NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FOR WEDNESDAY - 5.11.16

By:
Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
May 11, 2016
Accounting and Financial News

FASB Tweaks Revenue Recognition Standard
Accounting Today
The Financial Accounting Standards Board has released a new accounting standards update providing “narrow-scope improvements and practical expedients” for the revenue recognition standard that it converged with the International Accounting Standards Board. The improvements stem from the work of a joint Transition Resource Group that FASB and the IASB established after they released the long-awaited standard in mid-2014.

SaaS Security is Not a Threat, Your Client Is
AccountingWEB
Accountants need to protect their CPA license, just as lawyers have to avoid the risk of being disbarred, and physicians must shun a variety of activities that may lead to their medical license being revoked or suspended.  The CPA license attests to protecting the public interest by providing reasonable assurance of a baseline level of technical knowledge and skills in the accountant delivering the service.

Government Must Play a Role Again in Job Creation
New York Times
America has been here before. At the dawn of the 20th century, the economy was already well into a fundamental transformation of the labor force, as industry replaced farming and crafts as the primary source of new jobs. The shift was painful, spawning protest movements and political forces like progressivism. But the United States emerged from the turmoil far more prosperous and powerful.

Accounting News Roundup: Doubting the AICPA and PCAOB Talking Non-GAAP Measures | 05.10.16
Going Concern
AICPA-CIMA. As we've discussed, the AICPA-CIMA merger vote has a lot of people talking. Mostly, the AICPA is talking about how members should approve it and that it has unanimous support among the state societies. Around these parts, there's quite a bit of skepticism about the merger. As I've said before, I don't have a dog in this fight, but the motives behind the merger and benefits to members aren't clear to me.

SEC Approves PCAOB Rules on Disclosing Engagement Partner Name
Accounting Today
The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved rules from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to improve audit transparency by disclosing the names of audit engagement partners, along with information about other firms that participate in the audits. Audit firms are required to file with the PCAOB on a new form, Form AP, the name of the engagement partner for all public company audits issued on or after Jan. 31, 2017.

A Familiar Top-Priority for the IRS
Bloomberg
The Internal Revenue Service has been focusing a lot of energy on preventing identity theft. The release of the Panama Papers may have shifted that focus. Bloomberg BNA Tax Reporter Colleen Murphy joins Amy Morris in the Bloomberg 99.1 Washington Newsroom to talk about the latest top-of-mind issues for IRS officials.

Becker Professional Education announces document review simulation (DRS) for CPA Exam prep
Accounting Today
Becker Professional Education announced on Monday the launch of a new document review simulation (DRS) as part of its CPA Exam Review. The task-based simulation, created by the AICPA, will notably begin appearing on select CPA Exams this year. DRS looks to bring more authenticity to the Exam by providing real-world scenarios new CPAs are likely to handle on the job.

After Extension, IRS Clarifies "Begun Construction" Guidance for PTCs
JD Supra Business Advisor
Following last year's extension of the investment tax credit for qualifying projects for which construction begins prior to January 1, 2020, and of the production tax credit (PTC) with respect to certain facilities the construction of which begins before January 1, 2017, and for wind facilities the construction of which begins before January 1, 2020, the IRS has provided additional guidance in Notice 2016-31, which extends and modifies Notice 2013-29, as clarified by Notice 2013-60 and Notice 2014-46, and updated by Notice 2015-25 (the "Begun Construction Guidance").

New FASB Revenue Guidance Addresses Sales Tax, VAT Issue
Bloomberg BNA
Companies can choose to use a new shortcut in treating sales and other similar taxes when they first apply far-reaching rules on revenue recognition under new, narrowly-drawn guidance issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board. FASB in its May 9 accounting standards update (ASU 2016-12) addressed the “policy election” of factoring sales, value-added and like-minded taxes into measuring the transaction price.

Pressure to Close the Pay Gap
New York Times
The strong case for the rule requiring companies to report the gap between the pay of the chief executive and everyone else keeps getting stronger. The original rationale for the rule, mandated under the Dodd-Frank financial reforms of 2010, was that excessive executive pay encouraged corporate recklessness, fostered economic instability and deepened income inequality.

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