The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) publishes a proposed set of reforms ( ) to harmonize international auditing standards, strengthen the processes used to set them and ensure the international accounting profession serves the public interest. The proposal would establish a public interest oversight board to monitor IFAC’s standard-setting activities and open them to public commentary. Pending approval by IFAC’s council and anticipated support from regulators, the reforms will take effect this year.

IFAC also issues an exposure draft (ED) of a revision to its code of ethics for professional accountants ( ) to clarify its November 2001 update of section 8, “Independence Requirements for Assurance Engagements.” The ED proposes language specifying that an individual who has completed a predefined period in the role of lead engagement partner for an audit of a listed entity should not participate in the assurance engagement until more time—normally two years—has passed. Comments are due February 15.

The international auditing and assurance standards board, an IFAC body, releases guidance to help auditors apply international standards on auditing to small entities. It is included in an updated version of International Auditing Practice Statement (IAPS) 1005, The Special Considerations in the Audit of Small Entities ( ).


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.