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Accounting News Roundup: Upgrading From GAAP Lite; Reminder: Most Accountants Don’t Like Math; Take a Vacation, Keep Working | 02.06.14

Needed: Guidance on FASB Private Company Rules [CFO]
Mickey G's CEO Joe Adams sees a potential problem when companies that have elected GAAP Lite decide they want to go public: "Going public or being acquired by a public company is a strategy for many private companies. However, a transition plan has not yet been provided for private companies that adopt these simplified alternatives and are subsequently required to file their financial statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a result of executing these strategies. Absent any specific transitional guidance, Paul Beswick, the SEC’s chief accountant, has said, 'If you elected the alternatives under the PCC [Private Company Council] and then try to go public, from our perspective you’re going to have to undo those elections.' "

KPMG quit as Poundworld auditor over governance concerns [Telegraph]
The UK version of the Dollar Store has sufficiently spooked the HoK: "The year-end stocktake results provided to us by the company [Poundworld] were misleading…they were subsequently found to be materially adjusted to include additional entries which increased the value of stock…The fact that material undisclosed adjustments were made to the stocktake results has caused us to have significant concerns about the conduct of those charged with the governance of the company who were involved in the presentation of the stocktake results."

Welcome Relief for Homeowners, Until the Tax Bill Arrives [NYT]
This sounds about right: "
Come tax time, JPMorgan Chase will be able to write off the $1.5 billion in debt relief it must give homeowners to satisfy the terms of a recent settlement. But the homeowners who receive the help will have to treat it as taxable income, resulting in whopping tax bills for many families who have just lost their homes or only narrowly managed to keep them."

'People's champ' Larry Hill sentenced to prison for tax fraud [WRAL via Tax Update]
Today in do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do news: "Prosecutors said Larry Hill, who coined himself “the people’s champ” for his efforts to keep local children out of trouble, didn’t live by his own message and that his case represented 'disturbing hypocrisy.' In a YouTube clip posted in November 2012, Hill says, 'I want all my young people to think before you act. Trouble is too easy to get into, and once you get into trouble, you’ll be all by yourself.' Federal Judge Earl Britt sentenced Hill to 100 months in prison for conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government and 18 months for filing false tax returns. Prosecutors said he ran shady tax preparation businesses that stole millions from the federal government."

Accounting For What? [Thriveal]
Adrian Simmons reminds us that we didn't get into this because we liked algebra.  

The realistic and the optimal ways to overhaul energy taxes [Felix Salmon]
"Realistic" and "optimal" rarely occur in tax policy, but the theories seems solid: "In the current Congressional climate, it’s downright impossible to take an existing group of subsidies and replace them with a brand-new tax. Doing that would be wonderful in terms of reducing carbon emissions, but it would generate so many squeals of pain from the energy lobby (not to mention Republicans who hate all new taxes on principle) that it would never even get as far as a vote." 

Sure You Can Take A Vacation — As Long As You Continue To Work [ATLRedline]
I wonder how long it'll take Big 4 firms to pick up on this: "Citing the 'dreary' winter conditions across most of the country, the law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has come up with a new program for its hard-working attorneys. It will give attorneys $2,000 to go 'anywhere in the world' with a group of their colleagues for a week. During that week, they're expected to work just as hard as they would be if they were at the office. But they can be working from a swim-up bar in Grand Cayman, or a beach in Phuket if they like." 

Posted in ANR