Investment planning

SEC Proposes Audits of Broker-Dealers' Custody Practices

The SEC proposed rules that it said would strengthen the annual audits of broker-dealers by requiring an increased focus on their custody activities. Current rules require broker-dealers to protect and account for customer assets. The proposed rule amendments would mandate an audit of those controls. Comments on the proposal are

New Investment Adviser Requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act: What CPAs Should Know

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, PL 111-203 (Reform Act,, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in July 2010, will require sweeping changes to virtually all areas of the financial services industry in the United States and will affect a wide variety of

PCAOB Proposes Interim Program for Inspection of Broker-Dealer Audits

The PCAOB on Tuesday proposed for public comment a temporary rule to establish an interim inspection program for registered public accounting firms’ audits of brokers and dealers, while the board considers the scope and other elements of a permanent inspection program, consistent with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer

AICPA Comments on SEC Proposed Rule for Family Offices

The definition of a family office’s “family clients” must be inclusive enough to encompass all of the clients and arrangements that are typically present in a single-family office, the AICPA said. The suggestion was among comments submitted by the Institute on Tuesday on a proposed SEC rule defining family offices,

Advice to Clients in Uncertain Markets

In the “flash crash” on May 6, 2010, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped nearly 1,000 points only to recover more than 600 points by the market close. On the heels of the financial crisis of 2008, this incident only exacerbated investors’ concerns. Some strategies to manage volatility risk that

Where Do Investors Prefer to Find Nonfinancial Information?

It’s no secret to investors that annual reports filed by U.S. companies are becoming increasingly complex. Many reports in the business press over the past decade cite concern that the proliferation of required disclosures accompanying financial reports makes it difficult to decipher a company’s performance and identify factors that drive

2010: The Year of the Roth Conversion?

This year will be the Year of the Tiger, according to Chinese custom, but it also could be remembered by investors as the Year of the Roth Conversion, a decision that can have a large impact on investors’ ability to build wealth during their lifetime and preserve wealth for beneficiaries.

Study of Financial Picture Reveals Struggles, Risky Habits

A study examining personal financial habits shows many Americans are struggling to cover their mortgage and other monthly bills, don’t have rainy day funds, and have yet to do the math on how much money they’ll need to retire. Roughly 49% of those surveyed reported having trouble paying their monthly

Lessons Learned From the Financial Crisis

Since the onset of the economic crisis last fall, many CPAs who are personal financial planning specialists have been working overtime to reassure clients overwhelmed with fear about the future and safety of their investments and to reassess and reorient investment portfolios when necessary. Members of the AICPA’s Personal Financial

CAQ Survey: Individual Investor Confidence Rises to 73%

Individual investors’ confidence in U.S. capital markets increased slightly from 2008, with 73% of investors indicating they have at least some confidence compared with 70% last year, according to a telephone survey of 1,000 investors conducted by the Center for Audit Quality and The Glover Park Group released Wednesday. This

CPA Financial Planners Assess New Risk Environment

Eighty percent of CPA financial advisers are strongly recommending a mix of growth and income securities for their clients, according to an online survey of members of the AICPA’s Personal Financial Planning Section. The survey, conducted between April 22 and June 4, showed that CPAs are re-evaluating their clients’ risk

Deducting Losses for Defrauded Investors

The financial collapse of high-profile investment institutions has generated billions of dollars of losses. A recent report notes that federal and state prosecutors “are preparing for a surge of prosecutions of financial fraud.”1 A question may arise as to whether these losses for tax purposes are to be treated as

Rules Seek to Keep Mutual Fund Investors Informed

The SEC finalized a rule requiring mutual funds to provide investors with a concise summary of the key information they need to make informed investment decisions. The new summary prospectus will appear at the front of a fund’s prospectus. The SEC also approved a new rule that permits sending a

SEC Finalizes Summary Prospectus Requirements for Mutual Funds

The SEC finalized a rule requiring mutual funds to provide investors with a concise summary of the key information they need to make informed investment decisions. The new summary prospectus will appear at the front of a fund’s prospectus. The SEC also approved a new rule that permits sending a

Estate Planning: Time for a Tuneup

A CPA is in an excellent position to help clients address the issues of estate planning. CPAs are usually aware of the scope of their clients’ assets and often know something about family relationships, recent marriages, children, grandchildren and other key facts. They see their clients annually in connection with

Annuities and the Other Side of the Retirement Savings Coin

Like many of their clients, CPAs tend to consider the problem of retirement planning solved once they develop a plan for accumulating savings during the client’s working years. But as recent events have shown, panics and bear markets can add another dimension to the equation. Moreover, there is another side

Social Security for Two

CPA financial planners are often confronted with the question, "When should I start collecting Social Security benefits?" For married couples, the question should be asked in the plural. Current financial needs and expected life span may be paramount considerations for a single person. However, the implications of when to begin

AICPA Issues Liquidity Restrictions Practice Aid

The AICPA has issued a new nonauthoritative Technical Practice Aid addressing potential accounting and auditing implications of a fund or its trustee imposing restrictions on a nongovernmental entity’s ability to withdraw its balance in a money market fund or other short-term investment vehicle. TPA 1100.15, Liquidity Restrictions, covers balance sheet

Federal Circuit Issues Landmark Decision on Business Method Patents

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a long-awaited decision that could make it more challenging to patent business processes such as tax and financial strategies. In a 9-3 ruling issued on Oct. 30 in the In re Bilski case, the court stated a new, more stringent

Does Private Equity Belong in Your Client's Portfolio?

Faced with a slumping stock market and low-yield bond portfolios, some fund managers maybe tempted by the higher potential yields of private equity. Before leading clients to this option, advisers should ask some hard questions: R Do you understand the deal? Is the specific industry one you believe you can


6 key areas of change for accountants and auditors

New accounting standards on revenue recognition, leases, and credit losses present implementation challenges. This independently-written report identifies the hurdles that accounting professionals face and provides tips for overcoming the challenges.


How tax reform will impact individual taxpayers

Amy Wang, a CPA who is a senior technical manager for tax advocacy at the AICPA, answers to some of the most common questions on how the new tax reform law will impact individual taxpayers.