The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) issues an exposure draft of a revision to its Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants. The ED proposes elevating its ethics code to a standard requiring IFAC member compliance from a “model” on which to base national requirements. It expands guidance for all individual accountants with respect to integrity, objectivity, confidentiality and professional competence and behavior, and it identifies for professional accountants in public practice various threats and safeguards relating to second opinions, fees and remuneration and custody of client assets.

IFAC also releases seven draft statements of membership obligations (SMO) pertaining to quality assurance, investigation and discipline and standards for auditing, ethics, education, public-sector accounting and international financial reporting. The statements will require member organizations to report the extent to which they are implementing IFAC and international financial reporting standards and whether they have established enforcement structures to ensure compliance and appropriate investigative and disciplinary processes. Comments on all the proposals ( ) are due November 30.

The International Accounting Standards Board publishes two exposure drafts ( ). One, Disposal of Non-current Assets and Presentation of Discontinued Operations, proposes that assets a company expects to sell and that meet specific criteria should be measured at the lower of carrying amount and fair value less selling costs, should not be depreciated and should be presented separately in the balance sheet. It also deals with how, and under what circumstances, an entity would classify as “discontinued” operations with separately identifiable cash flows. If adopted, these proposals would narrow existing differences with U.S. GAAP. Comments are due October 24.

The other ED, Insurance Contracts , proposes guidance for insurance companies required to comply with international financial reporting standards (IFRS) in 2005. Accounting for insurance contracts varies throughout the world and often is inconsistent with accounting practices for other industries. The ED therefore introduces improved disclosures for such contracts and modest improvements to recognition and measurement practices. Comments are due October 31.


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.