Accounting News Roundup: Herablife Will Be Auditorless a Bit Longer; “Scrutiny of auditors and accountants is overdue”; Grant Thornton’s Humblebragging; | 04.18.13

Herbalife Unlikely to Hire New Auditor Before Investor Meeting [Bloomberg]
Herbalife Ltd. said it isn’t likely to hire an outside auditor before it holds its annual shareholder meeting next week, to replace KPMG LLP which resigned after saying a partner leaked inside information. A shareholder vote to approve a new auditor isn’t required by the company’s charter or laws in the Cayman Islands, where Herbalife is based, Barb Henderson, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mail yesterday. In addition, the New York Stock Exchange, where Herbalife is listed, has not given the company a time frame to hire an auditor, Henderson said. “The audit committee is in the process of searching expeditiously for a new outside auditor and the company is in regular communication with the NYSE regarding the status of this matter,” she said.

KPMG and Scott London: Long-Forgotten Devil's Deal Means Feds Are Unlikely to Bring Corporate Charges [Forbes]
How about a trip down memory lane?

SEC to Move Past Financial Crisis Cases Under New Chairman White [Bloomberg]
George Canellos, acting head of the [enforcement] division, said in February that investigators are looking into new ways of detecting accounting fraud, an area that has seen fewer enforcement actions in recent years. James Cox, a securities law professor at Duke University, said scrutiny of auditors and accountants is overdue. “We have only seen the SEC be active against accountants with the Chinese reverse merger cases,” said Cox, referring to a string of cases involving China-based companies that bought public shell companies in the U.S. and reported false financial results. Inspections of auditors “repeatedly show an amazing lack of professional skepticism by accountants who repeatedly defer to very questionable applications” of the industry’s accepted accounting principles, he said.

Grant Thornton Growth Outpaces the Big Four in Canada and around the World [GT]
FYI.

KPMG moving to Craig Hall’s new Arts District tower in downtown Dallas [DMN]
International accounting firm KPMG LLP confirmed Wednesday that it’s relocating its 1,300 downtown Dallas employees to a new office tower planned in the Arts District. KPMG has rented more than 150,000 square feet in the 16-story Hall Arts Center building to be built on Flora Street across from the Meyerson Symphony Center. Hall Financial Group will begin work on the tower in September — the first downtown office building started in eight years. KPMG will make the move to the building in mid-2015 when it relocates from the KPMG Centre. The company has had its offices in the Harwood Street building since 2001. “I cannot think of a better way to mark 100 years of KPMG’s presence in Dallas than with a new office space in the Arts District that renews our commitment to this flourishing area of downtown Dallas,” Manny Fernandez, KPMG’s managing partner in Dallas, said in a statement.

It's Time We Learned What Members of Congress Pay in Taxes [Forbes]
Although Presidents have voluntarily released their tax returns for the last several decades, nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to members of Congress. McClatchy newspapers reported last July that of the 535 members asked to release their most recent tax returns, just 17 did. A few, like Senator Dick Durbin, have a longstanding practice of releasing their tax returns, but he is a rare exception. I suspect that if we looked at the tax returns of every member of Congress we would see something close to a 100% itemization rate. Compare that to only a third of the American public, and the numbers would suggest that repeal is the best way forward.

User-friendly AICPA ethics code on horizon [JofA]
It's too late to save some people.

How Corporations Avoid Paying Taxes [The Onion]
Not far off, really.

How to avoid making an Excel mistake like Rogoff and Reinhart [Quartz]
News you can use.

‘Elvis’ is busted in ricin terror [NYP]
The FBI last night busted a troubled Mississippi Elvis impersonator as the poison-wielding man who mailed ricin-laced letters to President Obama and two other officials. Paul Kevin Curtis was nabbed at his apartment in Corinth, Miss., at 6 p.m. after the poisoned letters discovered this week were traced back to him, sources told The Post. Curtis, 44, dresses up as the King and other stars such as Jon Bon Jovi and Prince to entertain at parties and benefits. The letters were signed “I am KC and I approve this message” — the same initials he uses in his stage name.

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