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Accounting News Roundup: Americans Want Their Cake; Raise Request Timing; Taxpayer Amnesty 2.0 | 12.10.10

Americans in Poll Want Deficit Cut With Entitlements Secured [Bloomberg]
If anyone has a problem with the following, please speak up: “Americans want Congress to bring down a federal budget deficit that many believe is “dangerously out of control,” only under two conditions: minimize the pain and make the rich pay.

The public wants Congress to keep its hands off entitlements such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, a Bloomberg National Poll shows. They oppose cuts in most other major domestic programs and defense. They want to maintain subsidies for farmers and tax breaks like the mortgage-interest deduction. And they’re against an increase in the gasoline tax.”

Will the Auditors’ Real Clients Please Stand Up? You’re Lost Among the Mixed Messages [Re:Balance]
Who does auditor number 2 work for?

CFOs Expect to Hire Finance Staff in Q1 2011 [FINS]
Financial staff and accountants will be in demand in the first quarter of 2011, according to Bank of America’s annual CFO Outlook and a recent hiring index report from Robert Half.

PwC Announces $500,000 Contribution to Michigan State University Accounting Program in Memory of Al Arens [PR Newswire]
PwC US is contributing $500,000 over five years to the Michigan State University Accounting and Information Systems department in the Eli Broad College of Business. The gift to the Al Arens Teaching Excellence Fund will help provide teaching assistants and other resources for introductory accounting classes. Arens, the former PwC Endowed Professor at Michigan State, taught such classes for 40 years and dedicated his professional life to helping students.

When to Ask for a Raise in a Downturn [Bucks/NYT]
Try to resist the urge to ask right after layoffs.

Accounting for Public Pensions [Floyd Norris/NYT]
A generation ago, when Ronald Reagan was president, the accounting rule makers forced American companies to come clean on the cost of the pension plans they were promising to employees. That decision, perhaps more than any other, heralded the eventual demise of defined-benefit pensions for employees of American companies.

Now something very similar may be in store for public sector employees, thanks in part to the Republican victories in last month’s Congressional elections.

Marcum LLP and Bernstein & Pinchuk LLP Merge China Practice [PR Newsire]
Marcum and Bernstein & Pinchuk have merged their China practices, effective January 1st.

Auditors Should Be Able to Do Consulting, Tax Work, U.K. Says [Bloomberg]
A ban on such non-audit services, proposed in October by the 27-nation EU, would upset investors and fail to address problems behind the crisis, the U.K.’s Financial Reporting Council said today on its website. The watchdog said it supports a “tightening of the rules” on such services.

“There is no evidence that the provision of non-audit services by auditors was a factor in the financial crisis,” the FRC said in the paper. “There is no support from any group of stakeholders for such a prohibition” and investors “were generally hostile to the idea.”

IRS Considers Taxpayer Amnesty Program [WSJ]
U.S. Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Doug Shulman Thursday said the IRS is considering another amnesty program for taxpayers who voluntarily reveal their previously undisclosed offshore bank accounts. “We are seriously considering another special offshore Voluntary Disclosure program,” he said in a speech in Washington.

Accounting Students Can Apply Online for Illinois CPA Society Scholarships [PR Newswire]
For students pursuing an accounting degree with plans to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), financial help is available through the Illinois CPA Society. Scholarships of up to $4,000 are funded by the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois. Eligible students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents currently living in Illinois and enrolled in an Illinois College or University.

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