International

IFAC Forms Panel to Restore Accountants' Credibility

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) announced the formation of a global task force to help rebuild public confidence in financial reporting. The task force is chaired by John Crow, former governor of the Bank of Canada.The task force's mission is to identify and analyze the causes of the recent loss of credibility in financial reporting and consider ways to restore credibility.

Independent Public Body Established to Oversee Canadian Auditing Standards

Canada’s Chartered Accountants have announced the establishment of an independent public body to oversee the setting of auditing and assurance standards in Canada, and at the same time announced its first Chair.Prominent business and commercial lawyer James C.

Europe Mulls U.S.-Style Accounting Oversight Board

Negotiations over the possible exclusion of European auditors from certain provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act ended in compromise. European Union (EU) Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein said Europe might consider forming its own U.S.-style accounting oversight board.The concession was made after U.S.
Community News

BDO Cyprus Settles With SEC

BDO Cyprus, an overseas affiliate of BDO Seidman, has reached a settlement agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over the audit of collapsed company ACLN Ltd.
Tax

Isle of Man to Provide Tax Details to US

The Isle of Man has signed a bilateral agreement with the United States to exchange information on tax matters between the two countries.The move follows similar agreements between the US and the Channel Islands in September.
A&A

FASB to Consider Project on International Convergence

On September 18, 2002, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) met with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). There were reports that the meeting ended in a definite commitment to future action. But the truth seems to be that no decisions were reached, except that FASB will consider a project on international convergence.A tentative approach might be a 3-part project to address differences between U.S.
Tax

WTO Wins Right to $4 Billion in Sanctions Against U.S.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled last Friday that the European Union (EU) has the right to impose trade sanctions amounting to $4.043 billion on the U.S. to make up for tax breaks given to U.S. corporations that export products to European countries.The issue at task is a situation that occurs when a U.S.
Community News

KPMG to be Named in Fraud Action

KPMG-U.S. has been caught in the net of shareholder lawsuits that will relate to accounting work performed for voice recognition software company Lernout & Hauspie. The company's auditor, KPMG-Belgium, will share defendant status with its U.S. counterpart as the shareholder suits alleging fraud go to trial. It is anticipated that shareholders will band together to file a class action lawsuit alleging that KPMG auditors should have been aware of problems with the software company's accounts.U.S. District Court Judge Patti Saris, who ruled that KPMG-U.S.
Community News

Andersen Worldwide Faces $350 Million RICO Action

Troubles continue to plague Arthur Andersen Worldwide, the global umbrella company that oversees worldwide operations of the Andersen firms, including Arthur Andersen LLP, U.S. The global firm settled a lawsuit for $60 million earlier this week relating to its role in the botched Enron audit performed by the U.S. firm. Now the worldwide firm is being sued in the U.S.
Tax

Accenture Facing Big Changes

Three big changes are in the works for Accenture, the consultancy formerly known as Andersen Consulting. The first change came in the form of a recent announcement that Accenture has sold its venture and investment portfolio. The sale to CIBC World Markets, the investment and merchant banking arm of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, allows for Accenture to maintain a 5% stake in the portfolio.

IFAC Commits to Translating Public Sector Accounting Standards With IASB

Furthering its efforts to improve financial reporting by governments worldwide, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the Public Sector Committee (PSC) of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) will work together to translate the accrual basis International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs) into languages other than English.
Tax

IRS Gets Approval for 'John Doe' Summons

A federal district judge in Miami has approved a request by the Internal Revenue Service to obtain access to records of owners of MasterCard credit cards in 30 countries. The countries named in the summons request include Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and several Caribbean nations including Cayman Islands and Bermuda. The IRS suspects U.S. citizens are using the offshore credit cards as a means of diverting income from U.S. taxation.
Community News

KPMG Reprimanded and Fined in Ireland

KPMG-Ireland has been reprimanded and fined by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI) for what the Institute described as an audit that "in terms of efficiency and competence fell below the standards to be expected."The questionable audit of Powerscreen International subsidiaries Matbro Ltd. and Matbro (NI) Ltd. was conducted for the year ended March, 1997. While parent company Powerscreen was attempting to raise $28 million on the stock market based on strong reported profits, the profits of Matbro subsidiaries were found to be overstated by over $73 million.

IASB Votes To Require Expensing of Stock Options

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) voted at its meeting in London to publish an exposure draft of a proposed international accounting standard (IAS) that would require the expensing of stock options. This treatment differs from U.S.
A&A

McKinsey Finds Big Investors Split Between IAS And GAAP

U.S. President George Bush has called for accounting standards to be responsive to the needs of investors. But results of a survey by McKinsey & Company announced the day before the President's ground-breaking speech to Wall Street show this may be easier said than done.McKinsey surveyed more than 200 institutional investors in 31 countries.
Community News

Deloitte Gets Go Ahead to Acquire Andersen UK

The European Commission has given its approval to the acquisition by Big Four firm Deloitte & Touche of Andersen UK. Deloitte requested approval for the acquisition on May 29. The European Commission carefully considered the proposal, wanting to ensure a monopoly would not be created that would be harmful to large multinational companies such as those traded on the London Stock Exchange.The European Commission concluded that the serious problems facing Andersen as a result of the firm's guilty verdict in its U.S.

IASB Borrows U.S Accounting For Financial Instruments

Since the Enron collapse, it has become fashionable to criticize U.S. accounting standards and extol the virtues of "principles-based" standards. Some hoped this would improve the prospects for U.S. acceptance of the global standards set by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). But, on June 20, 2002, the IASB reversed direction and borrowed the U.S. approach to accounting for financial instruments.It took the IASB two weighty volumes to explain the "rules-based" approach in an exposure draft (ED).

PwC Chief Recommends Adoption of Global Accounting Standards

PricewaterhouseCoopers's chief executive, Samuel DiPiazza, has gone public with his recommendation for a global principles-based set of accounting rules that would replace the current Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in use in the U.S.In a speech before the National Press Club this week, Mr.
Community News

Europe Moves to IAS, PwC CEO Urges U.S. Adoption

European authorities recently passed a regulation requiring public companies to adopt International Accounting Standards (IAS) by 2005. Several European organizations were established and/or called upon to help ensure a smooth transition. The events have not gotten much of a reaction in the U.S., but PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Samuel A.

Europe Reforms Audits, Urges U.S. Cooperation

On May 16, 2002, the European Union (EU) issued long-awaited guidelines on auditor independence in an effort to avoid an Enron-type incident. Among other things, the guidelines recommend that accounting firms rotate audit partners after seven years with the same client and partners wait two years before joining a company they have audited. The recommendations are not binding. Each country is free to adopt stricter requirements. AccountingWEB's sister site in the U.K.

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