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Accounting News Roundup: PwC’s Defense for SemGroup Sounds Familiar; Booze Taxes by State; Kevin Durant Sues His Accountant | 02.18.14

PwC Faces A Trial For SemGroup Audit And Its Defense Is Predictably Slick [Re:TheAuditors]
This is the Oklahoma! version of a PwC audit failure: "There was no 'going concern' warning before SemGroup failed, just like there was none at MF Global and none at another PwC audit client, bankrupt, mired in fraud and also headed to trial, Colonial Bank." More seriously, the entire audit team — from the partners on down — will be testifying in this case. Francine McKenna reportsthe names of the auditors and what the nature of their testimony will be: "This is one of those situations where potentially gullible, submissive, 'pleaser' staff people, with too much responsibility per GAAS for adequate planning review and supervision by partners, are now going to be 'Googleable', publishable by journalists like me and permanently in the legal record because of a dud client."

AICPA Issues Standard on Use of Internal Auditors [AT]
SAS 128 is part of the clarity project. It's supposed to — you guessed it — clarify old auditing standards: "[T]he new standard supersedes SAS No. 65, 'The Auditor’s Consideration of the Internal Audit Function in an Audit of Financial Statements,' and amends SAS No. 122, 'Statements on Auditing Standards: Clarification and Recodification,' and Statement on Quality Control Standards No. 8, 'A Firm’s System of Quality Control.' " 

On K Street, tax extender skepticism [The Hill]
Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden doesn't have many believers: "Wyden (D-Ore.) has said recently that the so-called 'tax extenders' could serve as a bridge to the more comprehensive tax reform that’s a top priority for him and other top lawmakers. But lobbyists and other tax observers they say there’s no guarantee Wyden will succeed with in extending the more than 50 tax breaks soon, even with the support of his own leadership. For starters, following the recent suspension of the debt limit and with election year efforts ramping up, the House and the Senate aren’t expected to come together on many more legislative initiatives over the next nine months."

Spirits Excise Tax Rates by State, 2014 [Tax Foundation via Tax Update]
Washington takes gold; Oregon, silver; Virginia, bronze. 

Kevin Durant Sues Accountant You Can't Write Off My Personal Chef! [TMZ]

Any prudent accountants want to weigh in? "Durant is going after Joel Elliott — claiming Elliott got him in some deep trouble with Uncle Sam over the years by trying to write off several business expenses that clearly weren't business related. Case in point — Durant's personal chef.  In his lawsuit, Durant says, 'Fees paid to a personal chef would not be regarded by a reasonably prudent accountant as qualifying for a business expense deduction.' "
Rihanna wins $10 million settlement after accountant gave her bad advice [DM]
Justice for celebrities lives!

The Master Sleeve Roll Keeps Shirt Sleeves from Unfolding [Lifehacker]
Next time someone on your team suggests you roll 'em up, you'll know how to do it correctly.


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