Administrative

Community News

Louisiana CPAs Hang It Up for Charity

The Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants (LCPA) has produced a 12-month, full-color wall calendar featuring 12 dedicated CPAs who share their time and talents to make their communities better, safer places to live. The 2005 All on Account of Service CPA Calendar promotes the volunteer work CPAs do every day," explains Donna Andries, Chair of the LCPA's Communications and Public Relations Committee.
Tax

PCAOB, Advisory Group Propose Audit, Tax Standards for 2005

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) on Wednesday sought the advice of its Standing Advisory Group on a series of topics for consideration as possible auditing and related professional practice standards during the group’s meeting in Washington, DC. “We appreciate the expertise of the members of the Standing Advisory Group as we plan the Board’s standards-setting agenda for 2005,” said PCAOB Chief Auditor Douglas R. Carmichael.

Federal Agencies Close Their Books in Record Time

Almost every federal agency met a greatly accelerated financial reporting deadline this week by closing out their books 45 days after the end of the fiscal year. "We are pleased that federal agencies are now able to issue financial and performance information in a time frame that is comparable to the private sector," OMB Controller Linda Springer said in a statement, Government Executive magazine reported.OMB has been working toward the Nov.

SEC Postpones Final Phase-In Period for Acceleration of Periodic Report Filing Dates

On Wednesday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued a release adopting amendments to postpone, for one year, the final phase-in period for acceleration of periodic report deadlines that apply to larger companies known as "accelerated filers." The primary purpose of the postponement is to allow additional time and opportunity for accelerated filers and their auditors to focus their efforts on complying with new requirements regarding internal control over financial reporting that were mandated by Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
Tax

Former KPMG Consultant Pleads in Conspiracy Case

In a case of aiding and abetting a corporate fraud, former KPMG consultant Larry Alan Rodda pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges Tuesday, admitting he signed phony contracts with Peregrine Systems intended to boost Peregrine's earnings, the San Diego Union-Tribute reported. The contracts, worth $25 million, were part of an elaborate accounting fraud that was uncovered in 2002. Eleven people were indicted last month and Rodda, 54, is the sixth person to plead guilty on federal charges, the Union-Tribune reported.His attorney, Craig C.
Tax

Treasury, IRS Issue Guidance on New Requirements for Disclosing Reportable Transactions

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service this week issued interim guidance reflecting changes to the requirements for disclosure of reportable transactions by taxpayers and material advisors made by the newly enacted American Jobs Creation Act of 2004. The American Jobs Creation Act provides rules that require material advisors to file returns disclosing reportable transactions and to maintain investor lists. The Act also imposes new monetary penalties on material advisors who fail to comply with these obligations.
Community News

Deloitte & Touche Announce Plans to Invest and Expand in India, China

Deloitte & Touche has announced plans to invest about $50 million in its business process outsourcing operation in India. Deloitte's global CEO William Parrett told CNBC, "Over the next five years, we are expecting, in terms of new people, new talent, new expertise and appropriate technology, to share our best practice with our clients. We will invest around $50 million into India, both in terms of client service business and a client processing center as well."Deloitte & Touche runs business process outsourcing centers in Mumbai and Hyderabad.
Tax

IRS Releases 2005 Standard Mileage Rates

The Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday released the optional standard mileage rates to use for 2005 in computing the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving expense purposes. Beginning Jan.
A&A

FASB Delays Action on Rule

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has removed from this week's agenda a discussion on a new rule that finance companies have said might force them to write down a bigger portion of debt securities that are held for sale, Bloomberg reported. The rule is unlikely to be pushed forward until 2005, since the board that sets U.S.
Tax

Boiler Room Operations Charged with Fraud, Investor Warning

The Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") this week filed civil fraud charges in federal court in the Southern District of Florida against six boiler room operations in connection with their operation of a series of recovery room advance-fee schemes directed primarily at previously victimized investors from a number of countries. A "recovery room advance fee" scheme is a fraud wherein the perpetrators prey on investors who have lost money on particular stocks they purchased in the past.
Tax

Don't Get Blindsided by the Alternative Minimum Tax

With the growing threat of the alternative minimum tax (AMT), many unsuspecting individuals may face an unpleasant surprise when they file their 2004 returns, cautions John Battaglia, a director in the Private Client Advisors practice of Deloitte Tax LLP, one of the nation’s leading professional services firm.

Fannie Mae Warns of Possible $9B Loss, KPMG Won't Sign Off

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae announced Tuesday that an unfavorable ruling on how it accounts for derivatives would mean a loss of $9 billion after taxes. The estimate is based on the derivatives' value as of Sept. 30, the Wall Street Journal reported.
A&A

CalPERS Backs Reform on Abusive Executive Compensation

The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) board members this week approved a new executive compensation strategy linking CEO pay to long-term company performance, a centerpiece of California State Controller Steve Westly's reform proposals. "CalPERS has a special responsibility to look out for members and taxpayers, and our new strategy meets that test," Westly said.
Community News

SEC Contemplates Extension on Some Internal Control Reviews

Section 404. Just the words are enough to add to the collective stress level of corporate America, as executives scramble to clear the next hurdle brought about by sweeping reforms. Dow Jones Newswires reported last week that some smaller companies may get an extension on filing internal control documentation-showing they have effective controls in place and have had the controls attested to by an independent auditor.
Tax

SEC Files Fraud Charges Against Hollinger, Inc. & CEO, Conrad Black

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Monday that it has filed an enforcement action against Hollinger International's former Chairman and CEO Conrad M. Black, former Deputy Chairman and COO F. David Radler, and Hollinger, Inc., a Canadian public holding company controlled by Black. The Commission's complaint alleges that from approximately 1999 through 2003, Black, Radler and Hollinger Inc. engaged in a fraudulent and deceptive scheme to divert cash and assets from Hollinger International, Inc., a U. S.
Community News

Crowe Chizek Acquires Illinois Accounting Firm

On Monday, Crowe Chizek and Company LLC announced that it will combine practices of its Public Sector Services group with Oak Brook, Ill.-based accounting firm PTW. Effective January 1, 2005, the combination of Crowe and PTW practices will create the largest integrated practice group in Illinois offering governmental consulting, governmental attestation and governmental financial services.
Tax

GAO: Governments Could Do More to Reduce Identity Theft

While the use of Social Security numbers (SSN) can be very beneficial to the public sector, SSNs are also a key piece of information used for committing identity crimes. The widespread use of SSNs by both the public and private sectors and their display in public records have raised concern over how SSNs might be misused and how they should be protected.
Community News

US Companies Help Drive Non-Financial Reporting to New Heights

Risk & Opportunity: Best Practice in Non-Financial Reporting, a new publication from SustainAbility, the United Nations Environment Programme and Standard & Poor's, finds a significant improvement in corporate efforts to build trust with shareholders, consumers and other stakeholders through voluntary disclosure of non-financial performance. The survey is SustainAbility and UNEP's sixth international review of corporate environmental and sustainability reports, and their first with S&P.
Tax

Senators Press for SEC Enforcement of Whistle-blower Law

Two senators are ratcheting up pressure on the Securities and Exchange Commission to enforce a tough whistle-blower law. With a government finding that a publicly traded company retaliated against a whistle-blower, Iowa Republican Charles Grassley and Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy asked for “aggressive enforcement” in a letter last week to SEC Chairman William H. Donaldson, the Associated Press reported. Donaldson was also asked for details of the agency's enforcement plans.
Technology

Microsoft Launches Beta Version of New Search Service

MSN last week debuted a beta version of its new MSN® Search service, providing consumers with more useful answers to their questions and more control over their search experience, which results in faster access to the information they are seeking online. The new MSN Search is designed to reduce the time and effort required by consumers to find information online by offering one of the largest, most up-to-date selections of information and a new class of powerful, customizable search tools.

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