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SEC’s Aguilar Discusses the Treasury Market Report

Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Commissioner Luis Aguilar recently delivered his statement on the July 13th issued report, The U.S. Treasury Market on October 15, 2014. Aguilar’s statement emphasizes the impact of the Interagency Working Group for Treasury Market Surveillance’s (Working Group) report, supports the forthcoming activities, and advises the SEC and other regulators to take action. Below are highlights from Aguilar’s statement: The changes experienced in the equities and options markets over the past decade have transformed the Treasury marketplace. It is necessary for the Working Group to undertake a comprehensive review of the current regulatory framework, as well. Read More.

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business FY 2014 Federal Government Awards

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Small Business Procurement scorecard has been tallied and for the third year in a row, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs) came out a winner. This means that federal agencies that were previously not awarding to SDVOSB are now doing so, and at a higher dollar value, therefore increasing the opportunity for SDVOSBs to win awards with federal agencies they had not previously worked with. The Small Business Procurement Scorecard is an annual assessment tool used to measure how well federal agencies reach their contracting goals. It provides transparency while reporting agency specific contracting data. These. Read More.

FASB Simplifies Measurement of Inventory

As part of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (“FASB”) simplification initiative, the standard setter recently amended U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (U.S. GAAP) to streamline inventory measurements using either the first-in, first-out (FIFO) or average cost method. Issued as Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2015-11, Inventory (Topic 330): Simplifying the Measurement of Inventory, the amendments require inventory to be measured at the lower end of its cost or net realizable value. The amendments must be applied for fiscal years starting after December 15, 2016. Public companies must apply ASU No. 2015-11 to quarterly reports in 2017, while private entities and. Read More.

International Graduate Student Applications Continue to Rise

With 377 public and private universities participating, this year’s edition of the Council of Graduate Schools’ (“the Council”) annual survey revealed that international student applications to U.S. graduate schools has increased by two percent. According to the Council’s survey, the rise in foreign applications is partially driven by India, which experienced a third consecutive year of double-digit increases. While the two percent growth exhibits the survey’s tenth straight year of reported growth, it also indicates a slower rate compared to last year’s ten percent gain. Showing no concern over the drop in foreign applications, survey author Jeff Alum said, “We. Read More.

White House Request for Additional SEC Funding Rejected Again

Receiving approval from House appropriators in June , the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government has followed with its July 22nd endorsement of a fiscal 2016 bill that keeps Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) funding at its current level of $1.5 billion. Rejecting the White House’s request for a $200 million budget hike, the legislation would also help fund the Treasury Department, federal judiciary, Small Business Administration, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission for the fiscal year starting in October. Initially, President Obama asked Congress to approve a $1.722 billion SEC budget, which would create 431 job openings for the agency. The SEC believes hiring new examiners. Read More.

Emerging Issues Task Force Proposals Headed to U.S. GAAP

On Thursday, July 9th, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) approved two proposals presented by its Emerging Issues Task Force (“EITF”). The first amendment is Proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. EITF-15A, Derivatives and Hedging (Topic 815): Application of the Normal Purchases and Normal Sales Scope Exception to Certain Electricity Contracts within Nodal Energy Markets — a Consensus of the FASB Emerging Issues Task Force. Under the proposal, some specialized contracts for distributing electricity are allowed to qualify for a hedge accounting exception. In particular, if the contracts qualify for the “normal purchases and normal sales” exception to Topic 815,. Read More.