FASB issued a revised exposure draft of a Proposed Statement of Financial Accounting Standards, Earnings per Share—an amendment of FASB Statement No. 128. The proposed statement is intended to improve financial reporting by clarifying and simplifying the method of calculating earnings per share.

As part of international convergence efforts, the proposal seeks to eliminate major differences between FASB Statement no. 128, Earnings per Share, and International Accounting Standard no. 33, Earnings per Share. Proposed amendments to IAS 33 were issued separately by the IASB.

FASB’s proposal would improve comparability of EPS because the denominator used to compute EPS under Statement no. 128 would be the same as the denominator used to compute EPS under IAS 33, with limited exceptions. Those exceptions relate to certain instruments for which the underlying accounting under U.S. GAAP and IFRS differs.

The draft, available at www.fasb.org/draft/rev_ed_eps_amend_st128.pdf, seeks feedback from constituents by Dec. 5 on whether the proposed statement achieves FASB’s goals. The ED does not include a specific effective date for a final statement. FASB will determine the effective date when it approves the final amendments to Statement no. 128.

The AICPA launched a daily electronic publication, CPA Letter Daily, which is delivered via e-mail and available only on an opt-in basis.

Each daily newsletter brings:

Links to important breaking stories, culled from hundreds of top news sources.

Summaries of relevant research and articles.

Wireless functionality for mobile readers.

The latest information from the AICPA.

All news stories provide links to the original source material, often multiple sources. Videos, analysis and interactive components also are featured. Links to AICPA and accounting-related Web sites are included in each issue as well.

The AICPA began this daily news service in response to members. A recent CPA Letter readership survey showed 80% of respondents would support a digitally based newsletter so they can get breaking news, updated articles and links to additional resources.

Sign up to receive CPA Letter Daily by following the link at www.aicpa.org. The link, a Web-based interactive tool, also features the day’s news items for CPA Letter Daily, and gives readers quick and easy access to the day’s news when placed on their personal Web sites or blogs using a simple “Grab This” function.

Or, e-mail cpaletter@aicpa.org to receive an issue of CPA Letter Daily, which provides a sign-up option. E-mail addresses and personal information can only be used by the AICPA, and readers can opt out at any time.

The CPA Letter Daily is produced in partnership with SmartBrief Inc. The company provides e-news briefs to more than 76 associations and companies, distributing about 1.6 million e-newsletters daily.

The AICPA’s Private Companies Practice Section launched the PCPS Succession Resource Center. The Center offers resources for practitioners who want to sell or merge a firm, develop future leaders, handle retirement transitions, or wind down a firm at retirement.

The Succession Institute provides source material for the Center. AICPA members have access to the PCPS 2008 Succession Survey Research Report, which tracks how the profession is handling the transition to new ownership or leadership, as a free preview into the PCPS Succession Resource Center.

The PCPS Human Capital Center also was updated. The “Strategy and Planning” section contains new videos that PCPS members can use to implement steps in the section’s Strategic Planning Guide. The Generation/Diversity Integration section added documents to help practitioners address the needs and expectations of younger staff members.

To access the PCPS Succession Center and related resources, go to the PCPS Firm Practice Center at http://pcps.aicpa.org.

FASB issued FASB Staff Position FAS 117-1, Endowments of Not-for-Profit Organizations: Net Asset Classification of Funds Subject to an Enacted Version of the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act, and Enhanced Disclosures for All Endowment Funds.

“The FSP addresses issues that are very important to the not-for-profit sector, especially organizations with sizable endowments and the users of their financial statements, such as donors, credit rating agencies, and regulators,” Jeffrey Mechanick, FASB project manager, said in a press release. “Organizations across the country now find themselves subject to increased public scrutiny on how they manage and use their endowments, which in many instances have seen tremendous growth over the past decade.”

The FSP provides guidance on classifying the net assets (equity) associated with donor-restricted endowment funds held by organizations that are subject to an enacted version of the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act of 2006, which serves as a model act for states to modernize their laws governing donor-restricted endowment funds. Approximately 20 states have already done so, and more are expected to follow suit over the next few years. The FSP also requires additional disclosures about endowments (both donor-restricted funds and board-designated funds) for all organizations.

The FSP is available at www.fasb.org/pdf/fsp_fas117-1.pdf. The provisions are effective for fiscal years ending after Dec. 15, 2008. Early application is permitted if the organization has not previously issued annual financial statements for that fiscal year.

The SEC launched a Web-based research guide to assist mutual funds in their anti-money laundering (AML) compliance efforts and installed a phone line for securities firms to report the filing of a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) that may require immediate attention by the SEC.

The research guide, named the AML Source Tool for Mutual Funds, provides links to key AML laws, rules and related guidance to help mutual funds maintain their AML compliance programs as required by law. It is available on the SEC Web site at www.sec.gov/about/offices/ocie/amlmfsourcetool.htm.

The SEC SAR Alert Message Line phone number is 202-551-SARS (7277). This number should only be used when securities firms have filed a SAR that may require immediate attention by the SEC, according to an SEC news release. Calling the SEC SAR Alert Message Line does not alleviate a firm’s obligation to file a SAR or notify an appropriate law enforcement authority, such as a local office of either the IRS Criminal Investigation Division or the FBI. General questions on SARs and other Bank Secrecy Act filing requirements may be directed to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s Regulatory Helpline at 800-949-2732.

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants has proposed changes to the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants. The IESBA is an independent standard-setting board within IFAC. The proposed changes are intended to clarify the specific requirements contained in the code and refine the application of the code’s conceptual framework, according to an IFAC news release.

Comments on the exposure draft are due by Oct. 15. The ED may be viewed at www.ifac.org/eds.

GASB issued a Request for Response on Suggested Guidelines for Voluntary Reporting of SEA Performance Information as part of its effort to receive feedback on the board’s project to develop standards for state and local governments that voluntarily choose to report on their service efforts and accomplishments (SEA).

GASB is developing the voluntary standards because the board has determined that SEA performance information provides more information about a government’s efficiency and effectiveness in providing services to residents than can be provided by traditional financial statements. It is considered an important method of demonstrating accountability and stewardship.

Comments are due by Oct. 31. The guidelines are available at www.gasb.org/exp.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation published a request for proposals to form strategic partnerships with outside firms to assist with the agency’s new strategy of investing in real estate and private equity.

The PBGC’s new policy requires 10% (approximately $5.5 billion) of the corporation’s assets to be allocated to private equity and real estate. The RFP seeks two or three firms to manage as much as $2.5 billion in these asset classes. To qualify, firms must have global operations and have successfully managed private equity and real estate allocations, as well as $1 billion in strategic operations in the past three years.

The official solicitation, including details of the services required and instructions for submitting proposals, is available at the federal government’s FedBizOpps centralized procurement Web site at www.fbo.gov.




©2008 AICPA


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