Financial statement audits deliver key business insights | GASB addresses wide range of accounting issues | Despite interest-rate increases, M&A activity could continue
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April 19, 2017
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Accounting and Reporting Update
Financial statement audits deliver key business insights
Executives and audit committee members overwhelmingly agree that financial statement audits provide valuable business insights, but many companies don't have processes in place to take advantage of this information.
Journal of Accountancy online (3/29) 
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GASB addresses wide range of accounting issues
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board recently issued a new statement that addresses a wide range of accounting issues that have challenged state and local government financial statement preparers.
Journal of Accountancy online (3/20) 
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CFOs, Controllers require defensible valuations
A new set of favorable deal conditions will likely entice more companies to pursue M&A strategies in 2017. These organizations need to determine the right valuation data that will satisfy all stakeholders and withstand audit and regulatory scrutiny. Download the whitepaper to read more.
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Emerging Trends
CFO of the future: Looking beyond the numbers
To keep up with the rapid evolution in their roles and responsibilities, CFOs must develop the ability to read, manage and leverage emotions to achieve goals.
CGMA Magazine online (3/20) 
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Despite interest-rate increases, M&A activity could continue
The Federal Reserve expects two more interest-rate bumps this year. However, interest rates are still low from a historical perspective, and factors such as abundant capital, a strong dollar and the potential for a tax overhaul could continue to spur mergers and acquisitions.
CFO.com (4/7) 
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Tax Corner
How small businesses can apply the research credit to payroll taxes
Eligible small businesses can apply a portion of their research and development credit against their payroll tax liability, starting with the 2016 tax year, under a new provision enacted in 2015. The Internal Revenue Service has provided guidance on how small businesses can make the election.
The Tax Adviser online (3/31) 
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Global expansion may carry tax consequences
Entry into international markets may raise certain tax implications that companies should consider. Among other things, businesses should be aware of Base Erosion and Profit Shifting regulations as well as the financial penalties for noncompliance.
CFO.com (3/20) 
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Benchmark Your Accounting Department
The aged practice of business benchmarking is entering a new era. Today's cloud-based business systems can create and monitor process benchmarks to provide companies with ongoing assessments of how well they are executing processes. Read the whitepaper to learn how to create sustainable performance improvements for finance and accounting function.
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Leadership Lessons and Tips
Sharpen skills by acting like a startup CFO
Rapid changes in the business world are creating new challenges, but CFOs can prepare for the future by learning from their counterparts at startup companies. CFOs at new companies must be flexible, capable of working with a variety of stakeholders and willing to take smart risks.
CFO.com (3/14) 
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Having a strategy is one thing; changing it is another
There are four typical ways organizations decide to change their strategy, each with a different amount of employee input and process required. Each company may have different needs but should examine what it is currently using and how well it works.
Harvard Business Review online (tiered subscription model) (4/10) 
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Expectations and paths don't always align for controllers
Most controllers expect and are expected to shape and execute strategic priorities. Yet, few companies clearly define a path for controllers to take on greater responsibility, a Deloitte report shows.
CGMA Magazine online (4/12) 
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Tech Topics
American Express, P&G aim to innovate with AI
American Express and Procter & Gamble are building on established practices as they implement cognitive technology, such as artificial intelligence. The companies are treating AI as an extension of their analytical approach, and both are focused on developing in-house skills rather than relying solely on vendors.
Harvard Business Review online (tiered subscription model) (3/31) 
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How AI will lead to better audits
The rapidly accelerating pace of data creation is increasing the depth of information that can be analyzed during the audit process. Artificial intelligence can help auditors sift through this growing volume of data and pick out incorrect financial statements.
Accounting Today (4/5) 
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Regulatory Developments
Senators renew effort to add transparency to PCAOB disciplinary hearings
Sens. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, have again introduced legislation meant to bring transparency to disciplinary proceedings carried out by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, such hearings are not public unless certain conditions are met.
Bloomberg BNA (free content) (3/28) 
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AICPA News
Vibrant new look for a united profession
The AICPA has introduced a modern look to reflect the dynamic role of CPAs in powering businesses, governments and economies worldwide. Bold and iconic, the new brand reflects the individual membership bodies of the AICPA and CIMA as well as the connectivity across public and management accounting through our new Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. The new look was developed through extensive testing with members and students, who described it as professional, visionary, dynamic and influential. Learn more in this member letter. And check out the new brand on the Association website. You'll see more changes as we roll out the brand in the coming weeks.
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New CGMA webcast: Understanding cybersecurity risk: An accountant's perspective -- May 11 at 12 p.m. ET
Long gone are the days of cybersecurity being the IT department's problem. It's an "all-of-us" problem. Join Theresa Grafenstine on May 11 as she provides practical ways for accountants and internal auditors to be part of a cybersecurity program. CGMA designation holders receive a 20% discount. Register here.
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New CGMA webcast: Two soft skills for your success -- May 24 at 11 a.m. ET
Join Deborah Shames and Sally Phillips for an exclusive CGMA webcast on procuring two key soft skills for your success. During the session, Deborah Shames will share practical techniques for effective presentations, and Sally Phillips will provide tips and considerations on how to successfully engage and manage difficult conversations. CGMA designation holders receive a 20% discount. Register here.
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New CGMA webcast: Are budgets still relevant? -- June 20 at 11 a.m. ET
Volatility and uncertainty are inherent in today's business environment, so how useful are very detailed annual budgets? The answer is not much, but that does not mean that budgeting is a waste of time. In this webcast, David Axson, global lead of Accenture's CFO Strategies practice, will describe how organizations are transforming their budget processes to remain relevant. Register here.
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Don't miss this year's AICPA Not-for-Profit Industry Conference -- June 21-23
Join us June 21-23 at this comprehensive forum that deals with the challenges facing nonprofit practitioners and financial executives today. Get up to date on all of today's changes and issues facing the NFP industry, register at aicpastore.com/NOT.
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The American Institute of CPAs is the world’s largest member association representing the accounting profession, with more than 418,000 members in 143 countries, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting. The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit organizations and federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination, and offers specialty credentials for CPAs who concentrate on personal financial planning; forensic accounting; business valuation; and information management and technology assurance. Through a joint venture with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, it has established the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation, which sets a new standard for global recognition of management accounting.
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