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December 18, 2012
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  Top Story 

The University of Charleston Master of Forensic Accounting Program - UC's hybrid online forensic accounting program blends online and classroom learning to allow you to earn your master's degree in the fastest-growing niche market in accounting in just 14 months. UC is still accepting students for January. Click here to learn more.
  Valuation Corner 
  • A look at changes to the impairment-testing process
    There have been changes to impairment testing, including the introduction of qualitative assessment that can potentially avoid quantitative testing. This article provides advice and insight on the impairment-testing process and, if possible, how to reduce associated costs and complexity. Journal of Accountancy (12/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Valuation industry grows and attracts more professionals
    Financial forensics is one of the fastest-growing practice areas for accountants. According to the AICPA Forensic and Valuation Services Trend Survey, financial forensics is expected to see continued growth in the next two to five years. The AICPA's Certified in Financial Forensics credential and Accredited in Business Valuation credential are continuing to see growth, speakers at a recent FVS town hall said. (11/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How to gauge the equity risk premium
    Determining the appropriate level of the equity risk premium and its potential direction are important when calculating an asset-allocation decision, according to this article. Investors can use the market's earnings yield to calculate the equity risk premium or consumer confidence, which is inversely correlated to the equity risk premium. Seeking Alpha (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Push to mark-to-market for pension plans grows
    Momentum is growing to adopt mark-to-market accounting for defined-benefit pension plans, with companies such as Honeywell International, IBM and Johnson Controls having switched to mark-to-market accounting in their pension plans. At a recent industry conference, Susan Cosper, a technical director at the Financial Accounting Standards Board, said FASB is considering changes to current rules, including a look at mark-to-market rules. The Wall Street Journal/CFO Journal (tiered subscription model) (11/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How to calculate goodwill in valuation
    New rules on goodwill have not prevented companies from overpaying for acquisitions, according to this article. As a result, goodwill on the balance sheet of acquiring companies makes it difficult to compare such companies with businesses that don't do acquisitions. Musings on Markets blog (12/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • SEC accuses execs of overvaluing portfolio assets
    The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged three executives at KCAP Financial for allegedly overvaluing its fund's asset portfolio during the financial crisis. The SEC says KCAP did not consider market activity when valuing debt securities and collateralized loan obligations. (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Forensic Corner 
  • HP's Autonomy write-down highlights need for forensic accounting
    Hewlett-Packard's massive write-down related to its acquisition of Autonomy shows the reason forensic accounting should be a key part of any company's risk management, according to this article. "The historical [accounting and governance risk] ratings and risk metrics for HP and Autonomy paint a stark picture of the evolution of a man-made Black Swan anomaly fueled by greed, enabled by flawed accounting conventions and the financial community's complacency about the integrity of reported financials," the authors write. Business Insider/GMI Ratings (11/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How HP says it was fooled by Autonomy's accounting: Hewlett-Packard says sleight-of-hand accounting by Autonomy led to a $5 billion write-down of the $11.1 billion acquisition. HP has reassessed the future cash flow of Autonomy and thinks it is worth much less than previously thought. Autonomy has denied the allegation. Slate/Breakingviews blog (12/10), The Wall Street Journal (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Crowdfunding companies call for regulators to catch up
    Crowdfunding startups are asking regulators to better accommodate their business model. Financial rules in the U.S. and the U.K. are geared toward traditional operations, forcing crowdsourcing platforms to operate outside the regulatory framework. The U.K. has set up a working group to study this issue. Forbes (12/11), NBC News/Reuters (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How companies are using predictive coding: Data-driven lawsuits have become easier and cheaper to launch through predictive coding, a form of forensic artificial intelligence. The software is based on an open-source project, which means any company can use it. It is playing a prominent role in the patent dispute between Apple and Samsung Electronics. Fast Company online (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  • Get on track to become a CFF or an ABV credential holder
    The AICPA Certified in Financial Forensics and Accredited in Business Valuation credentials can position you for increased demand in two of the fastest-growing specialty areas for CPAs. The CFF Roadmap and ABV Roadmap are step-by-step guides that illustrate how a CPA, at any level of expertise, can utilize resources provided to FVS Section members to embark on a journey to obtain the CPA-exclusive CFF and ABV credentials. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  AICPA FVS Events 
  • AICPA National Business Valuation School
    Attend the AICPA National Business Valuation School and learn relevant theories, applications and best practices for business valuation. Each school will have a full day devoted to a real-world case study that demonstrates how standards, techniques and approaches are incorporated into everyday practice. Continuing professional education: 45 credits. Register for one date and location: May 20 to 24 in Atlanta, June 24 to 28 in Denver or July 15 to 19 in New York City. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Learn more about FVSJoin FVS Section  |  Become a CFF  |  Become an ABV
Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of."
--Charles Dow Richards,
Canadian judge and politician

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Contact AICPA
AICPA Service Center
220 Leigh Farm Road
Durham, NC 27707-8110
Phone: 888.777.7077
Fax: 800.362.5066
About the Forensic and Valuation Services Section
The Forensic and Valuation Services Section is designed to provide CPAs with a vast array of resources, tools and information about forensic and valuation services. The FVS Section serves CPAs who hold the Accredited in Business Valuation and Certified in Financial Forensics specialty credentials, members of the FVS Section, AICPA members and others.
About the Accredited in Business Valuation Credential
The Accredited in Business Valuation program provides specialized access to information, education, tools and support that enhance credential holders' ability to make a genuine difference for their clients and employers. ABV credential holders may brand or position themselves as premier business valuation service providers who differentiate themselves by going beyond the core service of reaching a conclusion of value and creating value for clients through the strategic application of this analysis.
About the Certified in Financial Forensics Credential
The Certified in Financial Forensics credential combines specialized forensic accounting expertise with the core knowledge and skills that make CPAs among the most trusted experts. The CFF credential encompasses fundamental and specialized forensic accounting skills that CPA practitioners apply in a variety of service areas, including: bankruptcy and insolvency; computer forensics; economic damages; family law; fraud investigations; litigation support; stakeholder disputes and valuations. To qualify, a CPA must be an AICPA member in good standing, have at least five years of experience in practicing accounting, and meet minimum requirements in relevant business experience and continuing professional education.

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