SEC

Tax

Corporate America Fighting Back Against Lawsuits, Regulations

Two influential industry groups are developing proposals that would make it more difficult for investors to file civil suits against companies and accounting firms, while also strengthening protections from criminal cases brought by government prosecutors.The groups, which have close ties to the Bush administration, hope to limit the liability of accounting firms for the work they do for clients so that individuals are targeted for wrongdoing, not entire companies, the New York Times reported.One of the groups drafting proposals is the U.S.

Amendments to AS2 Aim To Rethink Auditor’s Role

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) submitted a draft of changes for its Auditing Standard 2 (AS2) to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) back in September. AS2 has been criticized for its conservative use by auditors, according to CFO.com.

Skilling Sentenced; Worldcom Investors to Receive Payments

Former Enron Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jeffrey Skilling was sentenced last Monday to 24 years and four months in prison for his role in the corporate accounting scandal that gave its name to an era. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it would begin distributions to WorldCom investors from the Fair Fund. And while the Enron and WorldCom corporate accounting scandals set the stage for congressional action and passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) in 2004, criminal prosecutions in these cases have not lessened the SEC’s work load.

The SOX Roadmap: A Dead-End for America <i>by Paul Sharman</i>

Imagine you’ve been told you must go on a business trip every year or there will be severe personal consequences. You give the destination and dates to your travel planner and he provides you with an agenda, trip cost estimates and maps. Your planner tells you the first year’s trip should cost no more than $910, and assures you the trip shouldn’t be too onerous. Just before leaving he explains that although you’re not going to the destination you picked yourself, you will enjoy it once you understand the many “good things” his destination offers.
Tax

Grant Thornton LLP Fiscal 2006 Revenues Rise to $886 Million

Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International, one of the six global accounting organizations, today reported that revenues climbed 22 percent, to $886 million in the fiscal year that ended July 31, 2006.
Tax

East European Hackers Invade Online Brokerage Accounts

Using spyware loaded on public computers in internet cafes or hotels or attached to email messages to potential victims, hi-tech crooks, operating from remote locations, have been able to enter online brokerage accounts in the U.S. and either sell off the contents and take the proceeds or manipulate stock prices, according to regulators at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Reuters reports.
A&A

More Restatements in 2006 for Smaller Accounting Firms - Update 1

Of the 928 companies that announced in the first half of 2006 that they would file restatements of their results for prior periods, 504 were clients of firms other than the eight largest accounting firms, according to data compiled by AuditAnalytics, a company that analyzes audit problems, the New York Times reports.
Tax

Avoid Using “Accounting Gimmicks”

Warren Buffett, the second richest man in America after Bill Gates, told his senior managers at Berkshire Hathaway Inc. in a memo published by FT.com, to resist the temptation to use “accounting gimmicks” to manipulate earnings, Bloomberg.com says. “Every time you hear the phrase ‘Everybody else is doing it’, it should raise a huge red flag,” Buffet wrote.

Senior Finance Execs Support SEC Chairman & See Increased Board Scrutiny

The majority of senior finance executives support pension and lease accounting revisions, according to a national survey conducted by Grant Thornton LLP. In another survey, the majority report the Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX) has resulted in increased board scrutiny, while more than half say it has not made it more difficult to recruit directors.
Practice Management

PCAOB Drafts Rewrites to AS2; Senior Administrators Moving On

Signs that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is entering a new phase of its development came recently when the Board submitted a draft of changes to the Auditing Standard 2 (AS2) to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that are said to modify confusing definitions and eliminate the need for separate internal control and financial statements audits.
A&A

Accounting Rules Allow “Spring-loading,” “Bullet-dodging” Option Grants

The government will not have any accounting basis for enforcement actions against companies for “spring-loading” or “bullet-dodging” stock option grants, according to Scott Taub, deputy chief accountant for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC ). Taub spoke at a Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) advisory council meeting in New York on Tuesday, Reuters reports.
Tax

Goldman Sachs Added as Defendant in Fannie Mae Suits

In a time of increased scrutiny on brokerages, Goldman, Sachs & Co. has been added as a defendant in lawsuits related to questionable accounting practices by mortgage giant Fannie Mae.Complaints allege that Goldman, Sachs & Co. violated U.S. securities laws while allegedly arranging Fannie Mae-sponsored bond deals, the brokerage said in its quarterly report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Rivet Software Plays Big Part in SEC's XBRL Embrace

Denver-based Rivet Software, a longtime leading developer of XBRL technologies, has entered several new initiatives to advance XBRL, the fast-evolving electronic format for distributing and disseminating business report information.First and foremost, Rivet is part of a team of seven technology companies chosen by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to essentially convert the SEC Edgar system for collecting and distributing financial report information to an XBRL-based infrastructure.The group, which is led by Keane Federal Systems of McLean, Va., and also includes Microsoft Cor
Technology

XBRL-US Becomes Independent Organization

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) on Monday announced that XBRL-US, initially formed as a volunteer committee of the AICPA, will become an independent, not-for-profit organization.Advertisement
A&A

Appearing at the Forum on Small Business Capital Formation

Videotaped remarks from Christopher Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), will open the annual Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation. The Forum will be held on Friday, September 29, beginning at 9:00 a.m. (Eastern Daylight Time) at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the SEC.
A&A

Letter Summarizes SEC Views on Stock Options

The Office of the Chief Accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday issued a public letter to the accounting industry summarizing the staff’s views regarding the accounting for stock options in the historical financial statements of public companies.Advertisement
Community News

OFHEO Head Wants Congress to Act on New Rules for Fannie and Freddie

James Lockhart, director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), the federal watchdog for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage giants, said in prepared remarks to the American Enterprise Institute that if Congress does not act now on a bill to create stronger regulations for the companies, “the enterprises and their shareholders will continue to confront uncertainty,” MarketWatch reports.
Community News

Dell Delays Filing Due to Accounting Issues; Battery Technology May be Problem

Dell Computer, Inc. announced Monday that it would delay filing its Form 10-Q for the second quarter because of questions raised in a previously announced informal inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) into accounting and reporting matters from 2005. The company also announced that the U.S.
Technology

Closely Held Companies Adopting Sarbanes, Increasing Demand for Auditors

Privately owned companies, although not bound by the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), are feeling the effects of the law in specific areas of their businesses, as well as the impact of widespread public commitment to stronger internal controls that the law has helped to create.

SEC, Justice Department Support PCAOB Constitutionality

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S.

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