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Accounting News Roundup: Groupon CFO Not Interested in Dealing with SOX; The Latest in Tax Denial; Cheap Beer, Redefined | 02.08.11

Obama Vows to ‘Knock Down’ Business Barriers [WSJ]
President Barack Obama told business leaders at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce they should stop hoarding cash and start hiring in return for tax breaks and other government support for exports and innovation. Mr. Obama’s speech Monday on the home turf of the nation’s biggest business lobby was part of an effort by the White House to patch up relations with the Chambers after two years of clashes over health care, regulatory policy and tax issues. Mr. Obama offered conciliatory words, but the thrust of his speech was a call to business leaders to use the $2 trillion in cash on their balance sheets to “get in the game” and start adding jobs in the U.S., despite slow growth in consumer demand.

Groupon CFO Jason Child: ‘I Don’t See Any Limits’ [Daily Finance]
To the business, that is. An IPO, on the other hand, “If we’re a public company, I have to spend time thinking about Sarbanes-Oxley, fair disclosure requirements. I have to think about balancing the need to report sufficient information to investors without giving too much to competitors.”

Michael Moore sues Weinsteins over Fahrenheit 9/11 [Reuters]
Filmmaker Michael Moore has sued Harvey and Bob Weinstein, accusing the brothers of “Hollywood accounting tricks” and “financial deception” that cheated him out of at least $2.7 million in profits from the hit documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11.” In a lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Moore says the Weinsteins and an affiliated entity called the Fellowship Adventure Group agreed to split profits from the film 50-50 but then diverted monies to hide them from Moore.

Unlearning the Income Tax: Another Journey to Frivolity [Taxable Talk]
Russ Fox shares the latest in “taxes are illegal” education, from the Institute of Unlearning: “[I]ts proprietor, one Patrick Mooney, espouses that, ‘[A] private sector worker’s earnings are not legally subject to the federal tax on income. They never have been, and as long as we still have a Constitution, they never will be.’ Mr. Mooney was highly confident in his beliefs, so he filed a 2005 tax return with all zeroes, and claimed a refund of $2,647.48, the amount he had withheld in federal tax during the year.”

Private-Label Beers Take a Shot at Earning Joe Sixpack’s Respect [WSJ]
Your low-price alternative, “Supervalu, the third-largest U.S. grocery chain by revenue, began selling Buck Range Light, a low-priced domestic brew, in December. Drugstore chain Walgreens recently began offering Big Flats 1901 for as little as $2.99 a six pack. The retailers are trying to tempt shoppers with lower-priced alternatives to domestic mass-market brews such as MillerCoors LLC’s Keystone Light. The effort comes amid declining sales volumes for the beer industry, which has been hurt by stubbornly high unemployment.”

Fees will rise as Audit Commission is abolished [Accountancy Age]
David Heald, professor of accountancy at the University of Aberdeen Business School, said that auditors would have to charge local authorities higher fees to pay for insurance, which is currently covered by the commission itself. Speaking at the first hearing of the Commons communities and local government select committee inquiry on the future of council auditing, he said: “One of the reasons I am skeptical of audit fees going down is that private audit firms will have to buy insurance in the market, meaning that some councils will find it very hard to get audited.”

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