Accounting News Roundup: Improving the External Audit; Another Accounting Firm Bolts Greensboro, NC; AICPA Opposes Nonsigning Tax Preparer Rule | 04.27.10
Weighing the Worth of an External Audit [Compliance Week]
Does the external audit still have value? Some people have questioned that notion. Despite that grave assessment, there are still many that believe that the external audit has value. However, most have no illusions about the challenges before the profession.
Colleen Cunningham has a post up at Compliance Week with her thoughts:
[W]e need a fundamental shift away from the rules and complex accounting standards we currently use in the United States. The move to International Financial Reporting Standards would certainly help. IFRS is based more on principles and concepts, and while some people worry that these are “lesser” standards than U.S. GAAP, I believe that we will see more transparency about choices, options, and assumptions through enhanced disclosure under IFRS…
Perhaps the audit opinion should be less boilerplate to allow the auditors to provide more information and commentary. This could add needed transparency. Unfortunately, the litigious environment in which we operate would make this a risky proposition.
We like these ideas but more information and commentary would mean…more professional judgment! Hopefully the PCAOB would be okay with that idea because the trend seems to be that auditors can’t be trusted to do their jobs.
Dixon Hughes will close GSO site, shift staff to H.P. [Triad Business Journal]
Dixon Hughes is the latest firm to pull up the stakes in Greensboro, North Carolina. What is going on down there?
Jones Soda Announces Change of External Audit Firm [Market Wire]
Organic soda company drops Deloitte. Peterson Sullivan will take it from here.
AICPA Submits Comment Letter on IRS PTIN Proposal [Journal of Accountancy]
The AICAP submitted a letter to the IRS re: the proposed reg that would, among other things, require Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTIN) for tax professionals that don’t sign the returns. T
he AICPA isn’t so thrilled with this idea, and the JofA reports some of their thoughts, “(1) a successful implementation of registration and use of PTINs, along with the imposition of Circular 230 on all preparers should be sufficient to address unethical and/or incompetent tax return preparation and provide tremendous gains to tax administration in general; (2) it may cause confusion among taxpayers about the relative qualifications of tax return preparers; and (3) the additional burdens to the tax preparers and pass through of these costs to the taxpaying public should be considered.”
Grant Thornton to Close Greensboro, NC Office
We’ve received multiple tips informing us that Grant Thornton’s Greensboro, North Carolina office will be closing in the spring after busy season has ended.
Greensboro has approximately 35 professionals in all three service lines although our sources indicate that many tax professionals were laid off late last year in anticipation of the closure. Greensboro currently functions as a satellite of the Charlotte office which houses the support professionals.
What’s not known at this time is whether the office will become virtual, similar to the setup that Ernst & Young arranged for its Greensboro office other whether it will be an outright closure.
We contacted Grant Thornton for comment and had not heard back from them at the time of this posting.
If you’re familiar with the situation in Greensboro and have more information, get in touch with us. We’ll continue to keep you updated as we learn more.
Ernst & Young Updates
We’ve updated the E&Y Greensboro post to include the approximate number of professionals affected plus we’ve added an additional ball of useless to the tchotchke collection. Continue to keep us updated on both.
Rumor Mill: Ernst & Young Closing Greensboro, NC Office
From a source:
Greensboro, NC office is being shut down. Admin staff are being let go. Most client serving have been given the option to transfer to Raleigh or work remotely.
We tried calling the Greensboro office but couldn’t get through to anyone and E&Y’s national PR team hasn’t returned our emails yet. This closing would follow the Manchester office closure that we initially reported on in October. We’re trying to get more details on the closure date, numbers, etc.
In the meantime, if you have more information on this rumored office closing or others get in touch with us and discuss in the comments.
UPDATE, 12/11: Another source has confirmed the closure. We’ve also learned that the Greensboro has in the nabe of 70 – 80 client service professionals. E&Y is still mum. Keep us updated.
Are Other Small Big 4 Offices at Risk of Closure?