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Accounting News Roundup: How the SEC and PCAOB Are Like Starsky and Hutch; Who Needs Help with Managing Their PBC List?; Fooling Auditors | 02.07.14

Good cop/bad cop [Paul Gillis/CAB]
The PCAOB and SEC make quite the team: "The PCAOB and SEC do have different needs. The PCAOB needs access to people and data so that it can conduct inspections. The PCAOB uses negative inspection reports to cajole the accounting firms into upgrading the quality of their audits.  The SEC, however, functions as law enforcement. SEC investigations more frequently lead to people and companies being banned from U.S. markets, and can lead to criminal prosecutions. Because the stakes are higher, the SEC is held to a higher burden of proof, and needs unfettered access to source documents and people. It does not seem China is willing to allow that." 

A Meat Tax? Seriously? [Forbes]
Yes, seriously. Although calling it a "fart tax" may be more accurate. Here's Tax Analysts' Joe Thorndike "Carbon dioxide gets all the headlines, but methane is actually 20 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere. And cows are the principal offender when it comes to methane emissions. 'Domestic animals also belch and fart amazing quantities of greenhouse gases,' The Economist pointed out recently. Raising those cows involves the production of other greenhouse gases, too, especially when farming involves deforestation. 'In all,' the magazine reports, 'livestock farming produces 8-18% of greenhouse-gas emissions.' "

Sqrl Is a ‘Digital Hunter-Gatherer’ for Accounting Firms [AW]
Anyone who's ever had to manage a PBC list will find this interesting.

Accountant sentenced on federal fraud charges [ABF]
A sentence of 61 months in prison after being pleading guilty to 78 counts of securities fraud seems like a decent deal, actually: "In October 2012, Baeza was charged in an 81-count indictment which alleged 78 counts of securities fraud, one count of access device fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Cairns said Baeza defrauded two Jal-based businesses, Lea Energy Services LLC and Fulfer Oil & Cattle Company LCC, of more than $500,000 between June 2010 and February 2012 while he was employed as the in-house accountant by the owners of the two businesses."

Two Democrats call for investigation of IRS watchdog who led targeting probe [Federal Eye/WaPo]
Because they don't have anything better to do? "Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Matt Cartwright (D-Penn.) on Wednesday filed a complaint with a special watchdog council questioning the independence of Treasury Department inspector general J. Russell George. The congressmen, both of whom serve as top Democrats on House oversight committees, said George produced a 'fundamentally flawed performance audit' that was 'incomplete' and 'outright misleading' They also alleged that he held briefings with Republican members of the House Oversight Committee without the knowledge of Democrats on the panel."

The Distribution of Select Federal Tax Deductions and Credits Across the States [Pew via DMWT]
These interactive maps came out about a month ago but they're informative so they're still worth sharing now: "
The maps reveal wide variation across the states, indicating that changing federal tax expenditures likely would change the geographic distribution of federal tax benefits."

Fooling the Auditors in Seven Easy Steps [Tracy Coenen/Fraud Files]
A caveman can do it.

Rain-lashed penguins at Scarborough sanctuary given antidepressants [Guardian]
Or maybe they just want to go home?! "Penguins in a British sanctuary are so fed up with the miserable winter weather they are being given antidepressants. Wild Humboldt penguins are used to withstanding inhospitable weather in the coastal areas of South America, but those living in captivity in Scarborough are struggling with the constant wind and rain lashing the country."

Posted in ANR