News Highlights for March 2010

  A new blue-ribbon panel is poised to take on the issue of whether separate accounting standards are needed for private companies. The AICPA and the Financial Accounting Foundation, FASB’s parent organization, have launched the panel charged with making recommendations on the future of standard setting for private companies. The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy is also a sponsor of the panel, which will be chaired by Rick Anderson, chairman and CEO of Seattle-based Moss Adams LLP (see “Minding the GAAP,” an interview with Anderson, on page 22).


  The AICPA’s Auditing Standards Board (ASB) voted to release a standard that addresses reports on the description, design and operating effectiveness of controls related to outsourced services ranging from assisting with processing transactions to performing one or more business functions.


The standard will amend and replace the current U.S. standard for audits of service organizations, Statement on Auditing Standards no. 70 (AU section 324), Service Organizations. At this writing, the PCAOB, which adopted AU section 324 as an interim standard, subject to additional guidance in Appendix B, paragraphs 17–27 in PCAOB Auditing Standard no. 5, An Audit of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting That Is Integrated with An Audit of Financial Statements, had not indicated whether it intends to modify its guidance.


The ASB worked closely with the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) on this project, according to Charles E. Landes, AICPA vice president–Professional Standards and Services. The IAASB version, International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3402, Assurance Reports on Controls at a Service Organization, was issued in December and is effective for service auditors’ reports covering periods ending on or after June 15, 2011.


  The JofA’s Web site now has a page devoted to the latest news and analysis about International Financial Reporting Standards. Find it at The page also offers practical tips, background information and videos.


And for more on IFRS training and publications, visit the AICPA-produced



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.