Let’s Speculate Wildly as to Why the PCAOB Delayed Its Budget Meeting
So, this happened: The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board today announced that it is postponing consideration of its budget for the 2015 fiscal year and the related strategic plan. The Open Meeting for Thursday, November 20, is cancelled. Action on the budget and related strategic plan will be rescheduled later this month. Section 109(b) of […]
Predictably, the Trial Date for California Wage and Hour Lawsuit Against PwC Has Been Pushed Back
Few things are as old as Going Concern (can you believe I didn't have any cats when this site was launched in 2009?!), but Campbell v. PricewaterhouseCoopers is one such thing that has dragged on longer than the dysfunctional little relationship we all share around this virtual watercooler. Just look at how un-jaded and enthusiastic […]
GOP Congressman: Sprawling, Despised Government Agency with a History of Inefficiency That Just So Happens to Be a Convienent Political Target Is Misprioritizing Things Because ObamaCare
That is, Dave Camp doesn't believe the IRS's story that the shutdown is the cause of the delayed tax filing season: “The IRS claims that it will be unable to process tax returns on time, despite being able to do so multiple times in the past when it has been responsible for adopting major changes […]
2014 Tax Season Is Off to a Great Start
IRS delays opening of 2014 tax filing season for 1-2 weeks, citing shutdown…. — Richard Rubin (@RichardRubinDC) October 22, 2013
At Long Last, the Second Batch of CPA Exam Scores for the July/August Testing Window Have Been Released
For those of you that have been holding your breath since Thursday, the suspense officially ceased on Saturday morning. #AICPA released the following scores to #NASBA for the July/Aug 2013 testing window: 4492 AUD, 4087 BEC, 4675 FAR and 4660 REG #CPAexam — NASBA (@NASBA) August 24, 2013 Browsing through the Twittersphere, you'll find that […]
Acting IRS Commish Warns That Tax Season Calendars May Need Adjusted
He just wanted to get this out there sooner rather than later: IRS Acting Commissioner Steven T. Miller warned Congress on Wednesday that if lawmakers fail to extend the traditional alternative minimum tax patch, up to 100 million American taxpayers could be affected, and most taxpayers might not be able to file their tax returns […]
Hurricane Sandy-adjusted CPA Exam Score Release Timeline not as Devastating as…Ya Know
Anyone that was hopping mad about the delayed release of their CPA exam score due to Frankenstorm Sandy can untwist their undies; you'll only be tortured for an extra week: Barring further complications, scores for test results that were received day 1 – 20 by the AICPA will be released by NASBA to state boards of accountancy […]
Surprising Absolutely No One, FASB Pushing Back Their Convergence Timeline
Floored. Just floored.
Financial Accounting Standards Board chair Leslie Seidman said that many of the priority projects slated for convergence with the International Accounting Standards Board probably will not be settled until next year at the earliest.
Les will have all you haters know that this adjusted timeline has been well received by those that are taking this shit seriously:
This is a real process with real outreach and real consideration of the issues that have been raised. And the fact of the matter is that it takes time to work through these issues. The changes which we have made to the timetable, which we have made jointly with the IASB, have been very well received among the constituents who take this process seriously. They are very supportive of our strong commitment to making sure that we end up with improved standards here that are going to stand the test of time.
So if you were expecting Fisher Price accounting rules, you can forget it. These beautiful babes will be used to line up the debits and credits when Spacely Sprockets finally breaks ground.
FASB’s Convergence Timeline Moves to Next Year [AT via Jim Peterson]
Terrible Auditor Really Good at Staying Out of Jail
Bernie Madoff’s auditor – and thereby, the worst auditor ever – David Friehling has had his sentencing delayed for the fourth time.
Apparently he is still “cooperating with federal investigators” which leads some to believe that he might be giving them the lowdown on the Madoffs’ tax returns but really he probably is just trying to convince someone – ANYONE – to give back his beloved CPA. [Lohud via Forbes]
Is Groupon Getting Cold Feet?
Maybe! The Wall St. Journal reports that the “site isn’t cancelling its initial public offering […] but is reassessing the timing for an IPO on a week by week basis,” because some people have gotten spooked by this big, scary economy. Okay, things are actually pretty frightening out there but Bloomberg’s sources say that the company also “needs time to address regulators’ questions, including possible revisions to a controversial accounting method used in its filing.” But all this – or insolvency, for that matter – isn’t any cause for concern since this just like a couple postponing a wedding. They just need more time. [WSJ, Bloomberg]
IASB Chairman: We Don’t Issue Low-Quality Accounting Standards
Rule makers concluded this week that “we all could benefit from a few more months to develop these standards, some of which really go to the core issues of many companies,” said Leslie Seidman, chairman of FASB, in a podcast issued Thursday. Sir David Tweedie, chairman of the IASB, said rule makers still intend to finish their convergence work by year’s end. The delay, he said in the podcast, will “enable us to check whether our conclusions will last the test of time. … We would never release a standard before it is ready and ultimately it must be a high-quality standard or you just can’t issue it.” [WSJ]
Boeing CFO Reiterates Delivery Target of 787; No One Believes It
Confidential to BA: Everyone is sick of the defense contractor who cried “the jumbo jet is ready!”
Boeing Co is confident it can deliver the first 787 Dreamliner in the middle of the first quarter of 2011, the chief financial officer of the world’s largest aerospace and defense company said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a conference hosted by Morgan Stanley, James Bell reiterated the updated delivery target for the long-delayed carbon-composite commercial aircraft.
Last week, the company announced another Dreamliner delay — this one related to a a delay in the availability of a Rolls-Royce Plc(RR.L) engine needed for the final phases of flight testing. The plane is already more than two years behind schedule.
Boeing CFO repeats 787 deliver target [Reuters]
(UPDATE) Will the Herz and Tweedie Retirements Put the Kibosh on Convergence?
~ Update includes comment from IFAC President Robert Bunting of Moss Adams
Maybe! After all, anything’s possible. The Herz retirement wasn’t exactly expected but since Roberto had two years left in his terms but it’s been suggested that it’s been a rough two years since Barney Frank gave him the tongue lashing of his life over the whole mark-to-market thing.
Regardless, The Journal put it out there that the timing of Herz’s departure causes hella handwringing, most notably on the convergence efforts:
FASB will now have to replace Mr. Herz at the same time that the IASB is already cessor to its chairman, David Tweedie, whose terms expires in June 2011. This means that both bodies will have new heads as they enter what could prove to be the end game for the often-thorny process of converging two accounting standards.
This, of course, causes the U.S. GAAP Hawks to squeal with glee and those in pro-IFRS camp to get anxious and will likely lead to heavy lobbying for a replacement that will keep Tweeds dream alive for “one high quality set of global standards” or whatever they’re calling it these days.
Despite the Journal’s anxiety, International Federation of Accountants President Bob Bunting sees the change as an opportunity and things will continue to progress, “While the changes of leadership at the FASB and the IASB offer the opportunity for a fresh look at the convergence process, I would be surprised if any radical change in direction occurs,” Mr Bunting wrote in an email to GC, “The financial market forces and public interest arguments for convergence of the two standards, and possible eventual adoption of IFRS as a single standard continue to be very strong.”
However, since the FASB is expanding back to seven members, that will likely slow the process down (which makes some people happy) even further, especially with empty seats at the table:
The lack of a full board is likely to slow many of FASB’s projects, particularly the move to converge with international rules, said former FASB Chairman Dennis Beresford. “They’re not going to issue anything important on the basis of having only four board members,” he said, adding that Mr. Herz’s departure came as “a complete surprise.”
So, with those seeds of doubt planted, let’s put it to a vote.
State Governments, Seeking to Be Less Popular, Delay Tax Refunds
Taxpayers in Hawaii, Iowa, North Carolina, New York, and Rhode Island expecting a refund may have to exercise some patience, as these states have already declared their intentions to delay cutting those checks to its citizens. And don’t get to excited about receiving any interest on your already interest-free loan you gave them; many states have to withhold refunds for at least 60 days before interest has to be paid.
Pulling this type of a stunt will get you nowhere in a popularity contest but hell, they don’t really have much of a choice:
Scott D. Pattison, the executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers, said that it was “exceptionally unusual” for so many states to delay refunds, as they have throughout the current economic downturn.
“I think it’s just an indicator of how bad things have been,” Mr. Pattison said in an interview. “It’s politically, obviously, a problem. Also, I think from a policy standpoint, it’s a little hard to justify — this is the taxpayers’ overpayment that is due them.”
Obviously this is going to cause some tea-baggish belly aching but it is pointed out later in the article, if taxpayers really want to do something about this problem, they have the ability to make some changes themselves to avoid this in the future:
Verenda Smith, a spokeswoman for the Federation of Tax Administrators…said she hoped the troubles would prompt more taxpayers to file earlier; file electronically, which allows for much quicker processing time; and change their withholding status with their employers so they would not overpay so much. “You really shouldn’t give it to your state government as a no-interest loan, and then have to cool your heels while you wait to get it back,” she said.
We’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating – adjusting your withholding to get a big refund is stupid. We’d say that the states keeping it out of your hands was probably a good thing but then again, the state can waste the money just as well.
Mary Schapiro Isn’t Too Concerned About the Convergence Delay
Earlier in the week we heard the devastating news that the FASB and IASB’s convergence efforts, despite a good hustle, would not meet the G20’s deadline of June 2011.
FASB Chairman Bob Herz indicated that this was a serious case of the Boards having bigger eyeshades than their double-entry stomachs could handle but he tried to squelch the disappointment by assuring everyone that the mission is not a failure and the Boards would “get most if not all of [the accounting standard proposals] done by the end of 2011.”
Roberto and IASB Chair Sir David Tweedie, feeling bad about how the whole thing turned out, decided to send a letter to the G20, presumably to keep them from getting their panties in knot:
It is expected that this action by the FASB and IASB will not negatively impact the Securities and Exchange Commission’s work plan, announced in February, to consider in 2011 whether and how to incorporate IFRS into the US financial system.
We appreciate the support of the G20 for the development of a single set of high quality global accounting standards. The two boards remain committed to achieving that objective. We shall continue to provide timely updates regarding our progress.
Ohhh, right. The SEC. What do they think about all this? Judging by Mary Schapiro’s attitude of “assuming completion of the convergence projects” as a precursor to IFRS, she’s totally cool with it, making her thoughts known in a statement yesterday:
The boards believe that the modified plan will contribute to increased quality in the standards because it provides additional time for stakeholders to thoroughly consider the proposals and give both boards quality feedback. I view this as time that is well invested.
Quality financial reporting standards established through an independent process are threshold criteria against which the Commission’s future consideration of the role of IFRS in the U.S. reporting system will be based. I foresee no reason that the adjustment to the targeted timeline for certain joint projects should impact the staff’s analyses under the Work Plan issued in February 2010, particularly when that adjustment is designed to enhance the quality of the standards. Indeed, focused efforts on those standards the boards consider highest priority for the improvement of U.S. GAAP and IFRS will facilitate the staff’s analyses.
Accordingly, I am confident that we continue to be on schedule for a Commission determination in 2011 about whether to incorporate IFRS into the financial reporting system for U.S. issuers.
In other words, no rush guys. Take it from Mary, this happens all the time.
IASB and FASB update to G20 Leaders [IASB]
Chairman Schapiro Statement on FASB-IASB Decision to Modify Timing of Certain Convergence Projects [SEC]
Overstock.com Turns a Profit; Patrick Byrne Writes a Very Un-Patrick Byrne Letter to Shareholders
This morning we thought the KPMG audit team working on Overstock.com would continue slaving away through the extension deadline tomorrow to get that beast of 10-K finished. Well! Turns out they’ll be t of you tonight because the OSTK 10-K has been filed and, as promised Overstock shareholders, your humble servant Patrick Byrne and Co. are reporting an annual profit for the first time ever!
After such a high, restatement or not, we’re guessing Sam Antar definitely won’t be getting an apology but Gary Weiss has already noted a couple of things:
First–stop the presses! Overstock’s auditors at KPMG says that Overstock has insufficient internal controls.
Second, the Marin County District Attorney and four other DAs in northern California want the company to fork over $8.5 million to settle consumer ripoffs by Overstock. The company disagrees and is fighting it, so …. No, wait a moment, make that read “$7.5 million.”
First off, we share Gary’s shock — SHOCK! — on the insufficient internal controls revelation. Second – AUDITORS! We talked about this, remember? Read the 10-K carefully. Overstock’s “Risk Factors” section runs 25 pages for crissakes. A million fucking clams can’t get missed!
You know what though? Mistakes happen, so we’ll let it slide.
Oh, and about that letter to shareholders. Patsy doesn’t bring up former auditor Grant Thornton once, doesn’t quote Nietzsche, compiain about short sellers, bring up Facebook, or say anything remotely antagonizing (although on page 32, the Company’s states he still might).
This makes think: 1) Is he not feeling well? 2) We want the old Patrick back! Read for yourself:
In Q4 our revenues grew 27%, twice the ecommerce industry’s rate, and we earned $12.7 million in net income. In 2009 we grew revenues 6%, earned $7.7 million in net income, generated $46 million in operating cash flow, and generated $39 million in free cash flow. It’s nice to be profitable.
I am proud that, for the second year in a row, we rank number 2 in the NRF/Amex survey of American consumers, behind only LL Bean and ahead of Amazon, Zappos, eBay, Nordstrom, and many other fine firms.
As you may know, at the end of Q4 we engaged KPMG as our independent auditors, and announced that we were restating our FY 2008 and Q1, Q2 and Q3 2009 financial statements. I thank you for being patient with us as we worked through the questions raised by the SEC, the transition to the KPMG team, and the extra time it took to ensure that our financial statements are accurate.
I look forward to our conference call next Monday. Until then, I remain,
Your humble servant,
Patrick M. Byrne