Accounting News Roundup: Dewey Mistrial; CPA Exam Evolution; Citigroup’s Tax Avoidance | 10.20.15

Mistrial Is Declared in Dewey & LeBoeuf Case [DealBook]
After 21 days of deliberation, the judge declared a mistrial in the Dewey & LeBoeuf case. Some of the jurors, no surprise, were "confused" by the 151 charges and the evidence, because accounting records and emails about adjusting entries aren't exactly the stuff of best-selling crime thrillers: 

Alafair S. Burke, a criminal law professor at Hofstra University School of Law and a crime novelist, said that it was all too easy to second-guess how a case is argued, but noted that a major challenge with a trial that involves “a flood” of business documents “is to translate financial information into a narrative that jurors can understand.”

Obviously, what needs to happen in cases like these is that the prosecutors need to be absolutely certain to get an accountant on that jury. Then they have to cross their fingers that she wants to be the foreperson and explain to her fellow jurors how all this numerical magic can happen. Otherwise, the D.A. is just pinning hopes on a prosecutor that can discuss accounting evidence without putting everyone to sleep.

CPA exam evolving to reflect shift in skills requirements [JofA]
Yes, the CPA exam will be different in the future because, THE FUTURE:

“Tasks that an entry-level CPA may have done in the past are now either largely mechanized through electronic mediums” or are being handled by non-CPAs, said Rick Niswander, CPA, CGMA, Ph.D., outgoing chairman of the AICPA Board of Examiners.

Not only will the CPA exam be longer — 16 hours! — but it "would have fewer multiple-choice questions and more task-based simulations."

Citigroup Accused of Improperly Avoiding $800 Million in New York State Taxes [DealBook]
A lawsuit brought by Indiana University professor Eric Rasmusen alleges that Citi improperly used NOLs to avoid New York state franchise taxes.

This is how the Goldman Sachs analysts who got fired were cheating [BI, Earlier]
They were Googling terms using Goldman hardware. And this is against the rules. Sometimes getting ahead just requires following instructions. 

China’s new third board – fraud central? [China Accounting Blog]
Paul Gillis: "It seems likely to me that the NEEQ will repeat the reverse merger fiasco."

In other news:

  • Canada voted. [Quartz]
  • Only 7 of the largest 100 U.S. public companies have staggered director elections. [The Big Number/WSJ]
  • Notorious tax protestor Irwin Schiff died in prison [Forbes]
  • Sexualities and accounting: A queer theory perspective [Science Direct]
  • Star Wars trailer [YouTube]

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