Research on material weaknesses among smaller public companies complying for the first time with Sarbanes-Oxley section 404 found that the highest number of missteps are related to accounting and disclosure controls.

A study by Lord & Benoit, a firm specializing in SOX compliance, identified what it described as the 10 leading material weaknesses among 148 companies with revenue of less than $100 million. Companies with effective internal controls were excluded from the study.

Nearly two-thirds of the companies with material weaknesses had issues linked to accounting and disclosure controls, including inadequate or inaccurate financial statement disclosures and departures from GAAP. Other leading problem areas included:

Competency and training of accounting personnel
Control environment
Design of controls/lack of effective compensating controls
Revenue recognition
Financial closing process
Inadequate account reconciliations
Information technology
Consolidations, mergers and intercompany accounts


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.