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Accounting News Roundup: PwC’s ‘Comply or Explain’ Approach on Female Promotions; Frightening SALT Rates on Cell Phones; Grant Thornton Names CMO | 02.23.11

Private-Share Trade Is Probed [WSJ]
The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating potential conflicts of interest in the fast-growing market for buying and selling shares of private companies such as Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. The move is part of a broadening probe by the U.S. agency, still at an early stage, of the thriving bazaar that has sprung up largely beyond the reach of regulators and traditional securities firms. Trades handled by SecondMarket Inc., SharesPost Inc. and other market makers specializing in privately held shares are conveying eye-popping valuations on some companies while disclosing little about their financial results.

PwC to proactively promote women [Accountancy Age]
The Big 4 firm will implement a “comply or explain” approach, which will ask division leaders to proactively consider women for promotion or explain what the blockers to progress there are. It said that the emphasis will initially fall on achieving proportionate promotion rates at manager and senior manager levels.

Wells Fargo CFO ‘Well Equipped’: Analyst [The Street]
“Not only is Mr. Sloan personable and candid, but also he is very conversant in many key areas of investor focus,” said Morford in a note describing Wells Fargo’s CFO Tim Sloan after meeting with him last week. Morford said that the 10-K for the company should be filed on time next week and that the company said there were no financial or accounting related issues to the sudden retirement of former CFO Howard Atkins.

Robert Herz, Former FASB Chairman, Joins WebFilings as Senior Advisor [Business Wire]
WebFilings, developer of the first and only end-to-end solution for external financial reporting, announced today that Robert Herz, former Chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), has joined the company as Senior Advisor. “As a forward-thinking accounting industry leader, Bob brings a unique and valuable perspective to our team,” said Matthew Rizai, CEO of WebFilings. “We are extremely excited to leverage his knowledge and experience as we continue to evolve our industry-leading product and service offerings.”

‘Can you hear me now?’ Your cell phone’s state and local taxes are huge! [DMWT]
Nebraska is your big winner with a state and local rate of 18.64%. New York comes in at #3 with 17.78%.

Harry Reid Says Nevada Should Outlaw Prostitution, Gets Bitchslapped by Whores [JDA]
The lede from TLP, “Did you hear the one about the politician and the hookers? Turned out to not be so funny. Maybe that was because he was trying to fuck the hookers and take their money at the same time.”

Emanuel Wins Big in Chicago [WSJ]
Almost five months after resigning as President Barack Obama’s chief of staff to enter this city’s mayoral race, Mr. Emanuel received 55% of the vote with more than 97% of the precincts reporting, more than the simple majority needed to avoid a run-off campaign against second-place finisher Gery Chico. Mr. Chico, a onetime chief of staff to Mayor Richard M. Daley, received 25% of the vote.

Tricia Conahan named Chief Marketing & Sales Officer at Grant Thornton [GT]
“It is exciting to be joining an organization with a renewed focus on growth,” Conahan said. “I am a passionate believer in the discipline of marketing, and the value that it brings to help grow businesses. I am looking to bringing Grant Thornton’s dynamic vision to the marketplace.”

Archstone Looks Likely to Go Public Again [WSJ]
The sharp rise in the value of rental-apartment buildings is raising the likelihood that Archstone, one of the companies that became a symbol of the commercial real-estate downturn, will be resold to the public this year in what could be the largest real-estate initial public offering ever.

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