Reform Bill Targets Credit Raters

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, All Articles, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Intermediate Accounting, Uncategorized, Video Updates.

On Thursday, May 13, 2010, the U.S. Senate  took steps to overhaul the credit-rating agency business, which is widely maligned for its role in the 2007-2009 financial crisis.  An amendment by Democratic Senator Al Franken passed for a government clearinghouse to be set up to assign debt rating duties to agencies, with federal regulators developing… Read more »

The Costs and Benefits of Simultaneous Audits for Multinational Companies

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, All Articles, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Fraud Accounting, IFRS, Intermediate Accounting, International Accounting, Managerial Accounting.

Simultaneous audits mean two separate exams, conducted by different governments, in which those governments share with each other some of the taxpayer’s information.  Even though you may not have heard of them, they have existed since the 1970s, but are becoming more common today as government tax agencies race to match the level of global… Read more »

Sarbanes-Oxley Benefits without Cost

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Many have debated the cost of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) versus its benefits, given the recent accounting scandals that continue to “pile on”. However, according to Harvard Business School professor, Francois Brochet, the little discussed 2002 provision known as Section 403 is actually making a difference for investors and small companies (and with little cost, unlike some… Read more »

What’s the Diagnosis – Accounting Fatigue Syndrome (AFS)?

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At a recent conference in Orlando, financial executives discussed one of the top reasons for employee fatigue – a continuous stream of regulatory and accounting standard-setting guidance that has been issued in recent years and the promise of more to come over the foreseeable future. Questions: 1. Although the article provides little detail, what accounting… Read more »

New Accounting Rules for Off-Balance Sheet Assets

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Intermediate Accounting.

New accounting rules governing off-balance-sheet transactions went into effect for most companies in January 2010. The rules force companies to put assets, like mortgage servicing rights, back on their balance sheets. Questions: 1. What financial accounting standards (FASs) are forcing companies to put such assets back on their balance sheets? 2. What are some of… Read more »

Late Payments Matter

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Late Payments Matter According to new research, approximately 4,000 small and medium sized firms in the U.K. collapsed in 2008 due to late payments by customers. This amounted to approximately 62 billion pounds that were more than 30 days late and of this 15.5 billion that were more than 120 days overdue. For more than… Read more »

Health Reform and Payments to Doctors

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In September 2009, Merck & Co. Inc. announced that they will be the largest drug company to publish details of payments to doctors. The prescription drug industry has met with growing criticism about its lack of disclosure regarding payments that may influence drug prescribing. As the second-largest U.S. drug company, the company vowed to begin… Read more »

Is the SEC Going to Get Tough On Compliance with Executive Pay Disclosures?

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The SEC revised its disclosure guidelines for executive pay in late 2006. Since that time the regulator has been sending out letters to violator companies with insufficient disclosures, but has seen little compliance. Now the commission indicates that reviews will be tighter and there’s no room for a “Mister Nice Guy” approach. In fact, its… Read more »

Raising funds with Stock Warrants

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The biotechnology firm, Dendreon Corporation, is a company which is developing the prostate cancer drug Provenge. On Friday, November 20, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted its application to market the vaccine to treat men with advanced prostrate cancer. If the FDA approves it, the drug would be the first in a new… Read more »

Are Things Improving for Sears Holding Corporation?

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In the third quarter of 2009, Sears Holding Corporation narrowed its losses from $146 million in the previous quarter to $127 million. Despite this, shares of Sears’ stock have almost doubled during 2009. QUESTIONS: The article mentioned that because of inventory management, the company’s gross margin widened by 0.4 percentage points to 27.2%. What are… Read more »