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The Daily

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FOR MONDAY - 10.31.16

By:
Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
Oct 31, 2016

NYSSCPA Members in the News

Joanne S. Barry – Executive Director and CEO
People News – Oct. 28, 2016
Accounting Today
Joanne S. Barry, executive director and CEO of the New York State Society of CPAs, has been appointed the 2016-2017 president of the CPA Society Executives Association.

NYSSCPA – Anti-Money Laundering Conference
IRS Expands Offshore Tax Avoidance Efforts Past Switzerland
Bloomberg BNA
The IRS’s criminal investigations arm is moving beyond Switzerland in its efforts to track down U.S. tax evaders, the agency’s investigations chief said. “In fiscal year 2017, IRS-CI will continue to rigorously pursue U.S. citizens seeking to evade income taxes by placing assets in other countries,” said Richard Weber, chief of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division. The focus so far has been mostly on Switzerland, but the division is beginning to pursue those efforts on a wider scale, he said Oct. 27 at an anti-money laundering conference sponsored by the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants.

NYSSCPA – SEC Conference
PCAOB's Harris eyes threats to independence, plugs expanded auditor’s report
Jim Hamilton’s World of Securities Regulation (Wolters Kluwer)
PCAOB board member Steven Harris is concerned that auditor independence is again being threatened by the rise of consulting and advisory services at audit firms. He reiterated that the Board is committed to holding auditors accountable, through enforcement actions if necessary, to high standards of independence and professional skepticism. In remarks at the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants conference, Harris discussed a number of PCAOB priorities, including the re-emergence of concerns about auditor independence, audit report reform, and the current state of audit quality.

NYSSCPA – Estate Planning Conference
Say you’re dead -- who gets access to your online accounts?
CBS News
You may not know that at the end of September, New York became the 20th state to pass something called the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act -- known to those in the know as RUFADAA. It’s the most important law you’ve never heard of, and you could be dead when it would come into play. That’s because it will govern how and to what extent your family members or the executor of your estate will be able to access your online accounts if you die or become disabled, and they need to ask the account provider for access.

Chris Gamble (Rochester)
Key steps in financial planning
WROC Rochester First
CPA Chris Gamble of Kroner Gamble & Company discussed the importance of having a solid financial plan and how to put one together Monday on News 8 at Sunrise. "Financial planning is the ongoing process of having short-term and long-term goals, and that helps you make decisions on how you're going to spend your money," said Gamble.  "Good financial planning helps you avoid financial setbacks, can help to deal with major life changes, and can help avoid credit or debt problems."

Other Accounting and Financial News Stories

Real Accountants Spill The Beans On Hollywood's "The Accountant"
Forbes
If your CPA is a little sassy this month, blame it on Hollywood. Accountants across the U.S. are enjoying the spotlight on their typically low-profile line of work thanks to Ben Affleck’s portrayal of the profession in “The Accountant,” which topped movie box offices on its opening weekend earlier this month. Sure, accounting firms perennially are able to boast that their profession ranks as the most profitable U.S. industry, but it’s not very often that a movie or even a TV show features one of their own in a hero role with a side of romance.

Don’t Expect Fed to Clarify Its Plan
Wall Street Journal
The Federal Reserve will keep us in suspense. No, not about this week’s meeting. The Fed almost certainly will sit on its hands a week before the election. But anyone hoping for a clear signal about December’s meeting probably will be disappointed. Rate setters were far more obliging just over a year ago, before the first rate increase in nearly a decade. The clues are there, though. Improving economic conditions, including last week’s strong-than-expected reading on growth, suggest the Fed is getting closer to another rate increase. Markets are increasingly betting on a December move. In fact, the signs are stronger than a year ago.

Focus: Public Officials - The reform of proceedings before the Court of Auditors - The new Code of Accounting Justice
JD Supra Business Advisor
On 7 October 2016, Legislative Decree 174 of 26 August 2016 entered into force laying down the "Code of Accounting Justice, adopted pursuant to Art. 20 of Law 124 of 7 August 2015". This piece of legislation has re-organized and redefined the rules of procedure concerning all types of proceedings that take place before the Court of Auditors, from the most well-known proceedings relating to liability for damage to the public purse, to proceedings on pensions, and introduced new rules mainly with regard to proceedings relating to liability for damage to the public purse.

AICPA Sees Pre-Election Boost in Financial Satisfaction
Accounting Today
With the presidential election just around the corner, the American Institute of CPAs is detecting signs of renewed optimism in individuals’ financial outlook. The AICPA’s third quarter Personal Financial Satisfaction Index measured 19.0, a 1.7 point increase from the second quarter and a 3.3 point increase from a year ago. The PFSi has reached its highest level since the first quarter of 2007, but is still 23 percent below its all-time high during the fourth quarter of 2006.

More Fearful, Investors Scale Back Volatility Short Bet
Wall Street Journal
Wall Street’s bet against fear, a big winner this year, is starting to wane. The relative calm in the U.S. stock market has made wagering on a decline in the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, a popular trade for much of this year. The two biggest exchange-traded funds that short volatility, as betting on a decline in the VIX is known among traders, are up 46% this year. Hedge-fund bets that the VIX will decline reached a record in September, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Final Fed Meeting and Final Jobs Report Before Election Day
New York Times
Official estimates coming out Monday are expected to show that the eurozone economy grew solidly in the third quarter as the region gradually emerges from nearly a decade of malaise. Analysts at Oxford Economics estimate that the gross domestic product in the eurozone rose 0.4 percent from the previous quarter, led by Germany and a recovering Spain. Although unemployment remains above 10 percent in the 19 countries of the eurozone, inflation is picking up from dangerously low levels, and surveys show that consumers and businesses are becoming more optimistic.