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Accounting News Roundup: Groupon Giving Financial Reporting the Ol’ College Try; E&Y Skates in IndyMac Case; Is Tax Reform a Scam? | 06.11.12

KPMG UK chairman John Griffith-Jones to head Financial Conduct Authority [Reuters]
Mr Griffith-Jones currently chairs the UK operations of KPMG, one of the world's "Big Four" auditing firms.The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), along with the Prudential Regulation Authority, are two new supervisors being created to replace the Financial Services Authority (FSA), which is being scrapped as part of a wider reform to shake up supervision of banks and markets.

Groupon's Feeble Tax Assets: Wed Told You So…Again! [GOA]
Although the Grumpies do admit, "It appears that the Company is trying to tighten up its financial reporting practices since being forced to restate and admit to internal control weaknesses.  If so, this will make Groupon’s financial reports stronger and more credible."

Flush State Ponders a Tax Cut's Cost [WSJ]
An energy boom has flooded North Dakota's coffers at a time when almost every other state is struggling to make ends meet. But when its fiscally conservative residents get the chance Tuesday to vote themselves a big tax cut, they are expected to say "no." At issue is a referendum for a proposed constitutional amendment to eliminate local property taxes, requiring the newly flush state government to make up the difference. Proponents, a loose group that includes people ranging from progressives to tea-party members, say the state can afford it, thanks to as much as $3 billion in expected revenue from taxes on oil and natural-gas production in the current and next fiscal years. They also cite sales-tax revenue that has jumped 86% from two years ago because of an influx of new residents and businesses. "It is certainly a perception of the people we are sitting on too much money," said state Rep. Dan Ruby, a Republican who supports Tuesday's measure.

Franklin County kept accountant despite conviction [AP]

Franklin County officials kept on an accountant despite knowing he had a previous conviction of embezzling money. Now Dennis M. Huston is accused of stealing more than $2.8 million from the county to support his cocaine and gambling habits. A Freedom of Information Act request revealed that a nine-month FBI investigation in 2009 found Huston revealed his past to his new boss in 1989 after his probation officer threatened to tell the county if Huston didn't do it himself, The Tri-City Herald reported […] Sunday. But road department supervisors, reportedly after conferring with county commissioners, decided Huston could stay on as the department's accountant. Huston's supervisor at the time "didn't view it as a great situation, but decided to take a wait-and-see attitude," said an FBI report.

Ernst & Young dismissed from IndyMac shareholder case [NLJ]
A federal judge has dismissed Ernst & Young from a shareholder case against failed mortgage lender IndyMac Bancorp Inc., about two weeks after a different judge dismissed a substantial portion of a related U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission case against the bank's former chief executive officer.

Does Your Smartphone Rule Your Life? [AWEB]
We're looking at you.

Invasion of the Charity Snatchers! [WSJ]
As the tax-code debate heats up this election season, one cherished break for taxpayers in upper brackets—the deduction for charitable contributions—is under fire. Not only are tax overhaulers on both sides of the congressional aisle taking aim, but so are both presidential candidates. That means well-heeled donors should consider whether to accelerate donations planned for future years into 2012, while the tax treatment is still favorable. 

CBPP: Beware the 'Tax Reform' Scam [TaxProf]
It's a trap!
The story behind that viral Nickelback review in the Boise Weekly [Poynter]
Music critic Josh Gross created a stir by writing: "You can spend $5 to go see Nickelback this week. Or you could buy 45 hammers from the dollar store, hang them from the ceiling at eye level and spend an evening banging the demons out of your dome…$45 is also enough to see Men In Black III five times, buy a dozen Big Macs, do 10 loads of laundry or so many other experiences as banal and meaningless as seeing Nickelback but come without actually having to hear Nickelback. But if you must, the band is playing The Idaho Center on Wednesday, June 13, at 6PM tickets start at $45."
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