Financial Reporting

At an open meeting in April, the SEC endorsed the recommendations of the agency’s professional staff to eliminate waste and duplication in Sarbanes-Oxley section 404 compliance, a move intended to benefit smaller public companies.

The SEC’s direction to its staff will focus on aligning the PCAOB’s new auditing standard (AS-5) with the SEC’s proposed new management guidance under section 404, particularly with regard to prescriptive requirements, definitions and terms; scaling the 404 audit to account for the particular facts and circumstances of companies, especially smaller companies; encouraging auditors to use professional judgment in the 404 process, particularly in using risk-assessment; and following a principles-based approach to determining when and to what extent the auditor can use the work of others.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires PCAOB audit standards to be approved by the SEC. At press time, the PCAOB standard had not yet been submitted for SEC review, but a statement by the commission indicated that it expects the PCAOB to submit the standard by late May or early June—in time for 2007 financial statement audits.


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.