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Accounting News Roundup: Ghosts of Andersen; WH Supports a Sliver of Student Loan Relief; SEC’s Useless IFRS Report | 07.20.12

Curse of Arthur Andersen Lives On [Bloomberg]
Jonathan Weil on Huron Consulting: "The deal caps a remarkable act of corporate self-immolation. One of Huron's main businesses had been providing forensic-accounting advice to other companies, including those under SEC investigation for accounting fraud. Then in 2009 Huron restated more than three years of its financial reports to correct accounting violations, which reduced its earnings by $56 million. The company sold part of its disputes-and-investigations practice in 2010 and shuttered the rest."

White House Backs Bankruptcy Option for Some Student Debt [WSJ]
The Obama administration urged Congress to make it easier for people to discharge a portion of certain student debt by filing for bankruptcy protection. The recommendation, in a report by the Education Department and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, wouldn't affect the vast majority of student debt, which is issued by the federal government. It would apply only to the roughly $150 billion, or 15% of total outstanding student debt, issued by private lenders such as SLM Corp.'s Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo & Co.

Accounting Détente Delayed [NYT]

In the world of accounting, the dream of having just one decider, whose rules would apply everywhere, has repeatedly been endorsed by major governments around the world. Just last month, the Group of 20 countries reaffirmed support for “continuing work to achieve convergence to a single set of high-quality accounting standards.” But it is not going to happen. There will be at least two major deciders — the Financial Accounting Standards Board in the United States and the International Accounting Standards Board in many other countries. There will be minor deciders in countries large and small who will decide which international standards they like and which they don’t. Even when the rules appear to be the same, they may not be consistently interpreted and enforced.

SEC Kicks IFRS Further Down the Road(map) [Accounting Onion]
Tom Selling: "[I]t took me just a few minutes to figure out that the SEC doesn't want anyone to read this report. I know this because, despite years of the Staff's researching, round-tabling, surveying, conferencing, reading, analyzing, monitoring and speechifying since the 2008 Roadmap release, its 127-page single-spaced report does not contain a single table, chart or graph. The SEC is doing its best to paper over the fact that the Staff has not made any recommendations to the Commission at this point, but there can be no excuse for its failure to provide even a modicum of usable data."

Tax Court: Parents Cannot Claim Dependency Exemptions, Credits for Children Who Are Not U.S. Citizens [TaxProf]

Shoplifter Escapes Security While Topless: Cops [NBC]
Aishana Clayton, 26, was caught on surveillance video stealing a package of Pampers diapers, according to investigators. Police say security guards captured Clayton and took her to a store security office. While inside, Clayton allegedly began to attack a 47-year-old female guard in order to escape, punching, biting and scratching her in the process. When the guard grabbed on to Clayton’s shirt, police say she wiggled her way out of the shirt and ran through the store and into the parking lot while topless. She managed to escape authorities. “Her breasts were swinging as she ran to the car,” said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood to the Daily News.


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