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Accounting News Roundup: Toshiba’s Fallout; Rebound Auditors; Apple’s Taxes | 12.21.15

Toshiba Sees Record $4.5 Billion Loss, Plans More Job Cuts [Bloomberg]
The Japanese industrial conglomerate is going to let 6,800 people go and restructure many of it business units. "Considering how bad things have gotten, this level of restructuring is the least they can do," says a guy.

Accountancy watchdog investigates Grant Thornton over Globo audits [The Guardian]
We've noted a couple of instances of bad auditing by Grant Thornton in the US this past year. Now the firm is under investigation in the UK for its audits of a Greek mobile tech company called Globo:

Globo was criticised in October by a US hedge fund which raised questions about its revenue and finances, sending the company’s shares plunging. The fund, Quintessential Capital Management, held a short position in Globo that meant it would profit if the shares fell. Globo rejected Quintessential’s analysis but three days later it revealed that its chief executive, Konstantinos Papadimitrakopoulos, had resigned after disclosing falsification of data and misrepresentation of the company’s financial position. It also said Papadimitrakopoulos had sold more than 42m Globo shares and pledged 10m shares for a personal loan on the day Quintessential published its report. In early November, Globo went into administration, citing the financial irregularities discovered the previous month.

This all happened after GT succeeded BDO who had only been Globo's auditor "for a few months" which wasn't a concern for some reason. I think "rebound auditor" might be a suitable label for situations like these.

Apple's Taxes
Tim Cook went on 60 Minutes last night which is what highly visible CEOs have to do sometimes. Charlie Rose asked him about the company avoiding taxes and Cook was all, "Sorry not Sorry" calling it "political crap." And he's right of course. Tax avoidance is one of those things that Congressional types like to get worked up about because it makes for good headlines, but in reality, the widespread use of tax credits by as favors that encourages companies like Apple to work the system to their advantage. There's really nothing that can to be done to slow corporate tax avoidance other than changing the tax code. America is the last place where guilting companies about their tax planning will get them to fork over more money to the government.

In other news: