How can taxpayers follow how their money is being spent on public education? What is the difference between a school district's budget and its financial statements? Answers to these questions, and many others, can be found in GASB's new user guide, What You Should Know about Your School District's Finances.
On March 21 and 22, 2012, the PCAOB hosted a public meeting to obtain further input on ways to enhance auditor independence, objectivity, and professional skepticism, including through mandatory rotation, or term limits, for audit firms.
In a unanimous decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court on February 16 reversed an Appellate Court decision in a case brought by a third party that found KPMG LLP guilty of negligence for failing to uncover accounting fraud by a former client, Papel Entities.
Calcbench, an open source application that consumes corporate XBRL data and performs comparative analytics, was named the winner of the XBRL Challenge at the XBRL and Financial Analysis Technology Conference on February 29. The contest is for developers of applications that leverage XBRL-formatted data in the SEC EDGAR database.
Accounting standards governing financial reporting for business combinations, operating segments, and government deposit and investment disclosures will be the next subjects of post-implementation reviews conducted by the FAF, the oversight body of the FASB and the GASB, the FAF announced.
In December 2011, the SEC gave GE, Alcoa, and others leave to exclude from their 2012 annual meetings the proposals of shareholders calling for rotation of the companies' external auditors. This was counter to a decades-old rule excluding from proxy materials proposals that will affect firms' "ordinary business."
New cost basis reporting rules now apply to Form 1099-B sent to investors and to the IRS. But other onerous reporting rules for businesses and landlords scheduled to take effect in 2012 have been repealed. If you're confused, you're not alone. Here's a brief recap on what is and isn't taking place this year.
Congress is beginning to mandate the use of XBRL to track spending and improve transparency in government reports. Bills that contain language calling for the implementation of data standards, such as XBRL, have not yet passed into law, but the requirement could become part of the final payroll tax cut bill.
Speaking at a seminar in Moscow on IFRS, Hans Hoogervorst, Chairman of the IASB, said that he expected the IASB and the FASB to make progress on their remaining convergence projects in the coming year. Hoogervorst also predicted that the SEC would eventually approve IFRS for US companies.
In advance of a formal decision by the FAF on a differential framework for making exceptions and modifications to GAAP for private companies, the FASB has taken steps to identify and make decisions/tentative decisions regarding current accounting standards.
James Kroeker, the SEC chief accountant, said last week that the SEC staff will need "at least a few more months" to complete its work on a report to the commission that will show the impact of adopting IFRS on US companies and capital markets. The SEC will study the staff report before making a decision.
A new council with the authority to identify, propose, and vote on specific improvements to U.S. accounting standards for private companies has been proposed by the Board of Trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF).
Nearly 2,500 letters were sent to the Financial Accounting Foundation demanding the creation of an independent separate board to develop different standards for privately held businesses. According to the AICPA's review, 99 percent of privately held businesses are in favor.
The IFRS Foundation, the oversight body of the International Accounting Standards Boards (IASB), has announced that it has completed the first part of its project to address requests for extensions to the IFRS XBRL taxonomy.
The SEC is expected to decide later this year whether, and if so, how, public companies in this country should incorporate IFRS into their financial reporting. The AICPA thinks public companies should be given the option of using IFRS as issued by IASB.
For all those private companies frustrated with being forced to spend $25,000 on a valuation of intangible property or goodwill, or spending hours drafting disclosures that users may not read, or being burdened with a myriad of other financial reporting responsibilities, there may be some relief on the way.
Historically, the conversation about XBRL has centered on public companies, thanks to its promise of delivering timely, accurate, and transparent financial information to investors. That conversation is beginning to shift.
Steven Zelin, aka "The Singing CPA," and Edith Orenstein, AccountingWEB blogger for Financial Executives International (FEI), have teamed up to create a music video celebrating the third anniversary of the SEC's Advisory Committee on Improvements to Financial Reporting.