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Accounting News Roundup: Hidden Material Weakness in ICFR; Comely CEOs; Etsy’s Tax Haven | 08.14.15

PCAOB Continues to Sharpen Focus on Internal Controls [CFOJ]
Audits of auditors found that "36% of company audits had internal-control deficiencies in 2013, up from 16% five years ago." The good news is, PCAOB member Jeanette Franzel said in a recent speech that "preliminary evidence" shows inspections are finding fewer problems with controls. BUT!

“One potentially troubling trend persists. More and more companies that have to restate their financials also claimed to have ‘clean’” internal controls, Audit Analytics said. More than 80% of restatements for 2014 came from companies that said their controls were effective, up from 74% in 2010.

Maybe I'm overstating this, but 80% is not an insignificant amount. Yikes. Read more from Audit Analytics.

Can You Judge an IPO by Its CEO? [MoneyBeat/WSJ]
900 people watched 224 CEO presentations. Gah, that sounds awful. There are some interesting findings though:

The study found that for the average CEO, a 5% higher rating on perceptions correlated to an IPO price roughly 11% higher than the price that would be expected based on fundamentals alone. The researchers adjusted for other factors, including the CEOs’ gender or educational background, or whether companies that were more profitable tended to have more impressive-seeming CEOs. A high rating on a CEO’s competence was the best predictor of a higher IPO price, followed by attractiveness. Trustworthiness was the least important factor, though it still mattered.

What didn't matter was the content of the pitch since researchers, "obscured what the person was saying." The lesson here, I suppose, is to make sure your CEO isn't a troll.

Corporate taxes to be major agenda item when Congress returns [Reuters]
The Ways and Means Committee plans to focus on international tax reform.

Etsy Taps Secret Irish Tax Haven and Brags About Transparency at Home [Bloomberg]
Out of Google's playabook: "Etsy’s Irish subsidiary, now that it’s an unlimited liability company, doesn’t have to publicly file financial data like balance sheets and income statements anymore. That means that information like the low tax rates paid in Ireland will be out of the public view."

These U.S. CEOs Make a Lot More Money Than Their Workers [Bloomberg]
McDonald's CEO Donald Thompson tops the list with with a pay gap ratio of 644 to 1.

Donald Trump owns thousands of secret Web addresses [Yahoo]