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Accounting News Roundup: Miserable Workers Not Quitting Their Jobs; COSO 2.0; Japanese Want More Time for IFRS Switch | 06.21.11

Unhappy Workers Stay In Current Jobs, for Now [WSJ]
Only 1.4% of employees voluntarily left their jobs in April, the most recent month for which data are available, down from seasonally adjusted monthly rates of more than 2% before the recession started, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Overall, voluntary turnover is still nearly at its lowest point since the Labor Department began to track it in 2000.

Merck Can’t Recoup $473 Million in U.S. Taxes, Court Rules [Bloomberg]
Schering-Plough argued that funds it received as the result of two interest-rate swap transactions weren’t taxable as proceeds of loans from foreign subsidiaries and that the company was being treated unfairly by the IRS, which hadn’t demanded the same taxes from other companies that were in similar situations. U.S. District Judge Katharine Hayden ruled after a five- week non-jury trial in 2008 that Schering-Plough failed to prove it deserved a refund, and in April 2010 she denied the company’s request for a new trial. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia upheld Hayden’s ruling today, saying the transactions were loans and that the IRS may treat taxpayers differently.

A Reboot for Internal Controls [CFO Journal]
A group of accountants and corporate executives met in New York on Monday to hash out some of the details of a proposed update to the nearly twenty-year-old internal control framework created by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO). The reboot is expected to add in controls for information technology commonly used in business operations today, such as email and automated work processes, as well as address more theoretical issues, like how risk management and internal controls should work together. The update will also incorporate newer ideas about governance to better define the current role and responsibilities of audit and compensation committees.

Thomson Reuters Acquires CorpSmart From Deloitte [MW]
CorpSmart provides multinational corporations (MNCs) in South Africa with intelligent corporate tax compliance software. Using this web-based solution, MNCs are able to prepare monthly, quarterly and annual income tax computations as well as file South African IT14 tax returns.

Mandatory Auditor Rotation — Further Thoughts on PCAOB Chairman Doty’s Bad Idea [Re:Balance]
Jim Peterson continues to pick apart rotation.

Insurers fear volatility of IFRS ‘black hole’ [Accountancy Age]
Insurers have met to discuss fears surrounding the possible impact of phase II of International Financial Reporting Standards, saying the move “would introduce very significant but really meaningless volatility.”

Fraud at senior management level is highlighted in KPMG report [Guardian]
When it comes to “white collar” crime, finance directors, chief executives and other senior management are far more likely to be involved in fraud – such as the mis-statement of financial results, theft and expense abuse – than junior staff. The economic downturn has also made it a lot easier to commit fraud, according to research by KPMG, which warned that scams go undetected for longer.

Japanese manufacturers ‘need more time’ for IFRS switch [Accountancy Age]
The Japanese Financial Services Agency and Financial Accounting Standards Federation initially proposed a three-year switch over period, after which use of IFRS would become mandatory for listed companies. They argued holding off on IFRS adoption would make Japanese companies look guilty of failure to disclose adequate information at a time when many other countries were switching. However, last month 22 companies and organisations – including heavyweights Mitsubishi, Nippon and Toyota – wrote to the head of the FSA asking for more time, and describing the change over as “a significant burden.”

Posted in ANR