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August 24, 2012
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  Financial Focus 
  • Other News
  • U.S. taxpayers' profit on AIG bailout was $17.7B, Fed says
    The sale of the last asset-backed securities acquired by the U.S. government as part of its 2008 rescue of American International Group brings the total taxpayer profit to $17.7 billion, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said. The final sale of AIG-related securities generated a $6.6 billion profit, in addition to about $11 billion from an earlier sale of loans and assets, the Fed said. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (8/24), Forbes (8/23), CNNMoney (8/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  A&A Report 
  • PCAOB takes a tougher stance on audit tests
    The number of bad grades given by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to small and larger audit firms is rising, writes Floyd Norris. Pickier PCAOB inspections might be the cause of the increase. "We are going into areas where we think there could be problems," said Jay Hanson, a PCAOB board member. The board closely reviews the riskiest clients at each firm and the work of partners it deems to be subpar, he says. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (8/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Tax Spotlight 
  • Now is the time for 2013 tax planning
    With the current income, estate and gift, and capital gains tax rates scheduled to expire and new taxes under the health care reform legislation set to take effect in 2013, high income taxpayers may see marginal tax rate increases of up to 189% percent, depending on the type of income. Blake Christian, CPA, offers tax planning ideas in this uncertain tax landscape. Corporate Taxation Insider (8/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy & Regulatory 
  • Barofsky: TARP was meant to do more than avert financial collapse
    Neil Barofsky, former inspector general of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, discusses his tenure in Washington, D.C., specifically the conflicts of interest he saw. Barofsky argues that TARP was a failure because it was intended to not only help Wall Street, but also Main Street. CNBC (8/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • SEC move highlights issue of "regulatory capture"
    "Regulatory capture" refers to a situation where government agencies shift from regulating an industry to serving it, as described by economist George Stigler. The Securities and Exchange Commission's capitulating to the financial industry over a reform of the money market mutual fund industry is an example, according to this Wall Street Journal opinion piece. The Wall Street Journal (8/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  International View 
  • France and Germany signal no extension for Greek reform
    Despite Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' request for more time, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande indicated reluctance to extend the timeline for Greece's reform. "For me, it's important that we all stand by our commitments, and in particular await the troika report, to then see what the result is," Merkel said. Meanwhile, Hollande said "Greece must make the necessary efforts" to remain in the eurozone. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (8/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Here & There 
  • 10 cities where employment growth is very strong
    Four of the top 10 cities that are best for job creation are in Texas, according to an analysis by 24/7 Wall St., which examined employment growth at metropolitan areas between June 2009 and June 2012. The top three cities are Odessa, Texas; Columbus, Ind.; and Midland, Texas. 24/7 Wall St. (8/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AICPA News 
  • Webinar on Monday: Learn what the iPad can do for your CPA firm
    Beyond the iPad's entertainment value and convenient travel size, it can be difficult to understand how this newest technology phenomenon can help you grow your CPA business. Presenter and CPA tech guru Marc Staut will walk through the significance of the iPad for the CPA business in this webinar, What The iPad Can Do For Your CPA Business, to be held 3 to 4 p.m. ET on Monday. The webinar will provide an in-depth overview of what CPAs should know about the most helpful CPA iPad apps as they pertain to client interactions and communication, the cloud and support. Register today. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • ASB seeking feedback specific to U.S. auditor's reports
    The AICPA's Auditing Standards Board is requesting members to complete a survey to help inform the ASB's response to the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board Invitation to Comment: Improving the Auditor's Report. On June 22, the IAASB released its ITC, seeking input on potential changes to improve the information provided in the auditor's report on financial statements. Read the ASB's letter requesting member input and access the survey, which will remain open through Sept. 10. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Remove failure as an option and your chances for success become infinitely better."
--Joan Lunden,
American journalist, author and television host

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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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