NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FOR TUESDAY - 6.21.16

By:
Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
Jun 21, 2016

Accounting and Finance News Stories

IRS Chief Koskinen Fights First Appointee Impeachment Since 1876
Bloomberg Politics
Before he became the top U.S. tax collector and the target of an unprecedented Republican-led impeachment drive, John A. Koskinen majored in physics, guided the country through the “Y2K” problem and ran a foundation that promotes youth soccer. Now, amid a three-year controversy over the Internal Revenue Service’s scrutiny of conservative groups, Koskinen, 76, is being re-educated in the exertion of forces, the limits of computer technology and -- according to a predecessor -- the sensation of being kicked around.

Bitcoin Rival Ethereum Gains Traction
Wall Street Journal
With a rising market value and a roster of high-profile patrons, Ethereum in recent months has become the next hot thing in cryptocurrencies. Ethereum is an open software platform, comprising a currency called ether, a public “blockchain” ledger for keeping track of transactions and tools for building so-called smart contracts that automatically make payments when their terms are fulfilled. Anyone can develop new applications that make use of its code.

FASB Credit Loss Standard Will Prompt Changes at More than Banks
Accounting Today
The long awaited credit loss standard that the Financial Accounting Standards Board released last week is expected to have a wide-ranging impact beyond only banks and financial services firms. “It’s not just a banking issue, although that’s probably the party that’s going to be impacted the most just because of what’s on their balance sheet,” said Jonathan Howard, senior consultation partner for national office accounting services at Deloitte & Touche LLP.

The Fed’s Case For a Higher Inflation Target
Wall Street Journal
The Federal Reserve has an ammo problem. Inflation may be the only way to solve it. Participants in the Fed’s meeting last week not only cut their target-rate projections through 2018, they also lowered estimates for where they think rates will be beyond that. Their median “longer-run” projection for rates now centers on 3%, well below the 4.25% offered up in 2012, when the Fed began releasing rate projections.

CPA firms finding benefits in casual dress trend
Journal of Accountancy
At some of the largest accounting firms in the United States, managers are adopting dress codes that are low on formality and high on comfort.  Armanino LLP, a firm based in San Ramon, Calif., unveiled its new policy in April, and employees are enthusiastically trading in their suits and wingtips for jeans and loafers. “We saw an opportunity to reflect how the workplace is changing, and we wanted to enact positive change for our employees,” said Kevin Turco, senior manager of internal communications at Armanino.

Most U.S. Workers Lack Parental Leave Options
CPA Practice Advisor
When the Pittsburgh Paid Family Leave of Absence passed in spring 2015, Chuck O'Neill assumed the rule granting six weeks of paid leave for public sector employees applied only to mothers. A few weeks later, he read an article about the policy and realized it included fathers as well. "Holy heck, this is amazing," he thought.

Bank of America, Citigroup—and Shareholders—Brace for Stress-Test Results
Wall Street Journal
There is a $24 billion reason why Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. shareholders should care about bank “stress tests,” results of which are expected this week. That figure is the additional money combined the two banks theoretically could have returned to shareholders over the past three years if their levels of dividends and share buybacks were similar to those of Wells Fargo & Co., according to Wall Street Journal calculations. 

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