SEC

A&A

COSO Framework Holding Strong - Getting a Polish

J. Stephen McNally, CPA, provides an overview of COSO and his perspective on how it has been leveraged by such companies as Campbell Soup. In addition, he offers insight into COSO's recent ICIF Refresh Project.
A&A

GAO Find Weaknesses in SEC Information Systems Security Program

In a letter dated April 12 to SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro, James Dalkin, GAO director of financial management and assurance, and Gregory Wilshusen, GAO director of information security issues, stated that "improvements were needed in the SEC's internal controls and accounting procedures."
A&A

Credit Rating Should Be Improved, Not Discarded

Regulatory downgrading of the role of credit raters is misguided. Development of ethical and professional standards would make information needed by investors more useful and reliable. The culpability of credit rating agencies in contributing to the financial crisis has been debated, but without conclusive agreement.
A&A

Calcbench Named the Grand Prize Winner of the XBRL Challenge

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.
A&A

Study Shows Benefits of Shareholder Involvement in Auditor Selection

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."
A&A

E&Y to Pay $2 Million to Settle Audit Failure Charges

On February 8, the PCAOB announced a settled disciplinary order censuring E&Y LLP. It imposed a $2 million civil money penalty against the firm, which is PCAOB's largest civil money penalty to date. The PCAOB also sanctioned four of E&Y's current or former partners for violating PCAOB rules and standards.
A&A

Governments and Private Companies Exploring Benefits of XBRL

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.

IASB Chairman Expects SEC to Approve IFRS

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.
A&A

Review of the PCAOB's Enforcement and Investigations Program

In his January 2012 letter to Mary Schapiro, chairman, SEC, James Doty, Chairman, PCAOB, stated, "I am pleased to transmit to you a summary of the PCAOB's most recent performance review, Review of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board's Enforcement and Investigations Program."
A&A

SEC Seeking Public Comment on Dodd-Frank Financial Literacy Study

The Securities and Exchange Commission is requesting public comments on financial literacy and investor disclosure issues that it is studying as part of a review mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
A&A

IFRS Update: SEC Decision Still Months Away

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&A

IFRS Roundtable: Small public companies and regulators concerned about cost of adopting IFRS

Executives from small public companies and auditors representing regional firms participated in the second panel during the SEC's recent roundtable in Washington that explored the benefits and challenges of adopting International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
A&A

IFRS Roundtable on adoption of IFRS: Investor viewpoint

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is responsible for accounting standards in the U.S. and for the protection of investors, has said it will decide by the end of this year whether to adopt International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for U.S. public companies.
A&A

Slippage in IFRS adoption timeline and hints of change add to uncertainty for U.S. companies

The FASB and the IASB late last month announced a delay for completion of the remaining priority convergence projects from June 2011 until late 2011.
A&A

SEC announces IFRS roundtable

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that it will sponsor a roundtable in July to discuss benefits or challenges in potentially incorporating International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) into the financial reporting system for U.S. issuers.
A&A

Did Ernst & Young really assist financial fraud?

As the auditor of Lehman Brothers, Ernst & Young approved the use of Repo 105 transactions. These transactions were characterized as sales of assets and created a misleading picture of Lehman's financial position during the financial meltdown.
A&A

Department of Labor, SEC prepare to change definition of 'fiduciary' while AICPA balks

The Department of Labor's (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the government group responsible for educating Americans about how retirement and health and certain welfare plans work, has proposed that the definition of the term "fiduciary" be updated.
A&A

Censured accountant left a trail of violations

When the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission tells a CPA, “Thou shalt not practice,” they don’t mean maybe. The SEC filed a settled enforcement action January 11 against Michael R. Drogin, of New York and New Jersey.
Tax

Alleged pump-and-dump scheme could mean 25 years in prison for accountant

Stephen Durland, a former Palm Beach, Florida, accountant made a fortune as an investor . . . sort of. He’s accused of operating a $30 million investment scam in California. If convicted, Durland could be looking at 25 years in prison, plus a $5 million fine.
A&A

SEC Shadow NAV rule means greater transparency for investors

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that, for the first time, investors can access detailed information that money market funds file with the Commission.

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