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Accounting News Roundup: ‘Auditors’ True Consituency’; Big 4 Applications Going Gangbusters; IPA’s Top 100 Firms | 08.19.13

U.S. Leaves American-US Airways Deal in the Lurch [WSJ]
If all had gone according to plan, executives and lawyers from American Airlines parent AMR Corp. AAMRQ +6.20% and US Airways Group Inc. LCC -0.69% would have spent Thursday night celebrating a judge's confirmation of American's bankruptcy-exit plan: a merger with US Airways. Instead, the two carriers are confronting a challenge that could sink their hard-won deal, a stock swap that would create the world's largest airline by traffic. The Justice Department filed a sweeping lawsuit on Tuesday seeking to block the combination on antitrust grounds. The government's unexpected intervention puts the two sides in an awkward position as they continue the planning they began after the deal was announced in February for a complex, years-long integration process.

Audit the auditors [FT]
The case for having auditors report on the questions raised during audits – not merely the final conclusion – is unanswerable. Pass-fail cannot distinguish accounts that pass with flying colours and those that barely scrape by. Investors deserve better – and investors are auditors’ true constituency even if managers are their employers.

Accountancy minnows attack audit regulator [Telegraph]
The Financial Reporting Council last week voiced its opposition to the Competition Commission's "provisional decision" to force FTSE-350 companies to put their audit "out to tender at least every five years". Claiming once every 10 years was enough, as enshrined in guidelines last year, the FRC said halving the timeframe would lead to "sham" tenders and saddle businesses with higher costs. But the Kreston International group of smaller accountants said the FRC's proposals would simply reinforce the dominance of the big four firms – Deloitte, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, KPMG and Ernst & Young – which audit 99 of FTSE-100 companies.

Garbage In, Garbage Out – Are Accountants Really to Blame? [GOA]
Prof. Tony Catanatch says no. But it's so easy!

Big Four student applications on the up [Accountancy Age]
The number of school leavers and graduates vying for a career at one of the Big For has soared, according to figures from PwC and EY. PwC said it received record levels of interest for graduate roles with applications more than tripling from 7,003 at the start of the financial crisis in 2008 to 22,123 in 2013 for 1,100 places. Across all student programmes, the firm received a record 36,000 applications for more than 1,700 places, split by 1,100 graduate, 120 school leaver and almost 500 paid internship opportunities, which includes female partner shadowing and work placements.

A Peek Inside the 2013 'INSIDE Public Accounting' 100 Report [AWEB, Report]
The IPA publishers claim to have "
one of the most accurate top 100 snapshots out there." 

Seattle Police Ran Out of Free HempFest Doritos in 10 Minutes [Atlantic Wire]
The Seattle Police Department's plan to hand out safety flyers at this weekend's HempFest that people would actually want seems to have worked beautifully: the free Doritos attached to each flyer were gone in 10 minutes, according to the department. Each mini-package of snacks (they brought 1,000 of them) was adorned with a series of educational tips for the largest marijuana-themed festival in the world. "Don't drive while high," they advise, adding, "Don't give, sell, or shotgun weed to people under 21." Do, they say, "listen to Dark Side of the Moon at a Reasonable Volume."

Posted in ANR