PCAOB FORMS INVESTOR ADVISORY GROUP

Washington, D.C. - The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has created an Investor Advisory Group to solicit input from investors on how to carry out its responsibilities in overseeing public auditing firms.

The PCAOB is soliciting nominations for membership in the group, so the makeup has not yet been determined. However, the PCAOB said that it is looking for people who represent a broad spectrum of the investment community, especially individuals who have demonstrated a history of commitment to investor protection.

The group will provide views and advice to the board on broad policy issues, and members will be nominated for three-year terms. Initially the group will consist of 15 members. They will hold semi-annual meetings of a day or two in length. One member will chair the group, and the initial chair will be board member Steven B. Harris.

TWEEDIE WARNS OF 2011 IFRS DEADLINE

New York - International Accounting Standards Board Chairman Sir David Tweedie said that other countries are running out of patience waiting for the Securities and Exchange Commission to decide on whether to approve a roadmap for transitioning to International Financial Reporting Standards, and that the U.S. would need to commit by 2011.

Speaking at the American Accounting Association's recent annual meeting, Tweedie said, "This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Where is the USA? That is a question I am asked all around the world. ... FASB is riding two horses: U.S. GAAP and trying to converge at the same time, but so are we. We get a lot of criticism over the favored-nation status toward the United States."

The timetable in the proposed roadmap envisions a vote by the SEC in 2011 on whether or not to go ahead with IFRS adoption. However, Tweedie said that he has heard concerns about the U.S. not making a commitment by that time.

GE TO PAY $50M TO SETTLE FRAUD CHARGES

New York - General Electric has agreed to pay $50 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges that the company reported false and misleading results in its financial statements.

The SEC alleged that GE used improper accounting methods to increase its reported earnings and avoid reporting negative financial results. An SEC investigation uncovered four separate accounting violations, and GE corrected the last of the violations in 2008.

The SEC's complaint alleges that on four separate occasions in 2002 and 2003, high-level GE accounting executives or other finance personnel approved accounting that was not in compliance with GAAP.

CORRECTIONS

Due to a combination of technical and editorial problems, we inadvertently omitted some firms from our list of the Top Firms by AUM (July 20-Aug. 16, 2009, page 28): In addition to those mentioned last issue, Baker Tilly Investment Advisors should have been in the Billion Dollar Club, with $1 billion under management, and Clifton Gunderson Wealth Management should have been in the $100+ Million Club, with $600 million. The list posted on WebCPA.com has been updated. Our apologies for the omissions.

Separately, a headline in our M&A Watch column for the July 20-Aug. 16 issue (page 48) incorrectly stated that McKennon Wilson & Morgan and DixonBrambila had merged; in fact, partner Michael McKennon withdrew from MW&M to join DixonBrambila in forming DBBMcKennon. Our apologies.

(c) 2009 Accounting Today and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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