AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-Up - Issue 167


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THIS WEEK'S TOP NEWS

  1. Judge Hits Andersen With Maximum Sentence
  2. AICPA Provides Glimpse of Upcoming Fraud Standard
  3. E&Y's Privacy Falls Prey to Divorce Court's Discretion
  4. Former Execs File Lawsuits Over Accounting Disputes
  5. SEC Proposes Disclosures About Ethics and Controls
  6. IRS Appoints Acting Commissioner to Replace Rossotti
  7. BDO Ordered to Give Tax Shelter Records to IRS
  8. Lawmakers Want Tax Disclosures Tougher Than FASB's
  9. Four CPAs Win 2002 AICPA Hall of Fame Awards
  10. IRS Data Release Provides Historical Perspective

OUR MISSION

"To inform, to enrich, to enlighten, to entertain."

EDITORIAL

Accountants live by numbers. But numbers are not always
representative of the perception of reality. Case in point: A minority of accountants have been involved in recent scandals and court cases, yet it is the bulk of the accounting profession that is bearing the brunt of the "few bad apples." Another case in point: The recently released list of Accounting Today's Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting shows that 90% of the "movers and shakers" in the profession are white men, yet there are many women and minorities who are operating under the radar screen of public acknowledgement contributing to the growth of the profession.

In the best interest of the profession, I would challenge everyone in a position to make a difference in the perception of these statistics to do so. Be involved in your community activities and help re-shape the perception of what accountants are about. Shine a spotlight on the women and minorities who are working hard to make accounting a profession that is diverse, open and an accepting place in which to fulfill a rewarding career.

Perception often is reality, and numbers often don't support the perceptions. It takes people, time, talent and commitment to change perception. Do what you can to help change the perceptions out there and you and the profession will be better for it.

Michael Platt, CEO
mailto:mplatt@accountingweb.com

THIS WEEK'S TOP NEWS

1. Judge Hits Andersen With Maximum Sentence

Federal District Judge Melinda Harmon hammered her gavel for Arthur Andersen LLP for the last time yesterday, sentencing the firm to probation and a monetary fine as a penalty for obstructing justice in regard to the firm's audit of Enron Corp. The sentence is the maximum allowable by law.

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2. AICPA Provides Glimpse of Upcoming Fraud Standard

Critics will be harder-pressed to complain about "drive-by"
audits after the AICPA issues SAS 99. Slated for release within the next month, this new audit standard will help ensure material fraud is detected early on, before investors are taken in by fraudulent financial statements.

3. E&Y's Privacy Falls Prey to Divorce Court's Discretion

Ernst & Young fought to preserve the privacy of information
related to the firm's valuation and its chief executive's
compensation. But more details were exposed in a divorce court ruling than any accounting firm would want its competitors to know.

4. Former Execs File Lawsuits Over Accounting Disputes

During the past week, two more companies found themselves facing lawsuits from former executives for wrongful discharge after incidents involving ethics and financial reporting. Attorneys say it is a growing area of litigation.

5. SEC Proposes Disclosures About Ethics and Controls

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission unanimously agreed to issue for public comment proposed rules that would require public companies to report on their internal controls and codes of ethics.

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6. IRS Appoints Acting Commissioner to Replace Rossotti

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles O. Rossotti's
five-year term comes to an end on November 6. No replacement has been named, but the IRS announced yesterday it will appoint Bob Wenzel, IRS deputy commissioner, to fill the commissioner's position until a permanent replacement can be found.

7. BDO Ordered to Give Tax Shelter Records to IRS

The IRS has been given clearance by a federal judge to obtain tax shelter records and client lists from accounting firm BDO Seidman.

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8. Lawmakers Want Tax Disclosures Tougher Than FASB's

In a letter to President Bush, Senate Finance Committee ranking member Charles Grassley urged a sweeping review of disclosure requirements related to corporate income taxes. He wants more details on IRS Schedule M-1 and someone other than FASB to decide what is adequate footnote discloure.

9. Four CPAs Win 2002 AICPA Hall of Fame Awards

Ajilon Finance and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants have announced the winners of the 2002 AICPA Business and Industry Hall of Fame Awards.

10. IRS Data Release Provides Historical Perspective

The Internal Revenue Service has issued a data release from the Statistical Data Section of the service, and for those who are interested in a historical perspective of taxation in the United States, this release is a fascinating read.

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