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Accounting News Roundup | 12.27.11

~ Ed. note: Good morning, gang. We'll be publishing on a pretty infrequent basis to close out the year and won't be sending out the Daily Grind newsletter as many of you take the week after Christmas to bask in meaningless college football games and make elaborate plans to embarrass yourself on New Year's Eve. We'll still give you a daily roundup (albeit sometimes a late one), the occasional career catastrophe, sage CPA advice, and and any breaking news. As always, if you've got some gossip, rumors or an epic pre-busy season farewell email that's being passed around, send it along to [email protected].

E&Y audit panel says no violations in Olympus handover [Reuters]
A panel reviewing the auditing of Olympus Corp after its $1.7 billion accounting scandal said it had so far not found any problems with the work of Ernst & Young's Japanese arm and questioned the accuracy of a separate investigation critical of auditors. But the panel, set up by Ernst & Young ShinNihon LLC earlier this month, acknowledged that its powers of investigation were limited. The hurdles include an inability to question prior auditor, KMPG AZSA LLC, which does not want to participate in the probe. "We face certain limitations," Nobuo Gohara, a lawyer and leading member of the panel, told a briefing to give an update on an investigation it is aiming to complete by February. "We are not at the stage where everything is clear."

Olympus Corrects Earnings Reports Due to Minor Mistakes [Bloomberg]

Olympus Corp. (7733), the Japanese camera maker reeling from a $1.7 billion accounting fraud, amended earnings reports initially filed Dec. 14 to correct mistakes including rounding errors it said had no effect on net assets. None of the revisions are significant, Yasutoshi Fujiwara, a spokesman for Tokyo-based Olympus, said by phone. The company filed 14 corrections to the Dec. 14 statement to the finance ministry today. Olympus made the errors in some tables so that the numbers didn’t match with figures elsewhere in the report, while the totals for debt, earned surplus and net assets were correct, Olympus said in a statement. 

Taxing Kim Kardashian [WSJ]
Never mind the tax her existence puts on all of us.

Romney Plan to Keep Tax Return Private Breaks With Past [Bloomberg]
If the former Massachusetts governor wins the nomination and sticks to his plan, he would be one of the only presidential nominees in the last three decades to withhold his income tax return. While income tax information is private and there is no legal obligation to disclose it, presidents and nominees for the office have regularly done so since the 1970s. “We follow the tax laws, and if there’s an opportunity to save taxes, we — like everybody else in this country — will follow that opportunity,” Romney told reporters in Lancaster, New Hampshire, according to a partial transcript of his remarks provided by his campaign. “Down the road, we’ll see what happens if I’m the nominee,” he added, saying that while he had no “immediate plans” to release tax returns, “that may change in the future.”

I'm for Auditor Term Limits, But … [Accounting Onion]
Tom Selling's random encounter with a young auditor, reminds him that "the practice of auditing is in complete disarray; and nothing the PCAOB is considering, including mandatory audit firm term limits, will change that sad state of affairs in any significant way." 


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