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Accounting News Roundup: Love Means Being Able to File Tax Returns; Could the FASB Save Us All?; CPAs on the Hill | 02.14.11

U.S. Audit Watchdog to Ramp Up Enforcement, New Chairman Says [Bloomberg]
James R. Doty, the new head of the board that oversees auditors of U.S.-registered companies, said he expects the panel to ramp up the scale and number of its enforcement actions. Doty, 70, who took over as the chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board last week, said that the board — which was established eight years ago — has been building its capacity to scrutinize auditors certifying companies’ books. “We’re going to be litigating bigger cases, and there are going to be more cases litigated, because we have a bigger pipeline,” Doty said in an interview today. “We’re now further along in the process of developing inspection and enforcement.”

Happy Valentine’s Day: Itemizers can finally file taxes [CNN]
On Monday, the Internal Revenue Service will begin accepting itemized tax returns, after having pushed back the process due to Congress’ delay finalizing the tax code this year. That delay — during which the IRS reprogrammed its processing systems — meant that if you itemize deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A, you weren’t able to file your taxes earlier than Feb. 14.

Maule: The Tax Consequences of Congressional Sleepovers [TaxProf Blog]
Do Congressmen Who Sleep in Their Offices Receive a Taxable Fringe Benefit?. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington thinks so. In a press release summarizing a letter to the Office of Congressional Ethics, CREW concludes, “[U]nder the Internal Revenue Code, members who sleep in their offices are receiving a taxable benefit.”

The FASB Could Rescue the Financial System – But It Won’t [Accounting Onion]
Memo to Leslie Seidman.

How many years should you get out of PC’s? [AW]
Software drives hardware….or, is it the other way around? It changes in terms of which one is the driver. Regardless, it seems advances in both are slowing down a bit. Useful life on computers seems to be getting longer, which is good for CPA firm budgets. While users may want a new, sleeker, thinner laptop, the fact is a 3-4 year old machine should serve most accountants very well.

Attention, Virginia: Your tax deadline is still April 15 [CPA Success]
Apparently there’s no Emancipation Day in Virginia.

House Members Create Bipartisan CPA Caucus [JofA]
Reps. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., and Michael Conaway, R-Texas, the caucus’s inaugural co-chairs, announced the group’s creation on Wednesday. The representatives said another main goal of the caucus is to provide input on issues being debated by Congress on which CPAs have particular expertise, including budgeting and fiscal issues.

Nokia Siemens Networks Names Marco Schroter CFO [Dow Jones]
Telecom equipment maker Nokia Siemens Networks Monday named Marco Schroter as its new financial chief, succeeding Luca Maestri who will join Xerox Corp (XRX). Schroter, a 47-year-old German, was previously chief financial officer at logistics company Schenker AG and at German semiconductor maker Infineon Technologies AG (IFX.XE). His appointment is effective March 14.

Fiesta Bowl hires criminal defense lawyer [AP]
Officials at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl have retained a high-profile Southern California attorney specializing in representing individuals and organizations involved in state and federal criminal investigations. The hiring of Nathan J. Hochman comes as federal and state investigators continue looking into the bowl group’s financial and political dealings.

Energy Drink Ingredients May Pose Risk to Children, Study Says [Bloomberg]
Energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster Energy have levels of caffeine that may be harmful to children who consume them often, a study showed. Some of the ingredients in the drinks are understudied and not regulated, according to a review of previous research and surveys in the March issue of the journal Pediatrics. Children with diabetes, mood disorders and heart, kidney or liver diseases may have reactions including heart palpitations, seizures, cardiac arrest or even death, the authors said.

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