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360 Degrees Program Celebrates Milestone Year

This year marks a decade since of the 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy’s launch. Sponsored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”), the program educates Americans on financial literacy and responsibility during every stage of their lives. In the last ten years, each state’s CPA society has participated, as well as over 2,500 financial education-related events were held. Other notable achievements include jumpstarting initiatives like Feed the Pig PSA campaignSave Wisely. Spend Happily , and  Total Tax Insights . Through the program’s initiatives, more young adults have become financially sound. For instance, according to an Ad Council survey, 62 percent of young adults last year said they are excellent. Read More.

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Proposed Financial Statement Disclosure Changes Open for Public Comment

Featuring revisions to the International Standards on Auditing (“ISAs”), Proposed Changes to the International Standards on Auditing (ISAs): Addressing Disclosures in the Audit of Financial Statements has been issued for public comment by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (“IAASB”). The updates explain what auditors should expect when reviewing financial statement disclosures. The proposed changes include: Clarifying the disclosures susceptible to audit such as financial statement disclosures; Guidance on disclosures in the early stages of audit; Guidance on identifying, evaluating and responding to risks of disclosures’ material misstatements; and Explaining an auditor’s expectations when reviewing misstatements and creating an. Read More.

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Bitcoin Triggers SEC Investor Alert

Protecting stockholders from the investment risks of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has released Bitcoin and Other Virtual Currency-Related Investments. Since Bitcoin, as well as other virtual currencies, can be exchanged and used like real money for purchases, the SEC’s Investor Alert warns of the possibility of increased fraudulent activities and high-risk investments. Per the Investor Alert, risks include: Bitcoin investments not being insured from loss like other investments; Bitcoin’s exchange rates are generally unstable and could drop drastically; Federal, state or foreign governments may limit Bitcoin. Read More.

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AICPA Ethics Committee Agrees on Conflicts of Interest Revision

At its two-day meeting earlier this month, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (“AICPA”) Professional Ethics Executive Committee finalized a standard resolving conflicts of interest. Expected to go into effect later this year, the standard is a modification of Interpretation 102-2, Conflicts of Interest for Members in Public Practice, under ET Section 102, “Integrity and Objectivity-Conflicts of Interest”, and will pertain to accountants in public practice. Additionally, the AICPA plans to release Interpretation 102-7, Conflicts of Interest for Members in Business, a standard explaining and offering examples of conflicts of interest. Interpretation 102-7 will apply to accountants working for. Read More.

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Initiative on Rethinking Financial Disclosure Announced

In response to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Chair Mary Jo White’s plea for simplifying Form 10-K disclosure requirements, the Institute for Corporate Responsibility (“ICR”) at the George Washington University School of Business and the Center for Audit Quality (“CAQ”) have created the Initiative on Rethinking Financial Disclosure (“the Initiative”). With teams of graduate students from George Washington’s School of Business, the project will feature research of issues related to effective corporate disclosure. Each team will examine Form 10-K reports from Fortune 500 companies, and recommend how to decrease insignificant or unneeded reporting requirements without losing the information’s. Read More.

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Conflict Minerals’ Emergency Appeal Denied

Despite an attempt to file an emergency motion for a stay of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) entire Conflict Minerals rule, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“the Court”) has rejected the request. While the Court previously ruled the Conflict Minerals’ final rule was a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, the SEC later issued a partial stay that mandates companies to use language disclosing whether any of their products are “DRC conflict free”. The SEC also released guidance to continue implementing the provision requiring businesses to file their conflict mineral reports. Read More.

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