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Accounting News Roundup: Ernst & Young’s Maneuver in Lehman Suit; Most Execs Not Ready for Accounting Changes; Confirmed: Little People Pay Taxes| 02.24.11

NY suit against Ernst over Lehman takes detour [Reuters]
The firm has moved the case to federal court from state court, saying it involves questions of federal auditing standards. But Cuomo’s successor, Eric Schneiderman, wants to move the case back. Some lawyers said Ernst’s move could be an attempt to streamline defenses, as the auditor is already fighting a similar lawsuit in federal court.

Google Penalizes Overstock for Search Tactics [WSJ]
Google Inc. is penalizing Inc. in its search results after the retailer ran afoul of Google policies that prohibit companies from artificially boosting their ranking in the Internet giant’s search engine. Overstock’s pages had recently ranked near the top of results for dozens of common searches, including “vacuum cleaners” and “laptop computers.” But links to Overstock on Tuesday dropped to the fifth or sixth pages of Google results for many of those categories, greatly reducing the chances that a user would click on its links.

U.S. Indicts Four Ex-Credit Swiss Bankers in Tax-Evasion Conspiracy Probe [Bloomberg]
The bank’s managers in its cross-border business “knew and should have known that they were aiding and abetting U.S. customers in evading their U.S. income taxes,” according to the indictment. In the fall of 2008, the bank had “thousands” of accounts with $3 billion in assets not declared to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, according to the indictment.

SEC Charges IndyMac Execs: No Sign Of Ernst & Young [Forbes]
Maybe the SEC has black and yellow fever?

State & Local Tax Burden: Highest in NJ & NY, Lowest in AK & NV [TaxProf Blog]
With Connecticut at #3, the Tri-state area has this on lockdown.

US executives unprepared for accounting changes [Accountancy Age]
Lots of sandbagging going on out there, “Deloitte found just 7% of respondents questioned believed their company was ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ prepared for the possible changes.”

The Little People Pay Taxes [Economix/NYT]
Somehow the janitors and security guards in the Helmsley building have a higher effective tax rate than the average employee in said building.

Beckstead and Watts Settles Inspection Case with PCAOB [AT]
Beckstead and Watts managing partner Brad Beckstead announced Wednesday that his firm has settled its lawsuit against the PCAOB. Under the terms of the settlement, the PCAOB has agreed to withdraw its formal inspection report dated Sept. 28, 2005, and release Beckstead and Watts from an accounting investigation it launched in September 2005 without any formal findings.

Posted in ANR