CPAs and Advisors with Your Growth in Mind

College Tuition and Fees Still on the Rise

Tuition and fee prices at colleges and universities experienced a modest increase this past year. According to College Board’s annual reports, “Trends in Student Aid” and “Trends in College Pricing,” tuition and fees rose by two percent for the 2017-18 year. In particular, private nonprofit higher institutions averaged a 1.9 percent increase, public four-year colleges rose by 1.2 percent, and public two-year schools climbed by 1.1 percent. Despite the small increases in 2017-18, financial aid for students failed to keep pace with the rising tuition costs. Learn more about the College Board’s annual reports by visiting the Inside Higher Ed website.

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AICPA Board Releases Exposure Draft for Leases Interpretation

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (“AICPA”) Professional Ethics Executive Committee (“PEEC”) has issued an exposure draft, Proposed Revisions to the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct: Leases Interpretation, which proposes updates to the independence guidance for leases under the Code of Professional Conduct. The proposed amendments relate to Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-02, Leases, which was released last year by the Financial Accounting Standards Board. Upon the standard’s release, the PEEC assumed a project to review its leases interpretation. After its review, the PEEC agreed to update the interpretation for consistency and to address situations that could threaten independence. The exposure draft offers guidance for situations wherein a covered member. Read More.

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Senate Bill Gives Sarbanes-Oxley Exemption to Small Banks

Banks holding less than $1 billion in assets could receive an exemption from the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404(b) under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Under S. 1962, the Community Bank Access to Capital Act of 2017, the proposed Senate bill frees smaller banks from the more complicated and expensive reforms under Sarbanes-Oxley. S. 1962 also requires public companies to hire an external auditor to attest to management’s internal controls over financial reporting. The bill’s co-sponsor, Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), stated the proposed measure would promote growth among community banks and help them support their communities. Section 404(b) advocates. Read More.

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College Scorecard Receives an Update

The Department of Education recently updated information on the College Scorecard, a consumer tool aimed at helping students research colleges and universities. The update includes a new feature that allows data from up to 10 colleges and universities to be compared. More on the College Scorecard update is available on the Inside Higher Ed website.

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Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation Announced

Next month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship, Growth, and Renewal at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin (“UT Austin”) are co-hosting the annual Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation. Scheduled for Thursday, November 30 at UT Austin’s AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, the annual forum will highlight ways to improve small business capital formation and focus on whether unnecessary, repetitive, or dated regulations should be eliminated or amended. The forum’s morning session will feature a panel discussion addressing how capital formation options are working. Read More.

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Revised White Paper Issued on Governmental and Business Financial Reporting

Helping distinguish between governmental and business financial reporting, a revised White Paper has been issued by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”). The White Paper, Updated: Why Governmental Accounting and Financial Reporting Is—and Should Be—Different , elaborates that the difference between governmental accounting and reporting standards and the standards for for-profit businesses require independent standards so that the information provided meets the needs of stakeholders when assessing government accountability, as well as to help make political, social and economic decisions. The White Paper also provides guidance on specific questions that typically arise regarding why general purpose governments cannot use accounting standards developed for for-profit businesses. Download the White Paper from the GASB website.

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