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Accounting News Roundup: Not Everyone So Confident in BofA Audit Comittee; Fewer Non-GAAP Disclosures; Trust! What a Concept! | 05.06.14

Calstrs to Vote Against BofA Directors in Proxy Campaign [WSJ]
The California State Teachers' Retirement System pension fund doesn't think too highly of four of the five audit committee members.

Non-GAAP Disclosures Decline [CFOJ]
GAAP making a comeback? "Newly public venture-backed companies are getting more conservative in their use of tailor-made financial indicators that don’t comply with generally accepted accounting principles. That’s at least partly because securities regulators say they have gotten tougher on the use of “bogus” and misleading measures."

SEC Charges Toronto-Based Consultant and Four Others in Reverse Merger Schemes Involving China-Based Companies [SEC]
The ol' pump and dump: "The SEC alleges that S. Paul Kelley and three of the associates acquired controlling interests in two U.S. public shell companies in order to orchestrate reverse mergers with China Auto Logistics Inc. and Guanwei Recycling Corp.  They then hired stock promoter Shawn A. Becker of Overland Park, Kan., and others to tout the two companies’ unregistered stock to investors.  Kelley and his associates engaged in various forms of manipulative trading in order to further drive up the price and volume of China Auto and Guanwei Recycling stock, and they profited when they dumped their shares into the inflated market they created."

Berkshire’s Radical Strategy: Trust [DealBook]
How does no General Counsel and no HR department sound to you? "Berkshire Hathaway, the fifth-largest company in the United States, with some $162.5 billion in revenue and 300,000 employees worldwide, has no general counsel that oversees the holding company’s dozens of units. There is no human resources department, either."

U.S. to unleash Internal Revenue Service on Russian banks [AP]
Our secret weapon: "Long before the Ukraine crisis, Congress approved the law in 2010 to curb tax evasion that relies on overseas accounts. Now, beginning in July, U.S. banks will be required to start withholding a 30 percent tax on certain payments to financial institutions in other countries — unless those foreign banks have agreements in place to share information about U.S. account-holders with the IRS." And guess who doesn't have an agreement and isn't getting one any time soon?
PwC US Signs 10-year Lease to Occupy New Office in the Heart of Cincinnati's Central Business District [PwC]
I'll bet the tax folks really appreciate the September moving date.
In Defense of Insanely Expensive Pencils [Gizmodo]
Sure, no one has paper ledgers any more but at $95, the Rotring 800+ will make you the envy of all the old partners in the office.

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