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Accounting News Roundup: Missing the Payroll Tax Cut; Accounting Firm Teflon; White Passing on Death Star | 01.14.13

Retailers Fear Payroll Tax Will Cut Consumer Spending [WSJ]
A temporary cut in Social Security withholdings gave Americans hundreds of extra dollars to spend over the past two years. But Congress allowed that break to expire during the wrangling over the fiscal cliff, meaning that Social Security taxes have reverted to 6.2% of salary from the temporary 4.2%. The noticeable lightening of paychecks as consumers remain tentative threatens to put a drag on economic growth. The effect for companies is that the hit is likely to cement a frugal attitude that led consumers to cut back on eating out and shift to less-expensive store brands. Kari Barker, an accountant in Salt Lake City, recently received her first 2013 paycheck and realized that she and her husband will take home $250 less every month. The 32-year-old, who works as a financial controller for a medical-devices company, accepted a second job last week doing accounting work for a friend's startup company. Ms. Barker recently had a second child, who joined the first in day care. She has been planning meals more carefully to spend less on groceries and has switched to less-expensive brands of household and baby items. "I used to be a diapers snob and would only buy Pampers or Huggies," Ms. Barker said. "Now I buy Target's house brand, because it's two-thirds the cost."

Why Nothing Sticks to Auditors when Loans Go Bad [Accounting Onion]
Tom Selling: "If the auditors don't settle, then (follow me on this one) the SEC will have to convince the [administrative law judge] that the auditors acted unreasonably by not concluding that the numbers fed to them by management were themselves unreasonable. Basically, the SEC has two shots, and I have feeling that neither one is a slam dunk. Under Section 4C of the Exchange Act, the SEC can show either one of the following: at least one instance of 'highly unreasonable' conduct; or 'repeated' instances of merely 'unreasonable' conduct that indicates 'lack of competence.' " 

PwC Ensures Oscar® Ballot Integrity In 'Partnership' With Everyone Counts, Inc. [Forbes]
Francine McKenna: "The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced almost a year ago, January 25, 2012, that it had selected Everyone Counts, Inc. for its first foray into electronic voting for the awards. Unfortunately, for PwC and the Academy, the design and implementation of the new system have been fraught with issues, delays and complaints from the start."

White House says no to Death Star [DMWT]
Kay Bell: "The main reason is because building a 'Star Wars' style space station/super weapon would cost an estimated $850,000,000,000,000,000."

Birmingham accountant slaps city with federal lawsuit claiming pattern of racial discrimination toward whites [AL]
The Birmingham city accountant fired twice on allegations of racism and incompetence today slapped the city with a federal lawsuit saying it was Mayor William Bell's administration that was the true perpetrator of racial discrimination. Virginia Spidle's federal lawsuit alleges that the city has a pattern of discrimination and retaliation against white employees. Much of the 49-page lawsuit recounts the testimony heard in days of hearings at the Jefferson County Personnel Board, where Spidle was ultimately cleared of her initial firing charge.

Rihanna to Ex-accountants: I Don't Want Anyone Talking to My Mama! [TMZ]
Berdon is really regretting this particular arrangement right now.

Deloitte and Monitor Joining Forces [Deloitte]
"Global acquisition brings consultancies together to deliver integrated strategy development and execution services the market demands," whatever that means.

Brazilian Bikini Waxes Make Crab Lice Endangered Species [Bloomberg]
Pubic lice, the crab-shaped insects that have dwelled in human groins since the beginning of history, are disappearing. Doctors say bikini waxing may be the reason. Waning infestations of the bloodsuckers have been linked by doctors to pubic depilation, especially a technique popularized in the 1990s by a Manhattan salon run by seven Brazilian sisters. More than 80 percent of college students in the U.S. remove all or some of their pubic hair — part of a trend that’s increasing in western countries. In Australia, Sydney’s main sexual health clinic hasn’t seen a woman with pubic lice since 2008 and male cases have fallen 80 percent from about 100 a decade ago.

Posted in ANR