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Bramwell's Lunch Beat: FASB Makes One-Year Revenue Rule Deferral Official

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Aug 13th 2015
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FASB issues guidance on one-year deferral of revenue standard
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) on Wednesday issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2015-14, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Deferral of the Effective Date, which formally delays the effective date of the new revenue recognition standard by one year. The FASB voted to defer the effective date on July 9. Under the guidance, public companies, certain not-for-profit organizations, and certain employee benefit plans will now apply the new revenue standard to annual reporting periods beginning after Dec. 15, 2017, as well as interim reporting periods within the year of adoption. All other entities will apply the standard to annual reporting periods beginning after Dec. 15, 2018, as well as interim reporting periods within annual reporting periods beginning after Dec. 15, 2019. Early adoption is permitted.

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AICPA competition challenges undergraduates to help a business in crisis
The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) on Thursday announced the opening of its 2015 AICPA Accounting Competition. The sixth-annual competition, which will award a total of $40,000 to the winning teams, challenges undergraduate students to work together as management accountants to help a business hone its strategic plan. This means analyzing complex financial issues and recommending strategies for growth and continued success. Teams must be comprised of three or four currently-enrolled, full-time undergraduate students that attend a two-year or four-year institution in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and/or the US Virgin Islands. Two students must be declared accounting majors, one of whom must serve as the team captain. The remaining students can be from any other field of study.

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Lawmakers seek relief for taxpayers with seized assets
Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike are asking the Obama administration to give refunds to taxpayers wrongly ensnared by government civil forfeiture laws, wrote Bernie Becker of The Hill. Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL), John Lewis (D-GA), and a bipartisan group of House Ways and Means members specifically asked the US Treasury Department to give almost $30,000 back to Maryland dairy farmers Randy and Karen Sowers, who saw the IRS seize their account in 2012. The central issue is the government's policy for seizing assets and the use of civil forfeiture laws to target terrorism, money laundering, and other crimes that involve the banking system. The Sowers ran afoul of the IRS by repeatedly making bank deposits in increments of less than $10,000. Those types of transactions can make the government suspicious of an illegal tactic known as structuring, in which account holders make transactions specifically to avoid bank reporting requirements.

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Lerner slammed ‘evil and dishonest' GOP inquisitors
Katy O'Donnell of Politico wrote that at the height of the scandal over the IRS's handling of political nonprofits, Lois Lerner privately let loose at her Republican tormentors, saying she invoked the Fifth Amendment because they had been “evil and dishonest” and accusing them of “hate mongering.” An examination of thousands of pages of emails recently released by the Senate Finance Committee found previously unreported comments from Lerner, the central figure in the controversy, on everything from the inability of career IRS agents to handle “the sensitive stuff” to her views on the fiscal cliff. For example, in June 2014, Lerner told a friend that an unflattering picture of her appearing before Congress kept surfacing because “it serves their purposes of hate mongering to continue to use those images. I was never a political person – this whole fiasco has only made me lose all respect [for] politics and politicians.”

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Company documents get graphic to increase transparency
Regulatory filings tend to not evoke impressions of colorful, interactive graphics and photographs, but companies – from ConocoPhillips to General Electric Co. and Coca-Cola Co. – are starting to envision annual proxy statements that have both of these, wrote Kristin Lin of CFO Journal. For example, ConocoPhillips' 2015 proxy statement issued in March featured a summary at the beginning to highlight talking points for the annual meeting and other notable issues, decked with graphics and a QR code, which investors can scan using their mobile phones to reach ConocoPhillips' annual meeting webpage. This new focus on creating a more vibrant proxy report reflects investor demand for more “transparent, clear, readable, approachable” proxy statements, said Shannon Kinney, senior counsel at ConocoPhillips.

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M&A deals in India may hit speed bump with new accounting standards
New Indian accounting standards could put a halt to the merger and acquisition (M&A) activity that has taken off in India the past six months, wrote Sachin Dave of the Economic Times. The new standards, called Ind-AS, would need companies to make changes in the way they account for revenue and tax. Unless they structure their deals taking this into account, the deals could put a hole in their balance sheet rather than boosting it, said accounting and tax experts. The new rules go into effect on April 1, 2016. “Companies are now closely looking at their inorganic growth strategies and related structures, including the way earn-outs are structured in M&As as these could potentially impact both earnings, as well as their balance sheet, post-transaction,” said Sai Venkateshwaran, partner and head of accounting advisory services at KPMG in India.

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