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SEC Delays Implementation of Accounting Rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on Thursday that large public companies won’t have to expense options until the fiscal year beginning after December 15, 2005.The rules, issued by the Financial Standards Accounting Board (FASB), were have gone into effect for large firms in the first quarter starting after June 15, 2005. The deadline for smaller firms has always been the first fiscal after June 15, 2005.

Lease Accounting: Minor Blip or Major Issue?

Retailers, restaurants, and cellular service providers are changing the way they account for leases, according to accounting analyst Jack Ciesielski, publisher of The Analyst’s Accounting Observer. The majority of restatements are coming from the retail industry and most of those have to do with rent holiday issues.The SEC’s February 7 Letter to the AICPA identifies three types of issues that may arise in lease accounting.

SEC May Delay New Accounting Rules for 6 Months

It’s no secret that many US firms are struggling to understand and comply with new rules regarding stock options. The costs of audits and additional staffing to help ensure compliance continue to rise. Businesses are starting to complain.

Scrutinizing Accounting in the Retail Industry

The ever-changing world of vendor accounting is particularly susceptible to abuse. It is no surprise that under the increased scrutiny of the Sarbanes-Oxley era, problems with vendor accounting are affecting the retail industry as demonstrated by a probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) into retail giant Saks, Inc.Saks announced in March that the SEC was probing vendor markdown allowances and the adequacy of Saks internal investigation into the matter at one of six merchandising divisions of it Saks Fifth Avenue stores.

Improper Accounting for Leases Triggers New Restatements

Changes in how companies account for real estate leases is forcing a wave of corrections in earnings reports.Accounting for leases came under scrutiny as part of the tough reforms of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Practice Management

Donaldson Champions Controversial SEC Best Price Rule

In a hotly contested decision that's seen as a big win for the New York Stock Exchange, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman William Donaldson has pushed through a new rule that would require investor orders to buy or sell stock be filled at the best price, as long as the order can be executed immediately, the Wall Street Journal reported.Known as the order-protection rule, it will apply to all marketplaces, including the Nasdaq Stock Market and will require markets to get investors the best price, even if that means going to a competing market to fill the order, the Journal reported
Community News

Highlights from the SEC Chairman's Remarks in Financial Services Roundtable

On April 1, 2005, William H. Donaldson, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission spoke before the Financial Services Roundtable in Palm Beach, Florida. Participants in the roundtable represented a wide cross-section of the financial services industry in the United States. Mr. Donaldson used the opportunity to discuss his ideas on how the SEC and financial services industry can work together to improve financial markets and keep them a source of prosperity. Mr. Donaldson was careful to qualify his remarks as his own and not representing those of the SEC or SEC staff.

SEC's Office of the Chief Accountant Release Staff Accounting Bulletin on Share-Based Payments

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Chief Accountant and its Division of Corporation Finance announced on Tuesday announced the release of a Staff Accounting Bulletin relating to the Financial Accounting Standard’s Board (FASB) accounting standard for stock options and other share-based payments. Staff Accounting Bulletin No.
Community News

SEC Names 3 Academic Accounting Fellows

The Securities and Exchange Commission has selected three professors to serve as accounting fellows to interpret research for the Office of the Chief Accountant, the primary adviser to the SEC on accounting and auditing matters.In addition, the academic fellows will be involved in developing rule proposals, serving as liaisons with professional accounting and auditing standards-setting bodies and consulting with registrants on accounting, auditing, independence and reporting issues, the SEC announced Tuesday.The three fellows are Cheryl Linthicum, Ph.D., an associate professor of account

Mutual Fund Industry Critical of SEC Rule on Omnibus Accounts

Mutual fund executives say the Securities and Exchange Commission has not gone far enough to curb problems associated with omnibus accounting.The SEC did not require full disclosure of the shareholders who trade funds within omnibus accounts, a move that would have allowed firms to properly police themselves for marketing timing and other problems, according to Fund Action, a mutual fund industry newsletter.Earlier this month, the SEC voted 5-0 to allow mutual funds to voluntarily charge a 2 percent redemption fee on frequent trades to discourage market timing, one of the abuses at the c
Education & Careers

SEC Investor-Education Fund Loses Top Officials

With a year spent trying unsuccessfully to get the venture off the ground, the Securities and Exchange Commission's investor-education fund is losing its chairman and several directors, the Wall Street Journal reported."With real sadness, because we all recognize that the mission of helping individual investors be more so important, the Directors of Investors Education are all resigning," fund Chairman Charles Ellis wrote in a note to two advisory panels.

SEC Charges Time Warner with Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission this week charged Time Warner Inc. (formerly known as AOL Time Warner) with materially overstating online advertising revenue and the number of its Internet subscribers, and with aiding and abetting three other securities frauds. The Commission also charged that the company violated a Commission cease-and-desist order issued against America Online, Inc. on May 15, 2000. In a separate administrative proceeding, the Commission charged Time Warner CFO Wayne H. Pace, Controller James W.

SEC Official Fires Back at Critics of Accounting Reform Efforts

Remember way back in 2002 when corporate America was rocked by one accounting scandal after another? A top Securities and Exchange Commission official reminded reform critics on Friday that we are “not out of the woods yet,” the Washington Post reported.In remarks before the Directors' Education Institute at Duke University, SEC enforcement chief Stephen M.
Community News

Deloitte & Touche Unveils Corporate Director Education Program

Responding to the increasing demands, responsibilities, and heightened scrutiny of corporate board members, Deloitte & Touche LLP today announced the creation of a unique alliance with the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and The Directors' Network Inc. to develop and deliver customized, consultative education programs for corporate directors.This alliance with The Directors' Network and the University of Michigan aims to provide tailored corporate director education," said Greg Weaver, Deloitte & Touche U.S. national managing partner, Audit and Enterprise Risk Services.

SEC Charges Former Qwest CEO and Eight Others with Massive Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission this week charged Joseph P. Nacchio, former co-chairman and chief executive officer of Qwest Communications International Inc., and eight other former Qwest officers and employees with fraud and other violations of the federal securities laws.

SEC Announces Members of Advisory Committee on Small Public Cos

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman William H. Donaldson this week announced the appointment of 19 additional members of the SEC Advisory Committee on Smaller Public Companies. The additional appointments bring the total number of members of the advisory committee to 21. Chairman Donaldson previously had announced the appointment of Herbert S. Wander, a prominent Chicago securities lawyer, and James C. Thyen, President and CEO of Kimball International, Inc., as Co-Chairs of the advisory committee.

SEC Extends Time for Banks to Comply with Gramm-Leach-Bailey Act

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Tuesday that it issued an order further extending until Sept. 30, 2005, the compliance dates for banks with respect to certain broker registration requirements contained in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA). The Commission does not expect banks to develop compliance systems to meet the terms of the "broker" exceptions until the Commission amends its rules.

SEC Boss Chastises Attorneys Over Fund Scandal

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman William H.

CFOs Must Still File Internal-Control Certifications, Despite SOX Extension

The chief executive officers (CEOs) and chief financial officers (CFOs) of certain midsize and foreign public companies must still execute and file certifications about their internal controls under Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, even though the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week gave them an extra year to comply with Section 404, says one of the country's largest corporate governance consulting units.

SEC Grants One-Year Extension for SOX Compliance

The Commission has further extended the compliance dates for non-accelerated filers and foreign private issuers regarding amendments to its rules under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that were adopted on June 5, 2003, pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The amendments require a company to include in its annual reports a report by management on the company's internal control over financial reporting and an accompanying auditor's report. The Commission extended the original Section 404 compliance dates for all issuers in February 2004 (see Release No. 33-8392).


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