Washington, D.C. - President Obama has signed the sweeping financial regulatory reform bill into law. The bill contains a vast array of provisions, including the creation of a Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and the ability to close down failing financial institutions.

The act also expands the authority of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to regulate auditors of brokers and dealers by providing them with standard-setting, inspection and disciplinary authority regarding broker-dealer audits. It also allows the PCAOB to share information with foreign auditor oversight authorities, and exempts smaller public companies with a market cap of under $75 million from Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404(b) audits of management's assessment of internal controls. CPAs and tax preparers are exempted from regulation by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and CPAs may be called upon to assist in audits of the bureau by the U.S. comptroller general.


New York - Big Four firm KPMG has acquired the supply chain advisory services practice of Grant Thornton LLP in order to expand its restructuring capabilities. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to strengthen KPMG's existing restructuring services practice. The transaction also includes Grant Thornton's Vontik software system, and the addition of 23 professionals to KPMG. KPMG will also take over existing Grant Thornton projects at several Fortune 500 companies.


Washington, D.C. - The number of assets seized by the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation Division fell in 2009 and 2008, according to a new report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. During fiscal year 2009, the CI Division seized 1,624 assets, a 13 percent decline from the previous year, and a 28 percent decline from the six-year high in FY 2007. However, the decline in the number of assets seized can be partly attributed to the decrease in the number of illegal source and narcotics investigations initiated during that period, and the loss of experienced special agents in recent years.

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