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New Accounting Rules Among Top Worries of Financial Executives

Jan 28th 2016
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As stressful as busy season is right now, a new survey by KPMG LLP offers a look at other issues that give financial executives heartburn. And, in fact, tax compliance isn't at the top.

The survey of about 400 attendees at KPMG's 25th annual Accounting & Financial Reporting Symposium indicates that internal controls over financial reporting and data security are at the top of the list of compliance issues for executives who handle corporate financial information – besides standard reporting obligations.

Implementing the new revenue recognition accounting standard and the pending Financial Accounting Standards Board lease accounting standard also concerns financial preparers.

“Clearly, the existing regulatory focus on internal controls over financial reporting and the here-and-now have overshadowed last year's fear of any unknown future regulatory changes that may or may not occur, while continuing headlines of data breaches have raised concerns across the C-suite,” John Ebner, national managing partner of audit for KPMG, said in a written statement.

Here's a sampling of findings to eight questions about the most worrisome issues.

1. Beyond specific financial reporting duties, what compliance issue most keeps you up at night?

  • Internal controls over financial reporting: 31 percent
  • Data/IT security: 26 percent
  • Tax compliance: 20 percent
  • “Specter” of future regulatory mandates: 17 percent

2. Does your company have a clear plan for implementation of the new revenue recognition standard?

  • Yes: 29 percent
  • No: 71 percent

3. Where along the implementation spectrum would you say your company is relative to the new revenue recognition standard?

  • Currently assessing the effect of the standard: 55 percent
  • No action yet: 27 percent
  • Assessment complete or almost complete: 12 percent

4. Does your company have a clear plan for implementation of the new leasing standard?

  • Yes: 13 percent
  • No: 87 percent

5. When do you plan to adopt the new leasing standard?

  • 2016 or 2017: 9 percent
  • 2018: 67 percent
  • 2019: 49 percent

6. Would your company consider changing some of its business practices in response to new accounting standards?

  • Yes: 81 percent
  • No: 19 percent

7. Should there be differences in US GAAP between public and private companies?

  • Yes: 24 percent
  • No: 76 percent

8. Would you consider providing International Financial Reporting Standards-based supplementary information if the US Securities and Exchange Commission granted permission?

  • Yes: 3 percent
  • No: 78 percent

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