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Accounting News Roundup: Secrets Don’t Make Friends (or Good Audit Regulation); IRS Makes $4.5 Million Payout to Whistleblower; Grant Thornton to Oversee St. Vincent’s Restructuring | 04.08.11

How Secrecy Undermines Audit Reform [Floyd Norris/NYT]
[T]he Dodd-Frank law did nothing to the auditors. That was in sharp contrast to the previous round of scandals — the Enron and WorldCom accounting frauds that led to the enactment in 2002 of the Sarbanes-Oxley law. That law established the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to audit the auditors. With a second set of eyes looking over their shoulders, it was hoped, auditors would do a better job. While auditors may be doing a better job, that does not necessarily mean they are doing a good one.

Obama Demands Budget Deal to Avert Government Shutdown [Bloomberg]
After meeting with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Obama said issues remained unresolved and he hoped for a breakthrough that would prevent a shutdown, set to begin at midnight tonight. “I’m not yet prepared to express wild optimism but I think we are further along,” he told reporters. “My hope is, is that I’ll be able to announce to the American people sometime relatively early in the day that a shutdown has been averted.”

Stolen air conditioners are ‘Crime of the Week’ [TCJ]
Someone concluded that it was worth their time to take two five-ton air conditioning units from M&M accounting in Topeka, Kansas.

IRS pays $4.5M in 1st award under 2006 whistleblower program for tip worth $20M [WaPo]
An in-house accountant who raised a red flag about a tax lapse that his employer then ignored, leading him to tip off the IRS, has received $4.5 million in the first IRS whistleblower award. The accountant’s tip netted the IRS $20 million in taxes and interest from the errant financial-services firm.

Golfers Goosen, Garcia teed off at IRS [DMWT]
[T]he professional golfers’ tax attorneys are doing their jobs, trying to convince the IRS that the players’ endorsement money was properly reported as royalty income, not payment for personal services.

Ex-Mazars partner wins unpaid expenses claim [Accountancy Age]
Ex-Mazars partner Robin Stevens has successfully won a legal claim against his former firm for unpaid expenses. Mazars was handed down a court order to pay Stevens £1,536.59.

Grant Thornton LLP’s Restructuring Practice oversees landmark transaction to rebuild healthcare at Manhattan’s historic Saint Vincent’s site [GT]
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York has approved the $260 million sale of Saint Vincent’s Manhattan campus, including the historic O’Toole Building, to the Rudin family and the North Shore-LIJ Health System. Structured with the leadership of Grant Thornton LLP’s Corporate Advisory & Restructuring Services practice, the deal establishes a stand-alone 24-hour emergency center and ambulatory surgery facility in New York’s Greenwich Village area.

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