International

Tax

EU Opposes US Tax Breaks

The World Trade Organization (WTO) appellate court sided with the European Union (EU) in giving Washington 90 days to bring its tax break legislation into line. The WTO’s highest court affirmed previous judgments in denying this appeal by the United States, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Los Angeles Times reported that the high court gave the EU permission to reimpose sanctions on some $4 billion in U.S. exports.Peter Mandelson, European Union (EU) trade commissioner, told the Chicago Tribune, “The U.S.
A&A

2005 Breaks Records for Private Buyouts

Bankers and economists say this year may be another global record-breaker for private equity deals.Private equity firms struck deals worth $396 billion in 2005, a third straight record year and a 51 percent increase over the year before, the Associated Press reported, citing Thomson Financial. Another record was reached in the amount of money raised by buyout houses in new investment–$261 billion, Private Equity Intelligence of London said.
Practice Management

Lifestyle Lures Accountants Abroad

The key reason accountants chose to relocate overseas is lifestyle, according to Think Global Recruitment’s annual survey. Apparently, it is not an unreasonable expectation, since 94 percent of those surveyed report enjoying an improved lifestyle after relocating overseas.
Tax

IFAC Issues Exposure Draft for Non-Exchange Revenue

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) this week issued an exposure draft (ED) on the financial reporting of revenue from non-exchange transactions, including taxes and transfers.
A&A

Accountants & the World Economic Forum

The annual World Economic Forum (WEF) was held last week in Davos, Switzerland. Over 2,300 people attended from 89 countries, representing 1,000 businesses, to help the interaction between different stakeholders and identify opportunities for addressing global challenges such as the creation of jobs, according to the Daily Times.
Education & Careers

Starting Salaries for Canadian Accounting Pros Increasing

In Canada, starting salaries in accounting and finance are projected to rise an average of 2.5 percent in 2006, according to the 2006 Salary Guide from Robert Half International, Incorporated. The 2006 Salary Guide is based on an analysis of the thousands of job placements managed by the company’s Canadian offices.“Business expansion and corporate governance initiatives are driving recruitment in the accounting and finance industries,” says Jeff Holloway, a vice-president with Robert Half International.

Canadian GAAP to Converge with International Standards

Canada’s Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) has announced that Canada will align its accounting standards for public companies with International Financial Accounting Standards (IFRS). AcSB chairman Paul Cherry said that the decision came after extensive consultation with Canadian companies and investors who opposed copying the “rules-oriented” U.S. generally accepted accounting standards (U.S. GAAP). Canada joins the European Union and Australia, who have already adopted IFRS. Canadian public companies that wish to use U.S.
Education & Careers

Effective Methods for Developing Global Leaders

“The best way to accelerate global leadership development is to have a sound framework,” Robert Kramer, Principal Researcher, The Conference Board and author of the report Developing Global Leaders: Enhancing Competencies and Accelerating the Expatriate Experience, says.
Community News

A Busy End of the Year for RSM McGladrey

The last month has been busy at RSM McGladrey. The firm came to the defense of mid-sized business owners; acquired Philadelphia-area Mantas Ohliger McGary & Quinn (MOMQ) and announced Jean Stephens’ promotion to chief executive officer of RSM International.On December 21, 2005, RSM McGladrey proposed changes to proposed regulations under Internal Revenue Code Section 199 – Domestic Manufacturers’ Deduction.
Community News

Tweedie Tapped to Lead IASB for 5 More Years

Sir David Tweedie has been re-appointed as the chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) for another five years.Tweedie has led the massive project of developing a uniform set of International Financial Reporting Standards, and during his next term he will focus on the convergence project with the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the standard-setter in the U.S.Des Hudson, chief executive of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, supported Tweedie's reappointment and the IASB's work on developing international standards.“Sir David is in charge
Community News

Canadian Report Highlights Big Four Audits

A new report by the Canadian Public Accounting Board (CPAB) shows the Big Four have to improve their audit quality and adhere consistently to internal and professional standards. The CNW Group reports this is the CPAB’s third public report based on 87 audit engagements performed by the Big Four in Canada. The first public report was issued in October 2004 and the second in August 2005.Canada’s largest four firms are Deloitte & Touche LLP, Ernst & Young LLP, KPMG LLP, and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

European Parliament Passes New Accounting Rules

The European Parliament has passed strengthened accounting rules to increase transparency and to avoid some of the pitfalls of the Enron and Parmalat scandals. The Financial Times reports that companies in the European Union will have to disclose off-balance sheet arrangements and their financial impacts. Listed EU companies will be required to publish annual corporate governance statements, as well.

October Trade Deficit Takes Unexpected Reversal

The U.S. trade deficit increased, to a record $68.9 billion, in October. Reuters reports the actual figure far exceeded expectations. The deficit widened to record levels with Canada, Mexico, the European Union, and OPEC countries. This November report also showed an easing of inflationary pressures stemming from high energy costs and may have shown a rise in the dollar. The Commerce Department reported the deficit increased 4.4 percent over September figure, which grew 11.9 percent over the August figure, according to Reuters.
A&A

October Capital Inflows Hit Record Highs

A Treasury Department report released last week shows that capital inflows into U.S. assets surged to $106.8 billion following last month’s revised record $101.7 billion figure. These numbers offset the October trade deficit of $68.9 billion, with room to spare. Analysts had expected the October figure to fall to $75.4 billion. Foreigners increased their investments in U.S. equities and corporate bond holdings by $10.6 billion and $34.1 billion in net purchases, respectively, in October. Net official foreign purchasers picked up $4.9 billion in U.S.
Practice Management

Deloitte Head Predicts Single Global Partnership Structure for Big 4

William Parrett, chief executive of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, the firm’s global umbrella organization, said that he expected “both from a business standpoint and a regulatory standpoint, [that the] larger firms will evolve to a global partnership over the next decade,” The Australian reports. The existing structures consist of networks of member partnerships established in the countries in which they operate. Mr. Parrett said that although it would constitute a huge change, regulators were likely to push accounting firms to become single global partnerships.
Tax

A Little Help Around the House Can Become a Tax Liability

Who wouldn’t welcome some extra help around the house this holiday season? If you are thinking of hiring baby-sitters, cleaning people, yard workers, drivers, health aides/private nurses, or similar domestic workers, there are some things you should know to help minimize tax implications later on.The most important thing to know is how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines an employee. According to the IRS a “worker is your employee if you can control not only what work is done, but how it is done.” That’s it. It doesn’t matter if the work is full-time or part- time.
A&A

President, Congress Turn to Immigration Reform

President Bush delivered a major speech last week outlining his plan for immigration reform, bringing into focus, once again, Americans’ troubled relationship with undocumented workers, the Hudson County Journal News reports. The House and Senate are considering four other separate proposals.Estimates of the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. today range from 8.7 million (U.S. Census Bureau) to 20 million (Bear Stearns, the investment company), according to Reuters.

EU May Delay Accepting US GAAP as Equivalent Standard

Speaking at the European Federation of Accounting’s Seminar on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in Brussels last week, Charlie McGreevey, EU Internal Market Commissioner suggested that the EU may defer accepting US Generally Accepted Accounting Standards (GAAP) as equivalent to the IFRS, the International Herald Tribune reports.
Practice Management

Governance & Accounting Still Concern Investors

Things have improved but there is still cause for concern. That is the message investors and creditors seem to be sending in a special report published Monday by Standard and Poor’s.“Governance and accounting remain heightened areas of concern for investors and creditors, and it remains critically important for them to assess the often qualitative, intangible, and principle-based dimensions of governance and accounting,” said George Dallas, managing director and global practice leader, corporate governance, Standard and Poor’s in a prepared statement.

An Updated Look at Canadian Pension Plans

The Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada) this month published an update to their seminal report on defined benefit pensions plans in Canada.

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