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Accounting News Roundup: New York AG Investigating Private Equity Tax Strategy; GT’s New Lead in SoCal; PowerPoint Must Die | 09.04.12

Inquiry on Tax Strategy Adds to Scrutiny of Finance Firms [NYT]
The New York attorney general is investigating whether some of the nation’s biggest private equity firms have abused a tax strategy in order to slice hundreds of millions of dollars from their tax bills, according to executives with direct knowledge of the inquiry. The attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, has in recent weeks subpoenaed more than a dozen firms seeking documents that would reveal whether they converted certain management fees collected from their investors into fund investments, which are taxed at a far lower rate than ordinary income. Among the firms to receive subpoenas are Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company, TPG Capital, Sun Capital Partners, Apollo Global Management, Silver Lake Partners and Bain Capital, which was founded by Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for president.

The Man Behind Facebook’s I.P.O. Debacle [DealBook]
Both LinkedIn’s and Facebook’s I.P.O.’s should be considered failures — they were extreme examples of what could happen on the upside and the downside. The ideal offering lands somewhere in the middle. Still, there is no question that investors would prefer another LinkedIn over a Facebook, and they have every incentive to make an example of the company — and [CFO David] Ebersman — so that other companies don’t try to wipe out that first-day “pop.”

Countdown to a Tax Hike [WSJ]
At year's end, rates on ordinary income, interest, capital gains, dividends, gifts and estates are set to jump—in some cases sharply. Other tax benefits will lapse as well, affecting all levels of taxpayers. Few observers expect any major tax legislation before the Nov. 6 election. After that, there won't be much time. The House of Representatives has scheduled only 16 working days before its adjournment on Dec. 14. While the Senate has more days in session, "they don't have much incentive to act if the House isn't there," notes Clint Stretch, a lawyer and former executive at Deloitte Tax LLP in Washington.

Akerblom will lead Grant Thornton in region [OCR]
Jacqueline Akerblom will lead Grant Thornton's Southern California practice as the office managing partner. She will oversee the growth and operations of the Los Angeles, Irvine and San Diego offices.

PwC overtakes KPMG as small cap auditor [Accountancy Age]
According to the latest Morningstar report, which looks at auditor clients, PwC has 92 clients compared with KPMG's 82 for the third quarter. The previous quarter saw PwC and KPMG hold joint first place, both with 92 clients. Deloitte held onto its fourth place, behind Ernst & Young, despite losing 12 clients and is now left with a total of 53, while Grant Thornton had 37 clients, now 36, and holds onto its fifth position.

Revenue Recognition Sure Isn't Perfect – But Convergence will be much Worse [Accounting Onion]
Tom Selling: "No one will ever say that U.S. GAAP revenue recognition standards are consistently principles-based, but few would say the system needs to be completely overhauled. Other than to achieve convergence of U.S. GAAP and IFRS, what will a new revenue recognition standard accomplish to improve financial reporting? And at what cost? Before the boards' issue their third exposure draft, they may want to answer those questions. […] I don't want to beat a dead horse, but it's astounding that practically nothing has been settled after more than 10 years by the discussion papers, draft standards, perhaps a thousand comment letters, hundreds of roundtables, hundreds of thousands of frequent flier miles, tens of thousands of man hours of staff research and the solemn deliberations of the ineffable amongst inscrutable board members."
Tax LL.M. Program Rankings by Tax Hiring Authorities [TaxProf]
Death to PowerPoint! [BBW]
Death by exile.
Father who allegedly shot karaoke-singing son pleads no contest to assault [TRS]
The Sacramento area man charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting his 50-year-old Shingletown son because he did not like his country music karaoke singing pleaded no contest today in Shasta County Superior Court to assault with a firearm. […] At one point, a sheriff's report says, the elder Oller, who was visiting his son's home, left the Sites Road residence and made a statement to the effect of "I'm going to shut you up." The senior Oller then went to his pickup, grabbed a semi-automatic pistol and pointed it at his approaching son who had gone outside to talk to him, the report said. The younger Oller retreated back into the residence and locked his door but later opened it after he believed his father had left the front porch, the sheriff's report said. Upon opening the door, however, he was confronted by his father, who again pointed the handgun at him, the report said. That triggered a fight, and the son, who also threw an object at his father, was shot during a struggle for the gun, [Investigator Caleb] MacGregor testified at the preliminary hearing. The younger Oller was shot in the arm, but also had injuries on his head and chest, MacGregor said. It was unclear if those injuries were from gunshots.


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