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Friday Footnotes: Two Firms Get Bashed; KPMG Considers Selling Off; Equality LOL | 10.30.20

Ed. note: Happy Halloween, y’all. Remember October 31st is the early application deadline to register for .cpa domains. Stay safe inside or out whatever you decide to do this weekend. BOO!

Former New York City accountant convicted of aiding al Qaeda to be released from prison early [Jurist] A Manhattan federal judge on Tuesday ordered that a former New York City accountant who admitted to scoping out the New York Stock Exchange for al Qaeda be released early from his 18-year prison sentence. Sabirhan Hasanoff, who goes by the name Tareq, originally pled guilty in June 2012 to “one count of providing and attempting to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda, and one count of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda.”

Raytheon Technologies discloses US criminal probe over financial accounting in defense business [Hartford Courant] In a filing Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Waltham, Mass.-based company said it received a criminal subpoena from the Justice Department seeking information and documents related to to financial accounting, internal controls over financial reporting and cost reporting at its missiles and defense business since 2009.

FASB issues minor codification changes [Journal of Accountancy] Accounting Standards Update No. 2020-10, Codification Improvements, describes the changes. The standard is part of a standing FASB project designed to address minor improvements to GAAP that are deemed necessary by the board.

UK regulator finds ‘unacceptable’ rate of failures in council audits [Financial Times] Its review, published on Friday, also singled out two of the sector’s largest players — Grant Thornton and Mazars — for particularly poor audit quality.

Without More Enforcement, Tax Evasion Will Spread Like a Virus [New York Times] “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.”

PwC Commits to Retaining Office Space Despite Prevalence of Home Working [TWinFM] The UK chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers has confirmed that the accounting firm is not planning to downsize any of its office space, despite the “new normal” of working from home. Kevin Ellis, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) UK chairman told The Times that “hybrid working is here to stay, and therefore the office will remain a key part of working life.”

Following Deloitte, KPMG explores sale of restructuring arm [] On the back of a number of accounting scandals involving the Big Four, the UK’s audit watchdog of the Financial Reporting Council has effectively banned Deloitte, KPMG, EY and PwC from conducting advisory work for audit clients, and is implementing a new model known as operational separation to segregate the two aspects of the businesses. This has fostered a belief among the Big Four that the conflicts issue will inhibit the growth of restructuring operations for as long as they are owned by them. As a result, the UK leaders of the Big Four have been exploring their options for the sale of their turnaround practices – despite restructuring currently being one of the bright areas of consulting experiencing a spike in work during 2020.

CFOs Must Embrace a Culture of Equality [CFO Magazine] Only four of the Fortune 100 companies in the U.S. have an Asian, African American, or Black CFO, while 11 have a female CFO. There are no Hispanic Americans or Latinx representatives in the group at all. Representation of these groups is drastically lower than the broader U.S. population, and it reflects less progress made for CFOs than we see for Fortune 100 CEOs.