Accounting News Roundup: Myners: No More Big 4; Parmalat Is Back; More Merger Mania | 01.19.11

Myners Urges End to Domination of Audit ‘Big Four,’ Times Says [Bloomberg]
Paul Myners, a former U.K. Treasury minister, called for reform of the audit market, to end the domination of the “Big Four” firms, the London-based Times reported. Speaking at a House of Lords inquiry, Myners said Deloitte & Touche LLP, Ernst & Young LLP, KPMG International and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP should share responsibility for the 2008 banking collapse, the newspaper reported.

PCAOB Publishes Final Standards 8-15 on Risk, Materiality; Staff Practice Alert 7 on Litigation, Contingencies [FEI Blog]
Someone’s overachieving again!

Sallie Mae Appoints Treasurer Clark To CFO Post [Dow Jones]
SLM Corp. (SLM) appointed Jonathan C. Clark to the chief financial officer post, succeeding Jack Remondi, who was named to the newly created role of president and chief operating officer earlier this month.

Parmalat Suits Against Grant Thornton Revived by Court [Bloomberg]
Two suits by Parmalat SpA and its Parmalat Capital Finance Ltd. unit claiming damages from the accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP were revived by a federal appeals court in New York. The appeals court ruled today that U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan, who was assigned to oversee federal Parmalat-related lawsuits from throughout the country, applied the wrong standard in deciding to exercise jurisdiction over the Grant Thornton suits, which were originally filed in Illinois state court in 2004 and 2005.

Accounting Standards: Rules or Principles? Lessons From the UBS Dress Code [Re:Balance]
Jim Peterson takes on red undies and avoiding garlic.

Deadlines Missed on Financial-Overhaul Rules [WSJ]
Regulators have missed or postponed several deadlines to write rules needed to implement the financial overhaul triggered by the Dodd- Frank law. The Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission are straining to keep up with the workload of turning the language in last summer’s law into regulations in time to begin enforcing some of the new rules this summer. SEC officials postponed at least seven of the agency’s self-imposed deadlines related to the law, including revising the definition of an “accredited investor” to whom higher-risk investments can be sold.

Risks to watch in 2011 [Marks on Governance]
Norman Marks has a top ten list that “[is] not nearly as exciting as floods and famine,” but thought-provoking, nonetheless.

Crisis? What Crisis? Don’t Blame The Accounting [Forbes]
Francine McKenna sets a few things straight for the MSM when it comes to their coverage of “accounting” and “accountants.”

SageOne opens new Cloud front [AWUK]
From our British sister, “Two years after its first failed SageLive experiment, Sage UK has returned to the Cloud accounting battleground with SageOne, a three-stage web application catering for microbusinesses and their accountants.”


Calling the IRS? Expect to wait 10 minutes [Federal Eye/WaPo]
A record! “The IRS is keeping taxpayers calling for information about their tax accounts on hold for an average of 10 minutes — the longest wait time in five years, according to a new Government Accountability Office report on the agency’s performance during tax season, which runs from Jan. 1 to mid-April.”

Arizona Joins Corporate Tax Cut Parade [Tax Foundation]
A different approach than Illinois.

Atlanta accounting firms merge [AJC]
In case you hadn’t gotten enough from the M&A beat, “Windham Brannon and Tarpley & Underwood have merged and the combined company will be known as Windham Brannon P.C. CPAs.”

BlumShapiro Merges with Needel, Welch & Stone [PR]
And even more accounting firm fornication, “BlumShapiro, New England’s largest regional accounting, tax and business consulting firm based in Connecticut, has expanded and strengthened its capabilities through the announced merger with the Rockland, MA-based accounting, tax and business consulting firm Needel, Welch & Stone, P.C. (NWS). The merger became official on January 1, 2011.”

Myners Urges End to Domination of Audit ‘Big Four,’ Times Says [Bloomberg]
Paul Myners, a former U.K. Treasury minister, called for reform of the audit market, to end the domination of the “Big Four” firms, the London-based Times reported. Speaking at a House of Lords inquiry, Myners said Deloitte & Touche LLP, Ernst & Young LLP, KPMG International and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP should share responsibility for the 2008 banking collapse, the newspaper reported.

PCAOB Publishes Final Standards 8-15 on Risk, Materiality; Staff Practice Alert 7 on Litigation, Contingencies [FEI Blog]
Someone’s overachieving again!

Sallie Mae Appoints Treasurer Clark To CFO Post [Dow Jones]
SLM Corp. (SLM) appointed Jonathan C. Clark to the chief financial officer post, succeeding Jack Remondi, who was named to the newly created role of president and chief operating officer earlier this month.

Parmalat Suits Against Grant Thornton Revived by Court [Bloomberg]
Two suits by Parmalat SpA and its Parmalat Capital Finance Ltd. unit claiming damages from the accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP were revived by a federal appeals court in New York. The appeals court ruled today that U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan, who was assigned to oversee federal Parmalat-related lawsuits from throughout the country, applied the wrong standard in deciding to exercise jurisdiction over the Grant Thornton suits, which were originally filed in Illinois state court in 2004 and 2005.

Accounting Standards: Rules or Principles? Lessons From the UBS Dress Code [Re:Balance]
Jim Peterson takes on red undies and avoiding garlic.

Deadlines Missed on Financial-Overhaul Rules [WSJ]
Regulators have missed or postponed several deadlines to write rules needed to implement the financial overhaul triggered by the Dodd- Frank law. The Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission are straining to keep up with the workload of turning the language in last summer’s law into regulations in time to begin enforcing some of the new rules this summer. SEC officials postponed at least seven of the agency’s self-imposed deadlines related to the law, including revising the definition of an “accredited investor” to whom higher-risk investments can be sold.

Risks to watch in 2011 [Marks on Governance]
Norman Marks has a top ten list that “[is] not nearly as exciting as floods and famine,” but thought-provoking, nonetheless.

Crisis? What Crisis? Don’t Blame The Accounting [Forbes]
Francine McKenna sets a few things straight for the MSM when it comes to their coverage of “accounting” and “accountants.”

SageOne opens new Cloud front [AWUK]
From our British sister, “Two years after its first failed SageLive experiment, Sage UK has returned to the Cloud accounting battleground with SageOne, a three-stage web application catering for microbusinesses and their accountants.”


Calling the IRS? Expect to wait 10 minutes [Federal Eye/WaPo]
A record! “The IRS is keeping taxpayers calling for information about their tax accounts on hold for an average of 10 minutes — the longest wait time in five years, according to a new Government Accountability Office report on the agency’s performance during tax season, which runs from Jan. 1 to mid-April.”

Arizona Joins Corporate Tax Cut Parade [Tax Foundation]
A different approach than Illinois.

Atlanta accounting firms merge [AJC]
In case you hadn’t gotten enough from the M&A beat, “Windham Brannon and Tarpley & Underwood have merged and the combined company will be known as Windham Brannon P.C. CPAs.”

BlumShapiro Merges with Needel, Welch & Stone [PR]
And even more accounting firm fornication, “BlumShapiro, New England’s largest regional accounting, tax and business consulting firm based in Connecticut, has expanded and strengthened its capabilities through the announced merger with the Rockland, MA-based accounting, tax and business consulting firm Needel, Welch & Stone, P.C. (NWS). The merger became official on January 1, 2011.”

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