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Jan 14, 2013

Chinese companies retreat from U.S. listings as scrutiny mounts

NEW YORK, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Chinese companies are deserting
U.S. stock markets in record numbers as regulatory scrutiny
mounts and the advantages of a U.S. listing slip away.

U.S. government investigations of suspect financial reports
and battered share prices have for many Chinese companies
wrecked the chances of raising new money in the United States
and given them little reason so stay, China experts said.

Jan 10, 2013

Global accounting head highlights costs of US inaction

NEW YORK, Jan 10 (Reuters) – The costs of delaying a move by
the United States to international accounting standards are
probably higher than the costs of a switch, the head of a global
accounting rules body warned on Thursday.

By not committing to international standards, the United
States also may become just one of many players in shaping
accounting rules, instead of a driving force, Hans Hoogervorst,
chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board,
indicated.

Jan 7, 2013

Exclusive – U.S. SEC probes Ernst & Young over audit client lobbying

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether auditing company Ernst & Young ERNY.UL violated auditor rules by letting its lobbying unit perform work for several major audit clients, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The SEC inquiry began shortly after Reuters reported in March 2012 that Washington Council Ernst & Young, the E&Y unit, was registered as a lobbyist for several corporate audit clients including Amgen Inc (AMGN.O: Quote, Profile, Research), CVS Caremark Corp (CVS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research), according to one of the sources.

Jan 7, 2013

Exclusive: SEC probes Ernst & Young over audit client lobbying

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether auditing company Ernst & Young violated auditor rules by letting its lobbying unit perform work for several major audit clients, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The SEC inquiry began shortly after Reuters reported in March 2012 that Washington Council Ernst & Young, the E&Y unit, was registered as a lobbyist for several corporate audit clients including Amgen Inc, CVS Caremark Corp and Verizon Communications Inc [ID:nL2E8DL649], according to one of the sources.

Dec 28, 2012

U.S. accounting body presses to keep its global sway

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Top U.S. accounting standard-setters are making clear they want to be part of a new panel to help shape international accounting rules, but they may fall short of a key membership condition.

Requiring panel members to commit to a single set of global accounting standards would exclude the United States, which has not yet decided to switch to international rules, the U.S. Financial Accounting Foundation said in a letter on Thursday.

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.