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Accounting News Roundup: Perry’s Record on Taxes; Arguments Against Buffett’s Op-ed; Analyzing the Arguments Against Buffett’s Op-ed | 08.17.11

Rick Perry, Texas, and Taxes [TaxVox]
Texas Governor Rick Perry, the latest entrant in the GOP presidential sweepstakes, swaggers into the race as the very personification of a low-tax, small-government, Lone Star politician. But his record on taxes over more than two decades as a legislator and governor turns out to be much more complicated (dare I say nuanced) than that.

Corporate Treasurers Take Turn in Spotlight [WSJ]
Anthony Scaglione was sitting at his desk at his Midtown Manhattan office on Aug. 5 when the news about the downgraded U.S. credit rating flashed on his Bloomberg terminal. “It was an “Oh s*** moment,’ ” says Mr. Scaglione, corporate treasurer for ABM Industries Inc., a janitorial and facility services provider with 100,000 employees. In the ensuing days, Mr. Scaglione would be called on to ensure the company’s liquidity as the lending environment grew murky and the stock market see-sawed. The pressure is on for corporate treasurers like Mr. Scaglione, who typically work behind the scenes under a company’s chief financial officer and are responsible for managing cash flows, acting as a point person with credit agencies and assessing the credit worthiness of banking partners. In recent weeks, they have found themselves working longer hours, frequently meeting with higher-ups, maintaining constant dialogue with their banks and revisiting strategic plans.

Warren Buffett’s Tax Dodge [WSJ]
Barney Kilgore, the man who made the Wall Street Journal into a national publication, was once asked why so many rich people favored higher taxes. That’s easy, he replied. They already have their money. That insight is worth recalling amid the latest political duet from President Obama and Warren Buffett demanding higher taxes on “millionaires and billionaires.” Mr. Buffett is repeating his now familiar argument this week, coinciding with Mr. Obama’s Midwestern road trip on the economy. Since the media are treating Mr. Buffett as a tax oracle, let’s take a closer look at some of the billionaire’s intellectual tax dodges.

Consumption Tax Would Ease U.S. Deficit [Bloomberg]
Make no mistake: The VAT would be a new tax. It would raise the total burden on U.S. taxpayers and, once it takes effect, would almost certainly take a bite out of consumer spending. But done in concert with broader tax reform, it would go a long way toward solving the country’s fiscal crisis.

Kashoo Announces Availability of Accounting App for iPad [Kashoo]
Kashoo’s iPad accounting app gives small businesses and entrepreneurs the flexibility to manage all aspects of their finances on the go, including monitoring key business metrics, creating and delivering invoices, recording expenses, tracking payments, and generating financial reports.

“Big four” safari: Shoot to kill [The Hill]
[G]lobal corporations don’t need global accounting firms, i.e. the big four, anymore. Regional headquarters of Fortune companies have no problem choosing their accounting firm on a regional level. Due to standardized accounting methods and technical capabilities, nowadays a consolidation of regional auditing results at the headquarter level is no problem. The response to the EU’s green paper was huge. 700 companies, associations and auditors participated in the consultation, sending in 10,000 pages of paper — an all-time record, but understandable. Because Barnier’s final goal is not about just breaking the audit oligopoly. It is about the separation of audit and non-audit services eventually.

The dual-taxation meme [Felix Salmon/Reuters]
There appears to be a trend to criticism of O^3.

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