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Accounting News Roundup: Holiday Edition | 12.24.10

~ Happy Holidays! Here’s some reading to keep you occupied this weekend whether you’re celebrating someone’s birthday, enjoying Chinese food or doing nothing at all.

IRS says tax changes will cause some filing delays [AP]
The Internal Revenue Service says some taxpayers will have to wait until mid- to lat- February to file their returns dulaw approved by Congress in its lame-duck session. The changes apply to tax breaks on college tuition, state and local property taxes and out-of-pocket expenses for teachers. The IRS said Thursday the delays would be minimal for people who itemize deductions, because they normally must wait for financial documents before filing their returns.

Accountants, Texas board still at odds over Enron [Bloomberg]
To many in the accounting world, Carl Bass is a hero. Long before Enron became a worldwide symbol of scandal, Bass told his supervisors at Arthur Andersen LLP that something was amiss with the Houston energy giant. But the Texas state board that licenses accountants sees Bass differently — as unfit to continue in his profession. Nearly a decade after Enron collapsed and took Arthur Andersen with it, the work of Bass and another former Andersen partner, Thomas Bauer, as Enron auditors is still being debated in a highly contentious and costly proceeding.

Can You Break the Law by Complying With It? [DealBook]
The state claims Lehman’s auditors aided in a fraud, using Repo 105 transactions to make the books look healthier than they actually were. Ernst & Young proclaimed it did nothing wrong because its work complied with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP. Both may well be right — although that won’t necessarily preclude a claim against Ernst & Young.

TLP: No Animals Were Harmed … [JDA]
Reindeer like boomies!

The 12 gadgets of Christmas: Top tech toys of 2010 [Business Zone]
There’s still time.

Accountant Accused of Swindling Actress [WSJ]
A New York City man who did accounting work for entertainers was accused of swindling a “Law & Order” actress out of more than $1 million Thursday. The man, 50-year-old Joseph Cilibrasi of Manhattan, pleaded not guilty in Manhattan Supreme Court, where nine charges were levied against him and his company, Cilibrasi & Associates. Mr. Cilibrasi, who faces up to 25 years in prison on the top charge, was held on $100,000 bond or cash.

Blame game: Accountant denies claims in Koss case [TBJGM]
Julie Mulvaney, Sujata Sachdeva’s alleged accomplice at Koss Corp., claims she did nothing wrong and simply followed orders from Sachdeva, who Mulvaney described as a “powerful, insistent, imperious, overbearing superior.”

Deloitte plans to move offices to Midtown [NYP]
Deloitte has decided to consolidate its offices in Midtown, putting the kibosh on a long expected downtown deal for the accounting giant to move from 2 World Financial Center into 400,000 square feet at 4 World Financial Center owned by Brookfield Properties. Instead, Deloitte, which was also going to lease an additional 100,000 square feet at 30 Rockefeller Center in Midtown, may consolidate in that tower and lease even more space — if it can find the elbow room, The Post has learned.

Best of 2010: Accounting [CFO]
In the realm of accounting, no one moved more rapidly this year than the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board. The two standard-setting bodies set forth an aggressive agenda that called for a dozen or so new rules to be issued by 2011.

Congress Resolves Many Tax Issues During Lame-Duck Session [JofA]
Congress adjourned its year-end lame-duck session on Wednesday after passing legislative fixes for several pending tax issues, including the estate tax, the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, an alternative minimum tax (AMT) patch, and extensions of many expired provisions. However, it failed to repeal the expanded Form 1099 reporting requirements that were enacted as part of this spring’s health care reform legislation. The tax changes made during the lame-duck session were enacted as part of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (Tax Relief Act of 2010, PL 111-312), which Congress passed on Dec. 16, and President Barack Obama signed into law the next day.

Your Suspicions About the Controller Not Liking You Are Well Founded

WaynesTopTen.jpgEditor’s Note: A controller friend of GC — who is clearly in the Holiday spirit — presents their top methods of annoying the hell out of their co-workers. We have kept their identity secret* for their own protection. No one likes tragedy around the holidays.
Top ten ways a Controller can piss off co-workers:
1. Start charging for stamps.
2. Stop reimbursing your #1 sales guy’s T&E and when he calls to ask you where his check is tell him to “get fucked” and hang up.
3. Get up during a company meeting and announce that the new per diem has been reduced to $20 a day and that all employees must stay at La Quinta when traveling for business.

4. March into the CFO’s office and tell him your quitting and the books are fucked. Give him/her about 30 minutes to digest and then send them an email to say “just joshin’ ya, boss”.
5. Siphon off ALL the company’s money to an offshore bank account then parachute out the window into your Ferrari waiting below.
6. Write an all company email on December 25th announcing massive layoffs and your recent promotion to CFO.
7. Cancel the holiday party for “budgeting purposes”.
8. Announce that you need to sublease most of the company’s office space and that all employees will be doubling up in offices.
9. Let your corporate checking account go into the negative so that all your year-end bonus checks bounce.
10. Tell your staff that in order to close the books in three days you’re doubling the staff but and they’re going to have to work in shifts.
Anonymous Controller
*For a price, certain information (read: name, address, usual routine) could be provided.