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June 1, 2012
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  Financial Focus 
 
  • Companies face liability from executives using social media
    An apparel company, Francesca's Collections, fired its chief financial officer after he used his Twitter account to share confidential company information. Francesca's may face a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation even though executives said they were unaware of the CFO's tweets. "For top executives, the moral is to be careful about what they tweet and post," David McCann writes. CFO.com (5/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Q1 GDP growth in U.S. is lowered to 1.9% by Commerce Department
    The growth of U.S. gross domestic product in the first quarter was 1.9%, the Commerce Department said, a revision of its 2.2% estimate in April and well below the 3% expansion of the U.S. economy in the fourth quarter of 2011. Most economists say 3% GDP growth is necessary before employers step up hiring enough to have an effect on the unemployment rate. MarketWatch (5/31), CNNMoney (5/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. retail sales in May beat analysts' expectations
    Major retail chains in the U.S. reported a 3.9% increase in sales in May, better than the 3.6% growth analysts were expecting. Experts said shoppers were attracted to stores in a greater number by successful Memorial Day and Mother's Day promotions, as well as lower gasoline prices. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (6/1), Reuters (5/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Shareholder lawsuits add to merger costs in U.S.
    About 95% of merger deals in the U.S. lead to a shareholder lawsuit, with the average deal attracting about six suits, according to a study by Stanford University and Cornerstone. The suits are meant to ensure that companies treat shareholders fairly and make adequate disclosures. However, critics, including some judges, say the suits are used by law firms to generate easy income. The Economist (6/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  • Construction adds complexity to lease accounting
    Companies that undertake construction projects in conjunction with leases should be careful of the accounting effects, PricewaterhouseCoopers' Chad Soares says. Certain projects must be included as an asset on a lease-holder's balance sheet, depending on how involved it is with the project. "If a lease involves an asset that will be constructed, special rules exist," Soares says. Compliance Week/Accounting & Auditing blog (5/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Tax Spotlight 
  • Federal court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act, but holds up tax refunds
    Married same-sex couples who had been denied various federal benefits won a victory in the First Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday when that court struck down the portion of the Defense of Marriage Act defining "marriage" as being between "one man and one woman." However, the appeals court maintained an injunction against paying the plaintiffs the tax refunds that they would be owed if they were allowed to file jointly and other federal benefits, pending review of the case by the Supreme Court. JournalofAccountancy.com (5/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy & Regulatory 
  • Regulators encourage banks to buy government debt, analysis finds
    A Citigroup analysis found that regulators in the U.S. and Europe are encouraging banks to purchase governments bonds. The situation could exacerbate the debt crisis, according to the analysis. "Specifically, having banks loaded up with domestic sovereign debt will only increase the domestic fallout if the sovereign ultimately reneges on its obligations," Citigroup strategist Hans Lorenzen said. CNBC/NetNet blog (5/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  AICPA News 
  • Register today: June 7 webinar presented by AICPA Health Care Expert Panel
    Register now for a live webinar, "An Up Close Look at the Health Care Guide including Emerging GAAP Issues," to be hosted June 7 by select members of the AICPA's Health Care Expert Panel. The webinar will delve into the revised AICPA Audit and Accounting Guide Health Care Entities Guide -- the first comprehensive revision of the Guide since 1996. The Guide has been organized into 15 chapters and the content has been reorganized to increase accessibility. In addition, the Guide includes expanded disclosures and commentary, and a topical index. Find out how else this Guide has changed. Several emerging issues under discussion by the Expert Panel also will be discussed. Register today. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is the world’s largest association representing the accounting profession, with nearly 377,000 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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