CPAs and Advisors with Your Growth in Mind

Results of Cherry Bekaert’s 2014 Local Government Benchmarking Survey

Encouraged by increased participation over the past two years, Cherry Bekaert recently undertook the 3rd Edition of our Local Government Benchmarking Survey. In preparation for this year’s survey, we listened to respondent feedback and modified our 2014 survey questions accordingly. Conducted in March, the survey included participants from 180 government operational and financial leaders throughout the Southeast. We are pleased to present the results of this year’s survey, as well as share our three-year trend analysis data.

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Audit Reform Provisions Added to European Union

After being published this week in the Official Journal of the European Union (“the Journal”), the new Audit Directive and Regulation provisions are now law in the European Union. Approved by the European Parliament, the audit reform package was adopted by the Council of the European Union’s member states in April. Highlights of the new provisions include: Mandatory auditor rotation. Companies bound by statutory audits must change audit firms every 10 years, which can be extended up to another 10 years if they distribute tenders for audit services; or up to another 14 years in the event of a joint. Read More.

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FASB Moves Forward on Projects without IASB

Unable to agree with the International Accounting Standards Board (“IASB”), the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) plans to move forward independently on two projects. As part of its meeting agenda this week, the FASB will address the projects by focusing on making smaller improvements to U.S. GAAP rather than entire rewrites. For its project on accounting for insurance liabilities, the upcoming meeting will pick up from the FASB’s April discussion when the decision was made to improve disclosures regarding the liabilities agreed upon by property-and-casualty insurance companies. The FASB has indicated disclosures could require information such as losses, claim reserves,. Read More.

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How Do I Measure Thee? Let Me Count the Ways…

In March, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) issued Concepts Statement No. 6, Measurement of Elements of Financial Statements. Concepts Statements do not set accounting or financial reporting standards; they provide objectives and principles which GASB can use as a basis for establishing consistent accounting and financial reporting standards in the future. Any existing standards which are inconsistent with this statement are not changed by this statement. So, just how many ways are there to measure an asset or liability? First, there are two measurement approaches: Initial-Transaction-Date-Based (“initial amount”): Measurement is based on the transaction price or amount assigned when. Read More.

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Release No. 34-67717 Update Coming Next Year

Planned for a spring 2015 release, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) will propose modifying Release No. 34-67717, Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers. The original rule, which was rejected last year by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (“the Court”), requires the disclosure of payments oil, gas and mining companies make to governments. Opting not to file an appeal, the SEC is addressing the Court’s complaints over the rule. Among the complaints is the requirement of companies to file reports to the SEC specifying payments of $100,000 or more, which the Court considered “a. Read More.

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Ceresney Praises SEC’s Division of Enforcement Accomplishments

As the keynote speaker at Compliance Week 2014, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) official Andrew Ceresney reflected on the Division of Enforcement’s (“the Division”) achievements from the past year. Ceresney, the Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, highlighted successes including: Creating specialized units within the Division to concentrate on areas of significant concern; Ensuring fair trading and equal information access within the securities markets; Creating task forces within the Division to focus on areas outside of the ones covered by specialized units; and A new method to settlements that creates the effective settlement of cases while fulfilling accountability. Read More.

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