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Accounting News Roundup: Digging into the SEC vs. Big 4 China; Funny Business Around Herbalife; P&G CFO Talks Beards | 01.27.14

One Way Or Another: The SEC Versus The Chinese Big Four Firms [Re:The Auditors]
A comprehensive look at the situation including the effect on multinational companies: "[L]ook at the audit of NuSkin, a US-based, US-listed company recently in the news for its troubles with China over its multi-level-marketing business model. News reports put its China revenue at 31% of the consolidated revenue. NuSkin’s final audit report is signed by the PwC firm in Provo, Utah. However, PwC’s mainland China office is, presumably, supporting the audit of a significant portion of NuSkin’s revenue. […] How will PwC Provo and NuSkin get that work done if PwC mainland China is banned?"

Fortress Secrecy – No News Here [Tax Analysts]
Tax Analysts publisher Christopher Bergin writes that in the wake of the IRS exemption scandal, the agency has circled the wagons to an unacceptable degree, "Back in the day, as the saying goes, I often referred to the IRS as Fortress Secrecy, a term meant to describe the agency's obsession with hiding as much of its operations as it can get away with. I am not a casual observer, and I have never seen things this bad. Everything the IRS has done in addressing the exemption scandal leads to just one conclusion: that this agency now believes it is accountable to no one other than itself."

This will probably split the GC audience.

A Spike in Options Trading Before Herbalife’s Stock Fell [DealBook]
Safe to say that Scott London has an airtight alibi. "Last week, before a senator released letters that sent the shares of Herbalife into a tailspin, certain investors were positioning themselves to make money if the stock fell. Trading volume in put options — financial contracts that gain in value as a particular stock price declines — spiked late last week to a level not reached since last February, according to Bloomberg data. Even for a volatile stock like Herbalife, it was enough to make some market experts take notice." 

Six Business Groups Protest Accrual Accounting Proposal [AWEB]
The AICPA is all over this.

Growing beard popularity shaves P&G sales [AFP]
The finest CFO quote you'll read today: "While the incidence of facial shaving is somewhat down, the incidence of body shaving is up, and we can take advantage of that and plan to do that as well."

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