SASB Conference on Resource Transformation Sector Set for July 16th
Slated for 8:00 a.m. EST on Wednesday, July 16th, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (“SASB”) will host a Delta Series Conference on the Resource Transformation sector. Taking place at Bloomberg LP in New York City, the conference’s agenda features an SASB overview, a keynote by DuPont’s Director of Sustainability Dawn Rittenhouse, and a discussion regarding setting standards for the Resource Transformation sector. The conference’s focus on resource transformation is part of SASB’s goal to create sustainability accounting standards for ten sectors. So far, SASB has issued standards for the Health Care, Financials, Technology and Communications, and Non-Renewable Resources sectors. The organization plans. Read More.
FASB and IASB Merging Utilities Industry Standards Not Likely
After attempts to merge utilities industry standards with the International Accounting Standards Board (“IASB”), Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) member Thomas Linsmeier recently announced that U.S. GAAP and IFRS differences have created challenges that make potential future convergence projects unlikely. At an accounting conference last month, Linsmeier referenced the FASB and IASB’s heavy investment in utilities financial reporting, and their preference in the U.S. GAAP’s cost-of-service model. However, the IASB is considering other models that differ from Topic 980, Regulated Operations, a decades-long model which offers standards for utilities that recognize regulated assets and liabilities within the industry. Further, the. Read More.
Financial Reporting and Audit Task Force Struggles in First Year
With July marking its first anniversary, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Financial Reporting and Audit Task Force is reflecting on the past year’s accomplishments. Unfortunately, the group has little to celebrate. To this point, task force investigations have not led SEC lawyers to charge anyone for fraud. Despite the slow start, SEC officials have discovered companies with faulty financial reporting controls and fragile application of accounting standards in areas that are usually sources of fraud like revenue recognition and expense recording. At a June 11th question-and-answer session in Washington, D.C., SEC Enforcement Division head Andrew Ceresney also acknowledged. Read More.
SEC Orders Creation of National Market System
Pairing national securities exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has ordered both sides to create a national market system plan. To be filed with the agency, the plan would execute a pilot program to increase minimum quoting and trading increments for particular small capitalization stocks. The 12-month program will also determine if such changes could benefit investor and issuers by improving market quality. As part of the SEC’s order, the exchanges and FINRA must design the pilot’s basic terms in a way that does not unnecessarily disrupt the market, and caps. Read More.
PCAOB Guidance Issued for Audits of Broker-Dealers
Assisting auditors of brokers and dealers registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”; “the Board”) has issued Staff Guidance for Auditors of SEC-Registered Brokers and Dealers (“the Guidance”). Effective for fiscal years ending on or after June 1, 2014, the Guidance will help auditors complete audits in line with the Board’s standards required by the Dodd-Frank Act and SEC. During the transition period, auditors can reference the Guidance to note any requirements for SEC-registered broker-dealer audits and attestation engagements. Additionally, the new Guidance offers assistance on implementing PCAOB standards to such. Read More.
Sustainability Reporting Increasing Among S&P 500 Companies
According to a June report by the Governance & Accountability Institute (“the Institute”), sustainability reporting among companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 (“S&P 500”) is growing at a staggering rate. Through the Institute’s research, it was discovered that 72 percent of S&P 500 companies submitted reports last year covering environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters. The number marks a 19-percent increase (53 percent) from 2012. By these numbers, the Institute’s research concluded that corporate sustainability disclosure is a major concern for companies, especially in the eyes of investors and stakeholders. The report’s findings also noticed a strong link between. Read More.