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CPAs who advice municpal governments may be examined by the the Securities and Exchange Commission sometime over the next two years as part of a new initiative launched to ensure compliance with regulations on municipal advisors that were part of the Dodd-Frank Act. Municipal advisors are defined as someone who:
Conference calls can be a frustrating affair. Many times, it seems like most of the people on the line just aren't giving the call their full attention. A study recently done Intercall, the world's largest conference call company, found that this is correct: people on conference calls do a large number of things besides actually paying attention and participating in the discussion, according to Harvard Business Review.
The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has a new Taxpayer Advocate: Margaret Neri, who has replaced Camille Siano-Enders, who has herself been appointed Director of Conciliation and Mediation Services to replace an outgoing Kevin Law, according to Geoff Gloak, a state tax department spokesperson. Neri, who will also be serving as the department ethics officer, was appointed in late July and was appointed because of what Gloak said is "her longstanding personal and professional commitment to working through the legal system on behalf of the disadvantaged.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration released a report that said the IRS needs to do better at ensuring accurate reporting and payment of the medical device excise tax that was implemented as part of the Affordable Care Act. It found that the IRS cannot identify the population of medical device manufacturers registered with the Food and Drug Administration that are required to file a Form 720 and pay the excise tax.
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) issued its third report on broker-dealer audits and said that despite some improvement, the board still has serious concerns over the nature and number of audit issues they're still finding. The report said that the PCAOB identified audit deficiencies or independence findings in 56 of the 60 audit firms inspected, and in 71 of the 90 audits inspected.
While many words have been said about how high the U.S. corporate tax rate is, statutorily the highest in the world, a study from the University of Southern California makes the argument that, compared to other countries, the current rate actually helps domestic businesses, according to the New York Times.
PricewaterhouseCoopers has agreed to pay $25 million and remove itself for two years from doing any consulting work that would require the New York regulator to approve its advisory unit as an independent consultant or to authorize the disclosure of confidential banking information as part of a settlement regarding a bank client that tampered with information about wire transfers to sanctioned countries, said Reuters.
About one hour on, twenty minutes off: that's what was found to be the most productive workflow, according to the makers of DeskTime, software that tracks how much time people devote to what they do on their computers, whether it's getting that report done or looking at a cat dressed up as a bumblebee, said the Washington Post.