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ANR: PwC Drags KPMG and Deloitte into Cattles Scandal; No Naming Names of Audit Partners?; More on FRF vs. GAAP for SMEs | 07.15.13

Deloitte disciplinary hearing over MG Rover to resume [Reuters]
Deloitte will next week return before a tribunal which is assessing whether it failed to manage conflicts of interest in its advice to MG Rover Group and the "Phoenix Four" directors who bought the UK carmaker before it collapsed.

Cattles’ failure was nothing to do with us, says angry PwC [The Times (subscription)]
Allegations that negligent auditing led to losses of £1.6 billion at Cattles have been met by a blistering counter-attack by PwC, which has pointed the finger at dishonest executives for the sub-prime lender’s collapse. Britain’s biggest professional services firm was responding to a huge legal claim, filed in February, which alleges that PwC’s failure to spot that Cattles was lying to investors about the scale of its bad loans allowed it to continue trading and to rack up losses for two years before it nearly went bust in 2009.]

PwC drags rivals into Cattles lawsuit [FT]
PwC has dragged Deloitte and KPMG into its defence against a lawsuit that claims negligence in its auditing of Cattles, the scandal-ridden subprime lender. The UK’s biggest accountant said that its rivals had also examined the way Cattles set aside money against bad loans without exposing the massive under-provisioning that eventually brought the company to its knees.

Should Audit Reports Name the Lead Partner? I Asked Joe Btfsplk, CPA [Re:Balance]
Jim Peterson makes the case against. 

Pathways to Tax Reform Revisited [TPC]
For the tax history nerds out there: "There is widespread agreement that the income tax needs reform, although little agreement about how to do it. A common thread in most reform proposals is to slash most tax expenditures. A 1973 book by Stanley Surrey made the case that cuts in tax expenditures was the "pathway to tax reform." This paper revisits Surrey's pathway, examining various proposals to eliminate, reduce, or reformulate tax expenditures as part of tax reform, including limitations on tax expenditures, converting most tax expenditures to credits, and more radical reforms that would vastly reduce the number of return filers."

Vault's 2014 Ranking of Tax Law Firms [Vault via TaxProf]
If you're a tax pro looking for fewer CPAs in your life.

Foreign Banks Win New Delay in Tax Evasion Rule [DealBook]
Foreign banks on Friday won yet another delay in a sweeping Treasury Department law intended to end tax evasion by Americans and will now have until next July to begin complying with the requirements, the Internal Revenue Service said. The unusually broad law, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or Fatca, requires foreign financial institutions, including banks and mutual funds, to either collect and disclose data on American clients with accounts holding at least $50,000, or to withhold 30 percent of the dividend, interest and other payments due those clients and to send that money to the I.R.S. The latest unexpected rollback of the deadline, an extension of six months to July 1, 2014, underscores a struggle by the Treasury Department to enforce the new rules. 

The AICPA’s Financial Reporting Framework: How Low Should a Professional Go? [Accounting Onion]
Tom Selling addresses the AICPA's contention that FRF for SMEs is a good thing because it allows businesses the freedom of choice when it comes to accounting standards: "The irony, which I am sure escapes Mr. Melancon, is that he owes his job to a legislative decision made eighty years ago (Securities Act of 1933) that accounting should not be left to market forces.  Too often – in both regulated and unregulated markets – innocent investors without sufficient say in the basis of presentation will get the shaft; and with the AICPA’s laissez faire attitude toward defining an SME, it’s a sure thing that the AICPA’s FRF will become an instrument for more of the same."

Brazilian Man Killed in His Bed By Falling Cow [Gawker]
45-year-old Joao Maria de Souza was lying beside his wife in bed in the Brazilian town of Caratinga when a one-ton cow walked from an adjacent hill onto the roof of Mr. Souza's home. The roof, unfortunately, was not strong enough for the weight of the cow. […] [T]his was third recent incident of cows crashing through roofs in the area.

Posted in ANR