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Accounting News Roundup: KPMG to Give Olympus Qualified Opinions; Payroll Tax Cut Going Nowhere Fast; Santa Norquist’s List | 12.14.11

Ex-auditor to give qualified approval to statement: report [Reuters]
Olympus' former auditor KPMG AZSA LLC will give a qualified approval to three years of financial statements ending in March 2009, saying it could not completely confirm money flows, the Nikkei business daily reported on Wednesday. The Nikkei also said Ernst & Young ShinNihon LLC, which became the camera and endoscope maker's auditor after KPMG AZSA, will approve all statements made from the financial year ending in March 2010.

Reid Says He Will Block Republican Tax Cut [Bloomberg]
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is vowing to block a payroll tax-cut extension that passed the U.S. House of Representatives because it includes Republican priorities that Democrats oppose. The $202.4 billion measure was approved 234-193 yesterday in the Republican-controlled House and sent to the Senate, where Democrats hold a majority. President Barack Obama opposes provisions of the legislation that would speed up approval of a Canadian pipeline and restructure unemployment compensation. The White House threatened to veto the measure yesterday and Reid of Nevada plans to hold a vote as soon as today to stop it from advancing.

Confusion Follows Claim That Corzine Knew of Funds Transfer [DealBook]
Senate hearing into the collapse of MF Global was thrown into confusion on Tuesday after a main witness implied that Jon S. Corzine, its former chief executive, knew the firm had been misusing customer funds, an accusation that could not be substantiated. Terrence A. Duffy, executive chairman of the CME Group, told lawmakers that MF Global had used $175 million in customer funds to lend from one arm of the firm to another — an assertion that, on its face, may not be illegal — and that Mr. Corzine had known about it. 

Corzine: 'I'm not an accounting expert' [WE]

I.R.S. Denied Lesbians Legitimate Adoption Credit [Bucks/NYT]
If you adopt your spouse’s child, you cannot claim the credit. But since same-sex married couples are not considered spouses under federal law, they are permitted to use the credit — at least until their unions are recognized. So when several lesbians seeking to adopt a partner’s child received letters from the Internal Revenue Service that said they could not use the credit, they couldn’t help but wonder: Is the government choosing to recognize our unions only when it’s to the government’s benefit?

First Sentencing Wednesday In Connecticut Ponzi Case Linked To PDVSA [Dow Jones]
Federal prosecutors in Connecticut are seeking more than two years behind bars for a Venezuelan accountant who pleaded guilty earlier this year to obstruction in the case of a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme tied to the workers' pension fund of Venezuela's state-owned oil company. Juan Carlos Guillen Zerpa is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday morning in Connecticut. The U.S. Attorney in Bridgeport is asking the court to impose the bottom of the guideline range of 27 to 33 months. Guillen pleaded guilty in May to one count of conspiracy to obstruct an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

SEC Staff Calls for Patience to Witness XBRL Benefits [CW]
[Mike] Starr is the deputy chief accountant for policy support and market monitoring at the Securities and Exchange Commission, and he's the point person on the SEC's initiative to bring all public company financial data into XBRL, which is shorthand for “eXtensible Business Reporting Language.” He told accountants at a recent national conference of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants that it will take another two to three years for the XBRL mandate to be fully implemented. “These are still the early days,” he said. “Changes of this magnitude take time.”
Grover Norquist Reminds GOP Lawmakers Of His 'Naughty Or Nice' List [HP]

Upon arriving at the downtown offices of Norquist's non-profit Americans For Tax Reform, partygoers were treated to a blown-up cartoon showing Norquist dressed as Santa Claus, according to a story in Roll Call. "He's making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out who's naughty or nice!" said the first of two passerby in the cartoon. "That's Grover Norquist!?" exclaimed the second.


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