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Disclosure Rule Amendments to Help Short-Term Insurance Policy Underwriters

Creating more consistent footnote disclosure requirements for short-term insurance policy underwriters, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) announced changes to Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2015-09, Financial Services—Insurance (Topic 944): Disclosures about Short-Duration Contracts. Applicable to Topic 944, Financial Services—Insurance, the amendments to generally accepted accounting principles (U.S. GAAP) include a set of limited disclosure rules for insurance companies that distribute short-term policies normally last less than a year. Discussing the amendments’ impact on investors, FASB Chairman Russell Golden said the requirements of ASU No. 2015-09 will clarify claim-related liabilities on the balance sheet and how such liabilities evolve. Per. Read More.

PCAOB Issues Staff Paper on Auditor’s Use of Specialists

Seeking feedback on possible changes to the guidance for an auditor’s use of the work of specialists, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) has issued Staff Consultation Paper No. 2015-01, The Auditor’s Use of the Work of Specialists (Staff Paper). Announced last week , the Staff Paper focuses on specialists’ objectivity and oversight, as well as the practice of their work in audits. Along with the Staff Paper, the PCAOB released the supplementary Fact Sheet, Staff Consultation Paper on the Auditor’s Use of the Work of Specialists . The Staff Paper examines the importance and rise of using specialists in recent years, partially due to the growing complexity of reported business transactions in financial. Read More.

North Carolina House Passes State Budget

With a 93-23 vote Friday, the North Carolina House (“the House”) passed a $22.1 billion spending plan for the next two years. The passage comes after a week of debate held up by the introduction of numerous amendments. Almost 40 amendments were proposed on the floor, and another 60 had been considered in the House Appropriations Committee. The budget package contains a 6.3 increase in general fund spending ($1.3 billion), a change from the 2 percent increase recommended by Governor Pat McCrory’s budget. Further, the House budget includes the anticipated $400 million revenue increase that was announced in early May.

AICPA Publishes Six-Point Plan to Improve Audits

On Thursday, May 14th, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”) announced its proposal for enhancing audit performance. Published as the Six-Point Plan to Improve Audits , the AICPA’s planned roadmap focuses on financial statement audits for private entities, employee benefit plans and governmental bodies around the country. The proposed plan reflects feedback from stakeholders, practitioners and other profession leaders on approaches for improving audit quality. Per its roadmap, the organization’s six points to improve audit quality are: Pre-Licensure. This point features an updated version of the CPA exam is intended to increase measurement of higher-order skills. Standards and Ethics. This point relates to support. Read More.

SEC’s Schnurr Says Recommendation on Incorporating IFRS Could Arrive Soon

Speaking at the 2015 Baruch College Financial Reporting Conference last month, Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Chief Accountant James Schnurr stated that the agency’s staff is close to offering its recommendation for U.S. public businesses to begin incorporating International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Although no specific information was given, Schnurr has implied that companies might be permitted to present financial results using IFRS, along with their required reports under domestic accounting guidelines. Additionally, Schnurr noted that there is nearly non-existent support to require IFRS for all registrants, and a lack of support for offering an option permitting U.S. companies to. Read More.

SEC Proposes Updated Reporting Rules for Investment Companies and Investment Advisers

Aimed to enhance the quality of information reported by investment companies and investment advisers, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has proposed two new rules, Amendments to Form ADV and Investment Advisers Act Rules and Investment Company Reporting Modernization . The new rules would modernize information reported by investment companies and investment advisers, as well as help the agency more effectively utilize the data collected. The proposed rules would improve data reporting for mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and similar registered investment companies. In addition, the rules introduce new monthly portfolio reporting (Form N-PORT) and annual reporting (Form N-CEN) forms that would require census-type information.  Proposed amendments to the investment adviser registration and. Read More.