SEC Signals 'Change of Tone' on Foreign SOX Compliance

With the New York Stock Exchange's reputation as the market of choice for overseas companies at stake, the Securities and Exchange Commission signaled “a change in tone” yesterday toward foreign companies looking to avoid strict U.S. governance rules, Financial Times reported.The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 laid down stringent new rules designed to protect U.S. investors in the wake of a spate of corporate scandals. Foreign companies are currently required to follow Sarbanes-Oxley if they are publicly listed in the U.S.

Oracle Highlights Strength of Combined Companies, Releases Security Patch

Oracle this week announced, at an event at its headquarters with more than 17,000 joining by Webcast and phone, how the nearly 50,000-strong combined workforce of Oracle and PeopleSoft will provide unparalleled innovation and support to 23,000 applications customers throughout the world. At an event at its headquarters, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and his top executives showcased the new application organization; product and global support plans; and discussed Oracle's market share strength, particularly in specific industries.

Treasury, IRS Announce Guidance on Repatriation of Foreign Earnings

The Treasury Department and IRS last week announced the first in a series of notices that will provide guidance for U.S. companies planning to repatriate earnings from overseas subsidiaries subject to the temporary reduced tax rate available under the American Jobs Creation Act (AJCA). Internal Revenue Code Section 965, enacted as part of the AJCA in October 2004, allows U.S. companies to repatriate earnings from their foreign subsidiaries at a reduced tax rate. Section 965 provides that U.S.

Ahold Problems Surface Again; Nine Charged in Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed enforcement actions last week against nine individuals alleging they aided and abetted a massive financial fraud by signing and returning materially false audit confirmations sent to them by the auditors of the U.S. Foodservice, Inc. subsidiary of Royal Ahold (Koninklijke Ahold N.V.). The actions filed name as defendants Mark A. Bailin, Kenneth H. Bowman, Timothy Neal Daly, Michael J. Hannigan, Peter O. Marion, John Nettle, Gordon Redgate, Bruce Robinson and Michael Rogers.
Community News

Four Out of Five Major Financial Firms Now Have a Chief Risk Officer

Global financial services institutions are facing growing exposure to risk from a variety of factors, including mega-mergers, off-shoring, outsourcing, greater regulation, and the need to manage an increased volume of lending.

European Companies Grappling with SOX Compliance

Some European companies are wondering if the benefits of being listed on U.S. exchanges is worth the cost of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, reported.With public and private companies alike struggling to comply with the rigid new requirements intended to improve transparency and accountability, international companies are weighing the pros and cons. Companies with 300 or more U.S.

Canadian Accounting Group Takes Oversight Fight to U.S.

A disagreement over the creation of Canada's audit oversight board has reached the United States, as a Canadian accounting organization has hired a Washington lobbyist to battle the two-year-old board.The Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB) is the counterpart to the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).

SEC Charges TV Azteca and Its Chairman Ricardo Salinas Pliego with Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission this week filed civil fraud charges against TV Azteca S.A. de C.V. (TV Azteca or the company), a Mexican issuer whose American depository receipts trade on the NYSE, its parent company, Azteca Holdings, S.A., de C.V. (Azteca Holdings), and three current and former TV Azteca officers and directors, Ricardo Salinas Pliego, Pedro Padilla Longoria, and Luis Echarte Fernandez.

Congress Approves Extending 2004 Deadline for Tsunami Donations

Earlier this week, Senator Chuck Grassley, of Iowa, and Senator Max Baucus, of Montana proposed a bill that would reward the American public for their generous donations to last month's Tsunami victim’s relief. Grassley and Baucus proposed extending the December 31, 2004 deadline for making charitable donations to Tsunami victims until January 31, 2005.

U.S. Falls out of the Index of Economic Freedom's Top 10

For the first time ever, the U.S. does not rank among the world's 10 freest economies in the Index of Economic Freedom, published annually by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. The U.S.' score in the 2005 Index did not change from 2004. But improvements in the economies of Chile, Australia and Iceland enabled all three to surpass the U. S., leaving it in a tie for 12th with Switzerland and out of the top 10 for the first time in the 11-year history of the Index.

Charitable Donations, Give Wisely: Tips to Avoid Fraudulent Scams

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) is encouraging the general public to contribute to tsunami relief efforts, but urged donors to use caution when giving to avoid potential scams.

Six Convicted in Far Reaching International Tax Fraud Case

Eileen J. O’Connor, Assistant Attorney General, United States Justice Department, Tax Division, John McKay, United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington, and Mark W. Everson, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner, announced last week that after seven weeks of trial, six persons associated with Anderson’s Ark and Associates (AAA), were convicted in connection with one of the most far ranging fraudulent tax schemes ever prosecuted. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on four other defendants.
Community News

Deloitte Claims Grant Thornton Held Back Parmalat Information

Big Four accounting firm Deloitte has accused a smaller rival, Grant Thornton, of hindering its audit of Parmalat, the once-mighty Italian dairy giant that collapsed amid accusations of widespread fraud.
Community News

Charges Against Deloitte & Touche Dismissed in Ahold Matter

Deloitte & Touche is off the hook in a class action suit brought by investors of Dutch retailer Ahold NV, thanks to a federal judge's move to dismiss claims that Deloitte engaged in deceptive conduct and recklessly disregarded misstatements in Ahold's financial documents, the Baltimore Business Journal reported.

European Union Backs Accounting Rule for Options

On Monday, the Accounting Regulatory Committee (ARC), which advises the European Commission on the adoption of international accounting standards (IAS) in Europe, gave a positive opinion on a Commission Regulation making mandatory the international financial reporting standard (IFRS 2) on share based payments.

Deloitte Outlines $50 Million Expansion Plan for India

Deloitte's global CEO, William G. Parrett confirmed on Thursday the expansion plans for India. Deloitte local investment will be in excess of $50 million over the next 5-6 years.The expansion includes the recently announced addition of 2500 people to support the local practices and global activities in India.In addition, Deloitte’s member firms (in India) are expecting annual revenue growth of over 20 percent per year for the next 4 years.In his first visit to the sub-continent as Global CEO, William G. Parrett said, “India is a priority market for Deloitte globally.
Community News

Tax Guru Imprisoned for Promoting Off-shore Tax Havens

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California announced that Jerome Schneider, 53, a resident of Vancouver, B.C. Canada, was sentenced to six months in prison this week by Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco for his role in a conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. Mr. Schneider was ordered to pay a fine of $4,000 and a $100 special assessment. He had previously paid $100,000 in restitution. Mr.

Google Is Best Global Web Site, Says New Report

In 2003, Byte Level Research published a landmark report that rated how successfully companies had developed Web sites for international markets, an emerging practice known as "Web globalization." This report, The Web Globalization Report Card, rated Google as the best site out of 121 Web sites studied. Today, Byte Level Research published the 2005 edition of The Web Globalization Report Card and, once again, Google has emerged on top.
Community News

CEOs Say Flexibility, Adapting to Change Vital to Competing Worldwide

Most CEOs say flexibility and adaptability to change are the major keys to staying competitive, according to a study released today by The Conference Board and sponsored by Heidrick and Struggles and PeopleSoft. The Conference Board's CEO Challenge 2004 report reveals that 88 percent of the 540 global business leaders interviewed designate speed, flexibility, and adaptability as a top priority for their companies.

FASB Issues Rule to Conform To International Standard

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued FASB Statement No. 151, Inventory Costs, an amendment of ARB No. 43, Chapter 4.


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