June 2009 Of Interest

2009 Recommended Reading List For CPA Firm Management: The differentiator in today’s competitive marketplace is knowledge and each professional needs to continue their thirst for knowledge. This recommended reading list is an annual favorite provided by Bob Gallagher, one of the IPA Most Recommended Consultants. (R. J. Gallagher & Associates)

Vital Keys To Getting The Right Soft Skills Training For all Your Management Needs:  E-learning company “K Alliance” offers five insights to gain the skills needed for better communication, morale, corporate culture and client service. (K Alliance)

Prepare Yourself For Major Changes To US GAAP on July 1, 2009:  United States accounting and reporting standards are undergoing a major restructuring, and preparers and auditors of financial reports need to be aware of, and prepared for, the significant changes that will occur next year. On July 1, 2009, the FASB Accounting Standards Codification is expected to become the single official source of authoritative, nongovernmental U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), superseding existing FASB, AICPA, EITF, and related literature. After that date, only one level of authoritative GAAP will exist, excluding the guidance issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). All other literature will be nonauthoritative. (FASB)

FASB Changes Rule for Qualifying Special Purpose Entities : FASB has moved to end the use of a bookkeeping device that allowed banks to park hundreds of billions of dollars in loans off their balance sheets and that has been blamed for stoking financial companies’ losses as the housing market collapsed. (Business Week)

Congress Tries Again To Ban Tax Strategy Patents: The AICPA is supporting a proposal introduced in Congress in May to eliminate the ability for a tax preparer to patent tax strategies. “That’s not fair and not how Congress intended the tax laws to be administered,” says Barry Melancon. (AICPA)

SEC Proposes “Surprise Audits” of Money Managers:  In the wake of the Bernie Madoff Scandal, SEC commissioners unanimously agreed to a proposal to subject about 9,600 investment advisers to annual surprise inspections by independent auditors. About 370 money managers with direct custody of client holdings would also face yearly compliance exams to ensure they have adequate procedures to protect assets. (Bloomberg)

Sarbanes-Oxley Has Worked In Focusing Accountants on Audits:  This analysis by CFO Magazine highlights the successes of Sarbanes-Oxley in refocusing CPAs on audits and steering them away from consulting fees that might conflict with auditor independence.  (CFO Magazine)

AICPA Issues Proposals In Response To Reliability Task Force Recommendations: The AICPA’s Accounting and Review Services Committee (ARSC) issued an exposure draft that would revise the standards for compilation and review engagements. The changes would affect the interplay between the standards and independence rules, permitting an accountant to issue a review report on financial statements when the accountant’s independence is impaired by performing nonattest services that were designed to improve the reliability of the client’s financial information. (Journal of Accountancy)

Deloitte Offers Guidance for Effective Risk Management During the Recession and Through the Recovery: A new whitepaper from Deloitte, “Risk Intelligence in a Downturn: Balancing Risk and Reward in Volatile Times,” discusses some of the issues business leaders may need to consider as they manage risk in the downturn.  This whitepaper offers perspective on how Deloitte’s approach to Risk Intelligence can be a useful guide to business leaders in their efforts to protect and enhance value through effective risk management — both to ride out the recession and capitalize on the recovery. (Deloitte)

CAQ Releases “Guide to Public Company Auditing” : The Center For Audit Quality has issued a new consumer-friendly and business-friendly pamphlet that provides an introduction to the key processes, participants, and issues related to public company auditing.  (Center for Audit Quality)