Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Accounting News Roundup: More on Groupon Restatement; Taxes for New Mega Millionaires; SC Gov *Not* Being Indicted | 04.02.12

In Wake of Groupon Issues, Critics Wary of JOBS Act [WSJ]
A little-noticed provision in the new JOBS Act would allow companies to iron out disagreements with regulators behind closed doors before they go public—a provision that might have prevented investors from finding out about Groupon Inc.'s early accounting questions until after they had been resolved. The provision, part of the bill passed by Congress and expected to be signed by President Barack Obama this week, would enable companies to submit confidential drafts of their initial-public-offering documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission before they file publicly. Critics say that measure would allow a company like Groupon, which had well-publicized disagreements with the SEC over its accounting last year, to resolve such issues under the radar, without investors learning of them until later although still before any IPO. The provision is getting increased attention in the wake of Groupon's disclosure of further accounting problems. The company, which offers discounted deals to consumers, said Friday it was revising fourth-quarter revenue downward and that it had a material weakness in its internal controls, the policies and procedures designed to avoid financial error. "I find it amazing that Congress would allow any firm to work behind closed doors on any accounting or auditing issue," said J. Edward Ketz, an associate professor of accounting at Penn State University. "We learned a long time ago that sunshine is the best antiseptic."

Groupon Revisions Highlight New Model’s Risks [BBW]

The announcement added to setbacks for Groupon, which has struggled to get its financial statements in order since filing for an initial public offering in June. The company abandoned an accounting method for operating income after a review by regulators and later restated 2010 results. The moves raise questions about why Groupon’s auditor, Ernst & Young LLP, didn’t point out concerns sooner, said Herman Leung, an analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group in San Francisco. “This should have been highlighted by the auditors,” said Leung, who has a neutral rating on shares of Groupon and doesn’t own the stock. “The business is growing so fast that it sounds like they don’t have the proper financial controls to deal with the growth.”
Groupon's First 10-K: April Fool's! [GOA]
The Grumpies are enjoying some schadenfreude. 

How Much Tax Will You Owe On $640 Million Jackpot? [Forbes]
In case, ya know, you got lucky on Friday.

About last night… [Palmetto Public Record]
So much for the PPR's Nikki Haley being indicted for tax fraud story.

Corporate Tax Video: We're #1! [Tax Foundation]

Posted in ANR