PCAOB issues more AS2 guidance

In response to concerns raised at a Securities and Exchange Commission roundtable in April on implementing internal control reporting provisions, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has published additional guidance for auditors on how to implement its standard related to the audits of internal controls over financial reporting.

The guidance on Auditing Standard No. 2 is expected to lower the costs associated with internal control audits, the board's chairman and chief auditor said in mid-May.

The guidance includes a board policy statement on the implementation of the standard, and a series of staff questions and answers that PCAOB Chairman William McDonough said gives "more technical guidance to issuers and especially auditors." The policy statement and the FAQ both focus primarily on the scope of the internal control audit and how much testing of internal control over financial reporting is required.

The board's Standing Advisory Group will meet on June 8 and 9 to discuss implementation of the standard.

DoD accountants targeted for layoffs

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service - a 16,000-member accounting cadre that processes payrolls and invoices and administers military trust funds for the armed forces - will face a massive restructuring that includes site closures and layoffs. The DFAS cutback, announced as part of mid-May's decision by the Department of Defense to close 33 military bases, includes shuttering more than 20 locations across the country and instituting layoffs that could potentially approach 13,000 by the year 2011. Most of those furloughed would be civilians.

The closures would affect DFAS sites such as Rock Island, Ill., Patuxent River, Md., Charleston, S.C., Orlando, Fla., San Bernardino and Oakland, Calif., and Kansas City, Mo. The plan also calls for a realignment of DFAS locations in Arlington, Va., and Cleveland, by relocating and consolidating the offices' corporate and administrative functions to the Defense Supply Center in Columbus, Ohio, the Buckley Air Base in Denver, or the Federal Center in Indianapolis. A minimal liaison staff would remain in both Arlington and Cleveland.

The DoD estimated that it would absorb a one-time charge of $282.1 million and realize an annual savings of roughly $120.5 million through fiscal 2011. Over a 20-year period, the DoD estimated savings of $1.3 million via the DFAS consolidation.

SEC taps Thomsen for enforcement

The Securities and Exchange Commission named Linda C. Thomsen to head the agency's enforcement division, succeeding Stephen Cutler, who is leaving the regulator this month for a post in the private sector.

The appointment makes Thomsen, 50, the first woman to hold the top enforcement post at the SEC. A former federal prosecutor for Maryland, she came aboard at the SEC in 1995 as assistant chief litigation counsel. She has served as deputy enforcement director since January 2002. Thomsen has overseen a number of high-profile cases for the SEC, including the commission's investigation into Enron in 2001.

A replacement deputy director has not as yet been named.

Resnick, Druckman Hill join forces

The Resnick Group LLC, based here, has merged its practice with New York-based accounting and financial consulting firm Druckman Hill LLP. Terms were not disclosed. The combined firm operates under the name The Resnick Druckman Group LLC.

Both firms had staffs of 15, and focus on providing accounting, tax, audit and business advisory services to closely held businesses, with a large number of clients in the real estate sector. The merger also gives the new firm a total of seven partners.

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