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New AICPA Technical Questions and Answers Issued on Public Businesses

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”) has issued new Technical Questions and Answers (“TQAs”) offering guidance for related terminology and other matters concerning public business entities. Section 7100, Definition of a Public Business Entity, features 16 new questions and answers to help a company determine its status as a public business. Included in the TQAs is detailed guidance addressing depository institutions, broker-dealers, insurance companies and nonprofits. A press release on Section 7100 is available on the AICPA website.

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Need for State-Funded Financial Aid Slows

In its latest survey, the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs (“NASSGAP”) revealed that growth in the use of state-funded student financial aid slowed in 2015-16. The total state-funded aid amount that year – $12.5 billion – is an increase of less than one percent from the previous year. The percentage is a big drop from what the NASSGAP measured from 2013-14 to 2014-15, when the year-over-year growth for state aid was around six percent. A stronger economy and demographic declines in various high-population states are being attributed to the small increase in aid. Learn more about the NASSGAP’s survey on the Inside Higher Ed website.

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College Tuition and Fees Still on the Rise

Tuition and fee prices at colleges and universities experienced a modest increase this past year. According to College Board’s annual reports, “Trends in Student Aid” and “Trends in College Pricing,” tuition and fees rose by two percent for the 2017-18 year. In particular, private nonprofit higher institutions averaged a 1.9 percent increase, public four-year colleges rose by 1.2 percent, and public two-year schools climbed by 1.1 percent. Despite the small increases in 2017-18, financial aid for students failed to keep pace with the rising tuition costs. Learn more about the College Board’s annual reports by visiting the Inside Higher Ed website.

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College Scorecard Receives an Update

The Department of Education recently updated information on the College Scorecard, a consumer tool aimed at helping students research colleges and universities. The update includes a new feature that allows data from up to 10 colleges and universities to be compared. More on the College Scorecard update is available on the Inside Higher Ed website.

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Audit Guides Help IRS Review Nonprofit Organizations

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) wants to help nonprofits and their tax preparers avoid the possibility of being audited. Available for download on the IRS website are Audit Technique Guides for nonprofits exempt under IRC Section 501(c)(3) and other IRC Section 501(c) sub-sections. Used by IRS staff members, the guides give insight into what the IRS examines when deciding whether to audit tax-exempt organizations. More on the IRS’ Audit Technique Guides is available on the Nonprofit Quarterly website. Need help with audits? Contact a member of our Education or Nonprofits group.

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FASB to Clarify Guidance for Collaborative Arrangements

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) will seek ways to make its guidance under Topic 808, Collaborative Arrangements, easier to follow. At its October 4 meeting, the FASB unanimously agreed to simplify the guidance to reflect the board’s initial goal of clarifying when partners in a collaborative arrangement must record revenue due to the venture’s cost reductions. The FASB also plans to examine the guidance for transactions that do not generate revenue for the partners, as well as consider guidance for what is the unit of accounting under Topic 808. FASB members and staffers said that the board will not. Read More.

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