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Friday Footnotes: Accounting for Speed Bumps; Name and Shame?; EY Called to Answer For Thomas Cook | 10.4.19

SBA settles for cents on the dollar with CPA who bankrolled City Hall deals that enriched Daley’s son [Chicago Sun Times] A venture capitalist who bankrolled City Hall deals that secretly benefited Patrick Daley while his father Richard M. Daley was mayor has agreed to a court settlement that will see him repay less than 10% of the $290,596 he owes the U.S. Small Business Administration. After eight years of legal wrangling, the SBA has given up on trying to collect the money from Patrick Daley’s friend Joseph M. McInerney, whose firm Cardinal Growth was seized by the federal agency eight years ago.

Harley-Davidson Makes Big Bikes for the Open Road. An Accounting Rule Could Be a Speed Bump [Barron’s] New accounting standards may not be a major risk for Harley-Davidson stock, but Wedbush warns that investors should still be aware of the motorcycle maker’s exposure—and what it could mean in the future.

Naming audit partners isn’t driving audit quality yet, says study [MarketWatch] New studies seek to evaluate early impact of a controversial mandate that requires public identification of audit partners, but authors caution it’s still too early to know if increased transparency will lead to individual accountability and improved audit quality. One of those new studies found that despite slightly positive trends in audit quality, the improvement is not yet convincingly attributable to the adoption of the audit partner-naming rule.

Treasury Officials Pressured I.R.S. on Trump Tax Audit, Whistle-Blower Alleges [NYT] An Internal Revenue Service whistle-blower filed a complaint alleging that senior Treasury officials tried to exert influence over the mandatory audit of President Trump’s tax returns, according to a person familiar with the matter. The whistle-blower came forward to Congress in July with the complaint, which accuses political appointees in the Treasury Department of improperly involving themselves in the audit and putting pressure of some kind on senior officials in the I.R.S. Additional details about the specific allegations in the complaint remained unclear, including when the reported activity took place.

End of Tax Season Is Near, and Accountants Are (Almost) Ready [WSJ] “We’re extremely behind,” said Darren Neuschwander, a managing member of Green, Neuschwander & Manning LLC in Robertsdale, Ala., who is preparing some returns himself instead of just reviewing others’ work as he usually does. “All of this is just kind of snowballing on top of everything else.”

Botham Jean’s former workplace is honoring him with a portrait and a room named after him [CNN] After Botham Jean was fatally shot in his apartment last year, his former colleagues made a commitment to his family: They wouldn’t allow the memory of their friend and coworker to fade away. On Tuesday, PricewaterhouseCoopers, where Jean worked as an accountant, unveiled a portrait of their colleague in the company’s new Dallas office. The artwork is crafted out of 10,000 pieces of oak sourced from Jean’s home state of Texas, painted in the vibrant colors of his native St. Lucia. Based on Allison Jean’s favorite photo of her son, the portrait is meant to evoke his warm and generous spirit.

Thomas Cook’s auditor EY to be investigated [BBC] Announcing its inquiry the FRC said it would “keep under close review both the scope of this investigation and the question of whether to open any other investigation in relation to Thomas Cook, liaising with other relevant regulators to the fullest extent permissible”. The FRC said the investigation would first look at whether EY had a case to answer, and if it did so then the two sides would convene at a tribunal where the accountancy firm – or individual accountants – would have a chance to defend any allegations against them.

Down the rabbit hole we go again, as KPMG rep rewrites history [Daily Maverick] Another KPMG roast.