Dena's Feed
Jun 28, 2012

Switching auditors not enough to end fraud-experts

By Dena Aubin

(Reuters) – Making U.S. companies switch or rotate auditors every few years would not end audit failures, and regulators should consider additional measures to protect investors, former securities regulators and legal experts said on Thursday.

The auditing profession has become a comfortable oligopoly and its basic product has become suspect, said Harold Williams, former chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, at a forum in San Francisco.

Jun 28, 2012

Rotation not enough to improve audits – experts

June 28 (Reuters) – Making U.S. companies switch or rotate
auditors every few years would not end audit failures, and
regulators should consider additional measures to protect
investors, former securities regulators and legal experts said
on Thursday.

The auditing profession has become a comfortable oligopoly
and its basic product has become suspect, said Harold Williams,
former chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,
at a forum in San Francisco.

Jun 19, 2012

SEC seeks Big 4 audit papers from China -source

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Chinese arms of all of the Big Four audit firms have been asked by U.S. regulators to turn over documents related to audits of China-based companies that are listed in the United States, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The formal requests made by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission raise the stakes in a standoff between U.S. authorities, the companies and Chinese officials over access to the auditors’ work papers.

Jun 13, 2012

BDO to pay $50 million in tax shelter case

NEW YORK, June 13 (Reuters) – Accounting firm BDO USA has
agreed to pay $50 million to settle charges of selling tax
shelters that generated $6.5 billion in phony tax losses for
wealthy clients, U.S. prosecutors said on Wednesday.

The penalty is part of a wide-ranging, nearly decade-old
government case against illegal tax shelters. Big Four
accounting firm KPMG narrowly avoided an indictment in
2005 over its sale of tax shelters and was fined $456 million.

May 29, 2012
via Tax Break

FASB under political heat from Congress over lease accounting

Photo

U.S. and international accounting rule-makers have been struggling for years to come up with a common standard for lease accounting. Now they have a new hurdle: U.S. lawmakers.

Sixty members of Congress, led by representatives Brad Sherman, a Democrat, and Republican John Campbell, have written to the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board warning of dire economic fallout from a plan to have companies put leases on their balance sheets.

May 8, 2012

U.S. auditor watchdog reports progress on China deal

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The main U.S. auditor watchdog said it is close to an agreement that will allow it to observe audit inspections in China, a first step toward doing joint inspections there.

The breakthrough in lengthy negotiations between the United States and China on joint inspections came last week during meetings in Beijing, said Jim Doty, chairman of the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), which oversees the audit industry, in a telephone interview.

May 8, 2012

Auditor watchdog reports progress on China deal

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The main U.S. auditor watchdog said it is close to an agreement that will allow it to observe audit inspections in China, a first step toward doing joint inspections there.

The breakthrough in lengthy negotiations between the United States and China on joint inspections came last week during meetings in Beijing, said Jim Doty, chairman of the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), which oversees the audit industry, in a telephone interview.

May 7, 2012
via Tax Break

PwC’s Nally hopeful about China progress

Photo

PricewaterhouseCoopers CEO Dennis Nally sits between Eli Lily and Company Chairman and CEO John Lechleiter (L) and Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (R) during the APEC CEO summit in Honolulu, Hawaii November 11, 2011. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Big audit firms are hoping talks will resolve an impasse between Chinese and U.S. regulators over work papers of the firms’ Chinese subsidiaries.

May 4, 2012

Exclusive: Ernst, audit clients cut lobbying ties-records

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ernst & Young’s lobbying unit is no longer listed as a lobbyist for three major U.S. companies, all of whom were 2011 audit clients of the accounting giant. The deregistration follows questions raised by two U.S. senators in March about whether the dual relationships crossed auditor independence boundaries.

Documents filed last month with Congress showed that Washington Council Ernst & Young, the E&Y unit, was no longer registered as doing lobbying work for Amgen Inc (AMGN.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), CVS Caremark Corp (CVS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Apr 20, 2012

Corrected: Analysis: Citi’s pay rejection a wake-up call to boards

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Institutional investors are increasingly pressing boards to rein in outsized executive pay, and after Citigroup (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) shareholders rejected a compensation plan on Tuesday, more directors may start listening.

Shareholders on Tuesday handed Citigroup an embarrassing no confidence vote on a $15 million pay package for its Chief Executive Vikram Pandit. About 55 percent of shareholders rejected a plan to bring Pandit’s pay back close to levels before the global financial crisis.