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Nonprofits Seek More Clarity on Contributions Accounting

Almost one year has passed since the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) released guidance for contributions accounting, but several nonprofit organizations still struggle with understanding the new provisions. At a March 4 meeting on accounting needs and concerns impacting the nonprofit industry, the FASB’s Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee acknowledged that nonprofits need more guidance to apply Accounting Standards Update No. 2018-08, Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958): Clarifying the Scope and the Accounting Guidance for Contributions Received and Contributions Made. The advisory panel argued that the nonprofit sector needs assistance with accounting for cost-sharing rules, in particular government agreements. The panel suggested nonprofits need. Read More.

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FBI Investigation Uncovers Major College Admissions Scheme

Over 50 indictments were announced Tuesday related to an alleged scheme aimed to help college applicants gain admission to elite schools. According to an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation called “Operation Varsity Blues”, the scheme involved wealthy parents paying bribes of up to $6.5 million to college coaches to place their children on the lists of recruited athletes. Some bribes enlisted proctors to help the applicants take their SAT or ACT. It stunned several admissions leaders to hear about the allegations, and some college counselors noted they had been approached before about related schemes. More on Operation Varsity Blues is available. Read More.

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GASB Introduces Lease Standard Implementation Guidance

To assist state and local governments with applying GASB Statement No. 87, Leases, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) has issued a draft Implementation Guide . The GASB presents the proposed guidance in a question-and-answer format and intends to clarify the requirements listed under the lease accounting standard. GASB Statement No. 87 offers a simplified approach for state and local governments to account for and disclose leases. Interested parties can submit feedback on the proposal to the GASB by Tuesday, April 30.

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President May Soon Issue Executive Order on Campus Free Speech

President Trump announced over the weekend plans to issue an executive order that would withhold federal research funds to colleges that do not support free speech. The president did not offer details on how the executive order would work or who will determine whether an institution violated free speech, but he referenced incidents at the University of California, Berkeley for declaring the order. In response to the proposed executive order, the American Council on Education’s Terry Hartle said he was curious how a federal agency would try to enforce the order and suggested that some people may create incidents just. Read More.

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Senate Working to Increase Federal Grants and Contracts for HBCUs

A new bill receiving unanimous Senate approval aims to help historically black colleges and universities (“HBCUs”) secure more federal grants and contracts. The HBCU Propelling Agency Relationships Toward a New Era of Results for Students (HBCU PARTNERS Act) requires applicable agencies to present to Congress their annual plans for supporting the capacity of HBCUs to take part in federal grants, contracts or cooperative agreements. Another Senate-backed effort seeking to give HBCU funding is the reauthorization of the HBCU Historic Preservation Program. This bill would permit grant funding to repair deteriorating historic buildings at HBCUs and bring buildings up to code. Read More.

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Tuition Revenue Recognition Guidance Issued

The National Association of College and University Business Officers (“NACUBO”) has released a new advisory using tuition to illustrate guidance under Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic 606, Revenue From Contracts With Customers. Accounting Advisory 19-01, FASB ASC 606, Revenue From Contracts with Customers: Tuition Revenue, states that a student’s signed financial responsibility agreement authorizes a college or university to consideration, in exchange for promised services, on the date payment is due. The advisory also explains various terms and requirements, including performance obligations, portfolio approach and contract liabilities. More on this Accounting Advisory is available on the NACUBO website.

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