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Accounting News Roundup: The Tax Cut No One Noticed; Accountants Are Dissatisfied?!?; BDO Partner: Big 4 ‘Unhealthy’ | 10.19.10

From Obama, the Tax Cut Nobody Heard Of [NYT]
In a New York Times/CBS News Poll last month, fewer than one in 10 respondents knew that the Obama administration had lowered taxes for most Americans. Half of those polled said they thought that their taxes had stayed the same, a third thought that their taxes had gone up, and about a tenth said they did not know. As Thom Tillis, a Republican state representative, put it as the dinner wound down here, “This was the tax cut that fell in the woods — nobody heard it.”

AICPA Survey Shows U.S. CPAs See Pivotal Time Ahead in Development of International Financial Reporting Standards [PR Newswire]
Certified Public Accountants see the U.S. at a pivotal time in the development of uniform, high-quality global accounting standards as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission evaluates a transition to International Financial Reporting Standards and the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board work jointly to merge U.S. and global standards.

“Our latest tracking survey shows CPAs in the U.S. are increasingly aware of International Financial Reporting Standards but significant numbers are waiting to invest more resources in international standards until they see a clear signal from the Securities and Exchange Commission about future U.S. adoption,” said Arleen Thomas, AICPA senior vice president for member competency and development. “CPAs are also watching the FASB-IASB convergence progress very closely, according to our focus groups.”

For accountants, the latest industry pressures add anxiety, subtract fun from the job [Crain’s]
Ernst & Young LLP this year decreed a Summer of Fun: Accountants got to wear jeans on Fridays and take several days off for community service projects. One afternoon, the Chicago office attended a Cubs game en masse. The firm bought 900 tickets, and the Cubs did their part by winning.

Though tame by some standards, the fun and games were a nod to the funk pervading the accounting industry. Revenues are down, margins are squeezed and many employees are unhappy, particularly at the Big Four firms like Ernst & Young that dominate the profession.

“I’d say the dissatisfaction index would probably be at a 10-year high, in the high 60s or low 70s,” says Buzz Patterson, an executive recruiter who specializes in accounting clients for Donahue/Patterson Associates Inc. in Chicago.

Borders Names Former Casino Executive as CFO [ABC News]
Scott Henry is going from blackjack to books effective immediately.

The accountant who sees EU rules as a chance to transform his firm [City AM]
“Having four big players is unhealthy,” says Mathias, taking off his jacket and hanging it on the back of a chair in a bright first-floor meeting room in BDO’s Baker Street headquarters. “In other areas of business, having four dominant companies is not too much of a problem. But in our industry, because of the conflicts of interest that often arise out of the range of work professional service firms perform, clients may only be faced with a choice of two or just one firm to choose from. Now, I would say this, because its in my interest, but there are others in the market who say this also.”

Apple iPad sales fail to hit forecasts [FT]
What are you waiting for?

Posted in ANR