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Accounting News Roundup: You’re on Notice, Audit Committee Chairs; EY CEO Forecasts Big Advisory Growth; More Cash Parked Offshore | 03.12.14

SEC charges AgFeed audit committee chair in accounting fraud case [Reuters]
"Federal securities regulators filed unusual civil charges on Tuesday against the former independent audit committee chairman and top U.S. officials of an animal feed company, saying they failed to properly investigate an elaborate accounting fraud orchestrated in China. The Securities and Exchange Commission's case against K. Ivan Gothner, who previously served as the audit committee chairman for AgFeed Industries Inc, marks a rare move by the agency. It comes as the SEC is seeking to hold "gatekeepers" such as auditors, lawyers and board members more accountable." –> If you want some background on this story, check out Francine McKenna's in-depth 3-part series on AgFeed. 

Accounting CEO Looks Beyond China Roadblock [WSJ]
Mark Weinberger answers some questions, including how fast the advisory business is growing relative to audit: "Our audit business is about 45% of our business today, [but] our other businesses are growing faster. By 2020, audit will remain our largest business at about $18 billion [in annual revenues]. It would be about 35% of our business. Advisory today is maybe 20% of our business or so. It will be closer to 30%." 

Cash Abroad Rises $206 Billion as Apple to IBM Avoid Tax [Bloomberg]
Richard Rubin's lede summarizes things well: "The largest U.S.-based companies added $206 billion to their stockpiles of offshore profits last year, parking earnings in low-tax countries until Congress gives them a reason not to."

Goldman Sachs Bolsters Case Against Renewing “Bonus Depreciation” Tax Break [Off the Charts]
Chuck Marr lists the CBO, Moody's and now Goldman as going on record that bonus depreciation: "hasn’t been a particularly cost-effective way to boost the economy."

Thompson plea raises questions about his old accounting firm [WT]
If you like your DC scandals more on the local level, you'll enjoy the fact that this one involves a former partner in CPA firm: "Known as the infamous political rainmaker who admitted to subverting elections in the District of Columbia and other jurisdictions with more than $2 million in questionable campaign cash, Jeffrey E. Thompson earned at least part of his fortune winning contracts scrubbing the financial books of government agencies. But Thompson, Cobb, Bazilio & Associates’ own books were riddled with false entries that aimed to cover up Thompson’s massive campaign finance conspiracy, charging documents released this week show. The revelations raise questions about whether others in the firm knew about the illegal activity and whether the government should continue doing business with the company, from which Mr. Thompson resigned, selling off his interests soon after the FBI raided his offices."

Kasich wants to hike tobacco, other taxes to pay for income-tax cut [Columbus Dispatch]
The Ohio Governor is a Grover Norquist poster child so it'll be interesting to see if ATR says anything about the hike in tobacco taxes.
Court Upholds Sentence for Long Beach Accountant who Tried to Overthrow Cambodian Government [LBP, Earlier]
I don't recommend achieving work-life balance by engaging in unsanctioned military operations against a foreign country: "Yasith Chhun, a 57-year-old U.S. citizen, was sentenced in 2010 in Los Angeles federal court for conspiring to kill in a foreign country and other federal counts stemming from his 2008 conviction. A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena determined 'there was sufficient evidence for the jury to conclude that the defendant had the intent to commit murder,' according to the opinion. In rejecting the appeal, the panel held that 'illegal conduct will not be shielded from punishment just because it is "noble." The court rejected Chhun's pleas for leniency because he caused the deaths of innocent people.' "
Posted in ANR