ALTERNATIVE NO MORE

As we went to press, McGladrey & Pullen announced that it had agreed to buy back RSM McGladrey Inc. from H&R Block for $610 million, re-uniting the two firms under an integrated partnership structure. Block will finance $65 million of the purchase and take a charge of $53 million; it had apparently been looking to sell RSM since April. M&P and RSM together are the fifth largest firm in the U.S.

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board issued a concept release that proposes requiring audit firm rotation. Comments - of which there will probably be a few - are due by December 14. (See page 16.)

The Financial Accounting Standards Board has approved an updated standard to simplify how an entity should test goodwill for impairment. It also announced a pair of public roundtable meetings to be held in October to discuss private company standards.

Among other things, the Internal Revenue Service clarified some rules on basis for estate owners who died in 2010 (see page 14) with Notice 2011-66; and released Revenue Ruling 2011-18 with new, lower interest rates for underpayments and overpayments in the fourth quarter, as well as Rev. Rul. 2011-20 with a slew of other prescribed rates.

Information provider Bloomberg and tax publisher BNA have agreed for Bloomberg to acquire all outstanding shares of BNA in a deal worth roughly $990 million. Bloomberg will pay $39.50 per share in the deal, which is expected to close before the end of the year.

Tax prep vendor Drake Software acquired Copanion and its GruntWorx line of tax workflow software. (See page 12.)

The U.S. CPA Exam was administered for the first time at five international test sites: Japan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates.

Intuit Inc. reported profit on an adjusted basis for the first time in 13 years, despite posting a wider net loss for its fourth quarter in late August. Separately, it restructured its accountant-focused QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program, which will now have a three-tiered structure, with more benefits for members.

 

Welcome to Accounting Today's inaugural Accountants Confidence Index. We've created this new leading economic indicator in partnership with ADP to leverage the unparalleled insight that our readers and accountants as a profession have into American business and the U.S. economy.

Each month, we'll poll the members of our Executive Research Council to forecast the prospects for growth for their firms, for the economy as a whole, and - most important - for their small, midsized and large business clients. These forecasts, averaged and weighted, will be combined to create the ACI, and as each month's results accumulate, they will generate an invaluable guide to future economic conditions.

As the members of our ERC are experienced practitioners in public accounting, we'll also be asking their insights on everything from must-have technologies and staffing issues, to practice management and how to grow your book of business, and sharing the results with our readers here and online at AccountingToday.com. If you would like to participate in the ERC, please visit www.research.accountingtoday.com/welcome. In addition to making the ACI more valuable, ERC members will receive exclusive access to some of the survey results, as well as opportunities to win free CPE, conference memberships and other prizes.

We hope you'll participate, and that you'll find the ACI and the other information we gather as useful and exciting as we do. Please send your comments and suggestions to AcToday@SourceMedia.com.

- The Editors

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