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The Daily

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FOR TUESDAY - 4.12.16

By:
Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
Apr 12, 2016

Accounting and Finance News Stories

Stocks Slip as Jitters Arise Over Earnings
Wall Street Journal
U.S. stocks slipped at the start of a first-quarter earnings season that is expected to paint a bleak picture of corporate profits. Major indexes reversed early gains on Monday, with the Dow industrials rising as much as 155 before finishing in the red. Some traders said investors were anxious ahead of earnings, following several consecutive quarters of discouraging reports.

How to Prepare for the 2017 CPA Exam Changes
AccountingWEB
Last week, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) announced the latest details of the new CPA Exam that will debut in April 2017 – the first major update since 2011. While the exam will remain a four-part exam – Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), and Regulation (REG) – newly licensed CPAs will also be tested in higher-order cogitative skills, including critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical ability. The AICPA developed the new CPA Exam based on the results of a research project it launched in 2014.

Next president should prioritize Social Security, Americans say
Journal of Accountancy
Keeping Social Security solvent should be one of the next U.S. president’s top economic priorities, nearly two-thirds of Americans said in a recent AICPA survey. Sixty-four percent of respondents said ensuring that Social Security won’t run out of money should be among the next president’s priorities—a higher percentage than chose reducing the federal deficit (44%), decreasing unemployment (38%), or reducing taxes (36%).

 Modest Loss for Market as Investors Await Earnings Reports
New York Times
Stocks ended Monday’s session mostly unchanged as investors awaited first-quarter company earnings. Overseas markets gained as investors hoped for more stimulus in China, the world’s second-largest economy behind that of the United States. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index fell 5.61 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,041.99, and the Nasdaq composite fell 17.29 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,833.40.

Dodd-Frank Rule Could Restrain CEO Pay
Accounting Today
A long-awaited regulation from the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 requires companies to disclose the ratio of the CEO’s compensation to the median pay of employees and could prove to be effective in restraining the growth of CEO pay, according to a new study. Enforcement of Section 953(b) of the Dodd-Frank Act is scheduled to begin next January, and it may help discourage companies from excessive compensation for their top executives.

New Fiduciary Rule Applies Stricter Standard to Most Retirement Account Advisers
The National Law Review
In its long-awaited final fiduciary rule, the Department of Labor (DOL) establishes stricter fiduciary standards for investment advisers and consultants providing services to ERISA plans and IRAs. Intended to offer additional protection to ERISA plan participants and IRA owners, the final rule issued on April 7th broadens the application of the ERISA fiduciary standard to many investment professionals, consultants, and advisers who previously had no obligation to adhere to ERISA’s fiduciary standards or to the related prohibited transaction rules.

The Myth of Overlooked Structured Data
Accounting Today
For years, the conversation around XBRL and data-based reporting was theoretical. Though the SEC began requiring companies to report financial statements as data in XBRL format in 2009 (in addition to document versions), there’s been no dramatic evolution in how we think about financial reporting and analysis. Of course, this isn’t true for every company.

Three Stubborn Types of Mistakes Dog Financial Reporting
Wall Street Journal
An internal auditor at Bank of America Corp., routinely sifting through the bank’s financial reports last summer, noticed something awry with its cash-flow statement. More checking confirmed that the bank had misclassified $3.4 billion in noncash transactions as investments, rather than funds from day-to-day activities over the previous six quarters, said a person familiar with the matter.