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GAO Asks Regulators to Increase Fintech Protections

The Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) wants securities regulators to step up their efforts in safeguarding investors and consumers from financial technology (“fintech”) products. In its March 22 report, the GAO said fintech products present the same risks as traditional products, but current laws and regulations may not sufficiently address such risks. How much fintech firms must comply with applicable federal laws differs. Regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) can supervise fintech investment advisors just as they do traditional advisors, but the GAO said that digital assets could create unique risks to investors. The SEC, however, believes digital assets. Read More.

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Spending Bill to Help SEC, Block Political Spending Disclosures

Congress’ latest budget bill provides the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) $50 million for information technology upgrades and $244 million for potentially relocating the agency’s headquarters. Signed by President Trump on March 23, the $1.3 trillion spending bill increases the SEC’s budget to help pay for IT improvements. The upgrades address criticism the SEC has faced in recent years over its information securities practices and inability to keep up with an automated market. Criticism increased last year after the SEC’s Electronic Data Gathering And Retrieval system was hacked . The spending bill also offers the SEC financial support for the construction of a new headquarters. Leases for the agency’s. Read More.

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SEC Staff Revises FAQs on IFRS Taxonomy

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) staff recently updated the Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) section regarding the International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) Taxonomy. The revised guidance addresses how IFRS Taxonomy should be used in company filings. It also includes an access link to XBRL submissions prepared through the IFRS Taxonomy in financial statement and footnote data sets. Read the updated FAQs at SEC.gov.

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FASB Removes Outdated SEC Interpretive Guidance for Financial Instruments Standard

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) has issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2018-04, Investments — Debt Securities (Topic 320) and Regulated Operations (Topic 980): Amendments to SEC Paragraphs Pursuant to SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 117 and SEC Release No. 33-9273, which eliminates out-of-date interpretive guidance from the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on financial instruments. The change to U.S. GAAP was made in response to ASU No. 2016-01, Financial Instruments — Overall (Subtopic 825-10): Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities. The U.S. GAAP update is highlighted in Staff Accounting Bulletin (“SAB”) No. 117, in which. Read More.

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SEC Guidance on Tax Reform Added to FASB Codification

Last month, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued an Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) that amends certain Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) guidance under Topic 740 related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. ASU No. 2018-05, Income Taxes (Topic 740): Amendments to SEC Paragraphs Pursuant to SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 118, adds guidance to the FASB Accounting Standards Codification that answers questions regarding how certain income tax effects from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act should be applied to companies’ financial statements. The guidance also lists which financial statement disclosures are required under a measurement period approach. More on ASU No. 2018-05 is available on FASB.org.

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SEC to Help Companies Disclose Tax Reform Effects

At a recent SEC Speaks event in Washington, D.C., Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) chief accountant Wesley Bricker told attendees that the commission intends to help public companies with disclosures on their periodic filings related to the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”). In his remarks, Bricker referenced Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 118, (Topic 5.EE), Income Tax Accounting Implications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was issued in December 2017. The bulletin covers the judgments and assumptions that a company’s management must make when including the effects of tax reform into financial statements. It also. Read More.

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