September 21, 2019

Friday Footnotes: Cocaine and Hookers; Facebook Slapped By the SEC; PwC on AI | 7.26.19

Geeky accountant who stole £150,000 and blew it on cocaine and hookers told to pay back just £1 [The Sun] Carvill, 38, was jailed for 2½ years after admitting fraud. His sentencing hearing was told he’d been bullied for most of his life and suffers very low self-esteem.

Accountants ordered to disclose information on personal misconduct [FT] The UK’s accounting watchdog has ordered the industry’s largest firms to disclose all complaints of bullying and harassment made against their senior staff after a string of scandals. In letters sent this week, the Financial Reporting Council has demanded information on complaints about bullying, sexual harassment and alcohol or drug abuse, including the seniority of the employees implicated and their area of business.

EY warns of audit fee hikes as compliance costs bite [Sky News] EY, the big four accountancy firm, has warned some of Britain’s biggest companies that they will be charged more to audit their books as the profession contends with intense scrutiny from politicians and regulators. Sky News has obtained a letter sent by Hywel Ball, EY’s head of UK audit, to the firm’s clients to inform them that “unprecedented market forces” will entail higher fees.

Art of Accounting: Female staff are smarter, redux [Accounting Today] Ed Mendlowitz on why chicks are cool (in the office).

IRS Sending Warning Letters to More Than 10,000 Cryptocurrency Holders [WSJ] “Taxpayers should take these letters very seriously. The IRS is expanding efforts involving virtual currency, including increased use of data analytics,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.

Don’t be afraid to take chances on AI says PwC partner Darren O’Neill [Silicon Republic] “There’s an element of taking some risks and not being afraid to take some chances, to spend a little bit of money on this stuff in a controlled way,” he said. “It won’t always work out. Be open to the fact that some of it is going to fail. But just get your sleeves rolled up and get stuck in.”

Deloitte India granted four-week pause in legal battle [economia] Deloitte and BSR Associates, a KPMG affiliate, have been granted a stay on a legal order by India’s National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). The firms have been involved a protracted legal battle over alleged misconduct in their audit work on infrastructure firm IL&FS. India’s Ministry of Corporate Affairs has argued for Deloitte to be banned from the country for five years over the IL&FS case.

Facebook agrees to $100 million SEC settlement after privacy probe [CNET] “Public companies must accurately describe the material risks to their business,” said Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC’s enforcement division. “As alleged in our complaint, Facebook presented the risk of misuse of user data as hypothetical when they knew user data had in fact been misused. Public companies must have procedures in place to make accurate disclosures about material business risks.”

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