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North Bay Business Journal

Sunday, October 3, 2010, 3:10 am

Accounting and Finance: BPM joins NBLC; accounting board releases audit report

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    Burr Pilger Mayer is the newest member of North Bay Leadership Council.  The leadership council’s chair, Don Chigazola, a director for Medtronic CardioVascular, said, “Burr Pilger Mayer will bring new diversity of industry sectors to our membership.  We are excited to have one of the top public accounting firms in the U.S. join in NBLC’s efforts to improve education and economic competitiveness in the North Bay.”

    BPM has more than two decades experience and provides a full range of services, from assurance and tax to business consulting and wealth management.

    BPM’s representatives to NBLC will include founding partner, Henry Pilger, who also is chairman of Vista Wealth Management, a sister firm of BPM, and Carol O’Hara, partner in charge of BPM’s North Bay offices and the region’s assurance services practice group leader.

    Mr. Pilger has more than 30 years experience in providing tax services to individuals and businesses, and his expertise has been cited in Fortune magazine in regards to year-end tax planning opportunities. Mr. Pilger consults on financial planning, estate planning and wealth transfer strategies.

    Ms. O’Hara brings 20 years of professional experience, delivering accounting and consulting services to a wide spectrum of companies, including financial services, wine and hospitality, nonprofit and real estate. In addition to leading the firm’s North Bay offices, she heads up the Winery, Vineyard and Agricultural Land Industry Group firmwide.  Prior to joining BPM, Ms. O’Hara spent 18 years as a partner with a Big Four accounting firm in San Francisco and London. Ms. O’Hara also serves the on the board of the Santa Rosa Symphony.

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    The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board released a report summarizing inspection observations of audits of financial institutions and other companies during the economic crisis.

    “This report provides illustrative examples of the kinds of issues our inspection program has uncovered during the past three years as a result of the impact of the economic crisis on the work of auditors,” said PCAOB Acting Chairman Daniel Goelzer. “These inspection observations underscore the need for auditors to be diligent in assessing and responding to emerging areas of risk when economic and business conditions change.”

    PCAOB inspectors identified instances where auditors appeared not to have complied with PCAOB auditing standards in connection with audit areas that were significantly affected by the economic crisis, such as fair value measurements, impairment of goodwill, indefinite-lived intangible assets and other long-lived assets, allowance for loan losses, off-balance-sheet structures, revenue recognition, inventory and income taxes.

    Firms have made efforts to respond to the increased risks stemming from the economic crisis. The deficiencies identified by inspectors in their reviews of issuer audits suggest that firms should continue to focus on making improvements to their quality control systems.

    The PCAOB will focus on whether firms’ actions to address quality control deficiencies described in board inspection reports have, in fact, reduced or eliminated subsequent occurrences of the kinds of deficiencies described in this report.

    George Diacont, director of the division of registration and inspections, said, “PCAOB inspectors will continue to adapt to emerging issues. Inspectors also will focus on whether firms are addressing the quality control deficiencies described in board inspection reports.”

    The report is based on PCAOB inspections that examined portions of audits of financial institutions, financial services companies and other companies that posed audit risks and challenges specific to the disruption in the credit and financial markets and the broader economic downturn.

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    Submit items for this column to Jenna V. Loceff at jloceff@busjrnl.com, 707-521-4259 or fax 707-521-5292.

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