Accounting & Auditing Highlights Week Ending January 26, 2017


Accounting Highlights:   

Repatriation Tax  

January 22: U.S. multinational companies that now have to bring home their accumulated overseas earnings and profits have questions about the impact of stock attribution rules that Congress expanded in its tax code overhaul. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

Shareholder Activism

January 22: Activist investor Carl Icahn said Xerox Corp. should renegotiate or scrap its Fuji Xerox Co. joint venture in light of a recent accounting probe at the company. “We are obviously in favor of renegotiating the joint venture agreement to make it more favorable for Xerox,” Icahn said in a letter to shareholders. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

Tax Reform

January 22: Companies need to prepare for the financial reporting effects of the new tax law by establishing a good accounting plan to find answers to questions as they arise, accountants and analysts told Bloomberg Tax. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

January 23: Companies subject to taxes on post-1986 foreign earnings won't have to discount the tax liability on those earnings for the time value of money, the FASB said. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

January 24: A provision in the new tax law may allow some companies to essentially write off large parts of an acquisition, tax professionals say, permitting companies to fully write off purchases of new or used equipment bought and put into service after Sept. 27, 2017. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

January 26: The tax directors of large U.S. companies face a mind-boggling job in 2018 if they aim to answer the boss’ question: What tax issues should our company be worried about? Corporate tax directors will have to scramble to digest the ramifications of the tax overhaul for their companies and answer a multitude of questions from financial officers. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

Pass-through Entities

January 23: Most states seeking to address the new federal partnership audit regime are in a holding pattern as they look for a model statute to provide guidance. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required).

January 25: Businesses are considering whether their corporate structures make the most sense in light of the new tax law, which changes the effective tax rate for many companies—depending on industry, kind of structure, and location. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required).

Immigration

January 23: Deloitte's newspaper advertisements listing a “competitive salary” for its accountant and auditor positions didn't sink its chances of hiring a foreign worker. The company's failure to list a set dollar amount as the salary didn't put U.S. workers at any disadvantage in applying for the job, a Labor Department administrative appeals board said. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required).

Enforcement

January 23: The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board was rocked by criminal charges as federal prosecutors accused three former employees of leaking inside information to KPMG LLP so it could improve its audit results. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

Securities and Exchange Commission

January 24: The SEC isn't forgetting about regulations it's required to complete under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, Chairman Jay Clayton said. Dodd-Frank rules on executive compensation, security-based swaps, and other regulations remain on the SEC's agenda. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

January 24:  The SEC is trying to complete smaller company and mining disclosure regulations and streamline other reporting requirements this year as part of an ongoing agency disclosure effectiveness initiative. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

January 25: General Electric Co. is under investigation by the SEC after taking a larger-than-expected charge in its finance division, dealing a new black eye to a company once enshrined as an icon of American business.  Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

Accounting Change

January 25: Issues around credit losses, leasing, and business risks highlight some of the challenges facing the auditing profession in a period of increasing financial reporting change, Christopher Rickli, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP partner, told Bloomberg Tax. View video here: https://www.bna.com/during-change-pace-m73014474523/.Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

Lease Accounting

January 26: Pharmaceutical companies, concerned that software vendors won't be ready with products in time for new rules on accounting for leases, are seeking to delay those rules for a year. The unavailability of fully compliant software solutions is seriously impeding their ability to comply with the standard. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

January 26: Energy, utility and other companies, which feared they would have to sift through thousands of old land easements to see if they are, or contain, a lease, won't have to worry about that now. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

International Accounting Highlights:

Singapore

January 22: New guidance from the Singapore government on customer contracts may help companies navigate the differences between tax and accounting rules as a new tax regime begins. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

Systemic Risk

January 22: Banks in the European Union face tougher new rules on bad loans as policy makers try to get to grips with the 950 billion euros ($1.2 trillion) of nonperforming debt that's choking balance sheets, stunting lending and growth. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

Tax Overhaul

January 22: An array of overseas businesses with U.S. operations will see profound effects from the new U.S. tax law, U.K.-based analysts told Bloomberg Tax. The law “really impacts companies in all sectors, and most will benefit if they have material operations” in America, said Craig Hillier, Ernst & Young LLP international tax services leader in London. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

Australia

January 26: Publicly traded Australian multinationals with business in the U.S. have begun issuing formal statements to the Australian Stock Exchange on how the passage of tax reform in the U.S. impacts their U.S. tax positions. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

Spain

January 26: Spain's Tax Agency said data-analysis technology coupled with new information sources will make it harder for the fraudulent activities of companies and high-net worth individuals to slip under the radar in 2018. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

International Auditing Highlights:

Auditing Liability

January 24: The London unit of KPMG LLP is defending its work as the auditor for failed U.K. services giant Carillion Plc. “We believe that we conducted our role as Carillion's auditor appropriately and responsibly,” a KPMG representative told Bloomberg Tax in an email. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required).

Sustainability Accounting Standards Board

January 24: Investment manager Neuberger Berman is using recommendations designed to help with corporate reporting on issues such as climate change to help it vote on corporate ballots. It's the only investor known to use reporting standards from the SASB, in this way. Click here to see the full story (Subscription required). 

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

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