Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Accounting News Roundup: Grant Thornton Names New Chief Legal Officer; A Reminder for the PCAOB; Repo Loopholes Remain | 01.17.11

~ We’ll be taking it easy today to observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We’ll be back to a full slate tomorrow.

Senators seek end to prisoners’ bogus tax refunds [WSJ]
Sens. Charles Schumer of New York, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida said the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Internal Revenue Service have failed to cooperate and comply with a 2008 law aimed at stopping the practice in federal and state prisons nationwide. Prisoners use their own names or the names of friends and associates to submit false claims to receive and cash refund checks. “It is outrageous to think that convicted felons are able to fleece taxpayers from a jail cell,” Schumer told The Associated Press. He said the federal agencies’ “failure to share information has not only allowed this fraud to continue to occur, but has allowed it to more than double since 2004.”

Latest career move ‘was a no-lose choice’ [WaPo]
Deloitte alum and current LaSalle Hotel Properties Bruce Riggins participated in the Post’s “New at the Top” series.

The Robot in the Next Cubicle [BBW]
At just five feet tall and 86 pounds, the HRP-4 may be the office grunt of tomorrow. The humanoid robot, developed by Tokyo-based Kawada Industries and Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Sciences and Technology, is programmed to deliver mail, pour coffee, and recognize its co-workers’ faces. On Jan. 28, Kawada will begin selling it to research institutions and universities around the world for about $350,000. While that price may seem steep, consider that the HRP-4 doesn’t goof around on Facebook, spend hours tweaking its fantasy football roster, or require a lunch break. Noriyuki Kanehira, the robotic systems manager at Kawada, believes the HRP-4 could easily take on a “secretarial role…in the near future.” Sooner or later, he says, “humanoid robots can move [into] the office field.”

Ken Cunningham Named Grant Thornton LLP Chief Legal Officer [Business Wire]
Ken Cunningham has been named the new Grant Thornton LLP Chief Legal Officer effective February 1, 2011. Ken succeeds Peggy Zagel as Chief Legal Officer, who will be retiring from the firm July 31, 2011. “We are pleased to have an individual of Ken’s ability leading this critical function at the firm,” said Grant Thornton LLP CEO Stephen Chipman. “Ken is an outstanding legal thinker and an exceptional colleague, and we are confident that he will continue to be an enormous asset to Grant Thornton as the firm sets out on our bold five-year strategy for growth serving dynamic organizations around the globe.”

Deloitte: Choir to perform in festival [Big 4]
John Kerr, Talent partner at Deloitte was understandably thrilled. “Having a Deloitte Choir is a real asset,” he said. “It creates new networks within our firm, and builds relationships with our clients. Our choir members clearly love participating. Deloitte’s reputation rests on quality and excellence. I’d say winning the Office Choir of the Year is a great new way to signal just how far that emphasis on great performance goes at Deloitte.”

Dear PCAOB Board: Your Job Is To Serve And Protect Investors [RTA]
Francine McKenna refreshes your memory.

The FASB’s Proposed Repo Accounting: Loopholes Still Abound? [Accounting Onion]
The short answer is: Yes. Tom Selling has the long answer over at his blog.

Donald Trump & the Deadbeats [Tax Watchdog]
A sordid tax history for many of the the new Trump celebrity contestants.

Filing Your Tax Return is a Snap with New Turbo Tax App [Tax Docket]
Memo to Tim Geithner.

Posted in ANR