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Accounting News Roundup: CFOs Still Love Spreadsheets; PwC Tries to Ballpark Sustainability; Double Standards on Facebook Access | 06.01.12

Spreadsheets Still a Crutch in the Financial Reporting Process [CFO]
Despite all the sophisticated tools at their disposal, CFOs and other finance executives still rely on spreadsheets when it matters — at financial-reporting time. More than 70% of the 1,100 global executives interviewed in a survey by Oracle and Accenture said they used spreadsheets to track and manage financial reporting on a daily basis. The findings of the survey, released this week, differed by country. In the United States, 76% of executives responding used spreadsheets daily, while in the United Kingdom, 86% of the respondents relied on them. 

Ad Blitz Ahead of California Vote on Cigarette Tax [WSJ]
A proposal to raise California's cigarette tax by $1 a pack is emerging as the highest-profile ballot item in Tuesday's primary election amid a barrage of ads on both sides. Known as Proposition 29, the measure would boost California's cigarette tax to $1.87 a pack from 87 cents. If passed, the measure would raise more than $700 million annually, which would go to fund research into cancer and other tobacco-related diseases, along with prevention and education programs.

The $1 million tax rate threshold's possible fiscal and political costs [DMWT]
Still won't phase John Boehner.
PwC Tries to Quantify Sustainability Value [AT]
Sustainability Valuation: An Oxymoron?, notes that measuring the value of sustainability to a company is challenging because it encompasses both the direct benefits that a company recognizes immediately, along with many longer-term, intangible benefits for which it can be harder to assign a dollar value, according to PwC.  At the same time, applying both direct and indirect valuation methods helps evaluate and prioritize the contribution sustainability initiatives make to shareholder value.
Candidate Maldonado and family business involved in tax dispute [LAT]

Former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado and his family's business are embroiled in a legal dispute over more than $4 million in taxes that the IRS says they owe, according to court documents. Maldonado, a Republican who is running for a congressional seat on the Central Coast, has co-owned a 6,000-acre Santa Maria farm that grows cauliflower, celery and strawberries. In April, he said he was severing his ties to the business, after reports of a battle in tax court over the IRS' contention that he and his wife owed the government $470,000.
No Facebook for You! [AWEB]

[S]omehow, it got into the heads of a bunch of decision makers that they have to block Facebook because employees ‒ especially younger ones ‒ will "spend all day talking to their friends." My favorite ironic conversation took place just the other week with a CPA whose firm blocks Facebook for junior staff but allows partners to use it. "So what do you use it for?" I inquired. "To talk to my kids," he replied.

Reymundo Carlos Escobedo, Suspected Drug Dealer, Mistakenly Sends Officer Text Messages For Methamphetamine Sale [AP]
Police say a drug dealer mistakenly sent messages to a California central coast police officer in an attempt to sell methamphetamines. The Santa Maria officer notified Santa Barbara County sheriff's detectives about the errant text messages early Tuesday. The officer and detectives then set up a meeting with the alleged drug dealer.


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