Accounting News Roundup: Doty Predicts Agreement with Chinese; PwC’s Centro Settlement; No Crying in Business | 05.09.12

Regulator Predicts U.S. Will Soon Take Part in Chinese Inspections of Auditors [NYT]
The chairman of the United States regulator that inspects audit firms — an agency that has been frustrated by its inability to review audits of Chinese companies that turned out to be frauds — said Tuesday that he expected that his staff would soon be able to sit in on Chinese inspections of auditors. “We ought to be able to observe the inspections they conduct in the late summer or fall, and certainly by the end of the year,” said James R. Doty, the chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, in an interview after he returned from China. He was a member of the United States delegation at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

Centro and PwC near record A$200m payout [FT]

Centro Properties and its former auditor PwC are close to agreeing a record A$200m (US$201m) payout to disgruntled shareholders over the near collapse of the shopping mall owner. Investors represented by two law firms, Maurice Blackburn and Slater & Gordon, brought a class-action lawsuit against the company in 2008 over the accounting and refinancing errors that almost pushed the company into receivership.
 
Will Rich People Desert the U.S. if Their Taxes Are Raised? [Economix]

The reality is that taxes are just one factor among many that determine where people choose to live. Factors including climate, proximity to those in similar businesses and the availability of amenities like the arts and cuisine play a much larger role. That’s why places like New York and California are still magnets for the wealthy despite high taxes. And although a few Americans may renounce their citizenship to avoid American taxes, it is obvious that many, many more people continually seek American residency and citizenship.
 
Identity thieves could rake in $26 billion in tax refunds [CNN]
Criminals who file fraudulent tax returns by stealing people's identities could rake in an estimated $26 billion over the next five years because the IRS cannot keep up with the amount of the fraud, Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George said Tuesday. "Our analysis found that, although the IRS detects and prevents a large number of fraudulent refunds based on false income documents, there is much fraud that it does not detect," said George's prepared testimony before a joint hearing of the House Ways and Means Subcommittees on Oversight and Social Security.
 
Yahoo Director to Exit in Probe [WSJ]
Ms. Hart, a Yahoo director since 2010, is stepping aside because "she felt she couldn't handle the demands" of being a Yahoo director and a CEO at the same time, someone familiar with the situation said. "She didn't sign up for this [Yahoo situation],'' the person said.
 
Treasury nominee: Tax reform proposal not in the works [OTM/The Hill]
President Obama’s pick for a key Treasury position told lawmakers Tuesday that the administration was not developing a plan to broadly overhaul the tax code, and that he couldn’t promise a proposal would be forthcoming after this year’s election. Mark Mazur, nominated to be assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy, also said that it would be more difficult to revamp the tax code now than it was during the last successful reform in 1986. Mazur said that, while the reform a quarter-century ago was revenue-neutral, a tax overhaul these days would need to “modestly increase revenues” given current budget deficits. 
 
Boehner: House will act before election to extend all tax rates [OTM/The Hill]
Boehner warned about a “train wreck” of big-ticket legislation that could be left for a lame-duck session if Congress doesn’t act beforehand. 
 
President Obama's Tax 'To Do List' [TaxProf]
FYI.
 
Stephens: To the Class of 2012 [WSJ]
Class, here's Bret Stephens seranade of you: "Allow me to be the first one not to congratulate you. Through exertions that—let's be honest—were probably less than heroic, most of you have spent the last few years getting inflated grades in useless subjects in order to obtain a debased degree. Now you're entering a lousy economy, courtesy of the very president whom you, as freshmen, voted for with such enthusiasm. Please spare us the self-pity about how tough it is to look for a job while living with your parents. They're the ones who spent a fortune on your education only to get you back— return-to-sender, forwarding address unknown."
 
Don't Cry (at the Office) [WSJ]
Whether you cry or lose your composure because you're blamed for something that wasn't your fault or snapped at by an angry customer, there's a stigma attached to emotional responses in the workplace that compels many executives to just bottle up their feelings. The unhealthful result of what experts call "emotional suppression" has been shown in studies to cloud thinking, promote job unhappiness and negatively impact work performance. That's why experts say that it's important for employees to be attuned to what their emotional triggers are so responses—even in more extreme cases—can be predictably managed for more productive outcomes.

 

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