SEC

Justice Department Will Not Charge Fannie; Freddie Still Faces Civil Penalties

Fannie Mae announced on Thursday that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had concluded its investigation into the accounting scandal at the giant mortgage company, a decision that removed the threat of criminal charges against the company.

Class Action Securities Lawsuits: Winners and Losers

A wave of stock option backdating litigation against public companies who issued the options and the executives who benefited by exercising them, recently began hitting the American judicial system.
Tax

SEC Takes Emergency Action to Stop Ongoing Fraud Against Seniors

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed an emergency enforcement action to halt an ongoing fraudulent offering of stock in a company called One Wall Street, Inc., in which five defendants have obtained and misappropriated more than $1.6 million from at least 64 investors, most of them senior citizens.Advertisement
Technology

Dell and Their Customer Satisfaction Issues

With the latest battery recall and increased customer service numbers, can Dell survive? The quarterly American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) has been released and it shows positive but challenging changes in the maturing personal computer category. The survey is produced by the American Society for Quality (ASQ), in cooperation with the University of Michigan and the CFI Group.
Technology

SEC Offers Software Industry Opportunity to Join in Web-Based Design

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced plans for its own Web tools that will let investors and analysts exploit interactive data to analyze mutual fund and corporate information.

Accounting, Economic Experts Call Expensing Stock Options Improper Accounting

A University of California (UC), Berkley management journal became the focus in reopening the debate on stock option expensing when it published a position paper calling on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to repeal the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) new standard requiring the expensing of employee stock options.Advertisement

Fannie Mae Update: Years to Recovery

Fannie Mae announced earlier this month in its second quarter filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it was on schedule to file restated results for the years 2001 through 2004 by the end of this year, but it acknowledged that two more accounting errors have been discovered, one of which will lead to an unspecified gain on a previously estimated $2.4 billion loss on mortgage commitments.

More SOX Relief for Smaller Companies, Foreign Private Issuers

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued two releases granting further relief from compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) to smaller public companies and many foreign private issuers.Advertisement

Martha Stewart & Peter Bacanovic Settle with SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that an agreement to settle insider trading charges against Martha Stewart and Peter Bacanovic, relating to Stewart’s December 2001 sale of ImClone Systems stock, has been reached.Advertisement
A&A

Roberts Re-Elected Chairman of XBRL-US Steering Committee

Grant Thornton LLP National Director of Assurance Innovation Dan Roberts has been re-elected as Chairman of the XBRL-US Steering Committee, which governs XBRL-US, a consortium of 70 organizations working to adopt a standard method of business and financial reporting in the U.S. and worldwide. The XBRL-US Steering Committee is made up of nine representatives of those members. Liv Watson of Edgar-Online was elected Vice-Chair of the XBRL-US Steering Committee.“This coming year will be a very busy one for the Steering Committee and for XBRL-US in general.

SEC and CESR Launch Financial Reporting Work Plan

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) on Wednesday published a work plan to be implemented immediately as a guide for the SEC-CESR Dialogue. The focus of the work plan is the application of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and the U.S.
Community News

Conrad Hewitt To Be Next Chief Accountant

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Christopher Cox has announced that Conrad Hewitt, a distinguished leader of the accounting profession and former chief financial regulator for the State of California, will join the SEC as its next Chief Accountant.

AICPA, SEC Honchos to Co-Keynote XBRL Meeting

In what may propel needed increased market awareness of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) and reinforce the fact that the accounting profession has led the development of that Internet-based technology, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Christopher Cox and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) President Barry Melancon are the co-keynote speakers at the next XBRL International conference.
Community News

NY Crackdown on Bad Accountants Addresses Long-Term Concern

New York State regulators’ new crackdown on the accounting profession addresses an issue that has been roiling in the Empire State ever since the Enron accounting scandal surfaced several years ago.The New York State Board of Regents has revised the definition of "unprofessional conduct" for CPA's licensed by the state to include disciplinary actions taken by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and its Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), meaning that accountants or accounting firms disciplined by either of those bodies now can be subject to censure, reprimand and t

SEC Will Issue Options-Timing Rule; Tells PCAOB to Delay Stock Options Alert

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has asked the Public Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) to delay issuing an alert to accounting firms related to backdating stock options, the Wall Street Journal reported late last week. The SEC wants to complete its work on its own proposed rule regarding executive compensation. SEC Chairman Christopher Cox has said that he expects their rule, which should be completed later in the summer, to address backdating issues.An SEC spokesman said that it makes sense for the SEC and PCAOB “to go out with it at the same time” . . .

Raytheon Accounting Woes Run Deep,Wide

Raytheon Co.’s recently announced settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of that agency’s probe into alleged accounting irregularities is just the tip of the iceberg of accounting problems for the defense contracting giant based in Waltham, Mass.Raytheon has announced that the SEC has agreed to close the probe into accounting and disclosure practices related to its Raytheon Aircraft Company commuter aircraft business between 1997 and 2001.

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.

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