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Richard Best Named Regional Director of SEC Atlanta Office

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has selected Richard Best to replace Walter Jospin as the regional director of its Atlanta office. Best joins the market regulator’s Atlanta office after spending the past two years as director of the SEC’s Salt Lake office. In that capacity, he oversaw the SEC’s enforcement program in Utah. Best was also a senior director and chief counsel in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Department of Enforcement. Jospin will leave the SEC at the end of the month.

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FASB Q&A Issued for Staff Accounting Bulletin on Tax Reform

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) has published a Staff Q&A regarding whether private entities and nonprofits can apply Staff Accounting Bulletin (“SAB”) No. 118 (Topic 5.EE, Income Tax Accounting Implications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act). In its Staff Q&A, the FASB says it does not oppose private entities and nonprofits applying the Securities and Exchange Commission’s interpretive guidance for tax reform . The document also notes that such companies and organizations that employ SAB No. 118 would comply with GAAP. SAB No. 118 was issued in response to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The guidance allows an entity, in certain situations, to include in its financial statements. Read More.

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SEC Commissioners Receive Senate Approval

For the first time in over two years, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) will soon have a complete five-member complement. On December 21, the U.S. Senate confirmed Hester Peirce and Robert Jackson as the market regulator’s next commissioners. The vote occurred following Senator Tammy Baldwin’s decision to lift a hold on both nominees after they answered questions on her financial regulatory priorities. A senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, Peirce will replace Daniel Gallagher. Jackson, a Columbia University law professor, takes over for former SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar. Gallagher and Aguilar left the SEC near the. Read More.

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SEC Official Asks Public Companies to Focus on Key FASB Standards

Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) official Michael Dusza is advising public companies to consider how the adoption of several standards from the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) could impact their financial reporting controls. During a speech last month in Washington D.C., Dusza stressed that the accounting changes for revenue recognition, leases, and credit losses are likely to create significant challenges when public companies test internal controls during the adoption phase. Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2014-09, Revenue From Contracts With Customers (Topic 606), is effective January 1, 2018 for public business entities. ASU No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842), will be. Read More.

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FAST Act Investment Advisors Rules Amended

In the final rule, Amendments to Investment Advisers Act Rules to Reflect Changes Made by the Fast Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) offers amendments to the provision that defines a venture capital fund and the rule implementing the private fund adviser exemption in the Investment Advisers Act to reflect changes by Title LXXIV, Sections 74001 and 74002 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (“FAST Act”). As part of the new amendments, the venture capital fund definition under Title LXXIV, section 74001 of the FAST Act will include small business investment companies. The SEC is also amending the. Read More.

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New SEC Interpretive Guidance Addresses Tax Reform

In response to the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has released interpretive guidance to help public companies and auditors adapt to the tax changes and comply with accounting for income taxes. The first guidance is in the form of Staff Accounting Bulletin (“SAB”) No. 118 (Topic 5.EE, Income Tax Accounting Implications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act). Under SAB No. 118, companies preparing their 2017 fourth-quarter and end-of-year financial statements and regulatory filings will be allowed to provide what the SEC calls “reasonable estimates” and “provisional amounts” for tax-related line items.. Read More.

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