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Accounting News Roundup: Grant Thornton Cool with New Auditor Report, Still Worried About Getting Sued; KPMG Losing Standard Chartered?; Trimming Tax-Exempt Orgs | 08.23.13

Grant Thornton CEO on Proposal for a New Kind Of Auditor’s Report [CFOJ]
“The audit report hasn’t been changed in substance in 70 years and if this is what investors want then we need to meet the needs of investors,” said Ed Nusbaum, whose firm is one of the six largest global accounting networks. […] “There are some challenges with this, it won’t be an easy process,” Mr. Nusbaum said, explaining Grant Thornton’s lawyers will be looking at how to put the proposals into action “without getting sued.”

Computer Bugs and Squirrels: A History of Nasdaq’s Woes [DealBook]
1987: A troublesome squirrel | Just two months after a historic stock market crash, a stray squirrel touched off a power failure in Trumbull, Conn., that shut down the Nasdaq for 82 minutes, preventing an estimated 20 million shares from being traded. The squirrel lost its life.

1994: Another squirrel, and computer bugs | After running for years without interruption, Nasdaq suffered a series of technical breakdowns that summer. To cap it off, a squirrel chewed through an electric company’s power line, leading to a 34-minute interruption when the exchange’s own backup power system in Trumbull failed to kick in. “No one is yet ready to describe the recent problems as anything more than a run of bad luck,” The New York Times wrote at the time.
KPMG audit role is under threat at Standard Chartered [London Evening Standard]
Standard Chartered looks set to dump KPMG as auditor after four decades of its checking the bank’s books, as the seemingly cosy relationship between big business and its accountants is smashed in the wake of the financial crisis. The Evening Standard can reveal that the bank is putting the audit role out to competition in a move that will be seen as a victory for Pirc, the shareholder governance lobbying group. Last year Pirc called for KPMG to be sacked after alleging that the accountant had allowed Standard Chartered to overstate the strength of its 2011 accounts by $3.6 billion (£2.3 billion). KPMG, led in the UK by senior partner Simon Collins, earned $18.7 million from Standard Chartered last year.

Lew warns Congress to strike debt ceiling deal [FT]
Jack Lew, the US Treasury secretary, delivered his most extensive warning yet to Congress about the dangers of brinkmanship over the US debt ceiling, saying it would inflict broad damage to the economy in an “unnecessary self-inflicted wound”.

Pennsylvania Mulls First Statewide Plastic Bag Tax In The U.S. As 'Small Price To Pay' [Forbes]
It's cute when PA tries to be progressive.

How Optimism Can Hurt Your Team [HBR]
Probably not a problem for many of you, but we'll share just in case.

It's time to eliminate many tax-exempt status designations [DMWT]
Um, the NFL and NCAA are tax-exempt if that makes any sense.

Find Your Most Helpful Coworkers with One Email [Lifehacker]
This will work. You're welcome

Posted in ANR