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How Social and Digital Media can be a #Majorrisk

Electronic Communication can be Fraught with Peril for the Unwary CPA Electronic communication can be fraught with peril for the unwary professional. CPAs who become over-reliant on this form of communication confront increased professional liability risk. This column explores some of the more common risks CPAs may encounter with electronic communication and discusses how a professional can make appropriate ...

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U.S. Companies Align to Control Health Care Costs

Twenty large U.S. companies have formed an alliance in an effort to rebalance relationships between corporate America and the health supply chain.  Andrew Kenney, contributing editor for CGMA, explains. To read the full article in CGMA Magazine, click: U.S. Companies Align to Control Health Care Costs. ...

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Book Review—A Consensus View Q&A Guide to Financial Valuation

Hitchner, Pratt, and Fishman Answer the Call In the past month, business valuation professionals have read reviews from a number of practitioners serving as reviewers for the Q&A Guide. All of them are positive. In this book review, we go into a little more detail and discuss what these established and accomplished business valuation professionals and leaders answer in the Q&A Guide. So, what does t ...

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WikiLeaks Delivers—Valuation Reports From Top Firms (Deloitte, KPMG, E&Y, Houlihan & SVB)

Benchmarking Your Reports and Examining What Hypothetical Conditions and/or Extraordinary Assumptions You Have Made! However, thanks to WikiLeaks, “The Interview”, and Sony Pictures, a rather sizeable repository of sample reports exist free of charge. These reports, as you might expect, are from the transaction arms of Big Four firms as well as leading national shops. Anyone who has been doing this for a wh ...

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Discounts on Family Limited Partnership

The IRS is Challenging the Appropriateness of Discounts when Preparing a Valuation The current regulations, Revenue-Ruling 93-12, allow for discounts when valuing a Family Limited Partnership (FLP). The proposal is expected to potentially limit the allowed discount and consequently raise the taxable portion of the trust or estate structures. This article reviews the current requirements for FLPs, their hist ...

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Employee Hotline Best Practices

Improving Organizational Well-Being Why have an employee hotline? What are the benefits, if any, of an employee hotline? In this article, Ray Dunkle shares his views and the results of implementation. While many forward-thinking organizations are increasingly implementing hotlines, the best practice of such a hotline is so new to most, that few know how to successfully do so. The remainder of this article p ...

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Deflategate, Binkygate & Disclosing Open Tax Years

The AICPA's Center for Plain English Accounting conducted an investigation into the applicability of the disclosure requirement of open tax years associated with the Financial Accounting Standards Board's Interpretation No. 48, Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes.  Robert Durak, Director- Center for Plain English Accounting, American Institute of CPAs, discusses a CPEA investigation into the matter. ...

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Look Before You Leap: Evaluating a Section 83(b) Election

Do you and your employees know how to get the most tax savings when choosing a benefit election?  Sujan Rajbhandary, senior member of Mercer Capital’s Financial Reporting Valuation Group, discusses an IRC Section 83(b) election and what’s considered in making this choice. To read more about the results of this report in the Mercer Capital's Financial Reporting Blog, click: Look Before You Leap: Evaluating a ...

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AICPA Weighs in on Tax Reforms to Paul Ryan

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has sent a letter urging Rep. Paul Ryan (R–Wis.), the new chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, to follow the AICPA’s principles of good tax policy to guide tax reform. The letter comes in response to the Tax Reform Act of 2014, a draft proposal put forth by the former Ways and Means chair Dave Camp (R–Mich.). The AICPA’s letter addresses ...

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Calculations and Opinions: Bringing Clarity to a Cloudy Issue

Opinions are like viewpoints; everyone has one Opinions are often provided in connection with calculation values and a conclusion of value. SSVS No. 1 does not prohibit or explicitly endorse either. In this article, Jim Hitchner shares his views on whether the term “opinion”―offered in a litigation or non-litigation engagement—should be used as part of the engagement or offered in connection with a calculat ...

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AICPA Survey Says Valuators Optimistic About Future

  In spite of the current economic climate, a recent survey from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) showed that 54 percent of valuation professionals expected a 10 to 50 percent increase in the demand for their services over the next two to five years. These results are part of the 2014 AICPA Survey on International Trends in Forensic and Valuation Services. Forensic experts were even more optimist ...

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Standards Though the Eyes of a Practitioner

Reconciling compliance with multi-agency valuation standards While standards exist to uphold the integrity of business valuation, multi-credentialed professionals can face a daunting task when trying to compare and comply with all guidelines across the spectrum of issuing agencies. This article seeks to root out possible conflicts and create clarity among standards so valuators may perform with less effort ...

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Mercer’s Five Big Valuation Issues

  In case you missed it, Z. Christopher Mercer, ASA, CFA, ABAR, founder and CEO of Mercer Capital, was the keynote speaker at the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) 2014 bi-annual joint conference this year. His presentation concerned The Five Really Big Valuation Issues. They included: 1.) discount rates, 2.) control premiums and minority interest ...

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AICPA Protests IRS Regulation for Tax Preparers

  The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) recently sent a letter to the IRS calling a proposed “voluntary” certification program for unenrolled tax return preparers “unlawful and improper”. In a recent ruling, Loving, No. 13-5061 (D.C. Cir. 2/11/14), it was held that the IRS does not have the statutory authority to regulate tax return preparers. In the aftermath, IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen, stated ...

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Current Controversies Regarding Option Pricing Models

A view of the use and limits of option models (Part 2 of 2) Option pricing models (OPMs) are increasingly used to estimate the discount for lack of marketability (DLOM) in the business valuation profession. Some analysts disagree about whether OPMs are applicable for estimating the DLOM. Since OPMs were originally derived to determine option prices for publicly traded securities, many analysts question the ...

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Current Controversies Regarding Option Pricing Models

A view of the use and limits of option models (Part 1 of 2) Option pricing models (OPMs) are increasingly used to estimate the discount for lack of marketability (DLOM) in the business valuation profession. Some analysts disagree about whether OPMs are applicable for estimating the DLOM. Since OPMs were originally derived to determine option prices for publicly traded securities, many analysts question the ...

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AICPA Draws the Line on Leases

In a letter to the FASB and IASB, the AICPA’s Financial Reporting Executive Committee (FinREC) suggested that a dividing line be created between Type A and Type B leases that deviates from the rule the boards have proposed.  While FinREC supported the objectives calling for transparency and recognition on-balance sheet for all leases, it disagreed with the test for how leases would be classified.  For detai ...

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FASB Proposals Simplify Intangible Assets

Recently, the FASB issued exposure drafts of Accounting Standards Updates (ASUs) which propose reductions in the cost and complexity of accounting for intangible assets acquired by private companies, as well as subsequent testing for goodwill impairment.  The proposed changes in the drafts involve alterations to Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 85, Business Combinations, and Topic 350, Intanbig ...

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Financial Forensics, Certified Fraud Examiners, and Master Analyst in Financial Forensics

It is far broader than forensic accounting While financial forensics may share some common ground with forensic accounting, these professions are far from identical twins. D. Larry Crumbley, CPA, MAFF lays out the differences between these often misunderstood professions and explores the academic factors that may be contributing to the confusion. ...

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