CLIFTON GUNDERSON ABSORBS NEW MEXICO FIRMPEORIA, ILL. - Midwestern regional firm Clifton Gunderson has acquired Chavarria Dunne & Lamey LLC of Albuquerque, N.M.

Terms of the merger, which became effective April 1, were not disclosed.

Following the close of the deal, three CD&L partners and 100 employees will come aboard Clifton Gunderson.

GAO REQUESTS $530 MILLION FOR 2008 BUDGET

WASHINGTON - Citing pressures created by the nation's current and projected budget deficit, a growing long-term fiscal imbalance and a heavier workload that may impair its ability to serve its mission to Congress, the Government Accountability Office has requested a 2008 budget of $530 million - an 8.5 percent rise over the previous year's funding levels.

The investigative arm of Congress said the funds would be earmarked toward rebuilding its workforce capacity, addressing an increased caseload for bid protest filings, and supporting its plan to boost its staffing levels to 3,750 over the next six years.

The office said looming projects include supply and demand imbalances, high-risk areas and technology assessments.

JUDGE'S RULING UPHOLDS PCAOB, SOX

WASHINGTON - A federal judge here has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a small Nevada audit firm that had challenged the constitutionality of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

In a 14-page decision, U.S. District Judge James Robertson ruled against the suit, which was filed by Beckstead & Watts LLP of Henderson, Nev., and later joined by tax and government reform concern, the Free Enterprise Fund.

The suit had not only challenged the PCAOB, but also the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the sweeping corporate reform law that mandated the creation of the audit watchdog.

In a statement, the PCAOB said, "We are pleased with the Court's decision and look forward to continuing to fulfill the mandate given us by Congress to protect the interests of investors."

The groups that filed the suit said they planned an appeal.

SAN DIEGO'S 2003 STATEMENTS GET AUDIT OKAY

SAN DIEGO - Big Four firm KPMG has approved San Diego's financial statements for the city's 2003 fiscal year, issuing a recent clean audit opinion letter. In the culmination of a three-year audit process, the Big Four firm issued 66 restatements - covering wrongly recorded debt, property and investments - that totaled nearly $1.8 billion.

It's a major step towards restoring fiscal order for the city, which has seen its credit rating for general-obligation bonds plummet since 2002. The city will now turn its focus to its three remaining past-due annual audits.

In December, San Diego's City Council approved paying another $2.2 million to KPMG for the 2003 audit - bringing the city's total tab with KPMG to $6.6 million. That spending approval was the ninth time KPMG asked the city for more money to complete its fiscal review.

Most of the problems stem from a period when San Diego allegedly hid financial obligations to retirees. In November, the SEC ordered the city to hire an independent financial consultant for the next three years, but didn't levy fines.

CCR-UHY END MERGER NEGOTIATIONS

WESTBOROUGH, MASS. - Carlin, Charron & Rosen, a regional CPA and business advisory firm in New England, has ended its merger negotiations with accounting firm consolidator UHY Advisors.

The merger was scheduled to close May 1.

No specific reason was cited for the breakup; however, CCR managing partner Robert Charron said that despite the potential of the union, "A merger of this nature also presents great challenges. The due diligence process has proceeded amicably and with the cooperation of both firms, but despite our best efforts we were unable to overcome those challenges."

According to Accounting Today's 2007 Top 100 Firms, UHY Advisors and Carlin, Charron & Rosen ranked No. 13 and No. 69, and generated 2006 revenue of $241.6 million and $36 million, respectively.

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