SEC

Technology

Strange Bedfellows: Newt Gingrich and XBRL Software Community

At about the same time last week that Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S.
Technology

Creative Solutions Gives XBRL a New Embrace

Creative Solutions, one of the first prominent accounting practice software vendors to embrace XBRL, the Internet-based technology that tags data items in financial reports so they can be immediately retrieved, has expanded its relationship with that evolving technology through an alliance with Rivet Software, a specialist developer of financial reporting systems.Advertisement

SEC Beefing Up Internal Reporting in Response to GAO Audits

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the agency charged with overseeing the financial reporting of public companies, is “redoubling” its efforts to shore up major deficiencies in its own financial reporting procedures and internal controls that were uncovered in an audit by the Government Accountability Office.Advertisement

SEC Approves 7 PCAOB Rules for Auditors

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) ethics and independence rules concerning independence, tax services, and contingent fees, according to a statement issued Friday by the PCAOB.
Community News

Ex-Qwest Accountant Accuses SEC of “Abuse of Process”

The lawyer for former Qwest accountant James Kozlowski alleged in a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Denver last week that the the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Kozlowski with fraud in March 2005 because he wouldn’t “spill the beans” on ex-chief executive Joe Nacchio. Eleven other ex-officials of the company were charged along with Kozlowski and Nacchio.

SEC’s New XBRL Push Attracts More Takers Than Past Effort

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) newest effort to attract companies to use the EXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) data tagging technology, developed by an accounting industry- led group, is finding greater success than its past effort.Advertisement

Not Doing Homework Costs Parents Too

Parents who forget to do their homework before choosing a state-sponsored college savings plan are being sold funds with the highest fees, according to a survey of state-sponsored 529 college savings plans just published in the Journal of American Taxation Association. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating the sales practices of 529 plans and has reportedly requested a copy of the article.“Our results are consistent with the fact that it’s so difficult to choose the right plan that people ask investment brokers for advice, and brokers are selling investors
Technology

Mark Your Calendar: SEC Enforcement Chief Leads Internet Fraud Discussion

The focus of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Historical Society’s inaugural “Fireside Chat” for 2006 is online fraud and the use of the Internet to perpetrate insider trading, market manipulations, and other securities violations. The free, one-hour, program will be broadcast live and online between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m.
Tax

Enron Accountant Admits to Raiding Reserves to Boost Earnings

An Enron accountant testified in court Monday that he plundered reserve funds to inflate earnings and make look Enron look more successful than it was.Advertisement
Practice Management

Internal Review of Fannie Mae Cites “Attitude of Arrogance”

In a 1996 internal memo to Timothy Howard, Chief Financial Officer of Fannie Mae, Leanne Spencer, Vice President of Financial Reporting wrote, “What do I have up my sleeve to solve an earnings shortfall?” She adds in the same document, according to Bloomberg.com, “I recognize (and thought about it yesterday) that we might want to show the board $2.48. I made the decision that I wanted to show you the real answer and the let you decide if you wanted me to make any adjustment.
Community News

XBRL Movement Gains More Tech Vendor Support

The bandwagon for EXtensible Business Reporting Markup Language (XBRL), the rapidly-evolving Internet-based software code for financial reports, has added two new key technology members over the past week.Advertisement
Education & Careers

Oil Industry & Accountants

With a shortage of accountants specializing in the oil and gas industry, EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. paid $20,000 to partner with the business school at the University of Colorado, at Denver, (UCD) for an oil and gas accounting course. EnCana USA is a subsidiary of Canadian giant EnCana Corporation located in Denver, according to the Denver Business Journal. The company is paying for the books for the course.
A&A

FASB Responds to SEC Study

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) last week responded to the Security and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) Off Balance Sheet Report by identifying forces causing complexity and impeding financial transparency, as well as providing an update on the FASB’s activities intended to address complex accounting standards.
Tax

AIG Reaches Settlement While Investigation of Execs Continues

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), last week simultaneously announced with the Office of the Attorney General of New York State and The U.S. Department of Justice, (DOJ), the filing and settlement of charges that American International Group, Inc. (AIG) committed securities fraud. The agreement also settles charges against the company by New York and The DOJ of claims related to bid rigging and practices involving workers’ compensation funds.
Technology

SEC Ponders: Is XBRL At Tipping Point

After seven years of fits and starts, the EXtensible Business Reporting Markup Language (XBRL) software code being developed by an accounting profession-led group, is raising the question of whether its has finally reached the “tipping point” of necessary market acceptance, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) Chief Information Officer Corey Booth.The SEC, which would clearly like to see XBRL become the standard reporting format for public companies, is grappling to determine if the programming code can ever make it over the tipping point and reach the cr

SEC’s EDGAR Database RFP Cites XBRL in the Future

In seeking a new manager for its Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval (EDGAR) database, the Securities and Exchange Commission has widely opened the door for that system to use the eXtensible Business Reporting Markup Language (XBRL) software code being developed by an accounting profession-led group.

Enron’s Lasting Influence

With the former Enron executives finally coming to trial, we are reminded again of the long shadow cast by the implosion of the company that helped enact the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act of 2002. Section 404 has added teeth to SOX, making regulation more expensive and staff intensive and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has been created to aid in the governance and enforcement of the accounting industry.
Technology

SEC Hails XBRL in Meeting With Microsoft, Oracle and Other Vendors

The Securities & Exchange Commission has expanded its support of XBRL, the software language that allows for instantaneous retrieval of detailed information within business reports, by telling a select group of software developers that it supports the technology’s expanded use in new generations of business software.

SEC Eases Revenue Accounting Rule for Vaccine Makers

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), on Monday, announced a change in accounting guidance for pharmaceutical companies supplying vaccines to the Pediatric Vaccine Stockpile or the Strategic National Stockpile. Under the new guidance, vaccine manufacturers can recognize revenue upon delivery to government stockpiles rather than delaying revenue recognition until the vaccine is distributed.
Community News

Taub Designated Acting Chief Accountant

Scott Taub was designated Acting Chief Accountant by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Christopher Cox last week.Taub has served as Deputy Chief Accountant since September 2002. Prior to joining the SEC he was a partner in the Professional Standards Group of Arthur Andersen in Chicago, Illinois. From June 1999 to June 2001, he also served as a professional accounting fellow with the SEC’s Office of Chief Accountant.

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