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SEC's Auditor Guidelines - What all the Fuss is About

Are you still confused about all the news of the SEC proposed changes to the auditor independence requirements?
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SEC Gives Big Five One More Day

After complaints from members of the Big Five that their responses to the auditor independence issue have not been taken seriously, Arthur Levitt, chairman of the Securities & Exchange Commission, agreed to let them have their say. Leading the pack of vocal dissenters has been Stephen G.
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KPMG Chairman's Unspoken SEC Testimony

KPMG Chairman and CEO Stephen G. Butler was scheduled to testify at the crucial SEC auditor independence hearings today, but was irritated at the skimpy amount of time that was allotted to him (30 minutes, to be shared with five other speakers), and distressed that he was not given a requested morning time slot.Mr. Butler's testimony was delivered in printed form to the SEC, and KPMG provided AccountingWEB with a copy of that testimony.As an auditor with KPMG for more than 30 years, and now as the Chairman and CEO of the company, Mr.
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McGladrey & Pullen Expands Into Five Major Markets

Through the acquisition of several firms across the United States, RSM McGladrey, Inc. and McGladrey & Pullen, LLP, has expanded its accounting and consulting practice into five new major markets, including Baltimore, Kansas City, Dallas, Philadelphia and Boston.The acquisitions also expand the firm's network in New York and Chicago, and with the other five major cities, adds 850 new employees, 12 offices and more than $90 million in annual revenues.McGladrey became a subsidiary of Kansas City-based
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SHOWDOWN WITH THE SEC - September 2000 Hearings

SEC Issues Final Rules on Auditor IndependenceThe SEC voted unanimously to approve new guidelines for auditors. Four of the Big Five firms acquiesced in accepting the rules, KPMG being the hold out firm that still feels the rules are unnecessary.
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KPMG Chief Withdraws from SEC Hearings

KPMG chief executive Stephen Butler pulled out of today's SEC hearings because of the lack of time allowed at the stand, according to the Financial Times.Butler was allotted just 30 minutes to give his opinion on the controversial proposals, and would have had to share that time with five others.
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ICAEW President Gives International Outlook on SEC Audit Rules

Graham Ward, the President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, is scheduled to appear before the Securities and Exchange Commission's hearings on auditor independence in New York at 4.30pm today.
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Big News in Banking: Chase Merges With J.P. Morgan

This week marks an historic milestone in banking. Chase Manhattan Bank has agreed to buy J.P. Morgan for almost $40 billion in stock.The new company, which will be known as J.P. Morgan Chase, will have assets of $675 billion and will rank third as a financial services company following Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp.The buyout is attributed to being able to combine attributes of both companies as they seek a larger piece of the pie.
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Second Auditor Independence Hearing Today

Members of CPA firms, representatives of the AICPA and England’s Institute of Chartered Accountants, lawyers, advisers, members of accountancy boards and CPA societies, and corporate accounting officials are gathering in New York today to present testimony before the SEC regarding the proposed limitations on auditor independence.Forty speakers representing both sides of this issue will take the podium, briefly presenting their views in hopes of supporting or swaying the opinion of Arthur Levitt, Chairman of the Securities & Exc
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PwC Assumes #1 Position in Top 100 Firms

PricewaterhouseCoopers edged out Arthur Andersen to assume the top position among the Top 100 Firms listing compiled by the Public Accounting Report.Last year's listing showed Andersen as the top producer, but due to the break-up of Andersen and Andersen Consulting, the firm fell to number five.
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Dial 'EY' for Audit: Verizon Chooses Ernst & Young

The newly formed Verizon Communications has chosen Ernst & Young as its accounting firm.EY beat out Big 5 rivals PricewaterhouseCoopers and Arthur Andersen, both of whom had relationships with Bell Atlantic and GTE.According to the SEC, however, Both PwC and Andersen will maintain independent accountant relationships with certain subsidiaries or investments of Verizon, providing audit and some non-audit services.
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Andersen Sponsors Students' High-Tech Start-ups

Arthur Andersen, LLP has agreed to be the lead sponsor of programs supporting student high-tech start-ups.The firm has partnered with StartEmUp, an organization that helps students bring Internet businesses to fruition.As a part of the arrangement, Andersen is lending its name to StartEmUp's JumpStart 2K Campus Conferences and contests.
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HP May Acquire PricwaterhouseCoopers' Consulting Biz

The hottest accountancy news this weekend was the revelation that computer and printing equipment giant Hewlett-Packard was in talks with PriceWaterhouseCoopers to buy its global management consulting business in a deal estimated to be worth $17 to $18 million.This move may be a direct result of the recent rulings promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the separation of audit and consulting serv
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Panel Chosen for Round 2 of SEC Hearings

SEC Announces Schedule of Witnesses for Public Hearing on Auditor IndependenceSchedule of AppearancesPublic Hearing9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.As previously announced, the Commission is holding a public hearing on Wednesday, September 13, in connection with its proposed rule amendments regarding auditor independence. The hearing will take place in the Pace Downtown Theatre at Pace UniversityNew York, New York The following is a schedule of appearances for the hearing:8:45 am: Opening Remarks Morning Session9:00 am: Panel 1 Laurence H.
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EY Creates Single, Worldwide Firm

This week from London, Ernst & Young announced their new firm strategy to integrate 60 countries and their practices into 10, new geographically based areas.The intent is to bring the organization to the global arena by consolidating functions, form a new management team and not be restricted to geographical borders.
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Andersen's Shared Services Helps City Governments

The city of Hurst, Texas, one of the suburbs located between Dallas and Fort Worth, has signed up as the first client under Arthur Andersen's new Shared Services Center.The idea is to have Andersen merge the activities performed by cities anywhere in the United States, or world (if applicable), and offer these services at a lower cost based on volume.In this case, the city of Hurst will outsource many accounting functions to Andersen, including general ledger, purchasing, accounts payable, fixed assets, accounts receivable and payroll.
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Rapper Rips PwC

Andre “Dr. Dre” Young, Grammy-winning gangsta rap star and highly respected record producer, has accused PwC (formerly Coopers & Lybrand) of causing a loss of over $20 million by mismanaging his finances, diverting funds, stealing money from him, and engaging in conflicts of interest. “They stuck it to me big time,” the star said of the accounting firm. Young is co-founder of the Death Row record label. PwC has paid $10 million in out of court settlements in two other Death Row-related claims but his holding fast in its fight against Young.
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PwC Joins in Fight Against SEC

First it was the Big 3, Andersen, Deloitte, and KPMG up against the Securities & Exchange Commission regarding the auditor independence guidelines the SEC is hoping to enforce. Then Ernst & Young jumped in with the others, claiming the SEC’s proposal would make it impossible for audit firms to enter into strategic alliance or joint ventures, even with non-audit clients. That left PricewaterhouseCoopers as the only hold out, sticking up for the SEC and supporting the change in guidelines. Now it looks like the group is a team again.
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Arthur Andersen Makes the Grade in Customer Satisfaction

Congratulations to Arthur Andersen, who was ranked Number One in 14 service categories and attributes by Emerson Research Company in the 2000 Big 5 Annual Report.The report is a compilation of all five firms' operating results as they apply to professional service corporations.Areas covered include opportunities for staff, services to clients, investments for the future, and achieving profitability.A complete copy of the report can be obtained from Emerson at their Web site.
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SEC May Have Leaked News of Audit Irregularities

The ongoing probe by the SEC of Andersen’s accounting practices was made public last week when a story appeared in the Wall Street Journal that included confidential details of the investigation into the accounting services provided by Andersen to Waste Management Inc. The accounting problems that were uncovered last year resulted in billions of dollars of write-offs for Waste Management.

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