SEC regulatory compliance and reporting

AICPA provides guidance on auditing conflict minerals reports

Recently implemented federal rules on disclosure of conflict minerals have mandated new audit requirements for some U.S. issuers. The AICPA Conflict Minerals Resources webpage provides background and other useful information about the use of conflict minerals, which are gold, tantalum, tin, and tungsten. In addition, new Questions and Answers have

Beswick: “Change fatigue” a barrier to IFRS in U.S.

The first questioner SEC Chief Accountant Paul Beswick faced Thursday said the Egyptians built the pyramids more quickly than the SEC has decided on IFRS. Beswick, speaking at the 12th annual Baruch College financial reporting conference in New York City, did not seem amused. “I’ll be waiting for your comment

New SEC rules aim to prevent identity theft

The SEC on Wednesday adopted rules jointly with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that require broker-dealers, mutual funds, investment advisers, and certain other entities regulated by the SEC to adopt programs to prevent identity theft. SEC Chairman Mary Jo White, who was sworn in Wednesday, cast a vote in

Senate confirms ex-prosecutor White as SEC chairman

The Senate on Monday confirmed the nomination of Mary Jo White as chairman of the SEC. White, a former prosecutor who was the first woman to hold the venerated position of U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, brings a pedigree that could raise the SEC’s reputation for

SEC describes how social media can be used to distribute company info

U.S. public companies can use social media to make company announcements as long as they inform investors of the channels they will use to distribute the information, according to a new pronouncement by the SEC. The SEC on Tuesday released a report that makes it clear that companies can use

SEC names Beswick to chief accountant post

Paul Beswick recently confessed that he enjoys reading about the evolution of accounting standards throughout history. Now Beswick has a chance to make his own historical mark as chief accountant of the SEC. On Friday, the SEC announced that Beswick, who had been serving as acting chief accountant since James

Build a strong team to comply with conflict minerals rule

There is no mistaking the effect that a new regulation regarding conflict minerals will have on manufacturers and their suppliers. Tracing the commonly used minerals of tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold through intricate global supply chain networks will be no easy task. “This is one of the most complex compliance

Nine tips for effective MD&A reporting

Deciding what to include in the management discussion and analysis (MD&A) section of a company’s financial report seldom is an easy task. Although the SEC issued guidance regarding MD&A, a fair amount of judgment is required. Obeying MD&A guidance is a case of complying with the spirit of a rule

SEC to study what information should be required in broader financial reporting

The SEC plans to study the issue of what information should be required in the financial reporting package outside the financial statements—an examination aimed at providing investors the right information in the right places while preventing overlap in demands on preparers. “We intend to initially focus on whether the issue

SEC Chairman Schapiro to step down; Walter designated as replacement

SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro, who has led the agency’s response to the financial crisis, announced Monday that she will step down Dec. 14. President Barack Obama designated Elisse Walter, a current SEC commissioner, as chairman upon Schapiro’s departure. Walter can serve without Senate approval through December 2013 because the Senate

Hot tips: SEC fields 3,000 whistleblower complaints in 12 months

Roughly 3,000 tips on alleged wrongdoing were passed on to the SEC in the first full fiscal year of a new whistleblower program. Tips came from all 50 states and 49 countries, according to an annual report on the program for the fiscal year that ended in September. The program

IFRS Foundation report says SEC’s concerns can be overcome

Three months ago, the SEC staff had its say on IFRS. Now the IFRS Foundation is providing its own analysis. The IFRS Foundation on Tuesday released a detailed, 84-page response to the SEC’s exhaustive, 127-page report on IFRS, which was released in July. The SEC’s report outlined concerns it had

Still in flux: Future of IFRS in U.S. remains unclear after SEC report

The future of international accounting standards for U.S. public companies remains uncertain after the release in July of a long-anticipated SEC analysis of IFRS. In a 127-page report released on the final day of Chief Accountant James Kroeker’s tenure, the SEC staff said the global financial reporting community considers the

Highly scrutinized SEC conflict mineral regs. include new audit requirement

The SEC on Wednesday approved disclosure rules designed to increase transparency around companies’ use of so-called “conflict minerals” and payments to governments for access to natural resources. The rules, advocated by certain human rights groups, will implement two sections of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of

SEC considers rules that pit human rights groups against business interests

A controversial measure on so-called “conflict minerals” that has pitted human rights groups against business interests is among the regulations the SEC will consider implementing during an open meeting on Aug. 22. The SEC is considering adopting regulations that would implement Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and

Financial reporting

Accounting standard setters have agreed on a lessee accounting approach, setting the stage for a lease accounting exposure draft in the fourth quarter this year. FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) previously agreed that leases should be recorded on the balance sheet, but have been debating the classification

SEC names Beswick acting chief accountant

Paul Beswick, who has worked at the SEC since 2007, was named acting chief accountant. He succeeds James Kroeker, whose last major task as chief accountant was completed Friday, his last day at the SEC. Kroeker’s staff issued its report on IFRS for U.S. public companies, capping a project that

Lack of SEC decision on IFRS turns CPAs’ focus to convergence projects

As the wait for an SEC decision on IFRS continues indefinitely, CPAs can turn their international standards focus to the convergence projects on leases, revenue recognition and financial instruments, some experts say. An SEC report released Friday did not contain a recommendation on whether U.S. public companies should be allowed

SEC report offers detailed look at IFRS

As expected, an SEC report released Friday did not contain a recommendation on whether U.S. public companies should be allowed or required to adopt IFRS for their financial reporting. Although the long-awaited, 127-page report provides a thorough discussion of the issues regarding IFRS in the United States, the timing of

With SEC report looming, uncertainty over IFRS expected to linger

Although the release of a long-awaited SEC staff report discussing IFRS adoption is imminent, uncertainty over the issue appears certain to linger. Commission spokesman John Nester said early this week that the report on IFRS adoption for U.S. public companies is expected “soon,” but it will provide an analysis of

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PODCAST

How tax reform — and Excel — are changing the CPA Exam

Mike Decker, the vice president of examinations at the AICPA, discusses changes being made to the exam as a result of tax reform — and about how Excel will now be available for use on the test.