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Tag >> compliance
Publicly held companies paid on average $3.3 million in total audit fees for fiscal year 2010, an increase of two percent from the prior fiscal year, according to a new report from Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF), the research affiliate of Financial Executives International.
The nearly 250 executives surveyed cited internal audit staff work, and changes in company operations as some of their primary reasons for the difference in fees.
American Tower has one again become a target of regulators.
The telecom company said in a regulatory filing it has received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission requesting certain documents from 2007 through the present, including in particular documents related to the Company's tax accounting and reporting.
One dozen companies paid no taxes over the most recent three-year period.
According to a study from Citizens for Tax Justice, the 12 companies paid an effective tax rate of negative 1.5 percent on $171 billion in profits. In the process, they reaped $62.4 billion in tax subsidies over the 2008-10 period.
So much for Say on Pay being a game changer.
As I have been asserting for over a year, the advisory vote over whether to approve a company's executive compensation table has become something of a dud.
A former top executive of accounting firm BDO Seidman and three others were convicted in Manhattan federal court for their roles in a tax shelter scheme in which they designed, marketed, and implemented fraudulent tax shelters used by wealthy individuals to avoid paying taxes to the IRS.
Denis Field, the former Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of BDO Seidman, former head of its national tax practice, and one of three heads of BDO's "Tax Solutions Group;" Paul Daugerdas, a lawyer and the former head of the Chicago Office of the Jenkens & Gilchrist law firm and its tax practice, and Donna Guerin, a tax lawyer and shareholder at J&G's Chicago Office, were each convicted of conspiring to defraud the IRS and to evade taxes, and of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the internal revenue laws. The defendants were also convicted on multiple counts of tax evasion relating to the use of various tax shelters for specified clients, and of mail fraud. Daugerdas also was convicted of tax evasion based on his use of fraudulent tax shelters to eliminate or reduce his personal income tax liabilities between 1999 and 2001.
After three consecutive years of decline, audit fees as a percentage of revenue of Independent Auditors increased slightly in 2009, points out a new comprehensive study for Audit Analytics.
However, the research firm says that as with non-audit fees, the uptick is due to a decrease in revenues instead of an increase in fees. It stresses the fees declined despite the extra work demanded of independent auditors during the same period when more and more companies were required to obtain a auditor attestations required under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
The former chief financial officer of CSK Auto pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities and mail fraud in connection with a scheme to misstate the company's reported earnings from 2001 through 2006, according to the government.
Don W. Watson Watson admitted that, from 2001 to 2006, he and others conspired to misstate CSK's income by concealing that the company had tens of millions of dollars in vendor rebates that CSK had claimed as income but were never collected. The rebates were in fact not owed to the company or could not be collected and therefore should have been written off CSK's books. As a result of the fraud scheme, CSK reported tens of millions of dollars more in pre-tax income than it in fact earned.
According to the government, CSK misstated its receivables and pre-tax income in its annual reports in fiscal years 2002, 2003 and 2004 by about $10 million, $23 million and $19 million, respectively.
The number of financial restatements rose in 2010, after three years of decline, according to a new study from Audit Analytics. The new uptick was driven by non-accelerated filers.
In addition, although the quantity increased slightly, the severity of the restatements remained low, AA stresses.
The Securities and Exchange Commission told Zale it has completed its investigation of the company and does not intend to recommend any enforcement action.
"We are glad to share with our investors and employees that this matter is now behind us as we continue to focus on returning our business to profitability," said Theo Killion, Chief Executive Officer of the jewelry retailer, in a statement.
The former chief financial officer and an accountant with Capitol Investments USA pleaded guilty to a count of securities fraud for their role in the operation of an $880 million Ponzi scheme linked to a fictitious wholesale grocery distribution business.
Roberto Torres, the CFO of Capitol, and Alejandro Torres, an accountant at Capitol, used the company to assist founder Nevin K. Shapiro in fraudulently obtaining $880 million between January 2005 and November 2009, according to US Attorney Paul J. Fishman.
They face up to 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine.
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