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In this Issue

Each year, The CPA Journal focuses on the impact emerging technologies have on the profession. New technologies often give rise to new asset classes that require new rules for their reporting, valuation, and accounting. Sometimes it is easy to analogize their treatment to existing assets, but often more analysis is required. In this issue, authors Brian Mittendorf and Sean Stein Smith review the basics of NFTs and note the current ambiguity over their current tax treatment and reporting requirements. William Van-Denburgh, Roger Daniels, and Roxane DeLaurell examine FASB's proposed guidance on accounting for crypto assets while analyzing what some companies are already doing under existing GAAP.

Technology can be applied by accountants and auditors to perform existing procedures in new ways. Data analytics, for example, has been touted as a way for auditors to work more effectively; Theresa Henry, Mark Holtzman, Rob Weitz, and David Rosenthal surveyed the field to determine whether this technology is delivering on the hype. Businesses' increasing reliance on information technologies is not without risk; Jeff Krull and Kevin Rich look back at the IT risks identified over time and question whether audit committees have gotten better at managing these risks. Finally, some are concerned that artificial intelligence could replace human professionals entirely. A couple of articles in this issue throw water on that idea by noting the limitations of today's AIs to provide creative thinking, as well as the ethical limitations of professionals using AI without diligent human oversight.

A secondary focus this month is the topic of sustainability. ESG reporting continues to move closer to the mainstream, as evidenced by impending requirements in Europe. The SEC has issued its own proposal on climate risk disclosures, and while its final form remains uncertain, author Jalal Soroosh discusses the steps companies can take now to get ready. While the recent consolidation of standards setters has brought ESG reporting into clearer focus, companies must wrestle with which guidance to use for voluntary reporting. Mike Kraten starts from the perspective of stakeholder needs and recommends which major authorities CPAs should look to in preparing an ESG report today.

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