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The Daily

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FOR THURSDAY - 2.11.16

By:
Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
Feb 11, 2016

Bonadio Group hires record number of candidates in 2015

Accounting Today

The Bonadio Group, upstate New York’s largest independent accounting, consulting, and financial services firm, set a record in 2015 with 183 new hires across its 10 offices, marking an 83 percent over the firm’s 2014 recruiting efforts. The new-employee number includes 52 recent college graduates, most of whom joined the firm in early December. They are from 20 different colleges and universities in New York. “To address the exceptional growth of our firm, we are filling open positions and planning for the future with the best and brightest professionals we can find,” said Tom Bonadio, CEO and managing partner of The Bonadio Group, in a statement. “Our growth is creating significant opportunities for rapid advancement for all of our people across the firm, and we are supporting their efforts with the right training, tools, and culture so that we can continue to consistently exceed our clients’ expectations."


Investors Increasingly Wary of Volatile Markets

CPA Practice Advisor

Turbulent markets continue to trouble investors, prompting financial advisors to rank "managing market volatility" as their top concern for Q1 2016. The 123.8 reading on the Advisor Top-of-Mind Index (ATOMIX) survey is the highest ranking since the index originated in April 2014. Eighty percent of financial advisors reported that fear is the primary motivator for their clients, up from 51% in Q1 2015, reflecting escalating concerns over the steep increase in volatility across global markets. Additionally, nearly half (44%) of financial advisors polled believed that the likelihood of a U.S. recession by year-end is either moderate or high, underscoring their growing trepidation over the pace and direction of global growth.  John Moninger, managing director at Eaton Vance, believes the volatility spike in the latter part of 2015 and the emotional reaction many investors had to it may be leading to investment actions that work against their long-term goals.


The IRS Says Identity Thieves Hacked Its Systems Again

Fortune

Identity thieves attempted to breach computer systems at the Internal Revenue Service to file fraudulent tax refunds. The criminals were especially after E-file PINs, which are used by some individuals to electronically file a return, the agency said in a statement released Tuesday. Around 464,000 unique social security numbers were involved, and of that total, 101,000 SSNs were used to successfully access an E-file PIN. The thieves used personal taxpayer data that was stolen elsewhere to help generate the PINs, the agency said. No personal data was compromised or disclosed by IRS systems, and affected taxpayers will be notified by mail of the attack. “The IRS is also protecting their accounts by marking them to protect against tax-related identity theft,” the agency added.


IRS Urged to Improve Direct Debit Installment Agreements to Avoid Taxpayer Defaults

Accounting Today

The Treasury Department’s inspector general is pressing the Internal Revenue Service in a new report to improve its procedures for direct debt installment agreements to avoid taxpayer defaults. The report, from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, noted that direct debit installment agreements give taxpayers a convenient way to make payments on their installments while eliminating the need for checks or paper forms and IRS resources to process the payments each month.  During fiscal year 2014, more than 500,000 taxpayers entered into such agreements, known as DDIAs, and approximately $2.8 billion was collected. The report argues that revising the existing DDIA procedures to automatically add new liabilities to existing DDIAs could increase revenue collection and reduce taxpayer burden.


At FASB, Changing of Some of the Guard This Year

Bloomberg BNA

For observers of institutional forces at work in accounting, this year’s changes in personnel at the Financial Accounting Standards Board and its parent group, the Financial Accounting Foundation, could be significant. Thomas Linsmeier will be stepping down from the seven-member FASB June 30. He’s reaching the two-term limit of service on the board. Daryl Buck, another FASB member, announced Jan. 29 that he would retire from the board this Dec. 31. That’s about four years short of the scheduled 2021 end to his potential 10-year gig in Norwalk. And Charles Noski, a former vice president and CFO at the post-meltdown-era Bank of America who later became BofA’s vice chairman, earlier this year became head of the FAF trustees. That group names members of FASB and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. FAF oversees the boards’ operations, including budgeting.


Accountants Play Key Role in Developing Integrated Reporting

Accounting Web

A new report by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants explores why integrated reporting is gaining a bigger foothold in corporate reporting and why accountants are playing a key role in that process. From Share Value to Shared Value: Exploring the Role of Accountants in Developing Integrated Reporting in Practice is based on participants’ observations within a multinational company – the pilot of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) – as well as interviews with international experts and other multinational companies, and evidence collected from 2011 to 2015. Though the first corporate integrated reports emerged in 2002, the trend has built momentum slowly. Basically, integrated reporting has three hallmarks: It’s a reporting and management tool that helps create shared value for stakeholders; It includes management’s future expectations; It should provide information material to assessing and sustaining short- to long-term value.


Fed Nods to Negative Rates, Hurdles and All

Wall Street Journal

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen waded into fraught territory before Congress, suggesting the central bank could turn to negative interest rates in an economic downturn despite legal and other uncertainties. Her comments Wednesday came as concerns about unsettled markets and weak global growth pushed benchmark U.S. Treasury rates to a one-year low. The yield on the 10-year note fell to 1.706%, leaving it down more than half a percentage point so far this year. Central banks in Europe and Japan have turned to the once-radical idea of negative interest rates to spur their moribund economies. The idea that their U.S. counterpart might follow suit is unlikely but not impossible. The Fed raised interest rates in December for the first time in a decade and is weighing whether to raise them further. Ms. Yellen in her testimony said it was unlikely the central bank would need to cut rates soon, much less go negative.


What’s Going On in the Markets? 5 Theories to Explain the Chaos

Wall Street Journal

Rising volatility this year in stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities has left investors scrambling to figure out what’s going on. Markets in Asia and Europe were again shaken Thursday. Shares in Hong Kong fell sharply when the market reopened after an extended holiday. The Hang Seng Index was down 4% in early trading. China’s main stock market in Shanghai remained closed for the Lunar New Year, prompting fears stocks could tumble when it reopens Monday as investors digest recent market events. Stocks fell sharply in Europe, too, with banking shares suffering the steepest declines. The falls in Asia and Europe followed the fourth consecutive day of losses for major indexes in the U.S. On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen flagged risks to the economic outlook that could delay the central bank’s plans for raising interest rates.