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Accounting News Roundup: KPMG’s Hiring Spree; PCAOB Issues Audit Practice Alert No. 7; Groupon Names Amazon Exec as CFO| 12.21.10

New York Leads in Pursuit of Lehman [WSJ]
In 2001, the regulator of the nation’s biggest banks told its examiners to be on the lookout for firms whose regulatory filings made them look healthier than they really were. That followed guidelines issued in 1990 that said banks could face disciplinary action if their filings “have significant inaccuracies or are ‘window dressed.’ ”

But as early as this week, it is the New York attorney general—not the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the bank regulator—who is expected to file a lawsuit alleging accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP allowed Wall Street broker Lehman Brothers Holdings to fake its books so it could appear financially healthier.

Staff Audit Practice Alert No. 7 [PCAOB]
Knowing the PCAOB like we do, we’re expecting a major dump of auditor inspections and disciplinary orders on Friday around 3 pm.

Globalization, Regulation and Offshoring Push KPMG to Hire 250,000 over Five Years [FINS]
Julie Steinberg at FINS gets the lowdown from KPMG’s Global Head of People, Rachel Campbell.

SEC Fines Audit Firm, Bars Partner Over China Energy Fraud [Bloomberg]
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission fined a California audit firm and one of its partners $129,500 for “improper professional conduct” in connection with a Chinese energy company accused of accounting fraud.

Moore Stephens Wurth Frazer & Torbet LLP of Orange County “did not exercise professional skepticism and due professional care” in audits of China Energy Savings Technology Inc., the agency said in a statement today. Kerry Dean Yamagata, 53, the partner at Moore Stephens responsible for the audits, was barred from practicing as an independent accountant for at least two years, the SEC said.

Accounting Majors Score Lowest in Verbal and Writing Among All Grad Students [TaxProf Blog]
Get better, people.

Details of secret bank talks revealed [FT]
It gets more awkward for auditors in the UK.

Deloitte CEO: Better Career Preparation Starts in High School [Hire Education/WSJ]
Barry Salzberg gets academic in a blog post for the Journal.

BAE to be handed Tanzania fine on Tuesday [Reuters]
BAE Systems will be fined by a London court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to making accounting errors in Tanzania, bringing a six-year investigation into the company’s activities to an end.

The fine is expected to sign off a settlement agreed between Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and BAE in February when the British defence firm entered into a plea bargain deal with the UK fraud watchdog.

How to Make Auditors More Accountable [Room for Debate/NYT]
For those of you looking to get all pointy-headed about this E&Y/Lehman debacle.

Groupon Hires Amazon Finance Executive Child as CFO to Help Raise Funding [Bloomberg]
Groupon Inc., owner of a daily coupon website with 40 million subscribers, named Jason Child chief financial officer as it considers raising more money to fund growth.

Child, 42, previously served as Inc.’s vice president of finance, overseeing its $14 billion international business, Groupon said today in a statement. He will relocate to Chicago, where Groupon is based.

Posted in ANR