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Accounting News Roundup: Happy 10th Anniversary, Sarbanes-Oxley; Tim Flynn Latest Assignment; H&R Block Co-founder Turning 90 | 07.30.12

Law's Big Weapon Sits Idle [WSJ]
As the Sarbanes-Oxley Act turns 10 years old, the law's biggest hammer—the threat of jail time for corporate executives who knowingly certify inaccurate financial reports—is going largely unused. After the financial crisis, the certification rules seemed like a strong weapon against executives suspected of misleading investors. But prosecutors haven't brought any criminal cases for false certification related to the crisis. Regulators have brought only a handful of crisis-related civil allegations in that area.

Ten years after Sarbox, time for an audit of the auditors [FT]

Banks and their investors have taken huge hits since the crisis because of fraud and illegal acts, as well as poor risk management and weak internal controls. Bad news will continue for all companies, with no warning from auditors, if regulators do anything less than a complete redesign of audits and the way auditors deliver them.
A decade on, is Sarbanes-Oxley working? [Reuters]
Michael Oxley, former chairman of the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, said the law he co-authored has stood the test of time. “We've not had anything even approaching an Enron or a WorldCom or any of the other accounting scandals that we witnessed 11 years or so ago,” he said in an interview. Blaming the law for some of the recent scandals is based on a misconception about what it was supposed to do, said Oxley, a Republican. “It really had nothing to do with Lehman Brothers, AIG and the other meltdowns in 2008. It didn't really have anything to do with Bernie Madoff," he said. Former Democratic Senator Paul Sarbanes, who is scheduled to speak on Monday night with Oxley at an event marking the law's 10th anniversary, has also been upbeat in recent remarks about the law.
Reznick moving Midwest HQ downtown from Skokie [CT]
The company, which also provides tax and business advisory services, plans to bring 150 to 200 jobs downtown by the end of 2015. That will include the 65 positions now in Skokie, plus new jobs.  The company has not yet signed a lease downtown. "We are confident that a location in the city center will allow us to attract and retain the top-quality talent," said George Klenovich, Reznick Group's Chicago office managing principal.
Wal-Mart Names Former KPMG Chairman Timothy Flynn to Board [DJ]
T Fly will be the audit committee, obviously. He becomes the 17th member of the Walmart board.
Henry W. Bloch, America’s tax man, is turning 90 [KCS]
As he begins to wind down some of his commitments, Bloch, a child of the Depression era and World War II Army aviator, shunned any credit for building a Fortune 500 firm or for showering his hometown with his personal wealth. “I never expected to do anything like this,” Bloch said. “I’m extremely grateful for the luck I’ve had. I believe my case especially was mainly luck, 99 percent luck.”
Need Profit? Buy Something! [GOA]
Novel idea.
Athletes be warned: Do not shower with your medal; Brazilian breaks his, wants another [AP]
Felipe Kitadai said he was carrying the medal everywhere. He took it with him to the shower as a joke, then dropped it while trying to keep it from getting wet.


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