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Accounting News Roundup: PwC Jumps Deloitte with Over $29 Billion in Revenue; Cain’s 9-9-9 Deal; Groupon May Suffer From Shrinkage | 10.03.11

PwC reports record $29.2 billion revenue, regains lead [Reuters]
Growth in its consulting business helped PwC increase revenue 10 percent in fiscal 2011, allowing it to regain its position as the world’s largest accounting and consulting firm. PwC’s global network of firms reported record revenue of $29.2 billion for the year that ended June 30, up from $26.6 billion in 2010 and the strongest growth since 2008. PwC, formerly known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, also said on Monday that it plans to hire a record 20,000 graduates worldwide in fiscal 2012 and offer training internships to 10,000 students. Its staff now numbers about 169,000.

Cain Tax Proposal Piques Left, Right [WSJ]
The Republican presidential candidate wants to scrap the current system—with its income-tax rates as high as 35% for individuals and corporations—and replace it with a system that combines a 9% personal flat tax, a 9% corporate flat tax and a 9% national sales tax. The plan would eliminate the estate tax as well as current taxes on investment income, in an effort to boost investment and the economy. The Cain plan also would eliminate the payroll tax that hits many working-class Americans hard, and instead fund entitlement programs such as Social Security from the new revenue structure.

Financial services set to shed 8,000 jobs [FT]
The UK financial services sector is set to shed 8,000 jobs over the next three months as turmoil in global markets damps growth prospects, according to a survey by the CBI employers’ group and PwC, the professional services firm. The pace of business growth in the financial sector continued to slow in the three months to September and is expected to be slower still in the final quarter. For the first time in two years, companies expect there to be no improvement in profitability.

Salary vs sleep: Which would you pick? [WaPo]
Which would you prefer: An $80,000 job with reasonable work hours and seven and a half hours of sleep each night, or a $140,000 job with long work hours and just six hours of sleep? A new study from researchers at Cornell, to be published in the American Economic Review, found that most people would pick the higher-paying job with more hours and less sleep.

In Debt Talks, Divide on What Tax Breaks Are Worth Keeping [NYT]
The 71,000-page tax code has become loaded with dozens of obscure but economically valuable tax breaks. Nascar racetrack operators can speed up their write-offs for improvements to their facilities; makers of toy wooden arrows pay no excise tax; and Eskimo whaling captains get a charitable deduction of up to $10,000 for hunting blubber. Multibillion-dollar operations like oil refineries, Hollywood productions and hedge funds have all profited. And there is little sign that the lawmakers who helped write the breaks into the tax code are willing to back away from them. Whether any of them are scrubbed from the books may ultimately prove how serious Congress is about reducing the debt, and how adept powerful lobbies are at guarding their benefits, political analysts and tax experts say.

Groupon’s Stumbles May Force a Smaller IPO [Bloomberg]
Groupon Inc., the largest online- coupon site, may have to settle for a smaller initial public offering as management gaffes, restated results and regulatory scrutiny leave investors leery of owning the stock. The valuation might need to drop to as low as $3 billion to $5 billion to entice shareholders, said Josef Schuster, founder of IPOX Schuster LLC, which invests in IPOs. That’s a fraction of $25 billion that was said to be discussed as a potential valuation when Groupon met with underwriters earlier this year. It’s also below the $6 billion Google Inc. (GOOG) offered last year. “Interest is diminishing by the week,” said Schuster, who manages $2.5 billion in assets for the Chicago-based fund. “All the news that’s coming out underlines some form of turmoil in the company. As an IPO investor, you don’t want that.”

KPMG LLP Names Steven Hill Vice Chair — Strategic Investments [KPMG]
Replacing Mark Goodburn.

Posted in ANR