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SEC

Visuals Help Jury Understand Accounting, Find Koenig Liable

More than six months of collaboration between attorneys from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and The Focal Point LLC, an Oakland, Calif.-based litigation strategy and graphics firm, was successfully concluded when a Chicago jury, on June 29, found James Koenig, former chief financial officer of Waste Management Inc., liable for falsifying accounts while engaging in “massive financial fraud” totaling $1.7 billion, between 1992 and 1997.
Technology

Rivet's XBRL Analysis Tool in Sync with AICPA's Enhanced Biz Reporting Effort

Denver-based Rivet Software has taken another step forward as the accounting professions’ most prominent developer of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) technologies and has further intertwined its business future with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) by rolling out a business analysis software suite.Like all of Rivet’s products, it’s new Interactive Financials (i-Fi) Suite leverages XBRL, which is the business report version of the EXtensible Markup Language (XML) platform for coding individual items within documents so that they can be immedi
A&A

Business Objects to FASB’s Plan for Measuring Future Pension Costs

Participants in a public roundtable held on Tuesday, June 27, at the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut, engaged in heated debate on FASB’s plan to use a projected benefit obligation (PBO) metric for measuring pension liabilities that will appear on the balance sheet according to a revised standard, rather than the accumulated benefit obligation (ABO) that most companies prefer.
Community News

Auditors Spotlighted As Options Scandals Come To Light

Auditors are in the spotlight as the number of stock-option scandals expands. It seems the manipulation of option prices was more common than previously believed.

Fed Reserve Delivers Another PCAOB Head

The Federal Reserve has emerged as the breeding ground for oversight of the accounting profession as Federal Reserve Board Governor Mark W. Olson is taking over as the new chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).
A&A

IASB Chairman Calls For Accounting Standards Convergence by 2011

Sir David Tweedie, chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), sees small differences in worldwide accounting standards within five years. CFO.com reports that Robert Herz, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) chairman, predicts that within three to five years, U.S.
Community News

Some CPAs Escape State Disciplinary Actions

It is difficult to believe in these times of regulation that accountants that have had disciplinary action taken against them by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are still practicing accounting. After the actions against them, the Associated Press reports that nearly half of them still hold valid state professional licenses.
A&A

FASB Launches Review of Accounting for Leases

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has begun reviewing its guidance on one of the most complex areas of off-balance sheet reporting, accounting for leases, Chairman Robert Herz told Forbes. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had requested that FASB review off-balance sheet arrangements, special purpose entities and related issues in a staff report issued in June 2005.
Technology

XBRL Software Developer Building Channel Seeks Accountants

Rivet Software, a leading developer of XBRL data tagging technology, is building a sales channel which will consist primarily of accountants and accounting firms.Advertisement
Technology

Companies Face Daunting Task of Managing E-mail

Many of the demands that Sarbanes-Oxley compliance has placed on accounting firms have developed into commercial opportunities for other industries.

Investigation Spreads to Spring-Loading Executive Stock Option Grants

Individuals familiar with the rapidly expanding investigation into executive stock options grants have told Reuters that the practice of spring-loading, or setting a grant date and exercise price to occur shortly before the release of positive corporate news, is being scrutinized along with the practice of backdating.Advertisement
Tax

Accounting Anomalies Continue for Computer Associates

Computer Associates (CA) will delay its fourth quarter and full year financial results, according to their announcement this week. CA was expected to post 2 cents per share earnings for their fourth quarter, according to the Register.

SEC Calls for Greater Disclosure of Executive Pay, Probes Options Dating

With companies now required under FAS 123 to disclose the value of stock option grants on their income statements for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2005, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and members of Congress are pressing for more detailed disclosure of total executive compensation.

Accounting Manipulations at Fannie Mae Tied to Bonuses, OFHEO Says

A report by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) released on Tuesday charged senior management of the mortgage giant Fannie Mae with manipulating accounting to hit earnings targets in order to maximize their bonuses and other executive compensation, the New York Times reports.
Community News

PCAOB Proposes Rules for Registered Accounting Firm Reporting

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) voted Tuesday to propose rules for annual and special reporting of information and events by accounting firms registered with the PCAOB.Advertisement

Stock-Option Backdating Scandal Expands

Although not illegal, the accounting associated with executive stock option backdating “doesn’t feel right,” according to The CorporateCounsel.net. One company, UnitedHealth Group, may end up restating three years of financial results due to option back-dating. This accounting adjustment will see a change of some $286 million in net income for the company.
Practice

GM Restructures Controller’s Office; Hires Outside Financial Advisor

General Motors (GM) announced last week that it will combine the positions of Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer as part of a restructuring of the Corporate Controller’s office. The company’s current controller, Paul W. Schmidt, will retire later in the year. Peter Bible, chief accounting officer, will resign effective June 1st but will assist the company during the transition to the new structure.

SEC Announces Next Steps for SOX Implementation Includes Smaller Companies

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday announced a series of actions intended to improve the implementation of the Section 404 internal control requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002.
A&A

Financial Statements Still Significant In Predicting Bankruptcy

Researchers have found that financial ratios are still valuable tools in predicting bankruptcy.
Community News

Small, Midsize CPA Firms’ Interests at Stake in Latest SOX Saga

Small and midsized CPA firms may have a lot at stake in the latest Congressional wrangling over the onerous 404 internal reporting provision in the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) accounting reform law.

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