Accounting & Auditing Highlights Week Ending February 2, 2018


Accounting Highlights:   

Fair Value 

January 29: Agriculture companies that have trouble valuing their assets under international financial reporting standards might be getting help after a review by the International Accounting Standards Board. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

Tax Reform

January 29: Tax professionals should expect Treasury guidance to clarify language describing allocation of interest in the business interest deduction limit provision of the new tax law. “Whenever you see the words ‘properly’ or ‘attributable’ in the statute, you know there's going to be regs,” Brenda Zent, the department's special adviser, said at a conference. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

Securities and Exchange Commission

January 30: General Electric Co. investors have long griped that the sprawling company's financials can be a black box. Now, securities regulators are poking around in one of the biggest and darkest corners of that box. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

January 30: The SEC will review a dispute between Express Scripts Holding Co. and New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli over his effort to force the prescription-benefits manager to increase cyber-risk disclosures. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

February 1: Investment advisers, broker-dealers, and other firms regulated by the SEC have a new tool to help them assess their diversity policies. The SEC said its Diversity Assessment Report is designed to help regulated entities assess their racial and gender diversity. Firms can also use the report to measure diversity in sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and veteran status. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required)

February 2: Apple Inc. said it's responding to government probes into a software update that slowed the performance of older iPhones. The U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC are investigating whether Apple violated securities laws concerning its disclosures about a software update that slowed some handsets. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required)

Embezzlement

January 30: A woman who served as the controller at a Southern California metal forging company was sentenced to more than a year in federal prison for embezzling upwards of $1.5 million. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required).      

Disclosure

January 31: MetLife Inc. is dealing with what Warren Buffett warned were some “ugly” insurance words. The insurer disclosed that it was “strengthening” reserves, or setting aside more money to back policies for annuity and pension clients. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

Sustainability

February 1: Firms that rate companies on their sustainability performance are noticing increased corporate interest in their work. As companies get more ESG-related questions from investors, the raters get more questions from companies, too. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required)

International Accounting Highlights:

United Kingdom

January 30: Vodafone Group Plc has added to the global debate on the tax data that multinational companies should publicly disclose, in an attack on a key OECD measure to boost corporate transparency. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

United Kingdom

January 31: The U.K. Financial Reporting Council has launched an investigation into KPMG LLP's auditing of the financial statements issued by failed construction behemoth Carillion Plc. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

January 31: The U.K. government has come under attack for the tough appeals system behind its “Google tax” that has targeted multinational businesses across the globe. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

Saudi Arabia

January 30: Saudi Arabia will allow businesses to maintain English-language records in computerized accounting systems for managing value-added tax, easing its insistence that all data must be entered in Arabic. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

South Africa

January 31: Multinational furniture retailer Steinhoff International's upcoming restatement of financial results may spur significant tax adjustments and reveal avoidance issues, analysts told Bloomberg Tax. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

February 1: Steinhoff International Holdings NV reported former CEO Markus Jooste to South Africa's anti-graft police, pinning the blame for an accounting scandal squarely on the man who built the retailer into a global force. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required).  

February 1: Steinhoff International Holdings NV may receive a fine from the Frankfurt securities exchange after the scandal-hit retailer said it would miss a Jan. 31 deadline to submit audited 2017 financial results. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

Italy

February 1: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV's Europe, Middle East and Africa tax chief has warned that companies must exert control on the external use of their data. Transparency measures introduced as a result of the OECD's 15-action project to curb tax avoidance among multinational businesses means that these companies are now sending an unprecedented amount of sensitive data to tax authorities. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

Composed and Compiled by Gery Brownholtz, Accounting Editor, Bloomberg BNA

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