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Dec 12, 2012

Autonomy spurs questions on looming accounting overhaul

NEW YORK, Dec 12 (Reuters) – The scandal at Autonomy, a UK
software group bought last year by Hewlett-Packard Co,
has some accountants wondering about the wisdom of new, global
standards in the pipeline that would change how companies
account for revenue.

“Revenue recognition” is the most common type of corporate
book-cooking. The Autonomy scandal, though still murky,
allegedly involves a great deal of overstated revenue, or how
much money was coming into the company from customers.

Dec 10, 2012

US watchdog says auditors not doing their jobs much of the time

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The biggest U.S. audit firms are failing to properly test some companies’ financial controls, one of the main bulwarks against fraud, an audit watchdog group said on Monday.

In a broad review of the “Big Four” and second-tier audit firms, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board said problems are numerous and growing in audits of companies’ internal controls – the main method used to keep accurate books.

Dec 7, 2012

U.S. multinationals fear fallout from U.S.- China audit row

SINGAPORE/NEW YORK (Reuters) – A dispute between U.S. and Chinese regulators over access to corporate audit documents is casting a lengthening shadow over U.S. stock markets, with some major U.S. firms now concerned that they could be drawn into a potential accounting crisis.

The dispute centers on Beijing’s refusal to give U.S. regulators access to audit records for nine U.S.-listed Chinese companies, a standoff that has so far focused minds only on the implications for the future of U.S.-traded Chinese stocks.

Dec 5, 2012

Deloitte hires former U.S. SEC chief accountant

NEW YORK, Dec 5 (Reuters) – The former chief accountant of
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is rejoining
Deloitte LLP as the Big Four audit firm confronts increased
regulatory scrutiny.

James Kroeker, who left the SEC in July, will join Deloitte
in January in a “leadership role” as deputy managing partner,
Deloitte said in a statement late on Tuesday.

Dec 3, 2012

SEC charges China affiliates of top accounting firms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. regulators on Monday charged the Chinese arms of five top accounting firms with securities violations over their refusal to produce certain audit papers, raising questions about whether talks between the United States and China to resolve the issue have stalled.

The Securities and Exchange Commission began proceedings against the Chinese affiliates of Deloitte, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, BDO and Ernst & Young.

Nov 8, 2012

Exclusive – U.S. sees talks with China on corporate audits

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. regulators have made another step in normalizing relations with China on oversight of corporate auditing aimed at the many Chinese companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges.

U.S. officials for the first time have completed a round of observations in China of inspections of auditors by that country’s regulators, and talks are expected by year-end between Chinese and U.S. officials on access to audit documents, a key aspect of the auditor regulation process, the top U.S. auditor watchdog told Reuters Thursday.

Nov 8, 2012

Exclusive: Talks set with China on audit documents – U.S. official

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. authorities have completed their first observations of official auditor inspections in China and expect to meet soon with Chinese officials, said the head of the U.S. watchdog that oversees corporate auditors on Thursday.

The upcoming meetings will focus on access to audit documents and could result in a “major breakthrough,” though obstacles remain, said James Doty, chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, in an interview.

Nov 1, 2012

Flood ebbs, Northeast picks up after epic storm

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City and the sodden Northeast began an arduous journey back to normal on Wednesday after mammoth storm Sandy killed at least 64 people in a rampage that swamped coastal cities and cut power to millions.

Financial markets reopened with the New York Stock Exchange running on generator power after the first weather-related two-day closure since an 1888 blizzard. Packed buses took commuters to work with New York’s subway system halted after seawater flooded its tunnels.

Oct 31, 2012

Devastated Northeast crawls back after monster storm

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Northeast began an arduous slog back to normal on Wednesday after historic storm Sandy crippled transportation, knocked out power for millions and killed at least 64 people with a massive storm surge that caused epic flooding.

Financial markets reopened with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange after the first weather-related two-day closure since 1888 and packed buses took commuters to work with the city’s subway system halted after seawater flooded its tunnels.

Oct 20, 2012

Concerns rise as more U.S. audit work moves to India

NEW YORK/MUMBAI (Reuters) – Auditing of U.S. corporations’ financial books, a vital underpinning of investor confidence, increasingly relies on work carried out in India, where there is no clear system of oversight.

U.S. audit regulators do not conduct regular physical inspections of offshore centers in India where U.S. audit work is performed, Indian accounting officials and employees of large audit firms told Reuters.