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Incentives for Auditors to Tell the Truth

In an opinion piece for The New York Times, M.I.T economics professor, Michael Greenstone, examines the parallels between Enron, the corporate accounting scandals of the early 2000’s and the sub-prime mortgage crisis/Great Recession of present day.  Greenstone points out that the biggest similarity and ethical hurdle in both scenarios is the fact that auditors were hired and paid for by the very firms they ...

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Supreme Court Upholds 40 Percent Valuation Misstatement Penalty

The U.S. Supreme court recently upheld the 40 percent penalty in gross valuation misstatement when the partnerships involved were determined to be shams with no economic substance and as such, the partners’ outside basis in the partnership was zero.  The unanimous decision, written by Justice Scalia, resolved a split among the circuit courts as to whether the penalty applied.  The Fifth Circuit Court, where ...

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Leading Your Team

How to build more personal power At some point in their careers, many executives find themselves short of the power and influence they need to get their jobs done effectively. Fortunately, these problems can usually be remedied as this article by Leslie Brokaw explains. ...

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How to Determine a DLOM for the IRS

Historical perspective and current recommendations The Internal Revenue Service published Discount for Lack of Marketability: Job Aid for IRS Professionals (Job Aid) in August of 2013.  Now, two new books provide  advice on how to prepare a DLOM and which methods valuators  should consider and why.  These will help any business valuation practice, whether working on a DLOM for the IRS or any other purpose. ...

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Case Law Update

A help or hinderance? On July 1, 2013, FASB issued exposure drafts calling for public commentary on three proposals that address private company stakeholder concerns. Two proposals involve accounting for identifiable intangible assets and goodwill acquired in business combinations. In this article, Mark Zyla analyzes the proposed changes, including potential concerns, and their far-reaching impact on the in ...

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Website vs. Social Media for Brand Destination

With the explosion of new social media platforms over the last five to seven years, a dilemma has arisen for business owners in search of new customers or clients.  Is the standard company website obsolete?  Should businesses be reaching out to potential prospects through platforms like Twitter and Pinterest?  With Facebook standing at 500 million accounts, many companies are abandoning their standalone web ...

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Valuing a CPA Firm

With the number of retirements in the accounting profession expected to soar over the next decade, many foresee a wave of CPA firm sales happening at the same time.  Anticipating the trend, the Journal of Accountancy has offered up its method of valuing a CPA firm, but the method and results differ depending on whether an external transaction or internal transfer is involved.  Of particular concern is the s ...

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An App a Day

The onslaught of new phones and apps and their related potential for financial crime This article examines the high cost of convenience in regards to constantly evolving smart phones, iPads, and other personal communication device applications. The intentional (and unintentional) transfer of sensitive data between individuals happens in seconds. The author lays out the double-edged benefits of such technolo ...

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Huff Investment Partnership v. CKx, Inc.

Now, which approach should one use to value a business? The Delaware Chancery Court in Huff was asked to determine the fair value of shares. The case pitted well-known industry experts, Robert Reilly, of Willamette Management, against Jeffrey Cohen. Each presented different opinions as to fair value. The court decided that the merger price was the fair value. The opinion raises a number of questions includi ...

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FASB Proposals Provide Exceptions for Private Companies for Fair Value Measurements

A help or hinderance? On July 1, 2013, FASB issued exposure drafts calling for public commentary on three proposals that address private company stakeholder concerns. Two proposals involve accounting for identifiable intangible assets and goodwill acquired in business combinations. In this article, Mark Zyla analyzes the proposed changes, including potential concerns, and their far-reaching impact on the in ...

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Time, Technology Devalue Blackberry Patents

BlackBerry’s patent portfolio is one of the most diverse in the technology industry and is possibly the company’s most valuable asset. Sifting through its thousands of patents reveals a host of innovations in all areas of mobile technology, ranging from user interfaces to battery efficiency and data compression. Some 80 per cent of BlackBerry’s patents are the result of the company’s own research efforts. ...

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Quarantines

A cheap price of admission for electronic client files Everyone understands the risk their firm faces from hackers and cyber thieves lurking in the shadowy places of the Internet. What they might not know is that the greatest, and most common, technology threat is posed by their own clients. In this article, the author retells the story of how his entire business data system was taken down by a trusted clie ...

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You May Not Need a Business Valuation

Valuators play different roles depending on client needs When individuals enter into business transactions, they seek the assistance of a valuation expert to support their decision-making process. Depending on the circumstances and specific needs of the individual, a valuator may find that a business valuation isn’t really what the client needs. Often times, valuators will find themselves on a different ass ...

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Do Business Valuation Standards Apply to Non-BV Accredited CPAs?

Will the valuation report prepared by the non-accredited CPA be admitted? The author was recently involved in an Oklahoma domestic relations case where the opposing expert contended he did not have to abide by AICPA standards, reporting or otherwise, since he was not a member of the organization. This article summarizes how this issue was handled by the Oklahoma judge. ...

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World Banks Continue to Consolidate

According to data presented by McKinsey & Company and reported by Bloomberg.com, up to 20 percent of the world’s largest banks may be broken up or merge as part of a correction strategy to boost shareholder returns.  As banks refine their focus on products and regions, the number of global, universal banks may drop from 25 to less than 10.  In 2012, global banks earned an 8.6 percent return on equity, w ...

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Beating the Market

While the idea of beating the market is more suited to the financial investment sector, McKinsey & Company recently applied some of the same principles to business strategy.  In a review of 3,000 large nonfinancial companies, this overview examines the players that avoid profit depletion and maximize value creation, even during economic downturns.  Tried and true business practices are tested as the num ...

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Transaction Advisory

Earn-out provisions require careful planning This article examines the challenges surrounding earnout provisions, particularly when the subject entity has a short history, but high growth potential, such as in untested technology. Carefully constructed earnout contingencies may help alleviate disagreements between the transaction parties and avoid valuation disparities in the process. ...

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Case Law Update

A summary of recent federal and state court cases involving final partner administrative adjustments, mergers, and matrimonial law This month we highlight four cases.  The first is Rovakat, a federal appellate court decision where a claimed redemption was deemed a sale of stock. The In re MFW Shareholder Litigation case involves a motion for summary judgment where a majority of the minority shareholders app ...

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Owned and Operated

How the ACA impacts the valuation of physician-owned hospitals Nick Janiga and David Walline of HealthCare Appraisers, Inc. (HAI) examine how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) affects the valuation of physician-owned hospitals and what the future holds for the 240 such medical institutions across the country. ...

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