NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FOR WEDNESDAY - 9.28.16

By:
Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
Sep 28, 2016

Accounting and Financial News Stories

Sustainability Disclosures Making Headway in Reports
Accounting Today
Companies are beginning to revamp their financial reports to incorporate sustainability disclosures in response to demand from investors. Elisse Walter, a former chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission and a current director on the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, spoke at a Financial Executives International and Ernst & Young conference on financial reporting at Pace University in New York about SASB’s standards.

Tax Court Allows Estate A Theft Loss Deduction For Property Held By LLC
Forbes
In the following case, the Tax Court addressed a matter of first impression: whether an estate could take a theft loss deduction relating to property held by an LLC (and not the estate directly). The decedent died owning a 99% interest in a LLC; the LLC’s only asset was an account that fell victim to a Ponzi scheme. The estate claimed a theft loss deduction representing the amount of the value the LLC reported on the estate tax return and the estate’s share of the amounts withdrawn from the investment account.

Some CEOs Survive Mergers as Acquirers Look to Retain Top Talent
Wall Street Journal
For LinkedIn Corp.’s Jeff Weiner, it pays to get acquired. Microsoft Corp. is making extra efforts to keep him employed after agreeing to buy the professional social network where Mr. Weiner has been chief executive since 2008. He will collect a pay package worth about $18 million next year—and make at least $43 million over four years if he meets performance goals, regulatory filings show.

New FATCA Schema Released by IRS for 2017
Deloitte
In August 2016, the IRS released a draft version of the proposed new schema (Shema version 2.0) to be released in early 2017. Revenue will be updating its FATCA validation to take account of the changes resulting from Schema version 2.0 such that only files using Schema version 2.0 will be accepted by Revenue when its FATCA filing facility is opened early in 2017.

Promoting Women Is Crucial
Wall Street Journal
Even where a commitment to gender parity exists, companies must be more proactive to keep women on strong career paths from the lowest to the highest organizational levels, some of the top business leaders in the U.S. said Tuesday. “We have to get the pipeline going right at the very beginning,” Mary Barra, the chief executive of General Motors Co., said at an event in New York hosted by The Wall Street Journal about improving the representation of women in corporate America.

Accounting firms cash in on the real estate boom
Crain’s New York Business
Crain’s top 30 accounting firms enjoyed substantial growth last year. The firms collectively topped $31 billion in revenue—2.9% greater than in 2014—and their total professional employment rose by 17.7% to nearly 45,000 positions. Real estate has been a catalyst. “If you look at the basic economic building blocks of New York, the city’s main driving engines are financial services, real estate, healthcare, tech and insurance,” said Ken Weissenberg, partner-in-charge of the real estate services group at EisnerAmper (No. 5 on Crain’s list).

Is Progress Being Made on Enhancing Audit Quality?
AccountingWEB
Audit quality is on everyone’s radar screens these days as regulators and stakeholders heed increasingly complex business environments. So, it’s no surprise that the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) continues to weigh in on how to improve this segment of the accounting profession.  A new report, AICPA Enhancing Audit Quality Initiative: Highlights and Progress 2016, is a report card of sorts on the six-point plan to improve audit quality that the AICPA launched last year.

Surge in Consumer Confidence Drives Rally After Days of Losses
New York Times
Stocks on Wall Street rebounded and climbed on Tuesday after a survey showed consumer confidence at a nine-year high, a sign Americans would keep spending in the months to come. Technology and consumer shares made the largest gains. The market opened lower after two days of losses but quickly recovered. The consumer confidence report lifted major indexes, and they had locked in a big gain by early afternoon.

Varying Sick-Leave Laws Vex Some Employers
Wall Street Journal
Across the country, new laws are requiring paid sick leave for more workers, but some employers are having a hard time keeping up. In the past decade, 36 states, cities and municipalities have adopted new paid sick-time laws that are, or will soon be, in effect. This year alone, at least 10 new laws and ordinances have been passed in places including Vermont, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., guaranteeing workers some paid time off for illness.

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