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Accounting News Roundup: Mass. Senate: Tech Problems Are Deloitte’s Bad; Mitt Romney’s Taxes Redux; Former Big 4 Bigwigs: Where Are They Now? | 04.17.14

Senate panel faults state, Deloitte on technology flaws [BG]
Lots of blame to go around! "The [two] projects included the state Labor Department’s $46 million system to manage unemployment benefits and the $114 million online tax filing system for the Department of Revenue, which fired Deloitte after spending $54 million. The investigation also found that officials at both agencies failed to adequately plan the projects while Deloitte did not take enough care in testing the systems during their development."

Criticized on Taxes, Starbucks Will Move European Offices to London [NYT]
Happy?! "Starbucks, which has suffered withering criticism in Britain for avoiding taxes, said on Wednesday that it would move its regional headquarters to London from Amsterdam and pay more to the British Treasury. The company tried to make amends by paying 5 million pounds, or $8.4 million, in taxes last year, after paying no corporate taxes since 2009 in Britain, where it has hundreds of stores. But Starbucks noted that moving senior executives to London from the Netherlands would put them at the heart of what is its biggest and fastest-growing market in Europe."

Romney Son Takes a Swipe at Harry Reid on Tax Day [ABC]
ICYMI and want to go back to 2012 for a bit: "
Josh Romney tweeted a photo of his father standing in line at the post office to mail his tax forms Tuesday evening. 'Hey @SenatorReid here's a shot of @MittRomney paying taxes. Does it every year. It's how you get your paycheck.' "

Global accounting body airs possible reform of bank hedging rule [Reuters]
The operative terms being "possible reform": "
The IASB discussion paper published on Thursday outlines how the rule could be reformed to reflect the way banks hedge risks on a broader portfolio and continuous basis, rather than a point in time view of item-by-item hedging. The current rule is often difficult to apply in a situation where risk is managed on a continuous basis, the IASB said."

Accounting Fraud Is Still Widespread Among Chinese Companies [Forbes]
Sayeth Bing Lin: "Lin wouldn’t reveal their names, but says there are a number of common practices of misconduct. The first is revenue recognition. Lin says he sees some companies booking sales on a gross revenue basis, and therefore massively inflating their revenue. Unfair related party transactions, such as acquisitions, are also common. Management may be paying inflated prices to a small business that’s related to a relative or friend."

Intrexon Appoints Former Ernst & Young CEO James S. Turley to Board of Directors [Intrexon]
That makes three corporate board seats for JT; Citigroup and Emerson Electric are the others.

Timothy P. Flynn Becomes Advisory Chairman for BT Americas [BT Americas]
In other former Big 4 bigwig news: "
In this role, Flynn will advise BT on operating in the US environment, including strengthening relationships with key policy-makers and regulators in the US, developing strategies and partnerships to accelerate growth, and mentoring global executives operating in the US business environment."

In Defense of an Unlimited Vacation Policy [Fast Company]
Pass this along to your firm's HR people: "A number of American companies are taking steps toward an enlightened philosophy of work-life balance. Take, for example, the people at social engagement startup Mass Relevance. The company abides by a principle it calls “Freesponsibility,” which allows employees unlimited vacation time and no set work hours."

Robert Rizzo Sentenced To 12 Years In Bell Corruption Case [CBS]
And $8.8 million in restitution.

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