AICPA Backs Down From Its Longstanding Beef Against Tax Preparer Regulation
In what could easily be the longest-running turf war in accounting history, the AICPA has softened its view on IRS regulation of tax preparers. Back in 2014, I covered the AICPA’s melodramatic freak-out over the IRS suggesting a voluntary tax preparer registration scheme, which sent Barry Melancon straight to the fainting couch and the AICPA […]
Audit Leaders Verbally Reaffirm Commitment to Audit Quality Since We Couldn’t Tell From Crappy Audits Lately
Last week, seven hotshots in the world of accounting and auditing stepped up and put their name on a statement “reaffirming” the profession’s commitment to audit quality. As my headline so subtly suggests, it’s a good thing someone said something because honestly it’s kinda hard to tell they’re serious given all the audit scandals, PCAOB […]
Ernst & Young Trusts That Everyone Knows Those ‘Sexy Boys’ Aren’t Building a Better Working World
As you know, earlier this month the accounting firm formerly known as Ernst & Young unveiled a major rebranding. We spoiled things a little bit by breaking the news early, but what no one knew — including, apparently, everyone involved in the makeover — was that there was quite a surprise awaiting anyone who searched Google […]
KPMG’s Official Statement Meets Mystery (Bachelor of) Science (in Accounting) Theater
When a giant insider trading turd hits the fan of independence, KPMG spokesman Timothy Connolly is there with a Clorox wipe to sanitize the minds of the American public. Here's what he said. Be careful, it'll probably sting your amygdala. Late last week, we were informed that the partner in charge of KPMG’s audit practice in […]
Deloitte Didn’t Know Anything About These Accounting Improprieties You Speak Of
Remember what Meg said, "“The board relied on audited financials — audited by Deloitte — not Brand X accounting firm but Deloitte.” Via the New York Times: Deloitte notes the allegations made yesterday by Hewlett Packard (HP) that ‘some former members of Autonomy’s management team used serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations to inflate […]
GE Responds to Hoax Tax Press Release in Least Hoaxy Way Possible
Earlier this morning, the Associated Press ran a story based on a hoax press release that stated General Electric had opted to give back its “refund.” You may recall there was a fair amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth after a New York Times article made the company look like huge international conglomerate attempting to minimize its legal tax obligation (talk about nerve). As you may be aware, the “refund” is actually a “deferred tax benefit” and we can’t think of any company that would simply give those back after some pesky article from the Times. Anyhoo, the AP has bit of egg on its face and GE is once again a punching bag and has re-reiterated the fact they DID NOT GET A REFUND.
Of course the last time GE went on a PR offensive, they got schooled by Henry Blodget. On Twitter. So instead of wading back into that scary end of the pool, they shuffled out a spokeswoman to simply say, “It’s a hoax and GE did not receive a refund.”
This is really a missed opportunity for GE, in our opinion. Jeff Immelt could have seized this opportunity to have a sense of humor about the whole thing, acknowledge the efforts of the Yes Men (the hoaxers) and say, “You know, we’re a big company with the best tax law firm right here, in-house, and sometimes people hate on us *cough*The Times*cough* because they do such a good job. And maybe we employ a bunch of Treasury Department alums too. I mean, we’ve got the money. Why wouldn’t we do it? These Yes Men guys, they’re okay. They’re trying to be funny in sort of an Onion sorta way and we’re cool with that. I read The Onion once. It seemed pretty humorous.”
Who’s Ready for Changes to the Auditor’s Report?
“We heard from investors that they want more information in the auditor’s report. Investor dissatisfaction with the current auditor’s reporting model should concern other constituents as well, including preparers, auditors and regulators,” said PCAOB Chairman James R. Doty. “Today’s report from our own staff, based on their discussions with a broad audience, will be vital to the Board’s effort to develop a meaningful proposal for change in a concept release. Our intention is to expose such a release as early as this summer.” [PCAOB]