Big 4 to spin off their audit practices.

EU set to hit big U.S. tech firms with 3 percent turnover tax [Reuters]
The EU wants to tax companies such as Google and Facebook that earn billions in digital revenues. The proposal under consideration would levy a 3 percent tax on companies with worldwide revenue of at least 750 million euros.

In Their Push to Lure Amazon, Cities Face Unintended Demands [WSJ]
Big companies are watching cities fawn over Amazon with lavish tax breaks and want the same handouts. JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon said, “he plans to call up the governor [mayor?] from the winning city and demand a similar deal.”

The Cost of March Madness [CFO]
All the number crunching about lost productivity during March Madness might be a little overblown. Companies that think block streaming services will result in people working don’t have a good understanding of people. Besides, one report found that one-fifth of workers don’t watch the tournament anyway and would “rather focus on work.”

Corporate Tax Avoidance and Honoring the Fiduciary Duties Owed to the Corporation and Its Stockholders [SSRN via TaxProf]
“Corporations often claim that they are legally required to engage in these aggressive strategies. But this article proves that claim is utterly and completely incorrect when based upon the fiduciary duties owed to the corporation and its stockholders.”

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