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November 7, 2012
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  Top Story 
 
  • Gridlock remains concern with U.S. Congress divided: Tuesday's elections left the balance of power in Congress largely unchanged, raising the prospect of further partisan gridlock. Democrats held on to their majority in the Senate, and Republicans retained control of the House of Representatives. Reuters (11/7), Politico (Washington, D.C.) (11/7), The Hill (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Financial Focus 
 
  • Boards increasingly turn to CFO experience
    About 40% of audit committee chairmen at 347 global companies have chief financial officer experience, compared with 19% 10 years ago, according to a study by Ernst & Young. CFO experience has become more important in board leadership roles, the study finds. The Wall Street Journal/CFO Journal (tiered subscription model) (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • With profit down, NYSE trims growth goals for tech business
    NYSE Euronext on Tuesday reported a 42% decrease in its third-quarter profit. As a result, the exchange sped up its pullback from foreign investments and lowered a key growth target for its technology-services line of business. "Although we've made a lot of headway, a large portion of our earnings remain linked to trading," which has been in decline, NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer said. Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (11/7), The Wall Street Journal (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  A&A Report 
  • Hoogervorst is concerned lease accounting standard could be stopped
    The pending lease accounting change may be derailed by corporate lobbying, says International Accounting Standards Board Chairman Hans Hoogervorst. He asked national regulators to promote the transparency that the rule change will bring. "The fact is we are still facing an uphill battle. We will need all the help we can get to ensure that we do not get lobbied off course," he said. Reuters (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Tax Spotlight 
  Policy & Regulatory 
  • Congress' top tax writers win re-election
    Democratic and Republican tax writers in the House of Representatives and Senate won re-election. They include Reps. Dave Camp, R-Mich., and Sandy Levin, D-Mich., the chairman and ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the ranking Republican of the Senate finance committee. The Hill/On the Money blog (11/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Groups worry transaction tax will come to U.S.
    Investment and business groups expressed concern in a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner that a European effort to set up a financial-transaction tax will catch on in the U.S. "Now is not the time to experiment with policies that experience tells us will impede growth, fragment markets, increase market volatility, destroy savings and encourage uneconomic tax-motivated decisionmaking," the groups wrote. The Hill/On The Money blog (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  International View 
  • ECB is expected to keep rates steady
    The European Central Bank is expected to hold interest rates Thursday, keeping Germany's strong stance in mind. The ECB doesn't want to undermine its bond-buying pledge, which has worked well to reduce borrowing costs in troubled nations. "If German political opinion swings back against the ECB, it may well be that the signal effect of the [bond-buying pledge] is weakened because markets panic about Germany's support," said Berenberg Bank's Christian Schulz, a former ECB economist. Reuters (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AICPA News 
  • Free webinars: Practitioner insight on using two free tools for financial planning
      
    Two popular tools (Forefield Advisor and the Proactive Planning in Preparation for 2013 Toolkit) are available to AICPA members at no charge until Dec. 31. PFP Section members and CPA/PFS credential holders already have access to these resources as part of their membership. Register for one of the following webinars: Nov. 7, Nov. 15, or Nov. 29. In these webinars, leading practitioners will share useful insights into using these tools in your practice to assist your clients through year-end planning. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • AICPA suggests improvements to the partnership de minimis section 704(b) proposed regulation
    On Nov. 2, the AICPA submitted comments on the proposed regulation that withdraws the de minimis exception of Treas. Reg. Section 1.704-1(b)(2)(iii)(e) (the "De Minimis Exception") regarding a partner's distributive share. The proposed regulation was withdrawn because the rule may have resulted in unintended tax consequences. The AICPA's comments address the withdrawal of the De Minimis Exception and suggest an alternative that will reduce the burden of complying with the substantial economic effect rules without diminishing the safeguards that the current rules provide. The AICPA believes that partnerships that pose little to no risk to the underlying policies of section 704(b) should be excluded from the complicated substantial economic effect rules. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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--Frank Tyger,
American cartoonist, columnist and humorist


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The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is the world’s largest association representing the accounting profession, with nearly 386,000 members in 128 countries and a 125 year heritage of serving the public interest. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting. The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for audits of private companies, non-profit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination and offers specialty credentials for CPAs who concentrate on personal financial planning; fraud and forensics; business valuation; and information technology. Through a joint venture with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, it has established the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation to elevate management accounting globally.

 
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