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ANR: Lease Accounting Getting Less Overhaul-y; China Doesn’t Appreciate the SEC’s Efforts; Barry Salzberg and Matt Damon | 01.24.14

Lease Accounting Overhaul Likely to Be Scaled Back [CFOJ]
Sounds like the lessors are getting a break while the lessees will be having all the fun: "U.S. and international accounting rule makers on Thursday moved forward with plans that could limit the scope of their project to overhaul lease accounting rules and allow them to refocus their efforts on bringing over $1 trillion in off-balance sheet leases onto corporate books. In a joint meeting, the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board and London-based International Accounting Standards Board discussed scaling back their efforts to simultaneously revamp so-called 'lessor' accounting for companies that lease assets, such as airplanes or photocopiers, to other firms."

China Warns U.S. of Consequences After SEC Bans Accounting Firms [Bloomberg]
The China Securities Regulatory Commission doesn't seem too pleased: “We hope the SEC will take into consideration the big picture of China-U.S. regulatory cooperation, make the right judgement to resolve the situation properly. […] The SEC should bear all responsibility to possible consequences arising from the decision.” 

Should the IRS decide whether a woman has been raped? [STP/WaPo]
Under HR 7, the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," the tax code would changed so "individuals may only deduct medical expenses related to abortion in cases of rape, incest or endangerment of life." Who would determine whether the deductions are legitimate? The IRS, of course! Joann Weiner points out the obvious: "The same organization that has been vilified for targeting certain organizations with 'tea party' or 'patriot' in their names to help determine whether they qualify for tax-exempt status will be able to target individuals to make sure that they’re not improperly claiming deductions for an abortion that wasn’t due to rape, incest or to save the mother’s life."  

Which is the greater flop: Deloitte's audits or Elysium?

Accounting Firm Leaders and Staff See Ethics Differently [AT]
Well, sort of. Past studies by Amy Hageman, an assistant professor of accounting at Kansas State University, Donna Bobek of the University of Central Florida and Robin Radtke of Clemson University found that "accounting professionals perceive the ethical environment of their firm as quite strong, the partners, principals and directors of the firm perceive the ethical environment as even stronger than the other staffers." The new finding is even less interesting: "We found that when non-leader accounting professionals believe they participate in shaping and maintaining the ethical environment and/or have a strong organizational fit with the accounting firm, they are more likely to view the ethical environment as strong and to view it similarly to firm leaders,” Hageman said." 

KPMG's Randy Laszewski on turning points and half Ironman races [NBJ]
Randy does some accountant myth busting: "[Accountants are] portrayed in movies as nerdy and have no personalities. In actuality, if you were that way you would not be successful. You've got to be able to sell and do presentations and talk to clients. Communication skills are very important. Quite the opposite of the nerdy guy with the pocket protector that can't communicate."

Defendant asks to show sex tape of himself, wife to jury [UPI]
Because Man. Because Florida. 
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