CPAs and Advisors with Your Growth in Mind

Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protections Upheld

A broad interpretation of Dodd-Frank whistleblower protections was upheld this month by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (“Ninth Circuit”). Earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit ruled that whistleblowers who report illegal behavior through their employer instead of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) fall under the anti-retaliation protections. The decision was based on the case of Somers v. Digital Realty Trust, which involved the termination of Digital Realty’s former vice president being fired after reporting possible securities law violations. Paul Somers sued Digital Realty, claiming that his termination violated whistleblower protections under the Dodd-Frank Act. Digital Realty maintained that. Read More.

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SEC’s Bricker Urges Implementation of Revenue Recognition Standard

Nearly 10 percent of public companies have not started to implement Accounting Standards Update No. 2014-09, Revenue From Contracts With Customers (Topic 606). While the percentage is insignificant, Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Chief Accountant Wesley Bricker is telling unprepared companies they have no option but to begin the implementation process. At a panel discussion during the SEC Speaks conference on February 25, Bricker said that companies cannot overlook the importance of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s revenue recognition standard and must prepare accordingly. He encouraged companies to communicate their implementation plans with audit committees, executive teams and others, and. Read More.

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Executive Order Could Affect the SEC

President Trump recently signed an executive order that could have an impact on Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) rulemaking. The Executive Order, Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs , calls for the elimination of two existing regulations for every new regulation introduced. In addition, the order sets the fiscal year 2017 regulatory budget at $0. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s rulemaking efforts could also be affected by the president’s order. To read the executive order, please visit WhiteHouse.gov.

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Conflict Minerals Rule Implementation Could be Reassessed

In a public statement issued January 31 , Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Acting Chairman Michael Piwowar ordered staff members to review whether the SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule is still applicable and needs additional relief. In April 2014, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that part of the required disclosure under the conflict minerals rule was in violation of the First Amendment. In response to the ruling, the Director of the Division of Corporation Finance at the time issued guidance delaying the compliance date for portions of the rule considered unconstitutional. The case was subsequently remanded to the district court for further consideration. Litigation is. Read More.

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FASB 2017 Accounting Support Fee Approved

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has approved the fees that the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) uses to aid operations. In issuing Release No. 33-10297, Order Regarding Review of FASB Accounting Support Fee For 2017 Under Section 109 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act Of 2002, the SEC requested that the FASB review the financial reporting taxonomy for presenting financial statements in the eXtensible Business Reporting Language. The FASB must also submit its findings prior to the SEC’s consideration for the 2018 support fee. In addition, the SEC wants to be informed about the FASB’s filled vacancies and efforts to improve. Read More.

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FASB Goodwill Impairment Standard Issued

Last week, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) published Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2017-04, Intangibles – Goodwill and Other: Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment. A result of the Simplification Initiative, the standard simplifies how a company tests goodwill for impairment by eliminating “Step 2”, which measures impairment loss by comparing the carrying amount of goodwill to its implied fair value. In its news release, the FASB said the ASU will allow companies to measure goodwill impairment as the excess of the reporting unit’s carrying value over its fair value. Stakeholders had complained that the current impairment test creates. Read More.

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