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Accounting News Roundup: Pile On PwC; Productive Procrastination; The Anti-App App | 11.19.14

U.S. Audit Regulator Scrutinizing PwC Over Caterpillar Tax Advice [WSJ]
Michigan Senator Carl Levin rattled some cages: "In April, Sen. Levin sent a letter to the PCAOB requesting that it 'conduct a formal review' of the services that PwC provided to Caterpillar. The letter, a copy of which has been reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, also asks the PCAOB to review whether its rules should be strengthened to prohibit an auditor from auditing a company’s tax obligations when those obligations rely on a tax strategy developed by the same firm."

Bank of Tokyo Fined for ‘Misleading’ New York Regulator on Iran [NYT]
The New York State Department of Financial Services fined BoT $315 million. "The latest action is an outgrowth of a separate settlement, reached in June of last year, that took aim at the Japanese bank for routing transactions with Iran through New York. The initial settlement drew a $250 million penalty, a sum that was based in part on a report that assessed the extent of the bank’s wrongdoing. The report, conducted by the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, was supposed to be objective."

Tesco board fury at PwC denials over profit scandal [The Independent]
And another for good measure: "
The Independent understands that board members at Tesco are furious with PwC’s response to the fallout, since a £263m profit shortfall was revealed two months ago as the auditors attempted to distance themselves from the problems. A new auditor is being lined up for 2016, but sources close to the company say this could be moved forward to next year." 

EY humblebragging:

Brain Science Explains the Most Productive Ways to Procrastinate [FC]
Here's a great concept, "structured procrastination": "[It] encourages doing tasks farther down on your to-do list as an effective way to avoid those that are higher up."

These CEOs make more than their companies pay in corporate taxes [Quartz]
Companies include: CItigroup, JP Morgan, GM. 

Students' anti-smartphone app wins prize [BBC]
$25k for this: "The app, called Apple Tree, is designed to make people spend time talking face-to-face with family and friends, instead of being glued to their screens, The Straits Times website reports. It works by immobilising users' phones when two or more friends put their handsets together. If a phone remains untouched, an apple tree begins to grow on the screen, furnishing the user with digital fruit. Those apples provide the incentive behind the app, as they can be "harvested" and exchanged for rewards, Channel News Asia says. The longer the phone is ignored in favour of human contact, the more bountiful the apple harvest."