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Accounting News Roundup: Here Comes Little GAAP; China Still Stonewalling; Giant Snails Crawling Around Your South Florida Office | 10.04.11

Proposal Would Create New Accounting Standard-Setter for Private Companies [NYT]
The parent organization of the Financial Accounting Standards Board will propose on Tuesday that a new body be set up to modify accounting rules for private companies, some of which have complained that existing rules are too complicated and costly. The new group, to be called the Small Company Standards Improvement Council, would be able to modify or allow exceptions to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, known as GAAP, for nonpublic companies. The new group would be led by a member of FASB, and its meetings would include all seven members of the accounting standards board, said John J. Brennan, the chairman of the Financial Accounting Foundation, which appoints members of the accounting board. Decisions would be subject to ratification by FASB, which presumably would want to keep variations in standards to a minimum.

No big outflows since trade scandal: UBS CFO [Reuters]
“We saw no material change in net new money flows as a result of the trading incident,” CFO Tom Naratil told an investor conference in London. “We believe there is further upside to our overall performance,” he also said.

SEC Asks Apple CFO for Information on Nokia Patent Litigation Settlement [Bloomberg]
The two mobile-phone makers had been in litigation since October 2009, when Nokia filed a lawsuit accusing Cupertino, California-based Apple of infringing patents. Nokia also demanded royalties on the millions of Apple iPhones sold since the device’s introduction in 2007. Nokia said in March it had 46 patents asserted against Apple in civil lawsuits and complaints lodged with the U.S. International Trade Commission.

U.S.-Chinese Progress on Accounting Is Dealt Setback [WSJ]
U.S.-Chinese negotiations to allow American audit-firm inspectors into China suffered a setback Monday, as U.S. regulators indicated that a planned visit to Washington by their Chinese counterparts to continue the talks has been postponed. Regulators previously said the Chinese were slated to visit Washington this month for a second round of the talks, which began in Beijing in July. The two countries are negotiating on whether to allow inspectors from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the U.S.’s auditing regulator, into China to scrutinize the work of Chinese accounting firms which audit U.S.-traded companies.

Crowe to Merge in Perry-Smith [AT]
Puts CH in the San Francisco and Sacramento markets.

Giant Alien Snails Attack Miami, Though They’re Not in Much of a Rush [WSJ]
Floridians have grown accustomed to invasions of exotic creatures, like the Burmese pythons slithering throughout the Everglades. But residents here are especially grossed out by the latest arrivals: giant African land snails that grow as long as eight inches, chew through plants, plaster and stucco, and sometimes carry a parasite that can infect humans with a nonlethal strain of meningitis.

Fannie Mae Waited on Loan Abuse Action [Bloomberg]
The inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, released a report today on outside law firms hired by the government- sponsored firm to handle mortgage defaults. Among other things, the report said, Fannie Mae didn’t act on the December 2003 allegation from an unidentified shareholder until it hired a law firm two years later to look into the matter. In May 2006, the law firm reported to Fannie Mae that Florida-based foreclosure attorneys were “routinely filing false pleadings and affidavits.” Fannie Mae didn’t notify its regulator of the findings, according to the inspector general.

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