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Accounting News Roundup: The Money Behind the Audit Rotation Ban Bill; Tax Reform Non-starters; CPA Testifies That Michael Jackson Missed Out | 07.16.13

Following the Money on Audit Firm Rotation [CW, Earlier]
From Matt Kelly: "A quick visit to the Center for Responsive Politics will show why lawmakers were so eager to help the audit industry kill this pesky idea of audit firm rotation. HR 1564 had 14 sponsors and co-sponsors: nine Republicans, five Democrats. The audit industry donated a total of $555,295 to that group in 2011 and 2012 alone, and nearly 83 percent of that amount came from audit firms' political action committees."

125 Republicans Seen Pulling Camp to More Extensive Redo [Bloomberg via Joe Thorndike]
The top Republican tax writer in Congress is being pulled toward a more extensive rewrite of the U.S. code, with more than half of his party’s members in the House backing proposals to rip up the rules. More than 125 House Republicans have supported proposals that include ending the income tax and terminating the entire code in 2018 to force Congress to create a simpler system. Sixty-eight of them favor what they call a “fair tax” replacing the income, payroll and estate levies with a national sales tax. Dozens back estate-tax repeal proposals. A flat-tax bill has 10 Republicans on board.

Michael Jackson could have earned $1.5 billion, accountant says [LAT]
Putting a dollar amount to Michael Jackson's death for the first time, an accountant testified Monday that the singer stood to make as much as $1.5 billion if he had pulled off his comeback concerts in London and then taken his show around the globe. Despite the controversies in Jackson's life, his earning potential remained staggering, said Arthur L. Erk, a certified public accounting [sic] from New York. He said Jackson, who died in 2009, would have easily blown past the money earned by the top-grossing tours that year by U2, Madonna and Paul McCartney.

Tired of Superheroes and Zombies? This Summer Movie Stars Auditors [WSJ]
Duncan Wiggetts has produced three successful films, but his latest may be his masterpiece. "A Price Worth Paying?" stars Phil Davis as the chairman of an embattled company that bets its future on a fast-talking, risk-taking chief executive played by Nigel Whitmey of the movie "Saving Private Ryan." The movie won't appear in any theaters and can't be streamed on Netflix. And Mr. Wiggetts, 45 years old, isn't a Hollywood big shot. He is a partner at international law firm Dechert LLP. The half-hour picture, which cost more than $100,000 to make—more than the budgets of "The Blair Witch Project" and "Clerks" combined—might just be one of the most professional, star-studded examples of an underappreciated genre: The corporate training video. […] The idea to make a film came to Mr. Wiggetts about eight years ago when he was a senior counsel at the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. He thought it would be an effective way of teaching the company's auditors to be more aggressive with corporate boards. He wrote a screenplay about a chemical company whose chief financial officer defrauds the company. A few months later, Mr. Wiggetts' boss threw a DVD onto his desk. The screenplay had been turned into a film, "The Crisis." Mr. Wiggetts says he cringes when he thinks about the quality of that first effort. But it was a hit with its intended audience. Soon, Mr. Wiggetts was working on his next project.

Survey: Almost Half of CPAs Know about AICPA FRF for SMEs [AWEB]

And yet, there's this:

Yahoo's Marissa Mayer Hits One-Year Mark [WSJ]
And you thought your performance expectations were unreasonable: "Yahoo Inc.'s share price has soared more than 70% since the arrival of Chief Executive Marissa Mayer one year ago, but there isn't much evidence yet of a fundamental turnaround at the veteran Web company."

Wear Your Shorts Proudly, Men [Gawker]
Just not at the office.  

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