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Accounting News Roundup: Olympus Going Down to the Wire; KPMG’s Big Year; Lady Gaga Copes with Taxes | 12.12.11

Olympus Reiterates Plan to Meet Results Deadline [WSJ]
[W]ith just two days to go before the deadline for reporting Olympus' earnings to avoid automatic delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange, it remains unclear how or if the auditors will sign off on the books. Olympus repeated in its Monday statement that it plans to submit its delayed earnings report for the quarter ended September by Wednesday. Following the announcement of Thursday's news conference, shares closed up 7.8% at ¥1,300 ($16.75). But a company spokesman said Olympus has yet to receive feedback from the auditors and that the news conference will be held regardless of whether the company manages to submit its earnings in time.

Olympus Auditor Ernst & Young to Probe Audit of Accounting, Judgment Call [Bloomberg]
An Ernst & Young ShinNihon LLC committee will determine whether there were auditing problems or lapses in judgment in its probe on the coverup of a $1.7 billion fraud at Olympus Corp. ShinNihon said Dec. 8 that it formed a committee to investigate its audit of Olympus and verify an internal probe that found nothing wrong. “We will look into whether there were problems in the accounting process for acquisitions (7733) and also judgments made in auditing,” Toshifumi Takada, a panel member and economics professor at Tohoku University in Miyagi, northern Japan, said in Tokyo today. Olympus is investigating about 70 executives to answer queries over losses and transactions for acquisitions, including $687 million in payments to advisers in the purchase of Gyrus Group Plc in 2008 and stake writedowns in three other takeovers. The camera maker set up a special panel in November to conduct a probe after former Chief Executive Officer Michael Woodford revealed the coverup costing 135 billion yen ($1.7 billion).

KPMG Reports 10.1% Rise in Full-Year Revenue to $22.7 Billion [BBW]
Revenue for the full year rose to $22.7 billion, the U.K.- based company said in an e-mailed statement. The firm increased revenue across all of its geographic regions with a particular emphasis on high-growth markets, it said in the statement. “To achieve double-digit growth in such a tough environment shows that we have the right strategy,” Michael Andrew, chairman of KPMG International said in the statement. 

Reform threat to growth of accounting sales [FT]
Big accountants have been expanding aggressively in consulting in recent years through internal investment and acquisitions – such as KPMG’s purchase of EquaTerra, an outsourcing adviser, earlier this year. However, the conflicts of interest that can arise when an auditor offers consulting services or tax help to its audit clients has prompted the European Commission to push for a crackdown.

FSA: Fair value accounting contributed to RBS failure [Accountancy Age]

Large fair value losses – as plummeting market prices undermined the assumed value of assets – at RBS and other banks "directly eroded equity buffers and created huge uncertainty about how large eventual losses might be". That RBS's losses were so significant is a reflection of "deficient strategy and execution at the firm", the regulator continued.
Taxes Make Lady Gaga Get 'Completely Wasted' [TaxProf]

Posted in ANR