CPAs and Advisors with Your Growth in Mind

Performance-Based Budgeting Gaining Interest among States

Eleven states have begun adopting the performance-based budgeting method to distribute budget funds contingent on the measured success of some programs. Known as the “Results First Initiative,” the process calculates a program’s past performance to determine whether a specific budget item is worth the expense. While advocates believe the approach adds accountability and cost-outcome analysis to all state government levels, results so far have been mixed. Since accountability is weighed heavily in the process, success is also measured on compliance by state leaders and agencies when implementing the approach, as well as the projected economic conditions. According to a National. Read More.

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North Carolina Nonprofit Denied Property Tax Exemption

Ruling that some commercial activities on a Western North Carolina nonprofit’s property are not used completely for charitable or educational reasons, the North Carolina Court of Appeals (“the Court”) has denied the organization a property tax exemption. Basing its decision on a strict interpretation of the term “wholly and exclusively,” the Court identified gift shop and restaurant operations, and the existence of administrative offices are considered commercial activities not suitable for property tax exemption among nonprofits. The Court’s broad application of the “wholly and exclusively” term to all nonprofit property tax exemptions reflects concerns expressed by North Carolina nonprofits, as. Read More.

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SEC Announces Rules for NRSRO-Registered Credit Rating Agencies

Affecting credit rating agencies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) as nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (“NRSROs”), the SEC has adopted new amendments that improve governance, defend against conflicts of interest, enhance credit ratings quality and provide increased accountability. The SEC-issued requirements also address: internal controls; reporting of credit rating performance data; procedures that protect rating methodologies; disclosures to encourage credit ratings transparency; and standards for the training, experience and proficiency of credit analysts. Also adopted by the SEC are requirements affecting issuers, underwriters, and third-party due diligence services. The requirements will support clear findings and conclusions of. Read More.

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AICPA Issues Exposure Draft on Revised Interpretative Guidance

Prepared by its Professional Ethics Executive Committee (“PEEC”), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”) has released an exposure draft on potential revisions associated with the organization’s interpretative guidance for professional conduct. Issued on August 29th for public comment, Omnibus Proposal of Revised Interpretations proposes a limited exception to the interpretation of “client affiliate” under the Independence Rule, as well as the definition of “attest client” concerning a firm or individual completing an attest engagement. Per the proposal, the “client affiliate” limited exception would be used when an accountant’s independence is impaired due to an attest client being acquired. Read More.

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FDIC Issues Guide for Community Banks

Published by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), the New Capital Rule Community Guide (the Guide) summarizes important changes from the present general risk-based capital rule for exposures normally held by community banking organizations. The Guide is aimed to assist small, non-complex community banks with parts of the capital rule important to their operations. Effective January 1, 2015, sections of the new capital rule were adopted recently by federal banking agencies. The PDF of the Guide is available for download on the FDIC’s website. Don’t forget that Cherry Bekaert is also available to provide community banks guidance regarding the new capital rule. If you are interested,. Read More.

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Anna Townsend to Speak at Lawyers Mutual Event

On Wednesday, September 24th at the Grandover Resort & Conference in Greensboro, North Carolina, Cherry Bekaert’s Anna Townsend is scheduled to speak at the event, Law Firm Succession: Secrets to a Successful Transition By Selling Your Practice. Presented by the Lawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company of North Carolina, the program will discuss opportunities and challenges a law firm faces when selling its practice, how to perform a successful transition, finding a possible buyer and other related items. Townsend, a Valuation Manager with Cherry Bekaert, will share with attendees her advice on preparing for a transition, putting together a transition team. Read More.

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