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Accounting News Roundup: ‘We take audit quality very seriously’; E&Y’s ‘100-year history of ethical conduct’ Debunked; H&R Block’s Scapegoat | 03.08.13

Regulator Expresses Doubts About an Auditor’s Procedures [NYT]
“We take audit quality very seriously,” Tim Ryan, United States assurance leader and a vice chairman of the firm, said in an interview. “While we took significant actions” to respond to the concerns, he added, “the conclusion of the P.C.A.O.B. was that they were not significant enough.” 

Payrolls Surge as U.S. Jobless Rate Falls to Five-Year Low [Bloomberg]
Payrolls increased more than forecast in February and the jobless rate unexpectedly fell to a five-year low of 7.7 percent, a sign U.S. employers were undaunted by the budget impasse in Washington. Employment rose 236,000 last month after a revised 119,000 gain in January that was smaller than first estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 90 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected an advance of 165,000. The jobless rate dropped from 7.9 percent. Hiring in construction jumped by the most in almost six years.

The Best Way Yet to Proclaim Love for a Tax Cheat [Bloomberg]
Jonathan Weil takes issue with Ernst & Young's claim of "100-year history of ethical and professional conduct" that the firm boasted of in its tax shelter settlement last week with the DOJ. Jon only went back to 1989 when Arthur Young and Ernst & Whinney merged, but he didn't have any issue finding examples that wouldn't fall into that 100-year history bucket.    

The Legend of Rusty Pipes [Christopher Bergin]
Tax Analysts was one of the few, if not the only, news organization doing investigative journalism back in the 90s to expose abusive tax shelters that were figuratively stealing money out the back door of the U.S. Treasury. We took a lot of crap back then for doing so. Powerful forces opposed us, loudly proclaiming we didn’t know what we were talking about. Not to relitigate the issue, but we knew what we were talking about.

Has Convergence Been a Mixed Bag or a Bag of Fertilizer? [Accounting Onion]
Tom Selling says that the JofA doesn't know its onions: "Continuing with my theme of the U.S. GAAP/IFRS convergence misinformation campaign being waged by the Journal of Accountancy, the latest and greatest example is an article from the February edition, “What have IASB and FASB Convergence Efforts Achieved?” that appeared in the February issue."

Former Bears, Irish Star Zorich To Plead Guilty To Failing To File Taxes [CBS]
Zorich, 43, was charged Thursday with four misdemeanor counts of failing to file federal income tax returns, for the years 2006 through 2009, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. During that time, he allegedly had an income of more than $1 million.

Ernst & Young to Launch Leadership Network for Elite Female Athletes to address unmet global need [E&Y]
Elite female athletes have one less thing to worry about.

H&R Block: Tax policy change brings drop in returns, revenue [KCBJ]
It's easy to blame Congress for your declining business when it'd be a little disconcerting to blame a snarky competitor.

Tell U.S. House tax writers how to reform the tax code [DMWT]
Yeesh. If your crazy uncle has ideas for solutions, email them here.

Offshore Cash Hoard Expands by $183 Billion at Companies [Bloomberg]
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Google Inc. (GOOG) each added to their non-U.S. holdings by more than 34 percent as they reaped the benefits of past maneuvers to earn and park profits in low- tax countries. Combined, those three companies alone plan to keep $134.5 billion outside the U.S. government’s reach, more than double the $59.3 billion they held two years earlier.

Gaffney woman admits selling porn tapes door-to-door [WNEM]
Jeanette Ellis, 52, said she found a box of dirty movies on her street, and watched a few of them before she hit the streets. "I said, 'I'll sell them to somebody who might want them,'" Ellis told FOX Carolina's Greg Funderburg. "I was going to get like $5 for them. There [were] like 15 tapes." Ellis said her money-making effort was quashed when she knocked on the door of one home, where someone had called the police.

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