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Accounting News Roundup (Observed): More on PwC and Colonial Bank; FASB Assigns GC Responsibility; Making the Jump From Controller to CFO | 11.12.12

Just like your friends at NASBA, we're observing Veterans Day here at GC so posting will be on the light side. If anything interesting happens while we're gone, be sure to get in touch.

Grover Norquist: Mitt Romney painted as ‘poopy head’ [Politico]
“The president was elected on the basis that he was not Romney and that Romney was a poopy-head and you should vote against Romney,” Norquist said on CBS’s “This Morning.” “[Obama] won by two points, but he didn’t make the case for higher taxes and higher spending. He kind of sounded like the opposite.”

A Tale of Two Lawsuits — PricewaterhouseCoopers and Colonial Bank [Forbes]
More than you ever wanted to know about one of PwC's November to remember lawsuits.
Accounting errors affect several years of Stein Mart results [JDR]

After spending the past year fixing its sales strategy, Stein Mart Inc. on Friday announced a new issue that needs repair. The Jacksonville-based fashion retailer said it will need to restate 3 1/2 years of financial reports after identifying some accounting errors that need correcting. Stein Mart said the errors don't affect its current cash position but it will produce changes to financial results all the way back to fiscal 2009. The company said there were two major issues. One is the method of accounting for markdowns on merchandise, which produced errors that were both positive and negative in certain individual quarters. The other issue is accounting for leasehold improvement costs, which caused earnings to be overstated in the first six months of the current fiscal year but understated from 2009 through 2011. Stein Mart said management has been assessing its internal financial controls and "based on this assessment, the company expects to report multiple material weaknesses in the company's internal controls and therefore conclude that internal controls over financial reporting and disclosure controls are not effective."

PwC Completes Acquisition of Ray Group International [PwC]
The firm like RGI, a consulting firm "specializing in information technology (IT) and program management consulting services for federal government entities."

Going Concern Is Management’s Job: FASB [CFO]
The Financial Accounting Standards Board unanimously supported the requirement for management to assess whether a public company would be unable to meet its obligations to remain in business as a “going concern” at a board meeting this week. The decision clears up some of the debate in the market over whether it is indeed management’s role to make that kind of call–or if it should fall on an auditor’s shoulders. While the auditor will still have a role in assessing a company’s going concern status, FASB’s vote this week outlines in practice where to draw the line between a company’s senior management and its auditors. FASB ruled that the assessment of going concern is the responsibility of a company’s management, but the appropriateness of that assessment will still be up to the auditor to decide. 

To ascend to CFO role, controllers must take a broader look at business [JofA]
Controllers hoping to make the move to CFO must be willing to add new words to their vocabulary. The focus on numbers, while important, has to change from lookback mode to look-ahead. Concerns about month-end close should not be forgotten, but they should be accompanied by thoughts such as, “How can we grow in the coming months?” That willingness to learn a new language—the language of the executive suite—is one of several skills controllers can hone in hopes of becoming a CFO. 

Men and Women Can't Be "Just Friends" [Scientific American]
Can heterosexual men and women ever be “just friends”? Few other questions have provoked debates as intense, family dinners as awkward, literature as lurid, or movies as memorable. Still, the question remains unanswered. Daily experience suggests that non-romantic friendships between males and females are not only possible, but common—men and women live, work, and play side-by-side, and generally seem to be able to avoid spontaneously sleeping together. However, the possibility remains that this apparently platonic coexistence is merely a façade, an elaborate dance covering up countless sexual impulses bubbling just beneath the surface.

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