Monthly Archive: March 2014

Mar 29

Severance payments remain FICA taxable

On March 25, the U.S Supreme Court ruled in favor of the IRS over whether certain severance compensation is subject to payroll taxes. My prior blog post on this Sixth Circuit case is here. The Supreme Court ruled 8-0 to overturn the Sixth Circuit decision. This case would have had huge tax impact had the …

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Mar 26

Quarter theft stacks up

A New Jersey man recently entered a guilty plea for his ongoing theft of quarters derived from parking meters.  The individual, who had access to the room where the parking meter change was kept, took “handfuls” of change on a regular basis over approximately two years.  At the end of the period, the theft had …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/03/quarter-theft-stacks-up/

Mar 25

Internal Audit’s Top Priorities Include Social Media

Protiviti’s 2014 Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs Survey Report queried more than 600 internal audit professionals about the social media risks that threaten their businesses.  The five largest are: Financial loss Interrupted business continuity Loss of intellectual property Loss of employee productivity Viruses and malware However, despite this awareness of the risks, many companies are still not adequately …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/03/internal-audits-top-priorities-include-social-media/

Mar 19

New Path for Accelerated Discovery Requires Immediate Expert Assistance

The Eastern District of Texas is well known for its intense patent activity and already provides early disclosure of infringement and invalidity contentions to facilitate faster resolution of these cases.  The Court has now taken similar action by providing an option for accelerated damage discovery, including requiring a two week turnaround between defendant’s production of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/03/new-path-for-accelerated-discovery-requires-immediate-expert-assistance/

Mar 17

SOX Whistleblower Protection Extend to Certain Private Company Employees

The Supreme Court has held in the case of Lawson v. FMR LLC that the whistleblower protection available under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”) properly extends to employees of privately held contractors and subcontractors who perform work for a public company.  Although the case in question was brought by employees of advisors to a …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/03/sox-whistleblower-protection-extend-to-certain-private-company-employees/

Mar 14

FASB wants to hear from stakeholders on fair value measurements

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) is requesting input from stakeholders regarding FASB Statement No. 157, Fair Value Measurements, (“157”).  157 provides a single definition of fair value, establishes a framework for measuring fair value, and expands disclosures about fair value measurements. A Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF)  review team found that some investors were struggling to understand the use of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/03/fasb-wants-to-hear-from-stakeholders-on-fair-value-measurements/

Mar 13

Court strikes expert for “parroting”

In Plantronics, Inc.v. ALIPH, Inc, ALIPH was successful in its bid to exclude the report of Plaintiff’s infringement expert in this case involving the fit of ear buds.  The Court found that the expert did very little analysis in order to conclude infringement: “Professor Katz never conducted any quantitative analysis (i.e., size, measurements, dimensions, or …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/03/court-strikes-expert-for-parroting/

Mar 12

Estate tax penalty occurs because of a lack of a professional appraisal

In Estate of Helen P. Richmond et al. vs. vs. Commissioner T.C. Memo. 2014-26, February 11, 2014, the Tax Court addressed reasonably straightforward estate tax valuation questions in a reasonably predictable manner. The additional tax imposed because of a higher valuation was not particularly surprising to me, and probably not to others who regularly practice …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/03/estate-tax-penalty-occurs-because-of-a-lack-of-a-professional-appraisal/

Mar 10

PCAOB Quote Regarding Audit Failure Rate Raises Concerns

Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported the shocking headline “One in Three Audits Fail, PCAOB Chief Auditors Says”.  The PCAOB is the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, so such a statement certainly has the ability to rattle not only the the audit community, but all users of audited financials. Reading the context of the quote …

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Mar 05

Reducing Audit Fees Increases Restatement Risk

In association with general cost cutting measures over recent years, many companies have pressured their vendors to reduce fees.  This downward pressure has extended to the accounting firms hired to provide independent audit opinions, resulting in a significant drop in audit fees.  According to Audit Analytics, audit fees in 2012 were $472 per $1 million …

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