Dena's Feed
Mar 7, 2012

U.S. watchdog extends auditor rotation debate

March 7 (Reuters) – In an unusual move, a U.S. audit
industry watchdog is giving the public more time to weigh in on
a proposal to limit how many years an audit firm may work for
the same company, an idea meant to bolster the independence of
auditors from their clients.

After being inundated with hundreds of letters opposing the
idea, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board said on
Wednesday that the comment period would extend to April 22. It
had ended on Dec. 14.

Feb 29, 2012
via Tax Break

Canada warns on Chinese audit problems


Downtown Shanghai in haze. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Having stirred up controversy in the United States, audit practices at China-based companies now are testing the patience of Canadian regulators.

In a special report, Canada’s audit regulator has come down hard on the quality of audits of Canadian-listed companies with operations in China, while voicing frustration at problems in getting documents.

Feb 28, 2012

US watchdog–auditors should review exec pay deals

Feb 28 (Reuters) – Auditors of U.S. companies would
have to look harder at executive pay and at accounting maneuvers
used to dress up financial results under a revised standard
proposed on Tuesday by the watchdog for the audit industry.

The proposal from the Public Company Accounting Oversight
Board would require auditors to read compensation contracts and
look for any incentives that might encourage executives to
inflate earnings.

Feb 17, 2012

Union pushing U.S. companies to reveal auditor ties

By Dena Aubin

(Reuters) – The $40 billion United Brotherhood of Carpenters pension fund, a long-time investor rights activist, is asking more than a dozen U.S. companies to start disclosing how long they have had the same outside auditor.

The push comes after the pension fund failed late last year in efforts to allow shareholders to vote on requiring companies to rotate or switch audit firms every seven years.

Feb 15, 2012
via Tax Break

Study supports shareholder vote on auditors


New research lends weight to calls for shareholders to have more say in a company’s choice of an auditor.

Companies that give shareholders a choice  have fewer serious restatements that hurt stock prices, though their audit fees are also higher, the new study found.

Feb 9, 2012
via Tax Break

Former TIAA-CREF head John Biggs supports auditor rotation


John Biggs, a key figure in a 2002 Congressional debate over term limits for public company auditors has thrown his support behind the idea again.

Breathing some life into an idea auditors are trying feverishly to snuff out, retired TIAA-CREF chairman John Biggs has told auditor regulators that public companies should be required to change auditors after 10 years.

Feb 8, 2012

Watchdog fines Ernst & Young $2 million over audits

By Dena Aubin

(Reuters) – The watchdog board for corporate auditors on Wednesday said it has imposed a $2 million penalty, its largest fine ever, on accounting and consulting firm Ernst & Young LLP in a settlement involving past audits of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp.

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board said it also sanctioned four current and former Ernst & Young partners for violating PCAOB rules in the audits of Medicis, which sells prescription drugs for asthma and skin conditions.

Feb 3, 2012

Audit watchdog choice challenged by US SEC member

Feb 3 (Reuters) – In an unusually public split within
the market-regulating U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,
one of its commissioners on Friday openly opposed the
appointment of a new member to a separate panel that polices the
corporate audit industry.

Saying the appointee lacks a record of investor advocacy,
Commissioner Luis Aguilar charged the SEC with failing to meet
its legal obligation in appointing, earlier on Friday, Jeanette
Franzel to the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

Jan 25, 2012
via Tax Break

Treasury aims to make FATCA more user-friendly


Proposed regulations to implement a new law to fight offshore tax evasion may not be as burdensome as many have feared.

That’s the word from a U.S. Treasury Department official on soon-to-be released regulations affecting thousands of banks and brokers worldwide subject to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), signed into law in 2010.

Jan 17, 2012

Ernst & Young names ex-Treasury official as CEO

By Dena Aubin

(Reuters) – Global audit and consulting firm Ernst & Young ERNY.UL has named Mark Weinberger, a longtime Washington insider, as its next chairman and chief executive, a signal that connections in the U.S. capital may be growing in importance to a profession facing greater scrutiny.

A former lobbyist and assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury under President George W. Bush, Weinberger will succeed Jim Turley, who announced previously that he would retire on June 30, 2013, Ernst & Young said in a statement on Tuesday.