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07/16/07

PricewaterhouseCoopers adds 55 new partners


PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the U.S. auditing giant, is adding 55 partners to its China office. Forty new partners are joining from the mainland, while 15 are joining from Hong Kong, bringing the staff count in China to nearly 330. China is PwC's third-largest market in the world. The global accounting firm now plans to increase its staff in China from 8,000 to 13,000 in order to meet rising demand. At present, PwC has 12 offices across China, and 40% of the country's major clients have H-share listings. Over the past five years, the firm's annual growth has risen by more than 30%.

IRS introduces revised "Innocent Spouse" form
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made Form 8857 available on its website. The redesigned "Request for Innocent Spouse Relief" form will reduce follow-up questions and cut taxpayer burden. An IRS process-improvement team directed by the Office of Taxpayer Burden Reduction had suggested revisions to the form. This form offers an opportunity to spouses to be relieved from joint debt under certain circumstances. An estimated 30,000 follow-up letters will be eliminated annually because of the revised form. The redesigned form will collect critical information initially, asking more questions to hasten processing. It will also assist in educating taxpayers about the process and will be easier to comprehend and complete.

Crowe Chizek purchases Enterprise Financial Consulting Group
Crowe Chizek and Company, LLC, has recently acquired New Jersey-based Enterprise Financial Consulting Group (EFC), LLC. Both firms are now functioning under the Crowe name. Crowe Chizek is a subsidiary of Crowe Group, LLP, one of the 10 biggest U.S. public accounting and consulting firms. Chuck Allen, Crowe's chief executive officer, said that combining with EFC will position Crowe for stronger growth on the East Coast. The 11-year-old EFC group's professionals provide customized risk consulting, governance, and compliance solutions to East Coast businesses.

Founding member reappointed for second term on PCAOB
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has reappointed founding member Daniel L. Goelzer. The news was confirmed by Christopher Cox, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). First appointed to the PCAOB in 2002, Goelzer will now serve a second five-year term as a member of the board. He served the SEC for more than seven years as general counsel prior to joining the PCAOB. This made him the longest-serving general counsel in the history of the SEC. Formerly, he was also a member of the audit staff of Touche Ross & Co.

Accounting firm Moore Stephens Frost acquires Lynch and Howard
Moore Stephens Frost, the largest accounting firm in Arkansas, has purchased another accounting firm, Lynch and Howard. The newly acquired firm is based in North Carolina and has 28 employees. Lynch and Howard will offer all of Moore Stephens Frost's services but will retain its own name. With offices in Rogers and Little Rock, Moore Stephens Frost also operates in Atlanta. Moore Stephens Frost has clients in more than 40 states and five countries. Dan Peregrin, managing member of the firm, said the move was "part of an ongoing plan of expansion."
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