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FASB Tweaks Guidance for Leases

In July, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued an Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) that includes targeted improvements to its leases standard. ASU No. 2018-11, Leases (Topic 842): Targeted Improvements, introduces a transition model for entities and offers a practical expedient to lessors concerning separation of lease and non-lease components. The new standard also provides entities the option to apply the transition requirements at the guidance’s adoption date rather than the earliest comparative period disclosed in financial statements. For entities that have not adopted Topic 842, the effective date of ASU No. 2018-11 is the same as the effective date. Read More.

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CAQ Executive Director to Retire

Cindy Fornelli, executive director of the Center for Audit Quality, has announced that she will retire in the spring of next year. As the CAQ’s first executive director, Fornelli has spent the past 12 years helping carry out the organization’s vision for enhancing investor confidence and public trust in the global capital markets. Accomplishments during her tenure include helping advance audit quality, fighting financial reporting fraud, and encouraging groundbreaking academic research. At this time, plans for Fornelli’s successor are yet to be announced. Click here to read Fornelli’s letter announcing her retirement.

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SEC Chairman Issues Statement on Staff Guidance

In a statement issued last week on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) staff guidance, chairman Jay Clayton affirmed that the guidance is “nonbinding” with no “enforceable legal rights or obligations.” Clayton noted that statements the SEC staff issues often contain a disclaimer emphasizing the difference between the agency’s rules and regulations and staff viewpoints. He stressed that the SEC should consider this distinction when carrying out its market oversight responsibilities. Clayton gave no reason for deciding to express the distinction between SEC rules and staff opinions. However, he did note that federal banking groups had issued a similar statement.. Read More.

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AICPA Committees to Explore Guidance for Digital Currencies

Following similar efforts by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) and the International Accounting Standards Board (“IASB”), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (“AICPA”) Auditing Standards Board and Financial Reporting Executive Committee are considering whether to issue accounting and auditing guidance on digital currencies and initial coin offerings. Both committees plan to research the matter and will likely compose a list of financial reporting questions that have appeared concerning digital transactions. Dan Noll, the AICPA director of accounting standards, said the AICPA is considering guidance on digital currencies due to the pervasive nature of the questions being asked on. Read More.

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AICPA Issues Working Draft on Multiemployer Benefit Plans

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”) wants to add a chapter on multiemployer benefit plans to the Audit and Accounting Guide Employee Benefit Plans. Issued on September 7 as a working draft, the chapter follows Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) guidance related to multiemployer plans. Such guidance includes FASB ASC 960, Plan Accounting—Defined Benefit Pension Plans, and FASB ASC 960, Plan Accounting—Defined Contribution Pension Plans. Outlined in the draft chapter are the multiemployer plan requirements and how those plans vary from other employee plans. The guidance touches on the overlap among the accounting provisions of multiemployer plans and other retirement. Read More.

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Elad Roisman Returns to SEC as Commissioner

Two months after being nominated by President Trump , Elad Roisman was sworn in as a commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The former Senate Banking Committee aide replaces Michael Piwowar, who left the SEC in July. Roisman will serve a five-year term with the agency. Before joining the SEC, Roisman served as chief counsel to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo. He was also the committee’s senior counsel and securities counsel and was counsel to former SEC commissioner Daniel Gallagher from 2012 to 2014. Excited about his return to the SEC, Roisman said during his July confirmation hearing that the agency must re-examine its rules. Read More.

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