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The Daily

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FOR TUESDAY - 2.16.16

By:
Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
Feb 16, 2016

NYSSCPA Members in the News

David Young (Rochester)

Common tax return filing mistakes

WROC Rochester First

CPA Dave Young of Young and Company discussed some of the common mistakes people make when filing their income tax return Monday on News 8 at Sunrise. Young said the biggest error he sees each year is an incorrect filing status.  He said sometimes people get "Head of Household" and "Single" confused.  Your marital status could be single, but if you're single and care for children for greater than six months of the year you qualify as a "Head of Household." Young said other common mistakes made when filing an income tax return include: Failing to report additional income; Failing to claim credits such as a child in college and dependents under 17; Failing to claim deductions such as mortgage interest, real estate taxes and charitable contributions; and Failing to account for subsidies/penalties related to health care coverage. Young advises comparing this year's return to last year's return as a way to catch missed information and avoid common mistakes.


Other Accounting and Finance News


IPSASB Proposes Changes to Standards for Cash Basis of Accounting for Public Sector

Accounting Today

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board has released for comment an exposure draft amending the standards for public sector entities under the cash basis of accounting. Exposure Draft 61, Amendments to Financial Reporting under the Cash Basis of Accounting (the Cash Basis IPSAS) has two parts. Part 1 identifies requirements that a reporting entity needs to adopt to claim that its financial statements comply with the IPSAS. It currently includes requirements for preparation of consolidated financial statements and for disclosure of information about external assistance and payments made by third parties. ED 61 proposes that these requirements be revised, recast as encouragements, and moved into Part 2 of the IPSAS. Part 2 identifies encouraged disclosures that an entity may choose to provide, but which are not required to claim compliance with the IPSAS.


Investors Shrug Off Lofty Dividends, Stock Buybacks

Wall Street Journal

Finance chiefs say they aren’t influenced much by short-term stock prices, but a growing number of them are scratching their heads about why the market is punishing their stocks despite record revenues and rising dividends. Over the past year, the S&P 500 index has fallen 11%, even though many of its constituents sport lofty dividends. Many companies also continue to buy back their stock. But that hasn’t been enough to tempt investors, who are worried about global economic growth and low oil prices. Ford Motor Co. is rewarding shareholders with a supplemental $1 billion dividend on top of its regular first-quarter payout. The auto maker’s regular dividend now yields 5.2%. Still, shares are down 18% this year, including a 10% slide since the extra dividend was announced. “It’s disappointing for sure. Am I discouraged? No.” said Robert Shanks, Ford’s chief financial officer. The company’s share price, he said, will likely move higher over the long term if its financial results continue to improve.


Accounting Thought Leaders Tackle Firm Challenges at Symposium

CPA Practice Advisor

Several of the most influential and respected leaders in the accounting profession are meeting this week, Feb. 15-17, at the Westin Galleria Hotel and Resort in Dallas, for the sixth annual Accounting Thought Leader Symposium. These individuals come from across the accounting spectrum, including small tax-focused firms, general practices, national firms, accounting educators and technology consultants to firms, and all are well-known speakers at tradeshows and CPE events. During the symposium, these professionals will meet with core development and executive staff of key accounting technology providers to determine and shape the future of the profession, including both short- and long-term evolutions in technology, workflow methods and firm management. The companies participating in this year’s event include Avalara, Intuit, Sage, TSheets, and Xero. The invitation-only event is hosted by CPA Practice Advisor, a provider of practice management advice, best-practice insight, news, digital resources and technology reviews for professional accounting firms.


Emerging-Market Debt: How Big a Threat Is It?

Wall Street Journal

There has been a major change in the way companies in emerging markets borrow money. Now, the new funding regimen is getting put to the test, and nobody is sure whether it will pass. That uncertainty is contributing to market turmoil, which has sent stocks tumbling and central banks scrambling to find ways to prop up their economies. The default option for emerging-market companies looking to borrow used to be going to the bank. But after the 2008 financial crisis, that got harder. Global banks, hammered by losses and facing tighter regulation, became less willing to lend. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve and other central banks launched bond-buying programs aimed at lowering long-term rates and pushing investors into riskier, higher-yielding assets.


Boeing Said to Face SEC Accounting Probe

Accounting Today

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether Boeing Co. properly accounted for the costs and expected sales of two of its best known jetliners, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The probe, which involves a whistleblower’s complaint, centers on projections Boeing made about the long-term profitability for the 787 Dreamliner and the 747 jumbo aircraft, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the investigation isn’t public. Both planes are among Boeing’s most iconic, renowned for the technological advancements they introduced, as well as the development headaches they brought the company. Underlying the SEC review is a financial reporting method known as program accounting that allows Boeing to spread the enormous upfront costs of manufacturing planes over many years. While the SEC has broadly blessed its use in the aerospace industry, critics have said the system can give too much leeway to smooth earnings and obscure potential losses.


Streetwise: Markets Putting Faith in QE4?

Wall Street Journal

Since the medieval church clamped down on the sale of indulgences, it has been hard to put a price on religious faith. Not so with central banks. The value of trust in the world’s leading policy makers is calculated second by second, and stood at about $1,209 an ounce on Monday. The gold price is far from a perfect measure of belief—or lack of it—in policy makers. But its 14% rise supports one popular explanation for this year’s tumbling markets: Investors have lost faith that the central bankers know what they are doing. The supporting evidence seems pretty convincing. The most obvious comes from moves in currencies and from banks, which suffer when they cannot pass on negative interest rates to most of their customers. Currencies haven’t moved as expected. Negative rates ought to weaken a currency by making it less attractive to hold, one reason that central banks in the eurozone, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark are so keen on them.