Attestation Update – A&A for CPAs

Technical stuff for CPAs providing attestation services

How much wealth was in the Roman treasury in 49 B.C.? How about annual tax revenue under Augustus?

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Hadn’t thought about that question too much, but when Jacob Soll mentioned it in his book, The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations, it got me thinking.

He gives the following info:

In his Natural History, Pliny states that in 49 BCE , the year Caesar crossed the Rubicon, the Roman treasury contained 17,410 pounds of gold, 22,070 pounds of silver, and in coin, 6,135,400 sesterces.

Soll, Jacob (2014-04-29). The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations (Kindle Locations 276-277). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.

I don’t think in terms of pounds of gold or silver and I don’t know what a sesterce is or what it is worth. But I do know how to search the ‘net.

I share this on my Nonprofit Update blog and cross-post it here at Attestation Update because I enjoyed it and think it might be some fun trivia for accountants and people working in the faith-based community.

By the way, Prof Soll’s book is superb. Just got started reading it and think I will find lots of little tidbits to share. More on that idea in my next post.

How much is that worth?

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Written by Jim Ulvog

August 22, 2014, 10:49 am at 10:49 am

Posted in Other stuff

Public comments on compensation for inside trading CPA partner

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There are a range of comments in public about the comp package for former KPMG partner Scott London, who is now in federal prison for insider trading. How can we reconcile those amounts?

Before my book on Mr. London goes into print, I wanted to write one more post about the salary numbers I’ve seen. Will roll this into the book. Hope to start the final, final editing, proofing, and link verification very soon.

High estimate

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Written by Jim Ulvog

August 22, 2014, 7:30 am at 7:30 am

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Standard Chartered draws $300M fine for money laundering issues

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As mentioned yesterday, StanChart did get a $300M fine for running afoul of their 2012 agreement. Their software to monitor wires for possible violations of money laundering laws didn’t pick up on one or several million wires that should have been flagged.

In addition to the fine, the bank agreed to permanently halt US dollar settlement for about 300 high-risk clients in Hong Kong and UAE.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

August 20, 2014, 6:00 am at 6:00 am

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Standard Chartered penalty rumored to be $300M for this round of money laundering issues

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Financial Times is reporting StanChart faces fresh $300M US settlement.

This is up from the previously rumored amount of $100M, and would be close to the amount from the previous settlement.

Article says an agreement may be signed this week.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

August 19, 2014, 7:54 am at 7:54 am

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More good stuff for auditors – 8/18

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A few links and comments of interest to auditors. Trained investigators can’t read when someone is lying; too-big-to-fail/jail/govern is just too big; and update on lease accounting.

6/10 – FBI – The Truth About Lying: What Investigators Need to Know – Detecting lies, especially in high stakes interviews (like a criminal investigation) is far more difficult that interviewers and investigators realize. There are complex factors behind why people react they way they do. Not telling the truth is merely one of many causes. Vast interpersonal differences create more complications.

If you try to discern truthfulness during your auditing interviews, might be worth reading the article. Since trained pros can’t do it very well, us CPAs might want to reconsider how well we do at detecting liars.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

August 18, 2014, 6:51 am at 6:51 am

What is wrong with big banks?

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A few stories paint a clearer picture for me – cheating your regulator, some regulators getting frustrated with the number of issues, the disconnect from personal responsibility, and bringing psychology into the analysis.

Why are there sooooo many scandals involving banking?

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Written by Jim Ulvog

August 14, 2014, 7:53 am at 7:53 am

Posted in Accounting, Fraud

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35 people for CPAs to follow on Twitter

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Twitter is a valuable tool for CPAs. Don’t know where to start on finding someone to follow on Twitter that will give you some worthwhile info?

Check out Bill Sheridan’s article The people CPAs need to follow on Twitter.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

August 13, 2014, 7:33 am at 7:33 am

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