September 30, 2022

Accounting News Roundup: IRS Looking at Real Estate Gifts; KPMG’s ‘Greenest Building on the Wharf’; AICPA to ‘Recodify’ Code of Professional Conduct | 05.26.11

~ Sorry for the late start today, the Internet gods were not smiling on me this morning.

IRS Scrutinizes Gifts of Real Estate [WSJ]
The Internal Revenue Service has a low-profile but sweeping effort under way to use state land-transfer records for evidence of omissions in reporting gifts of real estate to family members. Beth Shapiro Kaufman, a partner in the private-client group at law firm Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, D.C., said many tax advisers may not be aware of the IRS effort. She added that as the agency gets records from more states, “we can expect additional examinations.”

Report: Philips looking at accounting in Mexico [AP]
A Dutch newspaper says Royal Philips Electronics NV is investigating possible accounting mistakes at its Mexican business in 2009. The Eindhovens Dagblad newspaper says it has papers from a KPMG accountant indicating the company’s earnings statements may have to be adjusted as a result. The report gave no indication of the size of the potential problem. Mexico accounts for a small percentage of the company’s sales. Philips spokesman Steve Klink said Wednesday he couldn’t comment on the accuracy of the report, but added that the company takes adherence to accounting and ethical rules seriously and would take appropriate action if warranted.

SEC Approves Rewards for Whistleblowers [WSJ]
The Securities and Exchange Commission approved in a 3-2 vote a plan to pay financial rewards to whistleblowers who report evidence of corporate wrongdoing merely to the agency, without also informing their employers. Business groups and others had argued that to earn such “bounties,” employees should have to first report their findings through internal company channels before going to the SEC.

KPMG – ‘the greenest building on the wharf’ [Guardian]
London’s rapidly expanding Canary Wharf may not be the most obvious place to look for innovative examples of sustainable building and design. Yet when KPMG selected 15, Canada Square as the site of its new UK headquarters, it had a very clear vision – to go beyond the demands of environmental and building legislation to create the greenest building on the wharf.

Improving the Code of Professional Conduct [JofA]
The AICPA’s Professional Ethics Executive Committee (PEEC) is undertaking a project to recodify the Institute’s ethics standards. The Ethics Codification Project’s primary focus is to improve the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct so that members and others can apply the rules and reach correct conclusions more easily. To achieve this, PEEC will restructure the Code into topical areas, edit the Code using consistent drafting and style conventions, and revise certain Code provisions (primarily independence) to reflect the “conceptual framework” approach. PEEC will expose the restructured and redrafted Code for public comment before considering it for final adoption.

Senate rejects Ryan budget [The Hill]
The Senate on Wednesday resoundingly rejected a budget sponsored by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that calls for significant cuts to future Medicare benefits. The 40-57 vote came one day after Republicans suffered an upset defeat in a special election in upstate New York where Democrats made Medicare cuts the primary issue.

~ Sorry for the late start today, the Internet gods were not smiling on me this morning.

IRS Scrutinizes Gifts of Real Estate [WSJ]
The Internal Revenue Service has a low-profile but sweeping effort under way to use state land-transfer records for evidence of omissions in reporting gifts of real estate to family members. Beth Shapiro Kaufman, a partner in the private-client group at law firm Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, D.C., said many tax advisers may not be aware of the IRS effort. She added that as the agency gets records from more states, “we can expect additional examinations.”

Report: Philips looking at accounting in Mexico [AP]
A Dutch newspaper says Royal Philips Electronics NV is investigating possible accounting mistakes at its Mexican business in 2009. The Eindhovens Dagblad newspaper says it has papers from a KPMG accountant indicating the company’s earnings statements may have to be adjusted as a result. The report gave no indication of the size of the potential problem. Mexico accounts for a small percentage of the company’s sales. Philips spokesman Steve Klink said Wednesday he couldn’t comment on the accuracy of the report, but added that the company takes adherence to accounting and ethical rules seriously and would take appropriate action if warranted.

SEC Approves Rewards for Whistleblowers [WSJ]
The Securities and Exchange Commission approved in a 3-2 vote a plan to pay financial rewards to whistleblowers who report evidence of corporate wrongdoing merely to the agency, without also informing their employers. Business groups and others had argued that to earn such “bounties,” employees should have to first report their findings through internal company channels before going to the SEC.

KPMG – ‘the greenest building on the wharf’ [Guardian]
London’s rapidly expanding Canary Wharf may not be the most obvious place to look for innovative examples of sustainable building and design. Yet when KPMG selected 15, Canada Square as the site of its new UK headquarters, it had a very clear vision – to go beyond the demands of environmental and building legislation to create the greenest building on the wharf.

Improving the Code of Professional Conduct [JofA]
The AICPA’s Professional Ethics Executive Committee (PEEC) is undertaking a project to recodify the Institute’s ethics standards. The Ethics Codification Project’s primary focus is to improve the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct so that members and others can apply the rules and reach correct conclusions more easily. To achieve this, PEEC will restructure the Code into topical areas, edit the Code using consistent drafting and style conventions, and revise certain Code provisions (primarily independence) to reflect the “conceptual framework” approach. PEEC will expose the restructured and redrafted Code for public comment before considering it for final adoption.

Senate rejects Ryan budget [The Hill]
The Senate on Wednesday resoundingly rejected a budget sponsored by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that calls for significant cuts to future Medicare benefits. The 40-57 vote came one day after Republicans suffered an upset defeat in a special election in upstate New York where Democrats made Medicare cuts the primary issue.

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