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Strategies for Quality Work in Single Audits

Like many members of the CPA profession, single audit practitioners will be managing a change process while maintaining an intense focus on quality. To read the full article in Journal of Accountancy, click: Strategies for Quality Work in Single Audits. ...

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Federal Spending Bill Includes Tax Provisions

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, H.R. 1625, which is the $1.3 trillion spending bill that Congress passed, contains a few tax-related provisions, including funding for the IRS and technical corrections to various recent pieces of tax legislation.  It also amends the centralized partnership audit regime and changes the Sec. 199A deduction for farmers who sell grain to agricultural cooperatives. To ...

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How AI, Blockchain, and Automation Will Reinvent Accounting

The accounting profession sits on the cusp of unprecedented change.  Transformative technologies will reshape virtually every corner of the accounting world.  For CPAs to survive and thrive, they will need to learn—and unlearn—on a scale and at a pace that can seem overwhelming.  To help CPAs prepare, the JofA gathered three of the profession’s top technology experts for its annual accounting technology rou ...

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Lessons to Learn from SEC Accounting and Auditing Enforcements

Since enacting the Securities Exchange Act in 1934, Congress has repeatedly expanded the arsenal of the SEC to protect investors through enforcement actions.  As a result, the SEC has steadily increased the number of enforcement actions.  The author's analysis of 1,563 accounting and auditing enforcement cases from 2008 to 2014 shows the most frequent securities law violations adjudicated by the SEC, the pe ...

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The Importance of Audit Planning

What is the purpose of audit planning if the audit may not ultimately follow the carefully thought out plan?  As may be inferred from Dwight D. Eisenhower's words—"Plans are worthless, but planning is everything"—the value of audit planning is not derived solely from the resulting audit plan.  Daniel Gartland, risk control consultant at CNA, describes the importance of detailed planning. To read the full ar ...

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PCAOB Inspection Scrutiny of Fair Value Measurement Continues

Fair value measurement has been a hot topic during the last few years, increasingly attributable to PCAOB identified audit deficiencies and heightening scrutiny over the existing fair value framework and related auditing standards.  In this post, we take a look at the causes of attention and recent responses from professionals and professional organizations. To read the full article in Mercer Capital's Fina ...

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$475 Million Bargain Purchase Leads to an SEC Settlement

Was it a bargain purchase or not?  The SEC has reached a $6.2 million settlement with a Big 4 audit firm relating to auditing failures associated with Miller Energy Resources.  This post will examine the particulars of the case and provide some observations on fair value accounting that can be gleaned from the SEC settlement order. To read the full article in Mercer Capital's Financial Reporting Blog, click ...

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Fair Value Measurements

In the Crosshairs of Regulators In this article, Mark Zyla of Acuitas discusses trends in fair value measurements in financial reporting and enforcement actions. Mr. Zyla notes that financial reporting is increasingly scrutinized by regulators. He observes that recent inspection reports of accounting firms that audit publicly traded entities by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) have indi ...

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The Quandary Over Wandry

Audit Risk and Use of Defined Value Clauses Estate planning attorneys and their clients are aware of the risk of an audit. Despite knowing this risk, they seek certainty. Business valuation is as much art, as it is science. Estate planning attorneys have devised techniques to hedge the aforementioned risk and provide their clients with a greater degree of certainty. One such technique utilized by estate pla ...

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Analysis: Professional Skepticism: in the Age of Fair Value Measurements

Audit quality concerns raised by a spike in unsatisfactory results from firm/engagement inspections performed by the regulator and the possibility of audit firms being sued for corporate failures warrants a fresh look at professional skepticism.  Here is Brian Monegi’s take on this. To read the full article in ASA, click: Analysis: Professional Skepticism: in the Age of Fair Value Measurements. ...

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Managing Professional Liability Litigation Against Accounting Firms

Part III of III This is Part III of a three-part series discussing the basic components of a professional liability lawsuit brought against an accounting firm and its partners, and factors a firm’s managing partner should consider before and during this type of litigation for utilizing applicable insurance coverage, maximizing effectiveness of defense, and, where possible, bringing the controversy to conclu ...

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Managing Professional Liability Litigation Against Accounting Firms

Part II of III This is Part II of a three-part series discussing the basic components of a professional liability lawsuit brought against an accounting firm and its partners and the factors a firm’s managing partner should take into consideration before and during this type of litigation for utilizing applicable insurance coverage, maximizing effectiveness of defense and, where possible, bringing the contro ...

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Managing Professional Liability Litigation Against Accounting Firms

Part I of III This is Part I of a three-part series discussing the basic components of a professional liability lawsuit brought against an accounting firm and its partners; and the factors a firm’s managing partner should consider before and during this type of litigation for utilizing applicable insurance coverage, maximizing effectiveness of defense and, where possible, bringing the controversy to conclus ...

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Conservation Easements Contributions

Heightened IRS Scrutiny A look into recent Tax Court cases brings to light several issues that are on the IRS’ “radar screen.” Past QuickRead articles have highlighted some of the cases, including Section 2036, or “bad facts” cases. Another hot-button issue for the IRS is the proper treatment of conservation easement charitable contributions. Since 2010, courts have published at least 60 opinions addressing ...

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Accountants Are Not Allowed to Use Graphs

Visualized Financial Statement Analysis The use of Excel and graphics, commonly referred to as data visualization, can provide a fuller or more holistic view of changes in an entity. Does the traditional audit or report that is devoid of data visualization serve the client? In this article, the author “propos[es] not a replacement for ratios…but rather that financial statement analysis should return to a mo ...

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Compliance

A Meaningful New Year’s Resolution Why is compliance so important to business? What are the reasons and consequences for failing to have a compliance program? In this article, Peter J. Comodeca, Esq. with the law firm of Calfee, Halter & Griswold, LLP discusses the legal reasons to comply and costs of failing to comply. ...

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The IRS Equity Compensation Audit Guide

Obviously, every equity compensation plan is different and the particular tax treatment of a given security depends on the facts and circumstances of the arrangement.  Samantha L. Albert, senior financial analyst with Mercer Capital, examines equity-based compensation and the tools available when examining these arrangements. To read more about the results of this report in the Mercer Capital's Financial Re ...

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Fraud Risk Assessments

The Annual Audit Does not Identify Operational and Financial Risks According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ (ACFE) 2014 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, an estimated 5% of revenues each year are lost to fraud. What processes can management put in place to identify financial and operational risks? In this article, the author shares his experience and thoughts on that q ...

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Auditing the Auditors

The International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR) recently released its second annual Survey of Inspection Findings for the year 2013. The report includes findings from IFIAR members’ (international audit regulators independent of the audit profession) inspections of audit firms, primarily those associated with the largest international audit firm networks. Findings from audit firm activities ...

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Audit Firms Scrutinized for Non-Audit Services

Beginning this year, the PCAOB is making it a priority to examine whether or not firms that offer non-audit service lines are compromising the quality and accuracy of their audit services by doing so. In yet-to-be-scheduled roundtable discussions with audit firm leaders, regulators are expected to delve into the potential implications for such consulting arrangements. According to PCAOB chairman, James Doty ...

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