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Accountants regroup after 'year of hell'

Thousands of accountants are converging in Hong Kong for their five-yearly global congress, in the hope of salvaging a professional reputation in tatters. The 16th World Congress of Accountants has drawn attendees from 100 countries, all well aware that the past year of scandal upon scandal resulting from poor oversight of company accounts has been a disaster for them. The ...

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IFAC's IAASB Invites Comments on its Operations and Guidance

(New York/Nov. 19, 2002) — The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has issued an exposure draft of three documents that are critical to its operations: its Terms of Reference, Preface to the International Standards on Quality Control, Auditing, Assurance and Related Services and Policy on Bold Type Lettering. Comments are requested ...

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SEC proposes independent auditor rules

WASHINGTON — Carrying out the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform law, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued proposed rules Tuesday designed to force accounting firms to maintain absolute independence from the companies whose books they audit. The SEC plans to seek public comment on the proposals, which the law requires be in place by late January. The measures are a response to ...

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Many firms still in trouble, says KPMG

The high number of companies announcing profit warnings, redundancies and significant restructuring has continued for the second quarter in a row, according to research from accountants KPMG. A total of 1,287 negative announcements were made in the third quarter after 1,308 in the second quarter. KPMG said that concern remained “high” and that there was “no end in sight” to ...

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Survey: Staffing Remains Top Issue for Firms

New York (Nov. 18, 2002) – Forget Enron and Sarbanes-Oxley and auditor independence. What keeps accounting firm managing partners awake at night is finding and keeping good employees. That’s the finding from this year’s “Top Five Management of an Accounting Practice Issues” survey, conducted by the PCPS MAP committee of the American Institute of CPAs. The top five management issues, ...

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BDO Seidman Withdraws Suit

Chicago (Nov. 15, 2002) BDO Seidman has withdrawn a lawsuit which sought to release documents that contradicted statements by Public Company Accounting Oversight Board chairman William Webster regarding BDO’s dismissal as auditor to a small technology company where Webster served as head of the audit committee. BDO Seidman said that while serving as auditor to U.S. Technologies it had raised ...

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PwC showcases staff's ethical credentials

PricewaterhouseCoopers, the world's largest accountancy, yesterday stepped up a campaign to demonstrate ethical credentials with a financial review emphasising “the quality and integrity” of its staff. In a clear attempt to counter criticism that auditing standards remain compromised by consultancy work for the same client, the firm said that over the past year it spent £13m on staff checks against ...

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Retired Partner at Andersen Sues Three Rival Firms

A retired partner of Arthur Andersen, who lost $2.2 million in benefits when the firm collapsed, is suing three accounting firms, saying they unjustly enriched themselves at the expense of about 1,000 retired Andersen partners and their spouses. The suit, filed in a state court in Indiana, says that the three firms — Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young and ...

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Former Andersen chief dismayed by Big Four's attitude

Joe Berardino, the former chief executive of Arthur Andersen, is warning the rest of the accounting industry that it risks ruin unless it shakes itself out of a “dangerous complacency”. Speaking before his peers for the first time since his firm was convicted of obstructing justice over the Enron debacle, Mr Berardino appeared remorseful. “I come before you in humility, ...

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Andersen Points Blame at Bosses of Software Firm

Nov. 14–Accounting firm Arthur Andersen, in its answer to a $1 billion lawsuit filed by San Diego's Peregrine Systems, contends the software company's senior officers orchestrated its financial fraud. Andersen's 12-page response, filed Oct. 30 in San Diego Superior Court, says, “Peregrine repeatedly lied to Andersen in documents provided to Andersen in the course of its work.” As a legal ...

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