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Friday Footnotes: Sleazy PwC Partner Leaves; No You Can’t Claim a Boob Job; PCAOB Scholars | 7.15.22

PwC partner accused of rating female staff leaves firm [Australian Financial Review] A PwC partner who allegedly held male-only events with colleagues where they rated the attractiveness of women in their office and visited strip clubs has left the firm.

Audit watchdog to overhaul UK corporate governance code [Financial Times] The UK’s corporate governance code will be overhauled for the first time in four years with new rules to make boards more responsible for fraud and their company’s finances, and strengthen accountability for bad behaviour.

SEC’s Gensler Casts Doubt on Prospects for China Audit Deal [Wall Street Journal] Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler expressed doubt Wednesday that negotiators in Washington and Beijing will reach an agreement over audits that is necessary to prevent Chinese companies from being delisted by U.S. stock exchanges.

Accounting watchdog fines Laura Ashley auditor over “serious” breaches [AccountancyAge] UHY Hacker Young, the auditor of the fashion retailer Laura Ashley which fell into administration amid the pandemic, has been “severely reprimanded” by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) over “serious” breaches. “The breaches in this case were serious and spanned two audit years affecting multiple areas of the audits, some which were fundamental to the proper conduct of audit,” Jamie Symington, deputy executive counsel at the FRC, said in a statement.

The ABCs and IRCs of cannabis accounting [CFO Dive] Accounting professionals and financial report preparers often misinterpret tax codes in an effort to increase deductions that dispensaries may not be allowed to take. This means that the CEOs and CFOs who are heavily relying on their accounting teams are unknowingly putting their company at risk of large fees, or worse, being shut down for not following the correct procedures.

If you tell them how overworked you are maybe they won’t keep asking if you can do their taxes (LOL sure):

Crypto Accounting Plan’s First Challenge: What’s In, What’s Out [Bloomberg Tax] Five years and several hundred requests later, US accounting rulemakers are ready to start writing rules for digital assets—just as the market reels from a crypto winter. All of cryptocurrency’s wild swings would get captured by rules the Financial Accounting Standards Board is considering. But most significantly, assuming the market recovers, company financial statements would get to reflect crypto price rebounds, not just downturns as under current reporting.

SEC steps up scrutiny over Musk comments on $44 bln Twitter deal [Reuters] The letter shows the SEC has been tracking Musk’s statements on the blockbuster deal, increasing pressure on the Tesla Inc boss who has been locked in a feud with the SEC over his tweets about Tesla since 2018. The agency already has several open probes into Musk, according to court filings and media reports.

ESG’s existential moment [POLITICO] Sustainable investing is at a crossroads and needs clearer, more rigorous standards, according to a new report by accounting firm EY. Environmental, social and governance funds are huge — the fastest-growing asset management segment, according to Morningstar Inc., with $2.7 trillion under management as of last year — but they’re confusing and opaque, EY points out. Greenwashing is rampant, and ratings systems are all over the place. That’s a problem for investors, as is the basic fact that there’s often a mismatch between investors’ aims and what ESG scores are measuring. The report points out that 71 percent of investors worldwide say they want to have a positive impact through investing, but that ratings are mostly focused on companies’ risk exposure to ESG factors rather than their impact on society.

250 Students Named PCAOB Scholars for the 2022-2023 Academic Year [PCAOB] “The auditing profession serves an important role in investor protection by helping to independently ensure the accuracy of the information public companies provide in their financial reports. The PCAOB Scholars Program supports the next generation of auditors by helping to make careers in auditing possible for the best and brightest, including for students from groups that have not been well represented in public accounting historically,” said PCAOB Chair Erica Y. Williams. “We are proud of this program, and we congratulate the students named PCAOB Scholars this year.”

Interview With a Sex Work Accountant [VICE] There’s certain things that sex workers can do that I caught with my mystery shoppers. Quick example: I had a client who asked if they could claim a boob job, and the accountants said yes. You actually can’t. Although there is the argument that if you’ve had a mastectomy, and they needed to get their boobs back for work, I think we’d have a solid argument. I don’t know how it would go as I haven’t been in that situation yet. Another example is hair extensions. If they’re sewn in, they’re not claimable. If they’re clip-in they are. Why is that? If they’re sewn in you look good while you’re working, but you also look good when you go to your friend’s wedding. Clip-in can be taken out. It’s like, if you wear a suit to work and it’s just a nice black suit. Well, that’s not claimable. If it had a logo on it saying sex worker, then all of a sudden it is.

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