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Education Department to Step Up College Accreditation Efforts

Outgoing Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently introduced a new set of college accreditation measures aimed to give his department the authority to stop accreditors from approving colleges that have low graduation numbers and are unable to repay their loans. Congress is unlikely to approve the proposed crackdown on college accreditors, but Education Department officials plan to increase their oversight of accreditors recognized by the federal government. The department’s efforts are likely to include a more aggressive approach in how it grants federal recognition, but it is uncertain whether any concrete actions will actually be brought against accreditors. For the full article , visit the Inside Higher Ed. Read More.

208-Year-Old Seminary to Sell Campus

Two weeks ago, the country’s oldest seminary announced plans to sell its 20-acre campus. Attributing the sell to a drop in full-time students and changes within the church, Protestant Andover Newton Theological School told stakeholders that it is no longer financially sustainable as an independent entity. Going forward, the school may become part of a more stable institution like Yale Divinity School, or strip its cooperative learning model to have most of the students’ education done at local congregations. More on Protestant Andover Newton Theological School’s struggles can be read at the Nonprofit Quarterly website.

FASB Approves Classification and Measurement Update

On Wednesday, November 11th, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) approved a standard considered one of the board’s chief responses to the 2008 financial crisis. In a 4-3 vote, FASB members agreed to publish by the end of the year a U.S. GAAP update that aims to improve how businesses classify and measure financial assets and liabilities. The standard will be effective for public companies for periods beginning after December 15, 2017. Private entities are given an extra year to comply with the standard, and will not have to abide by the quarterly reporting requirements until periods starting after December. Read More.

PCAOB’s Reorganized Standards Published

Earlier this month, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) issued its reorganized auditing standards. Intended to streamline work for auditors, the revised standards are organized by topics and non-audit work that is part of a financial statement audit. Each category features subcategories to bring together similar topics, for instance standards associated with auditor communications in the general standards category. In addition, the reorganization rescinds standards that the audit regulator determined were no longer necessary. The amendments also update the standards’ section numbers and cross references, and the titles of certain standards. The PCAOB approved the reorganized standards in March,. Read More.

SEC Expanding Review of Disclosure Rules

As part of its comprehensive evaluation of the impact on securities markets, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) is expanding the review of its disclosure rules. The SEC wants to understand how companies issuing securities meet compliance of its rules. Most of the review will focus on the effect the JOBS Act rules have on a company’s actions when selling securities to investors. Also to be reviewed is whether the rules still provide sufficient protection to investors. Speaking on the review, SEC Chair Mary Jo White wants to know investors’ opinions on whether they receive the information necessary for making. Read More.

SEC Adopts Crowdfunding Rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has adopted final rules permitting companies to offer and sell securities by crowdfunding. The final rules, Regulation Crowdfunding, allow individuals to participate in securities-based crowdfunding transactions bound by certain investment restrictions. Additionally, the final rules: Limit how much money an issuer can raise through the crowdfunding exemption; Include disclosure requirements for issuers regarding specified information about their business and securities offering; and Establish a regulatory framework for broker-dealers and funding portals aiding the crowdfunding transactions. The crowdfunding rules and forms go into effect 180 days after their publication in the Federal Register. The forms. Read More.