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The IRS Equity Compensation Audit Guide

Obviously, every equity compensation plan is different and the particular tax treatment of a given security depends on the facts and circumstances of the arrangement.  Samantha L. Albert, senior financial analyst with Mercer Capital, examines equity-based compensation and the tools available when examining these arrangements. To read more about the results of this report in the Mercer Capital's Financial Re ...

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Fraud Risk Assessments

The Annual Audit Does not Identify Operational and Financial Risks According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ (ACFE) 2014 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, an estimated 5% of revenues each year are lost to fraud. What processes can management put in place to identify financial and operational risks? In this article, the author shares his experience and thoughts on that q ...

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Auditing the Auditors

The International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR) recently released its second annual Survey of Inspection Findings for the year 2013. The report includes findings from IFIAR members’ (international audit regulators independent of the audit profession) inspections of audit firms, primarily those associated with the largest international audit firm networks. Findings from audit firm activities ...

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Audit Firms Scrutinized for Non-Audit Services

Beginning this year, the PCAOB is making it a priority to examine whether or not firms that offer non-audit service lines are compromising the quality and accuracy of their audit services by doing so. In yet-to-be-scheduled roundtable discussions with audit firm leaders, regulators are expected to delve into the potential implications for such consulting arrangements. According to PCAOB chairman, James Doty ...

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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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IRS Under Pressure for Large Corporate Pre-Filing

In 2011, after a six-year pilot program, the IRS made the Compliance Assurance Process (CAP) a permanent fixture. The intention was to give large corporate taxpayers a pre-filing period where discrepancies or contentious issues could be ironed out to simplify examination after filing. The goal was to provide each side with more confidence in the contents at the time it was officially filed. The problem: CAP ...

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