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Accounting News Roundup: IRS Amnesty 2.0; Auditors Under Pressure; Ernst & Young’s Middle East Plans | 01.25.11

A 2nd I.R.S. Amnesty for Offshore Accounts [NYT]
The Internal Revenue Service said on Monday that it would soon announce a new amnesty program aimed at encouraging wealthy Americans with hidden offshore bank accounts to come forward, declare their money and pay taxes owed. An I.R.S. spokesman, Frank Keith, said that the program would be formally announced “very shortly” and would not offer terms as generous as those put forth in a similar initiative last fall. Senior tax lawyers said on Monday that the announcement would most likely come within several weeks, ahead of the 2011 tax filing season. “The government wants to encourage people not to lie on their upcoming returns,” said Robert Katzberg, a white-collar criminal defense lawyer in New York with offshore bank clients.

Finance Hiring Outlook 2011 — Most Active Sectors [FINS]
This year the finance industry will continue bouncing back from a dismal 2008 and 2009 that saw hundreds of thousands of jobs disappear from the business. Wealth management firms, commercial banks and firms that extend mezzanine financing are just some that plan to add staff. Here are the five areas projected to make the most hires.

IRS Announces Tax Refund ‘App’ for iPhone [WSJ]
The free IRS2Go phone app, which works with iPhone or Android phones, allows taxpayers to check the status of their tax refund and obtain tax tips. “As technology evolves and younger taxpayers get their information in new ways, we will keep innovating to make it easy for all taxpayers to access helpful information,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said in a statement Monday.

Auditors Under Pressure In The UK: Or Are They? [Re: The Auditors]
Francine McKenna breaks it down.

Healthcare Locums suspends CFO; probes accounting flaws [Reuters]
British medical staffing firm Healthcare Locums Plc (HLO.L) suspended its chief financial officer and another top executive as it investigates serious accounting irregularities at the company. “Serious accounting irregularities have been brought to the attention of the board as a result of which the company will be carrying out an immediate investigation to consider the financial implications,” Healthcare Locums said in a statement. CFO Diane Jarvis and Executive Vice Chairman Kate Bleasdale had been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation, it said.

Satyam fraud not an accounting failure: ICAI [Business Standard]
The Satyam scam was not an accounting or auditing failure, but one of corporate governance, said Amarjit Chopra, president, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). Speaking on the sidelines of an international taxation conference here on Monday, Chopra said, “There were promoter shareholders, executive directors and directors, and the auditors were the last rung. On the other side, there were independent directors, one of whom was a dean of the Indian School of Business, but nobody questions the role of independent directors.” Chopra also wanted the government to look at the role played by independent directors, saying one worthwhile suggestion by them could prevent such frauds.

E&Y plans ‘dramatic’ Middle East investment, says CEO [Arabian Business]
No numbers from JT but he is quoted as saying, “We will invest what we need to have the leading practice on the ground.”

KPMG International Launches Annual Review 2010 [PR Newswire]
Available for your iPad.

Posted in ANR