The big news in the accounting profession yesterday afternoon from Dave Michaels of the Wall Street Journal was that the SEC is investigating the Big 4 and other public accounting firms on whether the consulting and non-audit services they sell to clients is conflicting with their independence as the auditors of said clients. Michaels reported […]
109 years. That’s how long KPMG has been General Electric’s auditor. When that engagement started, the rotund William Howard Taft was in the White House, there were 46 states in the U.S., and the start of World War I and Babe Ruth’s professional baseball career were still five years away. But the spark in the […]
Exxon Mobil Corp. is out of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s doghouse for now, as the regulator ended its two-year accounting investigation into how the company calculates the value of its assets, as well as possible oily investor disclosures about climate change. According to a Bloomberg News report, Exxon Mobil received a letter from the […]
Young Women’s Pay Exceeds Male Peers’ [WSJ]
“The earning power of young single women has surpassed that of their male peers in metropolitan areas around the U.S., a shift that is being driven by the growing ranks of women who attend college and move on to high-earning jobs.
In 2008, single, childless women between ages 22 and 30 were earning more than their male counterparts in most U.S. cities, with incomes that were 8% greater on average, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data released Wednesday by Reach Advisors, a consumer-research firm in Slingerlands, N.Y.
The trend was first identified several years ago in the country’s biggest cities, but has broadened out to smaller locales and across more industries. Beyond major cities such as San Francisco and New York, the income imbalance is pronounced in blue-collar hubs and the fast-growing metro areas that have large immigrant populations.”
Burger King to be bought out at $24/share – CNBC [MarketWatch]
Whopperland’s stock is up 20% on the news that private equity shop 3G will shell out $24 a share.
KB Home says SEC investigation over [Los Angeles Times]
“Shares of Los Angeles-based KB Home soared on Wednesday after the home builder said an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into the company’s accounting and disclosure procedures had concluded and no enforcement action would be taken.
The company said in a statement Wednesday that it had received a letter from the commission closing the investigation, which began in October. Details of the inquiry weren’t disclosed. KB Home closed at $11.45, up $1.14, or 11%.
‘We are glad to share with our investors and employees that the matter is now behind us, as we continue to focus on restoring the sustained profitability of our home building operations and generating future growth’ KB Home Chief Executive Jeffrey Mezger said.”
Heiress’ shady visitor [NYP]
“An accountant being investigated for his handling of 104-year-old Huguette Clark’s vast fortune has visited the hospitalized heiress in the past several days trying to get her to sign legal documents, The Post has learned.
Sources said they did not know if the accountant — convicted sex offender Irving Kamsler — obtained Clark’s signature on the documents after going to see her at Beth Israel Medical Center, but speculated that those files include a last will for the copper heiress.”
Bloomberg Stands By “Cowboy” Remark in State Cigarette Tax Dispute with Seneca Tribe [Tax Foundation]
Hizzoner isn’t apologizing to the Seneca Tribe after suggesting Governor David Paterson get a ‘cowboy hat and a shotgun’ to enforce New York’s cigarette tax. The Seneca Tribe wants an apology. Bloomy says it isn’t happening.
• US accounting watchdog sanctions Satyam’s auditors [Reuters]
Siva Prasad Pulavarthi and Chintapatla Ravindernath, the two auditors that were arrested in India for their roles in the Satyam fraud, have been barred by the PCAOB from “being an associated person with a registered accounting firm.”
The Board who released the two orders against the men on Monday, that describe their efforts to get them to testify about their roles in the engagement last spring but they refused to cooperate, “After several attempts to accommodate Respondent with respect to the dates and location of testimony, including a delay to allow new counsel to become familiar with the matter after Respondent changed counsel, Respondent, through counsel, informed the Division in January 2010 that he would not comply with the Demand for testimony.”
• TheStreet.com To File Annual Report Late On Accounting Review [WSJ]
TheStreet.com announced yesterday that it was pulling an Overstock, delaying the filing of its 10-K for 2009. The Company, founded by sound effects specialist Jim Cramer, said that in a filing that it and Marcum (its auditor) needed to “focus attention on matters related to the Company’s previously-announced review of the accounting in its former Promotions.com subsidiary.”
In other words, the SEC is snooping around the accounting which typically is not a good sign (just ask Jim!). Despite this little bump in the road, the company assures everyone that it will “be able to file its 2009 Form 10-K on or before the fifteenth calendar day following the prescribed due date.”
• Lowest and Highest Property Taxes [Tax Policy Blog]
This map, courtesy of Tax Policy Blog, shows Texas claiming top prize for highest property tax (as a % of median home value), with New Jersey not far behind: