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Friday Footnotes: Marcum Gets Slapped; FASB Foot-Dragging; PwC Makes a Promise | 10.2.20

FASB Further Delays Accounting Rule on Insurance Contracts [Wall Street Journal] The rule maker, which sets accounting standards for companies and nonprofits in the U.S., in June proposed a delay of another year for the new rule amid the economic harm caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The rule was first delayed by a year last November to give companies more time to modernize their processes for reporting and valuation.

Marcum Gets Three-Year Ban on Auditing Chinese Companies [Bloomberg Tax] Marcum LLP is barred for three years from auditing companies with significant operations in China and must pay a $250,000 fine, the U.S. audit regulator said Friday. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board also sanctioned two of Marcum’s audit partners, John Klenner and Helen Liao, fining them $25,000 and $15,000 respectively. Klenner can’t serve as a public accountant for two years and Liao is barred for a year, the PCAOB said.

How auditors can enhance the reliability of non-GAAP reporting [Journal of Accountancy] Engaging external auditors to perform procedures outside the financial statement audit related to non-GAAP financial measures or key performance indicators (KPIs) can raise public confidence in this information, according to a Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) report issued Tuesday.

Using data-analytics tool, SEC catches two companies’ accounting violations [CFO Dive] The actions are the first arising from investigations generated by what the SEC calls its EPS Initiative, which uses risk-based data analytics to uncover potential accounting and disclosure violations.

The I.R.S. Is Outgunned [New York Times] The president of the United States paid less in federal taxes than all but the poorest Americans the year he was elected. This is in large part because he lost more money than nearly anybody else in this country for years, a troubling fact given his promise to “run America like his business.” But the responsibility for his meager $750 tax bill does not lie with President Trump alone, nor with his tax advisers. Instead, the newest revelations put a very famous face on a problem that has long existed: The wealthy aren’t paying what they owe, and our tax system allows it.

PwC to honour job offers to 200 grads amid cost cuts [Straits Times] PwC Singapore will honour job offers made late last year to 200 graduates, even as it is cutting costs after suffering a significant drop in revenue during the circuit breaker. Executive chairman Yeoh Oon Jin noted that more skilled workers are needed to meet a growing demand for digital-related business transformation support services. This is a key development as PwC evolves from providing professional services to technology solutions.

Deloitte partners’ pay to fall 17% despite revenue boost [Financial Times] Partners at Deloitte UK are to take a 17 per cent hit to their pay despite revenues rising by almost a tenth, because the accounting and consulting group was unable to cut costs fast enough in response to coronavirus disruption.

Man charged with fraud after seeking PPP funding for companies he named after ‘Game of Thrones’ characters [CNN] A man was charged with fraud after he sought out more than $6 million in PPP loans for companies named after “Game of Thrones” characters. Tristan Bishop Pan, 38, of Garner, North Carolina, is facing charges of wire fraud, bank fraud and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions, according to the Department of Justice and an indictment, which was unsealed on Tuesday. Pan submitted fraudulent PPP applications for 14 companies throughout 2020, including for companies called Khaleesi LLC, Night’s Watch LLC and White Walker LLC, the indictment alleges.

2 thoughts on “Friday Footnotes: Marcum Gets Slapped; FASB Foot-Dragging; PwC Makes a Promise | 10.2.20

  1. Big deal. A Marcum affiliate can continue auditing Chinese companies. Read the PCAOB’s order carefully.
    Marcum. Bernstein & Pinchuk is the “other relevant entity”.
    The underlying auditee was Altair Nanotechnologies (Altair).
    Altair had 11.6 million shares outstanding in 2016.
    Altair’s stock price ranged from .15 to .50 per share in 2016, giving it a market cap (MC) of $1.7 to $5.8 million. Why did the PCAOB look into the audit of such a tiny entity: it’s a “head fake”! The PCAOB never brought an action against a CPA firm over an audit with the auditee’s having over $6.6 billion in MC. Think about that.
    The PCAOB’s 2018 Strategic Plan disclosed that PCAOB registered firms audited $43.2 trillion in MC. $5.8 million is 1 / 7,448,000 of the total. Think about that.
    Maxim of jurisprudence, “The law disregards trifles”. Altair was a trifle.
    The PCAOB should ignore audits of any entity with less than say 1 / 1,000,000 of total MC, or $43.2 million. But, but, but, that might make it focus its attention on the Big Four and the S&P 500 which will never do.

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