Do investors need more nonfinancial information? | How accounting can empower better project management | How treatment of leases could change under GASB rules
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May 17, 2017
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Accounting and Reporting Update
Do investors need more nonfinancial information?
Some companies include extensive nonfinancial information in their proxy statements, but investors are pushing for more. However, some finance chiefs question whether these disclosures would truly help inform an investing decision.
CFO (5/2) 
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How accounting can empower better project management
Accountants can help projects run more effectively if they partner with teams outside of finance and gain a detailed understanding of the flow and terminology of project work.
CGMA Magazine (5/2017) 
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Nonprofit Audit 101: Guide to the Fundamentals
Nonprofit Audit 101 is a quick guide for nonprofit finance leaders and executive leaders, providing key fundamentals and know-how, first class best practices, and insight into how to optimize the nonprofit audit process at your organization. Download the Nonprofit Audit 101 Guide today!
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Emerging Trends
The case for valuing growth over profitability
Companies should consider focusing on faster growth in pursuit of long-term return on equity rather than short-term increases in profit margins. Capital costs are low, meaning that promises of higher returns in the future are especially valuable.
Harvard Business Review online (tiered subscription model) (5/1) 
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Grey swans spread their wings
Risk managers have put a lot of effort in recent years into better anticipating highly improbable "black swan" events, which can have devastating consequences. But the recent US election and the Brexit vote show that businesses also need to pay close attention to "grey swan" events, which are less improbable and also can have highly significant results.
CGMA Magazine online (5/1) 
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Are Spreadsheets modern enough for today’s financial close?
Are you still utilizing spreadsheets for key accounting tasks? Spreadsheets are a powerful tool, but are they modern enough for today’s financial close? Download this guide to learn a new approach to closing the books.
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Tax Corner
Spending deal allocates $11.2B for IRS
The spending bill passed earlier this month to keep the government open through September funds the IRS at 2016 levels, allocating $11.2 billion for the agency. Among other things, the deal calls for $290 million to modernize business systems and $206 million for the Taxpayer Advocate Service.
Accounting Today (5/5) 
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Commentary: R&D tax credit changes could help small businesses
Two modifications to the research and development credit that went into effect for tax year 2016 could be a boon for small businesses and startups. The new rules include an alternative minimum tax turnoff provision and a provision that allows startups to apply the credit to payroll taxes.
CFO (4/13) 
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Leadership Lessons and Tips
Transformation starts with asking questions
Leaders hoping to transform their business need to start with thoughtful questions that frame the situation and explore the implications of the proposal. For best results, companies need to include a variety of people and view the situation from several different angles.
Strategy+Business online (free registration) (4/27) 
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3 ways to prepare for quick, effective decision-making
High-stakes business situations demand that leaders think quickly while making good decisions. Managing this balancing act requires a concept known as "reflective urgency," according to this article, which includes three strategies to develop your skills in this area.
Harvard Business Review online (tiered subscription model) (4/27) 
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Tech Topics
New framework outlines cybersecurity risk management reporting
The AICPA's new cybersecurity risk management reporting framework puts the profession at the forefront of reporting in this critical area. The framework, supported by description criteria, control criteria and a new cybersecurity attestation guide, helps organizations communicate about and CPAs report on cybersecurity risk management programs. Access the framework at this website.
Journal of Accountancy online (4/26) 
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Looking at cybersecurity from the top
Although individual board members may lack technology expertise, it's crucial for boards to establish strong governance over cybersecurity at a time when a breach can have devastating consequences. Here's how boards can fulfill their duties even if they don't have a member with an advanced degree in computer science.
CGMA Magazine (5/2017) 
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Why finance executives should care about blockchain
A recent survey by Deloitte found that 40% of senior executives have little to no knowledge about blockchain, while other executives rate it among their top corporate priorities. But while it's understandable that some may cast a skeptical eye toward blockchain, it's a potentially disruptive technology that CPAs need to understand.
CPA Insider (5/8) 
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Regulatory Developments
Supreme Court hears case on disgorgement
The Supreme Court is hearing a case centered on a practice known as disgorgement, which the Securities and Exchange Commission uses to recover profits generated through misconduct. Questioning has focused on whether the agency should be able to apply the practice to profits that are more than five years old.
Reuters (4/18) 
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AICPA News
New CGMA webcast on 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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Help keep CPA candidates informed
Thousands of candidates have sat for the CPA Exam since the updated version launched last month. A lot has changed with the exam, and it's important to make sure candidates have the right strategy and most accurate information to help them prepare. Candidates are encouraged to rely on the essential resources provided by the AICPA as they begin their exam journey. Those resources include the CPA Exam Blueprints, tutorial and sample tests, as well as the recently released 2017 CPA Exam Booklet.
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Improving consistency and transparency in fair value measurements
Enhance the quality of your fair value measurements by using the performance framework launched with the AICPA's Certified in Entity and Intangible ValuationsTM (CEIVTM) credential program. The framework provides uniform guidance on the level of documentation necessary to substantiate fair value measurements for financial reporting.
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About the AICPA
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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