Accounting News Roundup: Audited in China, Signed in Hong Kong; Peyton Manning’s Taxes; Banging the Tax Reform Drum | 01.28.14

Request to SEC for AIG Files Nets Heavily Redacted Documents [WSJ]
The Wall Street Journal made a public records request for documents that detailed coversations between AIG officials and the SEC. The Commission complied. Sort of: "SEC officials blacked out information more than 800 separate times in one transcript of a witness interview that lasted less than three hours. On one page, redactions left just four words remaining: 'okay,' 'by,' 'in' and 'did.' On another page, 'um hmm' is one of three short phrases left untouched." Here's another useful excerpt: "In one instance, the deletions reduced a question by an SEC investigator to: 'Is he right about the [[redacted]] in [[redacted]] ahead of the [[redacted]]'. The answer: 'Yes. I think that's accurate that the [[redacted]] at a faster [[redacted]] than [[redacted]] was [[redacted]].' "

KPMG’s labeling problem [China Accounting Blog]
Paul Gillis has a great analogy — if you purchased an Italian made shirt at a department store only to find out it was really made in China, what would you do? You'd be like, "WTF? You said this was an Italian shirt. I want an Italian shirt. Take this faux-Italian shirt back, you phonies!" In the SEC case handed down last week, the judge cited audit opinions signed by KPMG Hong Kong when nearly all of the audit work was performed by the Mainland firm. Here's Prof. Gillis: "KPMG will probably argue that this is not a serious violation. But it is. Is it any different than a garment manufacturer in Wenzhou who sews a 'Made in Italy' label on Chinese made clothing? That is consumer fraud. Investors who saw the KPMG Hong Kong letterhead with the opinion may have been more confident than if the letterhead had been that of a Chinese joint venture firm. After all, KPMG has been viewed as a leading firm in Hong Kong since 1945, unlike the mainland upstart that is now 60% owned by locals. Investors in KPMG clients who got these fake opinions should do the same thing that they would do if they found out that they had bought a fake Italian shirt. Ask for their money back. And the PCAOB ought to help them get it."

European audit reform proposal moving forward [JofA]
The vote is in April and would require rotation every ten years for "public-interest entities." 

New Jersey Taxes Could Eat Up All Of Peyton Manning's Super Bowl Earnings [Forbes]
A pretty great example of how complicated jock taxes can be.

KPMG retains Standard Chartered audit [Accountancy Age]
What's that you hear? Oh, just the collective groan from the audit staff.

Tax reform, trade pacts mean bigger paychecks, more jobs [The Hill]
Rep. Dave Camp, the Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, will not relent. "
Our goal must be to make the tax code more efficient and effective by closing its loopholes. That way, we can lower tax rates for American families and get this economy growing again."
 
Another Record-Breaking Cold on Tap? [NBC Chicago] 
Some advice for our Chicago friends: Please stay indoors. 
 
Man runs into fire to save Xbox game system [CNN]
America! "A Kansas man woke up early Friday morning to find his house engulfed in flames. He ran out the door empty-handed, but then went back in to grab his Xbox! Fire officials say the man suffered smoke inhalation as he rescued the gaming system from the flames. Paramedics checked him out and said he was okay." 

 

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