NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FOR FRIDAY - 4.15.16

By:
Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
Apr 15, 2016

Accounting and Financial News Stories

Ranking the Best Accounting Firms to Work For
CPA Practice Advisor
Do you enjoy working at your current firm? If you're a partner now, did you enjoy working as a regular staff member in your junior years? Did the firm enable, even encourage, staff members to maintain a quality of life that included outside interests? 

Would Negative Rates Work in the U.S.?
Wall Street Journal
The debate over negative interest rates is washing up on U.S. shores. Monetary-policy makers, bankers and economists are looking to the experience of Europe and Japan and asking whether subzero rates would boost the U.S. economy. It is a hypothetical question for now; the Federal Reserve has signaled it expects to raise interest rates by a total of half a percentage point this year, not cut them.

Public sector needs to do a better job with assets
Financial Times
What is not measured does not count. This is dramatically true in discussion of the public sector. A few numbers — the annual financial deficit and the stock of debt — dominate the debate. The result is chronic mismanagement. The current UK debate, for example, largely ignores assets and makes little distinction between current and capital spending. The present focus also ignores many liabilities and pays little attention to management of assets.

Elizabeth Warren Introduces Bill to Streamline Tax Filing
Accounting Today
Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has introduced legislation, co-sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, that would require the Internal Revenue Service to develop a free, online tax preparation and filing service that taxpayers could use to prepare and file their taxes directly with the federal government. The Tax Filing Simplification Act of 2016 aims to simplify and decrease the costs of the tax filing process for millions of American taxpayers.

Wall St. Little Changed Amid Earnings Reports
New York Times
Stocks hardly budged on Thursday, finishing with a mix of small gains and losses. Banks and airlines rose on strong first-quarter reports, while consumer products companies struggled. The market wavered throughout the day. After two big gains in a row, stocks have been trading at their highest levels of the year. “People are getting a bit more confident of what’s going on in the market,” said J. J. Kinahan, chief strategist for TD Ameritrade. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index edged up 0.36 points, or 0.02 percent, to 2,082.78.

NY Senate Mulling Bill to Allow Non-CPAs to Become Partners
INSIDE Public Accounting
Supporters of a bill to allow non-CPAs to be made accounting firm partners in New York are making another attempt at passage. The bill language was not included in the state budget passed April 1. It had been included in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget and the state Senate’s budget, but backers are seeking approval so that non-CPAs will be allowed to own a minority stake in firms that meet certain conditions, the Albany Times Union reported.

Thomson Reuters Leverages ERP Relationships
Accounting Today
Thomson Reuters is building bridges with NetSuite and other vendors’ enterprise resource planning software, tying its sales tax technology to theirs. Last month, Thomson Reuters announced it has integrated its ONESOURCE Indirect Tax sales tax technology with NetSuite’s cloud-based ERP system. Thomson Reuters hooked into NetSuite’s ERP system through an application programming interface.

Homing In on Inflation at the Fed
Wall Street Journal
A little less shelter may be about to put a roof on inflation readings. Consumer prices rose 0.1% last month from February, the Labor Department reported Thursday, less than the 0.2% economists expected. Core prices, which exclude food and energy to better capture inflation’s trend, also rose 0.1%. That put them 2.2% above their year-earlier level. In February, they were up 2.3% on the year—one reason hawks at the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting last month may have worried over the risk of inflation running hotter than the central bank expected.

The Winds From Washington Chill Wall Street’s Deal Making
New York Times
On Wall Street, the phones have been a little quieter. The workload has been a little lighter. The happy hours have been starting earlier. For most people, that would be a good thing. But not for deal-hungry lawyers and bankers, who are experiencing a recent slowdown in megadeals. A series of broken transactions and stock-market volatility have shaken the confidence of some in the boardroom to tackle their next big acquisition. The value of abandoned deals has been higher than that of newly signed deals in the United States so far this year.

U.S. Treasury to Sell $68 Billion in Debt
Wall Street Journal
The U.S. Treasury Department will auction $68 billion in securities next week, comprising $40 billion in new debt and $28 billion in previously auctioned debt. Details (all with minimum denominations of $100): Monday: $28 billion in 13-week bills, a reopening of an issue first sold on July 23, 2015, maturing July 21, 2016. Cusip number: 912796GW3. Also Monday, $24 billion in 26-week bills, dated April 21, 2016, maturing Oct. 20, 2016. Cusip: 912796JQ3.

Congress Wants More Control Over IRS
CPA Practice Advisor
Congress may have more to say about how the IRS “runs its business” in upcoming years. Four new bills marked up and passed on April 13 by the Ways and Means Committee, the tax-law writing body of the House, would dictate IRS certain practices, if enacted. Prior to the mark-ups, Ways and Means chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) commented on the direction his committee was taking. “Americans send a significant portion of their hard-earned dollars to the IRS every April,” said Brady.

'Let them sell their summer homes': NYC pension dumps hedge funds
Thomson Reuters
New York City's largest public pension is exiting all hedge fund investments in the latest sign that the $4 trillion public pension sector is losing patience with these often secretive portfolios at a time of poor performance and high fees. The board of the New York City Employees Retirement System (NYCERS) voted to leave blue chip firms such as Brevan Howard and D.E. Shaw after their consultants said they can reach their targeted investment returns with less risky funds.

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