Bramwell’s Lunch Beat: Top Cities for Self-Employed Accountants

lunch beat
Jason Bramwell
Staff Writer and Editor
AccountingWEB
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Ryder awaiting lease accounting changes, CFO says
Ryder System Inc. CFO Art Garcia thinks the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) should put new revenue recognition and lease accounting standards in place at the same time, wrote Kimberly S. Johnson of the Wall Street Journal's CFO Journal. Ryder is focused on changes to lease accounting rules, which could be issued this year by the FASB. The proposed changes could affect the way the company books payment for maintenance services performed on its trucks that are under lease to clients. New revenue recognition rules would change how companies account for sales. The FASB may delay the start date of those changes.

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Best cities for self-employed accountants
Zen99, a startup that provides tax tools and HR support for contracted and freelance workers, analyzed the most important factors facing self-employed accountants to help determine which cities provide the best opportunity and cost of living. Factors included: where accountants earn the most, cities with high percentages of self-employed accountants, affordable living costs, and affordable health insurance. Based on data for the 70 most-populated US cities, Zen99 ranked the 30 best cities for self-employed accountants. The top five are:

  1. Toledo, Ohio
  2. Denver
  3. San Jose, California
  4. Lexington, Kentucky
  5. Houston

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PCAOB has new plan for naming audit engagement partners
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) plans to propose a new plan for identifying the engagement partner for public company audits in the United States, Chairman James Doty said on Monday, wrote Ken Tysiac of the Journal of Accountancy. By the end of this month, the PCAOB expects to seek public comment on a new form the board has developed that an auditor could file with the PCAOB identifying himself or herself as the engagement partner for a particular audit, Doty said during a speech at a conference in Belgium. Identification of the engagement partner has been a hotly debated issue in the United States for many years. The PCAOB proposed in 2011 and 2013 that engagement partners be named in audit reports, rather than signing them. The PCAOB also proposed naming other firms that substantially contribute to the audit.

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Tax Analysts sues IRS over executive bonus awards records
Tax Analysts, a nonprofit publisher of tax information and expert analysis, filed a lawsuit against the IRS on June 23, asking the US District Court for the District of Columbia to compel the agency to release records of bonus awards it paid to high-level executives since 2010. Tax Analysts originally requested the bonus awards records in early February through a Freedom of Information Act filing, but the IRS has not said when or whether it would comply with the request. An examination of how the IRS rewards senior personnel with bonuses for superior job performance would shed light on what issues the IRS deems particularly significant or particularly difficult, said Tax Analysts President and Publisher Christopher Bergin. “The IRS needs to be open and transparent,” Bergin said. “There is no legal basis to withhold these documents from public scrutiny.”

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Julius Baer sets aside $350 million to settle US tax probe
Julius Baer Group AG said it is setting aside $350 million to settle a US Justice Department investigation of the Swiss bank's alleged role in helping Americans evade taxes, indicating that a resolution of the long-standing probe may be at hand, wrote John Letzing of the Wall Street Journal. Zurich-based Julius Baer said in a statement on Tuesday that the amount reflects the current state of the bank's talks with the Justice Department, which have “now sufficiently advanced” to enable a preliminary assessment. Julius Baer is one of a handful of Swiss banks that remain under Justice Department investigation for allegedly aiding US tax evasion by providing undeclared accounts once shielded behind Switzerland's bank secrecy laws. Last year, larger rival Credit Suisse Group AG settled its related probe by pleading guilty to conspiring to aid tax evasion and agreeing to pay $2.6 billion.

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