December 11, 2018

Accounting News

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Accounting News Roundup: AICPA Asks IRS for More Clarity on Taxation of Crypto | 05.31.18

Plus, Deloitte gets dinged over Autonomy, divisive tax policy, Donald Trump is wrong about something, and more.

Accounting News Roundup: PCAOB’s Enforcement Chief Is Latest to Go | 05.30.18

Plus, a sexy tax avoidance product, EY picks up some lawyers, a literary agency accountant cooked some books, and more.

Accounting News Roundup: The Big 4 Cartel and New Jersey Puts the IRS on Notice | 05.29.18

The financial scandal no one is talking about [The Guardian] This is a nice long read to ease you back from the holiday weekend. “The financial scandal” is, of course, the Big 4, and their dominance as auditors of the world’s largest companies, among other things: They are the only players large enough to check […]

Accounting News Roundup: PCAOB Fines Deloitte; PwC’s New Tax Team; Dueling 8-Ks | 05.25.18

Plus, Lynne Doughtie’s favorite movies, Samsonite’s troubles, stolen crypto, and bad mussels.

Accounting News Roundup: 1MDB Is Down to Its Last Big 4 Firm | 05.24.18

Plus, the IRS warns states about SALT workarounds, another disturbing sexual misconduct case, dealing with allergies, and more.

Accounting News Roundup: AICPA Wants Everyone on the Blockchain Bandwagon | 05.23.18

Plus, the shakeup at the PCAOB continues, General Electric wants to sell its insurance unit, POTUS promises more tax cuts, and more.

Accounting News Roundup: Big 4 Tenure Premiums; PCAOB Considers Overhaul; Poor Millennials | 05.22.18

Do Big Four Auditors Unfairly Raise Fees? [CFO] A new study from Aloke Ghosh and Subprasiri Siriviriyakul of CUNY Baruch suggests that Big 4 firms oppose term limits not because they believe “clients benefit from superior audit quality rendered over longer audit firm tenure,” but rather the firms can charge a “tenure-linked fee premium” and […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Comfortable Audit Firms and Non-GAAP Whistleblowers | 05.21.18

The ‘big four’ auditors have life far too easy [FT] Jonathan Ford writes that “There is a public interest in making life less comfortable for the masters of the auditing universe,” also noting that “Britain could catalyse wider action by leading the way [by forcing a break up.]” The Big Four: Break-Up or Audit Only? […]

Accounting News Roundup: Breaking Up the Big 4 Is Hard to Do | 05.18.18

Big Four accountancy firms plan for forced break-up [FT] As the drums for breaking up the Big 4 in favor of audit-only firms beat louder, it’s been interesting to read about the contingency plans they’ve been exploring behind the scenes: PwC said it had “a documented business continuity plan covering a range of scenarios that […]

Accounting News Roundup: The Big 4 Oligopoly; HoweyCoins; Phone Bans | 05.17.18

KPMG chair calls Big Four an ‘oligopoly’ after Carillion collapse [FN] As usual, the Brits are little more forthright about their failings than their American counterparts. Where KPMG US CEO Lynne Douthie wrote vaguely about the alleged conspiracy of former partners, but beamed about how awesome the firm is, Bill Micheal, the UK chairman, admitted […]

Accounting News Roundup: Big 4 Get Share of Blame for Carillion and Apology Letters for Embezzlement | 05.16.18

Key findings from the MPs’ report into Carillion’s collapse [The Guardian] Two parliamentary committees spread the blame around for the collapse of the British construction company, with the Big 4 getting its fair share. The report called KPMG, Carillion’s auditor, “complicit” for “complacently signing off its directors’ increasingly fantastical figures.” Deloitte, the internal auditor, “too […]

Accounting News Roundup: GOP Donors Get Stingy Over Tax Law; Seattle vs. Amazon | 05.15.18

Top GOP donors close wallets over tax law [CNN] Wealthy hedge fund guys like Paul Singer, Ken Griffin, and Dan Loeb are miffed about “favored treatment for corporations under the law” and are withholding donations to Republican candidates and the party’s national committee as punishment. Collectively, the boycotters donated $50 million during the 2016 election […]

Accounting News Roundup: Tardy Audited Financial Statements; Avalara’s IPO; Too Many Food Choices | 05.14.18

No, I do not want to go to the stupid prom with you. Xerox Drops Fujifilm Merger Plan, Strikes a Deal With Activists [WSJ] The saga of Xerox and Fujifilm has taken a new turn, as the company has abandoned its merger plans to work with and activist investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason. How […]

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Accounting News Roundup: PwC Faces Whistleblower Retaliation Suit | 05.11.18

PwC Whistleblower Alleges Fraud in Audits of Silicon Valley Companies [POGO] The Project on Government Oversight has a nice scoop on the tale of Mauro Botta, a former PwC senior manager who after spending a dozen years in the firm’s Silicon Valley office, became a whistleblower. Botta told the Securities and Exchange Commission in a […]

Accounting News Roundup: A Murder of Crowes and Bad Legal Advice | 05.10.18

Crowe drops Horwath from its brand [AT] Over 200 member firms around the world will now be known as “Crowe,” and I suppose that collectively, they will be known as “a murder of Crowes” which is cool-sounding but perhaps a little too terrifying to actually put into practice. Still, just for fun, let’s try working […]

Accounting News Roundup: Talent Shortage Fears; Big Stock Compensation; Jay-Z | 05.09.18

Think There’s a Talent Shortage Now? Just Wait [CFO] Is there a worrier near you? If so, forward them this Korn Ferry study that has enough doom and gloom to keep them busy for the next dozen years: By 2030 — no more than a couple of economic cycles away, in all likelihood — the […]

Accounting News Roundup: Tesla’s Numbers; Valeant’s New Name; Deloitte’s Cybersecurity Spending Spree | 05.08.18

This Is Why Tesla Should Answer Boring Questions [Bloomberg] Bloomberg columnist Liam Denning expressed some surprised as to how Tesla’s gross margin improved despite sales going down in the first quarter. It involved some accounting sleight of hand: One big factor was a change in how Tesla accounts for vehicles it leases. Whereas previously many […]

Accounting News Roundup: Buffett’s Nightmare, Musk’s Drama, AmTrust’s Probe | 05.07.18

Buffett Accounting ‘Nightmare’ Fuels First Loss in Nine Years [Bloomberg] Although new rules that require unrealized gains and losses from equity investments “will produce some truly wild and capricious swings in our GAAP bottom line,” Uncle Warren recommends looking at Berkshire Hathaway’s operating income as “a better barometer” of the company’s performance. It increased 49 […]

Accounting News Roundup: Mischievous Non-GAAP Reporting; More Bad News for KPMG South Africa; Theranos Losers | 05.04.18

SEC chief accountant warns against mischief in non-GAAP reporting [AT] On a panel at Baruch College’s Financial Reporting Conference, SEC Chief Accountant Wesley Bricker mentioned that there can be a “mischievous quality to non-GAAP reporting,” and now I can only imagine CFOs with toothy grins and little top hats. Also notable were comments from Kyle […]

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Accounting News Roundup: EY Settles With Partner Over Sexual Harassment | 05.03.18

Ernst & Young settles sex-harassment suit from partner [NYP] Jessica Casucci has agreed to leave the firm as part of a settlement over the allegations in a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Council last month. The Post reports that John Martinkat, the partner at the center of the allegations, has been fired from […]

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Accounting News Roundup: ‘Special Skills in Accounting’ and Rent Expense Puzzles | 05.02.18

Ex-Autonomy CFO Convicted of Massive Fraud [CFO] Sushovan Hussain used his “special skills in accounting” for good instead of evil, essentially duping HP into buying Autonomy. [P]rosecutors presented evidence that Hussain used backdated contracts, round-trips, channel stuffing, and other forms of accounting fraud to inflate Autonomy’s publicly-reported revenues by as much as 14.6% in 2009, […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Partner Names; EY and ZTE; Offshore Profits | 04.30.18

New PCAOB Rule Sways Investor Decisions [CFO] A recent study found that partner naming “has a considerable impact on investment decisions” perhaps even more so than anyone expected. The study found that a contagion effect — a phenomenon where negatives traits of a company extend to others like, say, an audit firm partner — could […]

Accounting News Roundup: KPMG Keeps GE, Wells Fargo Audit Gigs | 04.26.18

Programming note: ANR will be off tomorrow, returning Monday. KPMG Gets Cold Shoulder From GE Shareholders [WSJ] Michael Rapoport reports, “Only 64.9% of GE shareholders voted to ratify KPMG as GE’s auditor.” One governance expert called it an “extraordinary” level of opposition, but the fact remains: KPMG will be GE’s auditor for another year: Its […]

Accounting News Roundup: Apple Ponies Up; Big Lease Obligations; Walkbacks | 04.25.18

Apple Takes a Step on Payment of Back Taxes to Ireland [WSJ] The company “completed an agreement” to put $16 billion into an escrow account to comply with an order from the European Commission. Ireland’s finance minister still disagrees with the ruling, but said, “as committed members of the European Union, Ireland is intent on […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Will KPMG Survive Calls for Its Ouster as Auditor of Wells, GE? | 04.24.18

KPMG faces shareholder protests over GE and Wells Fargo audits [FT] Both GE and Wells Fargo hold their shareholder meetings this week, so we’ll see if investors heed the call of proxy advisors to dump KPMG. The firm and its predecessors have audited Wells Fargo since 1931 and GE since 1909, so chances for a […]

Accounting News Roundup: Fraud, Fraud, Fraud | 04.23.18

Zelle, the Banks’ Answer to Venmo, Proves Vulnerable to Fraud [NYT] I don’t know if “vulnerable” quite lives up to the severity of some these cases: “I know of one bank that was experiencing a 90 percent fraud rate on Zelle transactions, which is insane,” said Genevieve Gimbert, a partner in PwC’s financial crimes unit. […]

Accounting News Roundup: PwC Gave Facebook Privacy Protections the ‘All Clear’ | 04.20.18

Audit Approved of Facebook Policies, Even After Cambridge Analytica Leak [NYT] That audit was performed by none other than PwC, and the firm submitted it to the Federal Trade Commission in early 2017. The report, like most audits performed by Big 4 firms, found the Facebook’s privacy protections were fine, and we now know that […]

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Accounting News Roundup: EY Partner Accuses Firm of Blowing Off Assault Complaint | 04.19.18

Ernst & Young partner accuses firm of brushing off assault complaint [Reuters] Not too good, EY: In a complaint alleging discrimination and retaliation filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Jessica Casucci, a partner in Ernst & Young’s New York office, accused fellow partner John Martinkat of sexually assaulting her in front of two […]

Accounting News Roundup: Let’s Try This Tax Day Thing Again | 04.18.18

I.R.S. Website Crashes on Tax Day as Millions Tried to File Returns [NYT] Yesterday was Tax Day and everyone’s worst nightmare came true: Millions of taxpayers who waited until Tuesday to file their 2017 tax returns and make payments through the Internal Revenue Service’s website were thwarted by a systemwide computer failure that advised last-minute […]

Accounting News Roundup: Hacking CPAs; Big Tax Bills; EY and AIG | 04.17.18

When Identity Thieves Hack Your Accountant [Krebs on Security] Brian Krebs reports on one CPA who shall remain nameless and the “malware gang” that targeted him for his clients’ info. The scam used a “keylogger” that records every keystroke and uploads screenshots from its victim’s machine. These day-long logs were uploaded to a site that […]

Accounting News Roundup: Auditing Auditors, Boilerplate, and Soup > Taxes | 04.16.18

KPMG South Africa Audits Own Staff After Breaking Public Trust [Bloomberg] This kinda sounds like a joke, but: “[A]ll staff face background checks every two years to try improve public trust in the firm.” And the checks will be “done by an external, independent party.” Elsewhere: Microsoft auditing partner KPMG’s anti-piracy work in India after […]

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Accounting News Roundup: YouTube’s Financials and a CPA Has Lotto Advice | 04.11.18

Programming note: ANR will be off tomorrow and Friday, returning Monday. Investors Want More Transparency About YouTube’s Sales, Profit [WSJ] Last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission “cited international accounting rules” when it asked Alphabet (fka Google) about breaking out YouTube’s financial performance, and now investors are crowing about it, too. Rules say that segments […]

Accounting News Roundup: Audit-only Firms; Budget Deficits; CohnReznick Quits Longfin | 04.10.18

How Did the Big Four Auditors Get $17 Billion in Revenue Growth? Not From Auditing [WSJ] Consulting and advisory work earned the Big 4 $56 billion last year, up from $39 billion five years earlier. Their auditing practices, on the other hand, have grown about $1 billion over the same period. As for the idea […]

Accounting News Roundup: Bigger Big 4 Fines; Aggressive Tax Advice; ‘The Accountant’ Rentals | 04.09.18

Accounting watchdog to bite harder with 10 million pound fines [Reuters] The U.K.’s Financial Reporting Council will levy fines of 10 million pounds for “seriously poor audit work,” and that sound you hear is Big 4 risk managers stifling their laughter. U.S. Tax Executives Gear Up for Tax Reform’s “Butterfly Effect” [BDO] A BDO survey […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Will the Big 4 Get Pulled Into the Trade War? | 04.06.18

Trump Veers From Tax Script to Blast Democrats on Immigration [NYT] Vindictive Stay Puft Marshmallow Boy Man and President of the United States, Donald Trump, was supposed to talk about the new tax law in West Virginia yesterday, but he decided “that would have been a little boring,” and ranted about immigration and repeated a […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Managing Robots; Glass Lewis Knocks KPMG; ‘Crack and Pack’ | 04.05.18

Get Ready for an Exciting Career as a Data Hygienist [Bloomberg] Justin Fox writes about what kind of jobs artificial intelligence will create, noting that even now, the work being done by lots of people is relatively new: “[A]bout half of Accenture’s 435,000 employees are doing work that didn’t exist as recently as five years […]

Accounting News Roundup: Red Tape, Easy IPOs and Creative Accountants | 04.04.18

White House Turf Battle Threatens to Delay Tax Law Rollout [NYT] Last week, we mentioned the dance off between Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and this NYT story reports the latest details. Mulvaney believes “the I.R.S. should be subject to greater accountability,” and that OMB should be […]

Accounting News Roundup: Andersen’s Expansion Plans and Blockchain > Spreadsheets | 04.03.18

Andersen Tax expands globally [AT] Having defeated its hilariously inept French rival over the Andersen name, Andersen Tax is now back to doing whatever it can to convince people that reviving the firm wasn’t a terrible idea. In the AT article, CEO Mark Vorsatz lists off all the countries he’s going to like some online […]

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Accounting News Roundup: PrivatBank Sues PwC and ‘a Chinese jail or Hong Kong jail’ | 04.02.18

Ukrainian bank files $3bn claim against PwC for audit breaches [FT] Ukraine kicked PwC out last year over its failed audits of PrivatBank, and now the bank is suing the firm for “fail[ing] absolutely to identify the ongoing operation of the huge fraud.” KPMG in deep trouble in HK [China Accounting Blog] Paul Gillis goes […]

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Accounting News Roundup: KPMG’s Missing Workpapers and a Hero Goalie | 03.30.18

KPMG hit by Hong Kong High Court in $400 million China Medical fraud [Reuters] KPMG’s Hong Kong and mainland affiliate, KPMG Huazhen, have not been cooperating with a court order to produce its audit workpapers for defunct China Medical Technologies Inc. because it says doesn’t have them. Paul Gillis is quoted, saying that the HK […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Grant Thornton Done Auditing Big U.K. Business | 03.29.18

Grant Thornton exits audit market for big UK companies [FT] GT audits five FTSE 350 companies and will continue to do so, but will not bid for new audit work at the largest U.K. companies, making any claims by the Big 4 that there is “robust competition” in the audit market even more laughable. Grant […]

Accounting News Roundup: ‘One of the worst income statements I’ve ever seen’ | 03.28.18

Tesla is just months from a total collapse, says hedge-fund manager [MW] John Thompson of Villas Capital Management doesn’t mince words: “This is one of the worst income statements I’ve ever seen and between the story and the financials, the financials will win out in this case.” Court rules ex-EY partner has right to accounting […]

Accounting News Roundup: White-Collar Wives and DMX Songs | 03.27.18

Will Virginia’s New Confectionery Law Serve as a Model for States Looking to Fatten Up State Revenues? [BNA] Virginia is in the midst of implementing a new confectionery law that will cover booze-infused treats like spiked ice cream. It will all depend on how the Commonwealth defines “confectionery.” Trust Betrayed: Wives of White-Collar Criminals Tell […]

Accounting News Roundup: Dodd-Frank; Amazon and City Sales Taxes; Big College Coach Salaries | 03.26.18

Accountants may benefit from Dodd-Frank changes [AT] The operative word being “may.” The Senate bill that passed earlier this month must be reconciled with a more aggressive House bill that passed last year, and “there are indications that may not happen.” The House bill went so far to roll back some provisions within Sarbanes-Oxley, and […]

Accounting News Roundup: Congress Kicks the Online Sales Tax Can | 03.23.18

Congress Has Had 26 Years to Address Online Sales Taxes. It Is About To Fail One More Time [TPC] When the Supreme Court first ruled in Quill v. North Dakota, “it practically begged Congress” to write new rules for taxation of remote sales, Howard Gleckman writes. Now that Congress has squandered the last two-and-a-half decades, […]

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Accounting News Roundup: The Big 4 Break Up Debate and H&R Block’s Shred Party | 03.22.18

Should the Big Four accountancy firms be split up? [FT] Natasha Landell-Mills argues for, and Jim Peterson against, the forced spinning off of the Big 4 audit practices. Both make compelling points. Here’s Landell-Mills: “Lasting reform depends on auditors working for shareholders, not management. […] Lack of scrutiny creates space for conflicts of interest.” And […]

Accounting News Roundup: Theranos’s Missing Audit Report; PwC’s Carillion Fees; Tax Planning Games | 03.21.18

The investors duped by the Theranos fraud never asked for one important thing [MW] Francine McKenna reports that that thing was a set of audited financial statements. So, did they not get them because a) the “smart money” isn’t so smart or b) they don’t believe an auditor’s opinion is worth anything? PwC charges more […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Sports Trades and Tax Reform; Whistleblowers and Retaliation | 03.20.18

A Curveball From the New Tax Law: It Makes Baseball Trades Harder [NYT] Like-kind exchanges have gotten a rude awakening under the new tax law. With the exception of real estate, assets exchanged for similar assets are no longer exempt from tax, including, for example, athletes’ contracts. Sports executives are anxious for Treasury to explain […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Middle-aged Accountants vs. PwC; Fakin’ It or Fraud? | 03.19.18

Why Middle-Aged Accountants Are Suing PwC Over Campus Recruiting [Bloomberg] It’s a little strange to me to sue a firm for focusing on-campus recruiting but “a study that found that younger applicants had a 538 percent better chance of getting jobs at PwC than those 40 and over” is more convincing. Theranos and Silicon Valley’s […]

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

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 […]

Accounting News Roundup: Theranos’s Fraud and Busy Season Self-Control | 03.15.18

SEC Charges Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes With Fraud [WSJ] Ms. Holmes and Theranos’s former president, the SEC said, perpetrated ” an elaborate, yearslong fraud in which they exaggerated or made false statements about the company’s technology, business and financial performance.” As part of the settlement, Holmes gives up control of the company she founded in […]

Accounting News Roundup: Another Finance Exec Breaks With Tesla; Female CFOs; Who Gets the Pass-through Deduction? | 03.14.18

Tesla Treasurer and VP of Finance Leaves the Company [Bloomberg] Susan Repo, Tesla’s corporate treasurer and vice president of finance, is headed for the door, following Chief Accounting Officer Eric Branderiz, who left last week. Elsewhere: Elon Musk Wanted to Buy ‘The Onion,’ Now His Team’s Hiring Its Staffers for a Secret Project Inside the […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Tax Reform Glitches; KPMG and GE; Sexual Harassment | 03.13.18

G.O.P. Rushed to Pass Tax Overhaul. Now It May Need to Be Altered. [NYT] There are a number of quirks in the new tax law “that disadvantage certain farmers, hurt restaurateurs and retailers and could balloon the tax bills of large multinational corporations,” and that has business owners and executives worked up. Meanwhile, many fixes […]

Accounting News Roundup: Lots of Bad Audits and CEO-Employee Pay Gaps | 03.12.18

Accounting watchdogs find ‘serious problems’ at 40% of audits [FT] The 52 audit regulators that make up the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators found “accounting lapses […] at two-fifths of the 918 audits” they examined last year. Among these, 41 percent “related to independence and ethics,” a figure one expert called “absurdly high.” Are […]

Accounting News Roundup: Big 4 See, Big 4 Do; Tesla’s Top Accountant Leaves; Politics and Tax Breaks | 03.09.18

KPMG, PwC to include partners’ pay in gender gap calculations [FT] Following EY and Deloitte’s inclusion of partner pay, KPMG and PwC will play ball after “public pressure” in the U.K. Tesla’s top accountant and controller leaves [MW] Eric Branderiz is resigning for “personal reasons,” according to a securities filing. The company did not “specify […]

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Accounting News Roundup: An Expensive Tax Law; CFO Optimism; EY, Deloitte U.K. Report Pay Gaps | 03.08.18

Tax Law Doesn’t Pay for Itself, Harvard Economists Find [WSJ] But we already knew that. The latest analysis from Professors Jason Furman and Robert Barro found that the TCJA would “boost U.S. gross domestic product by a total of about 0.4% by the end of a decade,” but cost $1.2 trillion. CFO Optimism Climbs to […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Big 4 ‘Global’ Structures and ‘Disappointing’ Liabilities | 03.07.18

KPMG Acts Globally But Keeps Scandals Local [WSJ] Michael Rapoport revisits the “global structure” of Big 4, which is really just a bunch of individual firms agreeing to put the same logo on their letterhead. Big 4 audit slayer Steven Thomas has it right: “The only time you hear ‘Well, we’re not all KPMG’ is […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Internet Taxes and 50-year Frauds | 03.06.18

Trump Administration Backs Internet Taxes at U.S. Supreme Court [Bloomberg] SCOTUS will hear arguments in South Dakota v. Wayfair on April 17th. Where Corporate Taxes Are Poised to Rise Because of Tax Overhaul: States [WSJ] Richard Rubin reports on an Ernst & Young study that estimates state corporate-tax bases will increase 12 percent over the […]

Accounting News Roundup: Drama-free Oscars for PwC and An Accountants-for-Hire Startup | 03.05.18

Backstage with Faye Dunaway, Warren Beatty and this year’s PwC accountant before Oscars best picture redo [LAT] Congratulations to PwC for not stealing the show this year: Once Beatty and Dunaway took the stage and began their presentation, one of the PwC accountants who replaced last year’s wrong-envelope accountants watched the monitor closely as “Shape […]

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Accounting News Roundup: CFO Backups (or Lack Thereof); Tax Cut Spoils; Check Your W-4 | 03.02.18

Most Companies Have No CFO Succession Plan [CFO] A Korn Ferry survey of 740 CFOs found that only 34 percent of them have a backup. The JUST Capital Rankings on Corporate Tax Reform [Just Capital via NYT] Nonprofit research firm Just Capital is collecting data on how corporations’ tax savings are being spent. Boeing, FedEx, […]

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Accounting News Roundup: PwC vs. The Olds; U.K. Fraudbusters; Heckling Mnuchin | 03.01.18

Suit Claims PWC’s Campus Recruiting Disadvantages Older Job Seekers [WSJ] We first mentioned this suit nearly two years ago and now a judge “is expected to decide whether to add the roughly 14,000 other older workers who didn’t get job offers from PwC to the case in the coming weeks.” The firm claims “its hiring […]

Accounting News Roundup: Shorter Auditor Tenure and Misconduct Allegations at KPMG, EY Down Under | 02.28.18

Study supports shorter auditor tenure [AT] A study by Zvi Singer of HEC Montreal and Jing Zhang of the University of Alabama in Huntsville found that “Auditors with shorter tenures were faster at discovering financial misreporting.” New accounting rules trim Tesla deficit and promise faster future revenues [MW] Francine McKenna reports that Tesla cut its […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Georgia GOP vs. Delta; Ireland Still Collecting Apple’s Taxes; Big CFO Signatures | 02.27.18

Georgia Republicans Vow to Kill Airline Tax-Cut Bill After Delta Ends N.R.A. Discount [NYT] If Delta sticks to its…guns…I guess you can assume they aren’t too worried about losing a $50 million sales tax exemption on jet fuel. SEC Commissioner Criticizes Idea of Curbing Shareholder Lawsuits [WSJ] Robert Jackson Jr. opposes forcing shareholders to resolve […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Forever Tax War; GE’s Fresh Blood; KPMG’s Carillion Excuse | 02.26.18

Washington’s Fight Over Taxes Is Only Beginning [NYT] With so many provisions expiring, especially for individuals, and the GOP taking a quick and dirty approach to lawmaking, tax pros will have to stay on their toes for years. “This is anything but tax simplification,” KPMG’s vice chair of tax said. Treasury Official, Critical of Parts […]

Accounting News Roundup: Lecturing Auditors; Accounting for Celebrity Taste; C Corp Fever | 02.23.18

MPs turn fire on KPMG and Deloitte partners over Carillion [FT] There was an auditor flogging in the U.K. with the usual theatrics: “I would not hire you to do an audit of the contents of my fridge, because when I read it, I would not know what was actually in my fridge or not,” […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Whistleblowers; Big 4 Impunity; A Big Accounts Receivable Error | 02.22.18

Supreme Court Curbs Protections for Whistleblowers [WSJ] If you or someone you know is thinking about blowing the whistle on some shady behavior, forget about reporting it internally; take your tip to the Securities and Exchange Commission if you want anti-retaliation protection under Dodd-Frank. Naturally, this came out of a case of accounting shenanigans: The […]

Accounting News Roundup: CEO Pay Disclosures and ‘This is not an Excel spreadsheet calculation.’ | 02.21.18

Honeywell CEO’s 2017 Pay Is 333 Times More Than Median Worker’s [Bloomberg] Honeywell is the first company to disclose its CEO-to-median employee ratio. Darius Adamczyk earned $16.5 million last year. Honeywell’s median employee was paid $50,296. West Virginia Ousts Film Tax Credit [BNA] The Mountain State shelled out $15 million in credits, but an audit […]

Accounting News Roundup: What to Do With Tax Cuts and Petty Accounting Crimes | 02.20.18

Tax Overhaul Gains Public Support, Buoying Republicans [NYT] A recent survey found that 51 percent of respondents support the law while 46 percent disapprove. The approval rating is up from a low point of 37 percent in December. Impacts of New Tax Law Still Fuzzy [CFO] Another survey found that many companies don’t really know […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Unhappy CFOs, New Laws of Tax Planning; A Lottery Blunder | 02.16.18

The Winter of CFOs’ Discontent? [CFO] CFO recently collected over 700 responses from its job search decision tree aimed at finance executives. And, good news — they’re miserable at their jobs just like the rest of you! “A slim majority of finance executives are unhappy in their jobs; about one-third don’t think their company’s strategy, […]

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Accounting News Roundup: AICPA Lobbying; Cisco Repats Some Cash; Stealing from Cub Scouts | 02.15.18

AICPA CEO Melancon sheds light on tax reform lobbying [AT] If you were worried that AICPA President, CEO, and curling enthusiast Barry Melancon didn’t carry water for large accounting firms during the tax reform debate, rest easy: The AICPA was unable to dissuade lawmakers from excluding large accounting firms from the 20 percent pass-through deduction […]

Accounting News Roundup: Delaware LLCs; Bitcoin Gains; Fake IRS Agents | 02.14.18

New Hedge-Fund Tax Dodge Triggers Wild Rush Back Into Delaware [Bloomberg] In the new tax bill, Congress thought it could stick it to private equity and hedge fund managers by requiring them to hold investments for three years in order to have their carried interest income taxed at the capital gains rate. Private equity funds […]

Accounting News Roundup: Poaching a Tax Partner and a Big 4 Feast | 02.13.18

King & Spalding Adds New York Tax Partner from KPMG [TAL] Kevin Glenn, a 22-year vet of the House of Klynveld, is now complete: “Glenn said it was a ‘lifetime-long aspiration’ to become a law firm partner.” FWIW, he doesn’t expect the Big 4 to “make significant inroads” in the U.S. legal market. That sounds […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Big 4 Not Obliterating Law Conferences…Yet | 02.12.18

Twilight Of The Law Firms: The Big 4 Are Poised To Conquer The Legal Landscape [ATL] One thing we discuss around here with increasing regularity is Big 4 firms elbowing their way into the legal world unencumbered. Joe Patrice writes a good overview at Above the Law, noting that at a recent legal conference, “the […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Sad Millennial Investors; Big 4 Frenemy to SEC; DHG Sued for Copyright Infringement | 02.08.18

Holding on to each other, because the markets crushed their dreams. Ed. note: ANR will be off tomorrow, returning Monday. For Millennial Investors, a Harsh Lesson in Market Gyrations [NYT] If you enjoy reading the lament of your millennial brethren, then look no further than this collection of nascent investors. “I feel like my formal […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Mnuchin Is Chill; Super Bowl Champ Taxes; Lots of Identity Fraud | 02.07.18

Treasury Secretary Tries to Ease Concern Over Stock Market Fall [WSJ] Steven Mnuchin says nothing is fucked here. “I think the fundamentals are quite strong. I don’t think these types of moves, given how much the market has rallied, do have financial stability concerns.” U.K. Fraud Trial of Ex-Tesco Executives Ended After Heart Attack [Bloomberg] […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Too Much Tax Cuts; ‘Baller’ Stock Offerings; Pot Banking | 02.06.18

Investors Fear the Tax Cuts Will Work Too Well [NYT] Andrew Ross Sorkin writes that “Investors believe his policies to stoke growth are going to work so well that they will overheat the economy, and force the Federal Reserve to try to slow things down by raising interest rates faster than expected.” IPO Shortcuts Put […]

Accounting News Roundup: PwC Settles Petrobras; Deloitte Sued Over Steinhoff; Tax Acrobatics | 02.05.18

The face we’re all making because Chris Hemsworth, Danny McBride, and Paul Hogan won’t be in a movie together. Deal with PwC brings Petrobras investors’ recovery to $3 billion [Reuters] PwC’s Brazilian firm agreed to settle for $50 million. “We were keen to put this protracted legal matter behind us, and a settlement was the […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Insecure Overachievers; Digging at the AICPA; Snack Bonuses | 02.02.18

If You’re So Successful, Why Are You Still Working 70 Hours a Week? [HBR] If you read that title and immediately thought, “I’ll bet this opens with an anecdote about an accounting firm,” then you win a prize: “I really became a robot,” a manager at an accounting firm explained. She and her colleagues worked […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Tax Charges, Irregularities, and Xerox Stories | 02.01.18

Another typical, lazy dog, expecting a handout. Tax Charges Pile Up As U.S. Companies Report Earnings [WSJ] Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Facebook all took hits to their deferred tax assets, which, as we’ve noted before, is NBD. Analysts are ignoring the effect anyway, but the write-offs are in the billions, people are bound to notice. I’ll […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Competition for Big 4 Might Be Nice; Big Postcards; RSM, EY Go Shopping | 01.31.18

Calls for more scrutiny of top accounting firms after Carillion collapse [The Guardian] Stephen Haddrill, the head of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in the U.K., told some MPs that “there should be more competition in the major accounting and audit area” and also that he’d be asking the country’s competition regulator to take another […]

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Accounting News Roundup: When Accountants Break Bad and AICPA Anxious for Tax Law Guidance | 01.30.18

​​​When Good Accountants Go Bad, More Questions Are Raised Than Answered [IIA] Richard Chambers, the president and CEO of the Institute of Internal Auditors, reacts to the allegations in the KPMG-PCAOB scandal, writing that “the extent of the ethical lapses exhibited by the accused is appalling.” He does not believe “for one minute” that these […]

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Accounting News Roundup: KPMG’s Audit of Carillion; New Tax Law, One Month On; Happy Tax Season | 01.29.18

KPMG to be investigated over Carillion auditing [The Guardian] The U.K.’s Financial Reporting Council probe “will cover 2014 to 2016 and additional audit work carried out during 2017,” including “whether KPMG breached any rules, in particular the ethical and technical standards for auditors.” KPMG said it would fully cooperate. The Tax Law, Just One Month […]

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Accounting News Roundup: PwC Appeals India Ban; Blockchain Names; Flying Cars and Sales Tax | 01.26.18

PwC appeals two-year ban on audits in India [AT] The Securities Exchange Board of India banned PwC from auditing public companies earlier this month over the firm’s failure to detect the fraud at Satyam Computer Services. The appeal is expected to be heard by the end of February. PCAOB Board Statement on Passing of Former […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Partners Acting Like Fraudsters and GE’s Black Box | 01.25.18

What the KPMG Conspiracy Case Revealed About Its Audits [WSJ] Michael Rapoport’s report brings up all the doubts that people are feeling, including former SEC chair Mary Jo White going for the double adverb: “It’s obviously extraordinarily disturbing and an extraordinarily important case to have brought.” Lax oversight allowed ex-regulators to jump to firms they […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Who Else at KPMG Knew About Stolen Info?; The Revolving Door; Pot and IFRS | 01.24.18

KPMG indictment suggests many who weren’t charged knew regulator data was stolen [MarketWatch] Francine McKenna’s dive into the indictment surfaced with a disturbing possibility: “at least five more unnamed KPMG partners and one outside consultant either knew or chose to ignore the illegal source of the information.” Some Accountants Got Caught in the Revolving Door […]

Accounting News Roundup: PwC’s New Envelope Safeguards and Changes to State Tax Rates | 01.23.18

Accounting firm adds 6 new rules to prevent Oscars envelope gaffe [AP] The Academy Award nominations were announced this morning, but PwC’s Tim Ryan had a little reveal of his own, sharing the new rules the firm put in place to avoid a SALY #EnvelopeGate. Naturally, the new rules center around “envelope rituals” that should […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Shutdown; Former EY Partner Sues Firm; Hong Kong Audit Regs | 01.22.18

Many SEC Functions to Cease With Shutdown [WSJ] The Commission says it will be open for “a limited number of days” but if the shutdown continues, “At some point the SEC would stop reviewing or processing all new and pending corporate registration statements.” Whistleblower suing Ernst & Young over gold dealings with Dubai firm [The […]

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Accounting News Roundup: ‘Become an accountant. There is plenty of business for all of us.’ | 01.19.18

With Tax Savings, Some Employers Will Boost 401(k) Contributions [WSJ] Visa, Nationwide, and AutoNation are among the companies boosting their matching contributions. This seems like a silver lining in the new tax law since Americans are notoriously bad savers. The Downmarketing Of Tax Shelters [TPC] “An accountant friend now has a stock answer to clients […]

Accounting News Roundup: A Landing Pad for Retired Accountants Who Want to Keep Working | 01.18.18

One Accounting Firm Wants to Hire Retirees [WSJ] PKF O’Connor Davies has 24 employees who hit mandatory retirement age at other accounting firms, including one, in his 70s, who helped jumpstart their international tax practice. Mandatory retirement age policies at accounting firms, most notably PwC, have gotten the attention of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, […]

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Accounting News Roundup: DTAs NBD; Slowing Audit Fee Growth; South Dakota v. Wayfair | 01.17.18

Citigroup Earnings Wiped Out by Tax Charge [WSJ] The $22 billion write-down is eye-popping, sure, but it’s just a result of the company’s deferred tax asset being less valuable under the new tax law. (Citigroup’s DTA topped out at $55 billion.) The fact that this write-down wouldn’t have happened without the big write-downs from the […]

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Accounting News Roundup: RSM Revenues, Cop Has Tax Prep Side Gig, Grim Outlook for Charitable Deduction | 01.16.18

Just let that sneeze go, people. RSM global revenues pass $5bn mark [Economia, RSM] In sticking with accounting firms’ tradition of deceptive self-reporting of revenues, the international firm formerly known as McGladrey reports, “Each of RSM’s service lines grew in 2017” but declined to say how much it grew for its largest service line, audit […]

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Accounting News Roundup: South Africa’s Probe of KPMG Is Moving Along | 01.12.18

Ed. note: ANR will be off on Monday to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day. South Africa’s Audit Regulator Says Part of KPMG Probe Nearing Completion [Reuters] South Africa’s Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) announced that one part of the investigation into KPMG’s work for the Gupta family is “nearing completion” and the rest […]

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

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 […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Deloitte Legal, EY Boomerangs and Praying for the Pass-Through Deduction | 01.10.18

Deloitte muscles in on legal services in UK [FT] Oh, looky what we have here, another Big 4 firm splashing its way into some press about legal services. Deloitte is “applying for an alternative business structure licence” which allows non-law firms in the U.K. to offer legal services. And wouldn’t you know it, Matt Ellis, […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Cheap(er) MBAs; Tax Reform and Value Pricing; Just Add ‘Blockchain’ | 01.09.18

Tax Law May Send Factories and Jobs Abroad, Critics Say [NYT] Although the intent of the new low corporate rate of 21 percent was to bring companies and investment back to the U.S., some worry that the new low rate of 10.5 percent on income earned by foreign subsidiaries will draw more resources overseas. Proponents […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Cybersecurity Risks; Lotto Taxes; ‘What’s a blockchain?’ | 01.08.18

Cybersecurity Today Is Treated Like Accounting Before Enron [NYT] Here’s an interesting comparison: From a corporate governance and accountability perspective, cybersecurity today is being treated like accounting was before the fallout from the Enron scandal inspired the Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s increased standards for corporate disclosures. With the privacy and personal data of hundreds of millions of […]

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Accounting News Roundup: FDIC’s Win Against PwC Could Be a Bellwether | 01.05.18

FDIC win against PwC could finally force auditors to look for fraud [MarketWatch] Francine McKenna reports that representatives from PwC have given contradictory testimony in separate civil trials in the past year about the firm’s responsibility to design its audits to detect fraud. In the Colonial case where Judge Barbara Jacobs Rothstein ruled that PwC […]

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Accounting News Roundup: New York vs. TCJA, a Bad Q4 Looms, a ‘Misunderstood’ Generation | 01.04.18

Striking fear into the hearts of Oregonians. New York reviewing tax system changes after new federal tax bill [Reuters] Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to sue the federal government because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is “unconstitutional on the grounds that the first federal double taxation in U.S. history violates states’ rights and equal protection.” […]

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Accounting News Roundup: Caterpillar’s Fight, Google’s Euros, Failed Flip-Flops | 01.03.18

What New Tax Law? Caterpillar Fights to Protect Its Swiss-Made Profits [WSJ] An exhaustive look at Caterpillar’s battle with the IRS, including a nod to PwC for Best Accounting Firm With Conflicts of Interest in a Supporting Role. Former Treasury Secretary Lew Says Tax Cuts Will Leave the U.S. Broke [Bloomberg] Jack sees where this […]

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Accounting News Roundup: PwC Capped Off 2017 With More Bad News | 01.02.18

Judge Says PricewaterhouseCoopers Was Negligent In Colonial Bank Failure [WSJ] Late on Sunday, news broke that a judge in Alabama found PwC negligent in a lawsuit brought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for violating auditing rules and failing to “take steps that could have detected a $2 billion fraud” that contributed to Colonial Bank’s […]