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Bramwell's Lunch Beat: Candace Wright Appointed as New Chair of PCC

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Aug 19th 2015
Staff Writer and Editor AccountingWEB
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FAF appoints Candace Wright as new PCC chair
Candace Wright, who serves as a director with Postlethwaite & Netterville, a Louisiana-based accounting and business advisory firm, was appointed on Tuesday to a three-year term as chair of the Private Company Council (PCC), beginning on Jan. 1, 2016. She will succeed Billy Atkinson, whose term will conclude on Dec. 31, 2015. The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) also appointed three new members to the PCC and reappointed six members on Tuesday. With more than 30 years of experience in the accounting profession, Wright is the service-line leader for Postlethwaite & Netterville's Assurance Services Group and the firm's quality-control director. She also leads the firm's financial institutions industry group and peer-review services.

Other new members appointed to three-year terms on the PCC are:

  • Timothy Curt (financial statement preparer), managing director and partner of Warburg Pincus LLC.
  • David Lomax (financial statement user), assistant vice president and underwriting officer of Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.
  • Harold Monk Jr. (practitioner), partner of Carr, Riggs & Ingram LLC.

The six current PCC members who were reappointed are:

  • George Beckwith (preparer), Thomas Groskopf (practitioner), and Carleton Olmanson (user) were reappointed to the PCC for a one-year term, concluding on Dec. 31, 2016.
  • Steven Brown (user), Jeffery Bryan (practitioner), and Lawrence Weinstock (preparer) were reappointed to the PCC for a two-year term, concluding on Dec. 31, 2017.

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Most US companies could pass new EU auditor-fees sniff test
If recent European rules that limit the amount of money a company's auditor can collect on additional client services were to migrate across the pond, most US companies would glide through unscathed, wrote Maxwell Murphy of CFO Journal. Fewer than 200 companies in the Russell 3000 Index spent more than 70 percent of their average audit fees on additional services with those same firms, according to Audit Analytics. The European Union (EU) last year mandated that companies under its watch must stay below that cap. US companies mostly stopped paying auditors or extra nonaudit services after the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley rules, amid concerns that additional fees jeopardize an accounting firm's impartiality. But some companies still pay for services such as tax advice or asking their auditor to provide a comfort letter to a lender.

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Court decision could affect conflict minerals audits
A federal appeals court upheld an earlier decision Tuesday on part of a Dodd-Frank Act regulation requiring public companies to say whether their products contain conflict minerals, wrote Emily Chasan of CFO Journal. The court previously said requiring the labeling violates free speech under the First Amendment. The US Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing the decision, which could affect how companies prepare for audits of their conflict mineral reports next year. Companies are struggling to get results in their efforts to find “conflict minerals” – tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold – blamed for fueling violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in their supply chain.

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‘Cadillac tax' key in Allegheny Technologies' lockout
A provision of the Affordable Care Act, which is one reason Allegheny Technologies locked out more than 2,000 union workers last week at 12 plants in six states, also could be a stumbling block in negotiations involving two other major steel producers whose contracts covering about 30,000 union workers expire in less than two weeks, wrote Lee Boselovic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The legislation subjects employers to a 40 percent tax if premiums for healthcare coverage exceed prescribed limits starting in 2018. In Pittsburgh, union workers' contracts being negotiated are expected to run through 2018, when the so-called “Cadillac tax” takes effect. Starting then, employers will have to pay 40 cents for every dollar that healthcare premiums exceed $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage. “I don't think any of the companies will sign on for anything that is a Cadillac plan,” said metals industry analyst John Tumazos.

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Ewing Bemiss & Co. joins local KPMG office
Ewing Bemiss & Co., a Richmond, Virginia-based middle-market investment bank, has joined the local office of global accounting firm KPMG LLP's corporate finance subsidiary, wrote John Reid Blackwell of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. KPMG Corporate Finance LLC announced on Tuesday it has “added a team” of professionals from Ewing Bemiss to work in its Richmond office and build the company's business in the energy, power, and utilities sectors. While effectively an acquisition, the deal is not technically structured as one. Rather, KPMG Corporate Finance has hired the seven investment banking professionals from Ewing Bemiss to work in KPMG's Richmond office, including Ewing Bemiss Managing Director Henry Berling. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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PCAOB enters into cooperative agreement with Greek audit regulator
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) on Wednesday announced it has entered into a cooperative arrangement with the Greek audit regulator, Hellenic Accounting and Auditing Standards Oversight Board (HAASOB), relating to the oversight of audit firms subject to the regulatory jurisdictions of both regulators. The agreement takes effect immediately. The agreement with the HAASOB provides a framework for joint inspections and allows for the exchange of confidential information in accordance with the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. The PCAOB has reached similar agreements in the European Union with Denmark, Hungary, Sweden, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Additionally, the PCAOB has agreements with Switzerland and Norway, and with several regulators in North America, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia.

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