Auditing

New Designation Recognized for Information System Audit Specialty

The 75,000-member Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) has announced that it has brokered an exclusive arrangement with the 21,000-member Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) to offer Chartered Accountants an accredited specialist designation as Certified Information Systems Auditors.The new designation, CA·CISA, will allow CA's who have registered with their provincial institutes to be recognized as specialists in this very specialized field.
Education & Careers

Women Accountants Continue Advancement to Management Ranks

Women made up nearly 60 percent of the accountant and auditor workforce in 1999 according to the Department of Labor. The AICPA did its own research and found that women now earn more than half of all undergraduate degrees in accounting. A survey conducted by RHI Management Resources, found that 43 percent of CFOs polled said the number of management-level positions held by female accountants in their firms has increased over the past five years.
Community News

Former Andersen Auditor Made Same Mistake Twice

AccountingWEB ran a story earlier this month regarding the failed Baptist Foundation of Arizona audit by Arthur Andersen.It now has been discovered that the auditor, Jay Ozer, also was involved in a failed audit 10 years ago with Lincoln Savings & Loan, The Arizona Republic reports that it obtained the investigative report from the Attorney General's office that provided details on Ozer.According to the state of Arizona's Attorney Genera

SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt Stepping Down

For nearly eight years, Arthur Levitt has served as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Levitt announced earlier this week that he would step down before mid-February. Appointed through 2003, by President Clinton in July 1993, Levitt is the Commission's 25th chairman and has become the longest serving chairman on the Commission.
Technology

Take a Test Drive of New Web Audit Software

Last June we reported the formation of an agreement between Deloitte & Touche and Intacct Corporation to produce a web-based accounting service that would be offered to accounting firms.The service, which combines the accounting knowledge of Deloitte & Touche and the software engineering skills of Intacct Corporation, is now live, and it will allow accounting professionals who work with small- and medium-sized enterprises the opportunity to use sophisticated auditing techniques on the web.

ERISA Liabilities for CPAs - Be Informed

ERISA legal requirements can rise up to bite an unsuspecting CPA at any time. In June of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear that CPAs and other service providers may face exposure under ERISA for various transactions with employee benefit plans, even though, in many cases, their actions seem innocuous.

MicroStrategy Executives Face Stiff SEC Fine

Executives of troubled MicroStrategy, the Virginia-based software development company, have been hit with what has been billed as the largest penalties ever inflicted by the SEC in a non-insider trading case. Company Chairman, Michael Saylor, and two other executives will pay $350,000 each, and give up a total of $10 million in what the SEC is calling "ill-gotten gains," a result of an extensive investigation by the federal agency.Still to be determined is the role played by the company's accountants, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

SEC Chief Gives Backing to Stronger Watchdog

The Securities and Exchange Commission's chief accountant has lent his backing to a strengthened Public Oversight Board for overseeing the accountancy profession. Lynn Turner told the SEC's annual conference that he supported the recommendations of the O'Malley Panel on Audit Effectiveness, which suggested a number of changes to the watchdog in the light of the public's opinion of the accounting profession. Among these were the need for greater oversight of the standard-setting bodies, and independent funding for the POB.

KPMG Sued by Florida Insurance Department

Claiming the Big 5 firm failed to uncover improprieties in the audit of HMO SunStar Health Plan, Inc., the Florida Insurance Department has filed suit against KPMG for $47 million.Earlier this year the department seized SunStar, claiming the organization didn't have enough money to pay the claims of its 80,000 policyholders.

Detroit School Principals Get Accounting Education

It's back to school time for school principals in the Detroit area, where school audits have disclosed embezzlement and mismanagement of funds in schools that haven't been audited in 12 years.One Detroit school bookkeeper was charged with embezzlement and forgery and has since pleaded guitly to those charges, two others face charges, and more charges are expected to follow as the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office reviews audits from other schools.School administrators are being provided with emergency training in finan
A&A

A Sordid Story at Sunbeam: SEC Probes Accounting Mishaps

The SEC has finished its investigation into the accounting practices that occurred during the reign of Sunbeam's ousted CEO and CFO, and found enough evidence to recommend action.

Questions Over Concealment at KPMG's L&H Audit

Facts may have been concealed from KPMG auditors prior to their approving the accounts of Belgian voice recognition company Lernout & Hausie.L&H has already admitted it will have to restate financial results for 1998, 1999 and the first half of 2000, as the SEC investigates allegations that Korean sales for the firm involved companies that denied they were customers.KPMG said that the clean opinion issued in its audit report for 1998 and 1999 "could no longer be relied upon," according to the Financial Times.The possibilty of concealment was

SEC Issues Final Rules on Auditor Independence

The 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.

Audit Clause Popular in Outsourcing Agreements

How much business do you outsource to a third-party provider, and what kinds of controls have you built in to the relationship?An 'audit' clause in an outsourcing agreement is becoming more and more popular, especially as businesses continue to outsource tasks that are complex and require third-parties to touch and deal with sensitive data.
A&A

ValueReporting: Financial Reporting for Today's Economy

In an effort to more accurately reflect the value of today's knowledge-based businesses, Big 5 firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has launched a new framework for financial reporting called ValueReporting, a new method of capturing what is important to 21st century businesses.

SEC to Vote on Auditor Independence Rules

The Securities & Exchange Commission will hold an open meeting on November 15, 2000 to consider adoption of rules governing auditor independence.

SEC Takes One Step Back

SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt has indicated his willingness to take steps toward "mending and renewing the relationship between the SEC, the AICPA, and the [accounting] profession" in an address Tuesday to members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.Levitt has been in the news repeatedly over the past year regarding his pro

Levitt Takes on Accountants in Las Vegas Showdown

The casino city of Las Vegas, Nevada, today hosts a heavyweight confrontation between the main adversaries in the battle of auditor independence as Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Arthur Levitt takes on the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.Crusading chairman Levitt has made auditor independence the cornerstone of his term of office, which could come to an end if George W. Bush wins the presidential election in November.
Community News

SEC Launches Investigation into PwC Independence

A Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into the independence of Pricewaterhouse accountants working at communications firm Pinnacle Holdings has been made formal.The move follows an 'informal' investigation launched in August, and has been greeted with muted annoyance by the communication site provider.Pinnacle told the press that the firm "has become unfairly embroiled in the policy and political debate over these issues and that, as a result,

The Tax People Cometh

A company called the Tax People claims that it has devised a way to help members receive the lowest tax payment possible. The key is in setting up a home business focused on selling the tax relief system to others. Because of the way the business is set up, the owner can then write off nearly any activity in which he participates. From buying groceries to attending church to taking a vacation, all these activities can be written off.

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