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New Proposed Audit Data Standard Offers Efficiency, Uniformity

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”) has proposed new standards for collecting and submitting audit data. The goal is to make audits more efficient and more effective by proposing standardized formats for commonly requested audit data and for the most frequently used files for audits. The Emerging Assurance Technology Task Force arm of the AICPA’s Assurance Services Executive Committee (“ASEC”) published an exposure draft of their recommendations on August 8, 2017. The draft, titled Audit Data Standard – Fixed Asset Subledger Standard (“Exposure Draft”), is open to comments through November 6, 2017. Should the proposed information and standards in. Read More.

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FASB Seeks to Align Accounting Guidance Between Asset Acquisition and Business Combinations

There’s an effort underway by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) to look at closing the gap between the accounting standards for business combinations and the accounting standards for acquisition accounting. Because these two sets of accounting guidance are different, businesses are sometimes motivated to structure merger and acquisition (“M&A”) deals in ways that avoid complex accounting. Decreasing the differences between these standards could help make M&A activity more straightforward in the future. This effort is also a continuation of the FASB’s work to more clearly define what a business is for U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”). Some critics. Read More.

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AICPA Accounting and Review Services Committee Meeting

From Tuesday to Thursday this week, the Accounting and Review Service Committee (“ARSC”) of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”) met in Boston, MA. Some of the agenda topics that were expected to be covered included: Proposed Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE), Selected Procedures; Draft proposed SSARS, Omnibus Statement on Standards for Accounting and Review Services 2018 International Standard on Review Engagements (ISRE) 2400 (Revised), Engagements to Review Historical Financial Statements (ISRE 2400 (Revised)), including comparison of ISRE 2400 (Revised) to AR-C Section 90, Review of Financial Statements; and Consideration of Inconsistency in AT-C Section 210.. Read More.

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FASB Proposes Changes to Leases Guidance

Speaking recently on implementation of Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842), the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) proposed amendments to the transition provisions under Topic 842 for specific land easements that existed prior to Topic 842’s effective date. In particular, optional transition guidance will be provided to a company regarding land easements that occurred before the Topic’s effective date, given that the company does not presently apply Topic 840 to such land easements. Companies are asked to continue applying existing accounting policies for the affected land easements. Once Topic 842 is effective, the new guidance will apply. Read More.

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James Doty to Step Down as PCAOB Chairman, Will Help with Transition

James Doty, current chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) of the Securities and Exchanges Commission (“SEC”), will step down once the commission has found his successor, according to an SEC announcement on August 11, 2017. Once that successor has been found and named, a date for Doty’s final day will be announced. The SEC has the authority to appoint PCAOB members under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Doty has been in office since 2011, and his term expired in 2015. During the early years of his term, he worked for investor protections.

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Change to Smaller Company Definition Expected in Spring 2018

A final rule to expand the smaller reporting company definition could be issued next spring. According to the Office of Budget and Management’s recent update to its rulemaking agenda, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) plans to revise the definition to allow more companies to submit fewer disclosures in regulatory filings. Proposed in June 2016, the rule makes businesses with a public float of up to $250 million eligible for the SEC’s reporting requirements under Release No. 33-10107, Amendments to Smaller Reporting Company Definition. With the current threshold at $75 million, only 32 percent of SEC-registered companies had under $75. Read More.

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