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Accounting News Roundup: Deloitte vs. PwC; No Hints on The Buffett Rule; Netflix’s Move Reeks of Creative Accounting | 09.20.11

In close race for No 1, Deloitte, PwC grow apace [Reuters]
The world’s two largest accounting and consulting firms are bulking up with acquisitions and combing the globe for new hires. Head-to-head in a race for the title of world’s largest private professional services firm, Deloitte and PwC are on a major expansion drive. With audit revenues leveling off in developed markets, the firms have been making a push in growing countries such as China and India and plowing ahead with investments in consulting, where business is growing after a recessionary slump. More is at stake than bragging rights. Just as important is cementing their status as professional service supermarkets, able to help clients in almost any market where commerce transpires.

Obama offers stark choice to Republicans [FT]
Barack Obama has laid out a stark choice to Republicans that he will take to voters in next year’s presidential election, saying that their policies would starve health and education of funds unless they agreed to higher taxes on the wealthy. In a speech on Monday, Mr Obama said the principle that wealthy Americans earning more than $1m a year should not pay a lower tax rate than that levied on middle class incomes was at the heart of his deficit reduction programme. However, the president did not provide any details on how to meet what the White House is calling the “Buffett rule”, named after the billionaire Warren Buffett’s assertion that his tax rate was lower than his secretary’s.

‘Buffett Rule’ for Millionaire Tax Seen as Easier Said Than Done [Bloomberg]
For now, the Buffett rule is less of a concrete legislative proposal and more of a political talking point that has elicited Republican cries of “class warfare.” Democrats defended the idea and urged Congress to adopt it in designing a new tax system. “We’re not going to give the Congress a detailed proposal for how to meet that principle because we think there are a bunch of different ways to do that,” said Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, adding that the details of the rule would depend on the rest of the structure of a revamped tax code.

‘Angry Birds’ May Slingshot Into Starbucks [Bloomberg]
Rovio, whose smartphone game has been downloaded more than 350 million times, is in discussions with Starbucks about in- store promotions, Wibe Wagemans, a senior vice president at the Espoo, Finland-based company, said in an interview. Rovio may offer virtual goods and set up electronic leader boards in stores to tout top-scoring “Angry Birds” players.

The Netflix to Qwikster Shift Smells More Like Creative Accounting than a Good Business Move [FC]
When Netflix announced that they were separating their mail and streaming services into two different companies, there was a lot of effort put into focusing attention on the mistakes they made recently rather than the future of the companies. While it makes for great sound bytes and headlines, was it done in a way to hide their true intentions?

California to tax scofflaws: Pay up or lose your driver’s (or CPA) license [AWEB]
The California State Assembly has approved Assembly Bill 1424, the Delinquent Taxpayer Accountability Act, aimed at the state’s worst tax debtors. The bill delivers a clear message: pay your back taxes or we’ll suspend your driver’s license and/or professional licenses.

Posted in ANR