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Accounting News Roundup: Apple’s Irish Star; Lots of Support for Special Prosecutor in IRS Scandal; Virginia’s Sheep Tax | 05.30.13

The US/China audit deal: will it work? [FT]
Signing the MOU (which can be terminated by either party on a mere 30 days’ written notice) is a clever and diplomatic way to separate the wheat from the chaff. Those Chinese companies with truly nothing to hide will be the ones that remain publicly listed on US exchanges; all the others will now have more time to quietly delist and go private. China Development Bank, a state owned lender, has been helping Chinese companies to leave US stock markets for over a year now, while other Chinese companies have managed to find private equity capital to buy out investors.

How one Irish woman made $22bn for Apple in a year [Guardian]
Cathy Kearney, an accountant in the Irish city of Cork, appears to live a fairly modest home life. A graduate of the local university, her home for 15 years has been a dairy farm outside Youghal, a seaside town a short drive from the city. The 49-year-old lives with her husband and children in a large, but far from grand, farmhouse. Outside work she is involved in the local church. She is also, at first sight, the brains behind much of Apple's exceptional global success in recent times. Kearney is the Silicon Valley computer giant's top lieutenant in Ireland, and has overseen the explosive success of the company's operations in Cork, responsible for selling iPads, iPhones and MacBooks to scores of markets across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. No less than $22bn of Apple's profits – two-thirds of the total for the group – came from Kearney's Cork companies in 2011 alone.

Poll: 76 percent want special prosecutor to investigate IRS scandal [The Hill]
“There is overwhelming bipartisan support for a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS," said Quinnipiac University Polling Institute assistant director Peter Brown in a statement. "Voters apparently don't like the idea of Attorney General Eric Holder investigating the matter himself, perhaps because they don't exactly think highly of him.”

China’s Zoomlion promises investigation as shares suspended, again [FT]
If a company suspends shares once amid fraud accusation, it could be merely unlucky. When it does it again six months later, it starts to look like a trend. That is the unfortunate situation that Zoomlion, China’s second largest maker of heavy machinery, finds itself in now. Back in January, newspaper offices around the world received an anonymous letter accusing Zoomlion of falsely inflating sales, backed up by 76 pages of purported sales records. Zoomlion rejected the accusations as “false” and “groundless”. Its share price fell more than six per cent when trading resumed. The events of this week are eerily similar.

Study: Tax Expenditures Favor High Income Earners [TPM via Joe Thorndike]
The deductions, loopholes, and credits in the federal tax code disproportionately benefit the highest earners, according to a new study by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Seventeen percent of all deductions, loopholes, and credits — collectively called “tax expenditures” — go to the top 1 percent of American households, Congress’s in-house think tank found in the report released Wednesday.

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Case [TCC]
Broc Romanek: "[T]he Supreme Court granted certiorari in Lawson v. FMR to address whether an employee of a privately-held contractor or subcontractor of a public company is protected from retaliatory discharge by Section 806 of Sarbanes-Oxley, the whistleblower provision. A divided First Circuit had held that Sarbanes-Oxley didn't apply to such employees."

Study Co-Authored by FASB Member Rebuts FASB’s Proposed Changes in Fair Value Accounting Standards [AT]
Dissension in the ranks!

Virginia Has a Sheep Tax… It Raises $8,000 Per Year [TF]
FYI — there are also excise taxes on eggs and peanuts.

APD: DWI crash driver having sex [AJ]
A 25-year-old man is facing multiple charges after police said he was drunkenly having sex with a woman while driving, crashed his car and then ran from police. Luis Briones was found with one shoe on and his shorts on inside-out Monday night, hiding in a cactus, after he crashed his Ford Explorer in the 2600 block of Pennsylvania NE on Monday night. Briones’ female passenger was found naked outside the vehicle after being ejected. She had deep cuts to her face and head, but was in stable condition when she was sent to the hospital, police said.

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