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Accounting News Roundup: Kozlowski Prison Chat; Groupon’s Numbers; Rock, Deloitte, Hard Place | 10.21.11

Dennis Kozlowski Talks Jail, Pay [WSJ]
The former chief executive of Tyco International Ltd. was found guilty in 2005 of looting his employer and sentenced to as much as a quarter century behind bars. Now, he’s suing New York state to win work release and awaiting his first parole hearing in April. Meanwhile, Mr. Kozlowski looks out—across razor wire made by Tyco—at a world where the stumbling economy and scorn heaped on big business have a familiar feel.

Audit Flaws Revealed, at Long Last [NYT]
In theory, the board can put a firm out of business, but since the demise of Arthur Andersen reduced the Big Five to what some call the Final Four, there is general agreement that going to three would be unacceptable. So while the board can credibly threaten to close down a small firm that does a dozen or two audits each year, no such threat would be credible for Deloitte or one of the other three major accounting firms.

Groupon’s Loss Narrows, Spending Declines [WSJ]
As Groupon Inc. prepares for a roadshow next week to woo investors, the daily-deals site filed amended initial-public-offering papers that showed a narrower quarterly loss and a decline in its marketing spending. According to an amended S1 filing, Groupon narrowed its net loss for the third quarter to $10.6 million from $49 million in the same period a year earlier. The Chicago company’s third-quarter operating loss shrank to $239,000 from $56 million a year earlier.

Flat Tax Seen as Savings Booster [WSJ]
A consumption tax “has always been popular, but what makes the notion attractive in some circles now is that we’ve just been through a consumption bubble,” said Alvin Rabushka of the Hoover Institution, a co-author of the first major flat-tax proposal 30 years ago. “I think looking long-term, you’d like to have a healthy balance [of incentives] and a system that doesn’t discourage savings and investment.”

US Senate blocks key Obama jobs measure [FT]
US Senate Republicans and Democrats rejected each other’s economic stimulus bills on Thursday, underscoring their inability to craft a bipartisan solution on job creation before next year’s elections. All 47 Senate Republicans, joined by two of President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats and one independent, stopped a key piece of Mr Obama’s $447bn economic stimulus plan.

IRS Raises Contribution Cap for 401(k) Plans [Bloomberg]
Taxpayers will be able to set aside an extra $500 in 401(k) plans and benefit from an additional $120,000 estate tax exemption in 2012, under cost-of-living adjustments announced by the Internal Revenue Service. The 401(k) contribution cap will be $17,000 in 2012, up from $16,500 this year. The 401(k) limits also affect contributions to similar accounts, including the 403(b) plans for school employees and nonprofit workers and the Thrift Savings Plan for federal employees.

Deloitte’s Quandary: Defy the S.E.C. or China [DealBook]
Not really much of a choice.

Posted in ANR