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AICPA’s Auditing Standards Board Issues Comfort Letters Guidance

Impacting comfort letters issued on or after December 15th, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (“AICPA”) Auditing Standards Board (“the Board”) has released Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) No. 129, Amendment to Statement on Auditing Standards No. 122 Section 920, “Letters for Underwriters and Certain Other Requesting Parties,” as amended (AICPA, Professional Standards, AU-C sec. 920). The guidance applies to auditors when they issue requested comfort letters associated with a non-issuer’s financial statements contained within registration statements. When the AUs were clarified, AU-C section 920 was not intended to alter practices connected to comfort letters. However, particular unintended issues managed. Read More.

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SEC Chair Responds to Senator’s Conflict Minerals Request

Responding to Senator Michael Crapo’s request that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proceed with a full stay on the reporting requirements from Release No. 34-67716, Conflict Minerals, SEC Chair Mary Jo White declared that her agency plans to wait for a final court ruling before deciding if further regulatory action is necessary. In a letter to Crapo this week, White stated that the SEC’s actions from the April 14th appeals court decision are in line with the ruling, the SEC’s rule and Congress’ purpose in the Dodd-Frank Act. Last month, the SEC requested that the full appeals court. Read More.

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PCAOB’s Standard-Setting Agenda Revised

Preparing for the rest of this year, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s (“PCAOB”; “the Board”) Office of the Chief Auditor has updated its standard-setting agenda . The updates are influenced by factors such as the Board’s priorities, oversight of registered public accounting firms, other standard setters’ current activities and discussion with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The PCAOB’s revised agenda features the following plans: Evaluating comments on Auditor’s Reporting Model; Consider adopting Framework for Reorganization of PCAOB Auditing Standards; Recommending to the SEC approval of the standard, Related Parties; Creating a concept release to investigate improving quality control standards;. Read More.

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AICPA Task Force Releases White Paper on Technology & Auditing

In its efforts to create a conceptual framework and guidance on how technology impacts internal and external reporting, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (“the Institute”) Assurance Services Executive Committee Emerging Assurance Technologies Task Force has released, Re-imagining Auditing in a Wired World. Published as a white paper document, the guidance offers insight on the future of reporting and auditing systems, as well as the benefits of technology related to auditing processes. For a copy of Re-imagining Auditing in a Wired World , visit the Institute’s website. Cherry Bekaert offers Assurance services that go beyond checking the boxes, and our Technology & Life Sciences industry. Read More.

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Finance Professor Named SEC Chief Economist and Director of Economic and Risk Analysis

Announced via news release , the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has named Mark Flannery as the agency’s new chief economist, and director of the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis. Effective in September, Flannery will replace the departing Craig Lewis. As for Lewis, he has returned to Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management as a professor of finance. Sharing a finance professor background with Lewis, Flannery currently teaches at the University of Florida’s Warrington School of Business Administration. For the last two years, he has served on the Federal Reserve’s Model Validation Council and as a senior adviser with. Read More.

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SEC to Vote on Floating NAV Proposal

Despite a three-year delay caused by fund industry opposition, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) will vote this week on changes based on proposed Release No. 33-9408, Money Market Fund Reform. Scheduled for Wednesday, the vote is expected to address risks related to money market mutual funds. The well-being of money market funds has been a concern to regulators since the Reserve Primary Fund (“the Fund”) failed during the 2008 financial crisis. When Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. went bankrupt, the Fund’s net asset value (NAV) fell below $1 and investors and corporations quickly withdrew their holdings. To protect the. Read More.

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