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Gary Buesser Appointed to FASB

Financial Accounting Foundation Chairman Charles Noski has announced that Gary Buesser will replace outgoing Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Marc Siegel next year. A director and research analyst of a global firm, Buesser has more than 30 years of experience covering investment management with financial statements. He is a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council and served for two years as a co-chairman of the board’s Investor Technical Advisory Committee. Buesser will take Siegel’s seat on the FASB effective July 1, 2018.

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CAQ Issues Auditing Request for Proposals for 2018

The Center for Audit Quality (“CAQ”) has issued a request for proposals (“RFPs”) to finance auditing projects for academic research. This marks the tenth annual request by the CAQ, which is asking for applicants to submit RFPs concerning critical policy issues and topics of interest such as auditor risk assessment, cybersecurity, non-GAAP measures, and professional skepticism. Proposals must be submitted via the CAQ online submission form by March 15, 2018. The CAQ’s Research Advisory Board will review all proposals, and the CAQ will award grants to the selected projects in June 2018.

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FASB Drops Materiality Project

After two years of controversy, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) is scrapping plans to continue work on its proposal to amend the definition of materiality. The project, which commenced in September 2015, set out to align U.S. GAAP’s meaning of materiality with the legal interpretation regulators and courts use so companies can carefully decide their disclosures in financial statement footnotes. Work on the materiality amendments ended Wednesday, November 8. Board members did not expect to receive criticism for Proposed Accounting Standards Update No. 2015-310, Notes to Financial Statements (Topic 235): Assessing Whether Disclosures Are Material. Wall Street investors led the. Read More.

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Audit Committees Continue to Improve Transparency of External Oversight

For the fourth consecutive year, audit committees are improving transparency regarding their external auditor oversight. The news was revealed by the Center for Audit Quality (“CAQ”) and Audit Analytics’ new report, Audit Committee Transparency Barometer (“Barometer”), which stated that audit committees are voluntarily increasing the information disclosed to investors and stakeholders. This year’s Barometer report features year-over-year comparisons of significant audit committee disclosure areas for various-sized companies, including: 37 percent of S&P 500 companies’ proxy statements have increased discussion of the audit committee’s considerations in endorsing the selection of the audit firm (13 percent rise from 2014); 24 percent of mid-cap companies have increased. Read More.

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SEC Approves Updates to Auditor’s Report

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has unanimously approved an audit reporting standard by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board requiring significant improvements to certain public company reports. Such improvements aim to make the auditor’s report more informative and address the communication of critical audit matters (“CAMs”) and disclosures concerning auditor tenure. The new auditor’s report is expected to offer investors meaningful insight regarding audits, such as important estimates and judgments, substantial unusual transactions, and other potential risk areas for an organization. Speaking on the objective of the auditing standard, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said investors will benefit from a. Read More.

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Non-GAAP Guidance Updated by Corp Fin Staff

Staff members of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance (“Corp Fin”) have revised the Compliance and Disclosure Interpretation, Non-GAAP Financial Measures . The update includes guidance concerning business combination transactions and adds the following two questions: Are financial measures included in forecasts provided to a financial advisor and used in connection with a business combination transaction non-GAAP financial measures? Does the exemption from Regulation G and Item 10(e) of Regulation S-K for non-GAAP financial measures disclosed in communications relating to a business combination transaction extend to the same non-GAAP financial measures disclosed in registration statements, proxy statements and tender offer statements? The Compliance and. Read More.

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