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Accounting News Roundup: Apple’s Financial Savvy; Brits Opting Smooth Running Rides for ‘Superstar Donuts’; Maryland Gets Sin Tax Happy | 10.07.11

An Accountant’s Soul Presides Over the P&L at Apple [ATD]
[O]verlooked in the homages we’ve seen recently to Jobs’s spirit of innovation, his artistry and sheer force of will is one other aspect of the man that made him one-of-a-kind: his fiscal acumen. Jobs was a true visionary, but he was also a businessman as Jim Kelleher of Argus Research reminds us. “Consumers who gush over the beauty and efficacy of Apple products rarely quibble or complain about Apple’s premium pricing,” Kelleher writes in a note to clients. “Behind the tech-weenie veneer on transformative products, there is an accountant’s soul presiding over the P&L at Apple.”

World facing worst financial crisis in history, Bank of England Governor says [Telegraph]

Obama challenges Republicans to explain opposition to jobs bill [WaPo]
“If Congress does something, then I can’t run against a do-nothing Congress,” Obama said in response to a question at a morning news conference. “If Congress does nothing, then it’s not a matter of me running against them. I think the American people will run them out of town, because they are frustrated, and they know we need to do something big and something bold.”

Britons are driven to doughnuts [FT]
Total sales at the Autocentres division, which Halfords said this year would not meet the targets it set when the business was acquired, increased 9 per cent, with like-for-like revenues up 2.7 per cent. But like-for-like sales in the core retail business fell 1.9 per cent as drivers shunned “car enhancement” products in particular. Cycle sales improved, partly thanks to high petrol prices. Halfords forecast first- half pre-tax profit of £53m-£55m ($82m-$85m), compared with £69m last time. By contrast, Greggs, the bakery chain, said it had sold almost 1.5m “Superstar Doughnuts” since they were introduced five weeks ago. They have been marketed on YouTube and Facebook as talking doughnuts that have their own personalities. “It has captured the imagination,” said Ken McMeikan, chief executive.

It’s Too Hard to Know Who Is Too Big to Fail [Jonathan Weil/Bloomberg]
JW: “Two years ago if you had asked whether the commercial lender CIT Group Inc. (CIT) was too big to fail, the answer would have been an emphatic no. The Treasury Department had rejected its latest bailout plea. In November 2009, after 101 years in business, CIT filed for bankruptcy. Ask that same question about CIT today, though, and the best answer would be: Who knows?

Apple Talked With Police Before Jobs’s Death [Bloomberg]
Apple was supposed to inform the police of Jobs’s death before making a public announcement so the department could prepare, said Brown. Instead, police learned he had died when the company issued a press release at about 4:30 p.m. local time on Oct. 5. As it turned out, Brown said, only about 40 people showed up around Jobs’s home that day. “Here’s a guy who’s a billionaire and lives in a regular neighborhood, not behind a gated estate with all the security guards,” said Bruce Gee, a former Apple employee who drove up from his home a couple miles away. “On Halloween, people go trick or treating there like everyone else.”

House Republican wants IRS answers on tax-exempt groups [OTM/The Hill]
Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.), in a letter dated Thursday, requested a breakdown of how many tax-exempt groups are in good stead with the IRS, what sort of resources the agency dedicates to nonprofit oversight and how many tax-exempt organizations have been audited since 2008. The letter, sent to IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman, comes after Boustany and other House Republicans pressed the IRS to investigate the nonprofit status of AARP, the powerful seniors lobby. AARP rejected GOP claims that it’s more concerned with profits than with its members. But on Thursday, Boustany, chairman of the House Ways and Means subcommittee on Oversight, said the group and others look more like for-profit enterprises than anything else.

Maryland cigarette tax increase of 50% proposed, following alcohol tax hike [DMWT]
Is nothing sacred?

Posted in ANR