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July 20, 2011
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Brought to you by the American Institute of CPAs

  Letter from Carol 
  • A message from Carol Scott, vice president of Business, Industry & Government
    Source: AICPA
    At the end of June, the AICPA hosted one of several round tables held worldwide by the International Integrated Reporting Committee to gather insight from business leaders on integrated reporting. The IIRC was founded in 2010 to create a globally accepted framework for a business reporting model that links environmental, social and governance reporting to mainstream reporting. The IIRC is seeking companies to pilot the proposed framework, to be released for public discussion this quarter. At the AICPA, we are excited about being part of the development of this reporting framework, which will highlight skills and competencies of CPAs. To find out more about the framework, check out my blog post on the AICPA's new AICPA Insights blog.

    As you may know, the AICPA has been leading a call to make private-company financial reporting more relevant, more useful and less complex for businesses and their financial-statement users. The Financial Accounting Foundation is considering two major recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Private Company Financial Reporting: differential standards and a separate board with standard-setting authority. The FAF is expected to discuss its final plan for private-company financial reporting next month, but in the meantime, you can help with this historic effort by writing a letter to the FAF in support of private-company financial reporting.

    Finally, be sure to read this month's advice on becoming the "go-to person" at your organization, provided by former AICPA Government Performance and Accountability Committee member Michele Mark-Levine, CPA.

    Continue to share your advice with colleagues, or send questions or comments to BusIndNews editor Cortney McCullough. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Top Story 
  • FASB takes first step toward standards for private companies
    The Financial Accounting Standards Board is preparing a "differential framework" that would guide the creation of accounting standards for private companies. The framework would help FASB identify areas in which private companies would benefit from having their own standards. Considerations include the types of people who use accounting data, how management and ownership are structured and the level of resources and training available to accountants at private firms. Visit the AICPA Private Company Financial Reporting section for more information. Accounting Today (7/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Accounting and Reporting Update 
  • A European view of SEC's approach to adopting IFRS
    Steven Brice offers a European perspective on a Securities and Exchange Commission proposal to phase in International Financial Reporting Standards over several years. Switching to IFRS gradually or making too many alterations could harm U.S. companies and undermine the international accounting system, he writes. In any case, the SEC should make its decision quickly. "Delays surrounding the application of IFRS are not helpful for business," Brice writes. Share your thoughts on the SEC plan. For more information on IFRS, consider attending the AICPA/IFRS Foundation Conference in Boston. CPA Insider (6/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Emerging Trends 
  • Making sense of the redesigned Form 990
    The Internal Revenue Service's revised Form 990, "Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax," is creating confusion among filers. Here are eight of the most troublesome sections, including properly identifying company presidents, reporting compensation and listing all forms of income. The Tax Adviser (7/2011) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Risk management gives companies an edge over competitors
    More companies are embarking on projects for enterprise-risk management to gain a strategic advantage over rivals, according to APQC. Greater market uncertainty and regulatory changes are raising executives' awareness of needing ERM systems to measure risk as a way to improve decision-making. For more information, visit the ERM section of Business Finance (6/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Experts offer time-management tips for CFOs
    About 25% of chief financial officers said a shortage of time is hindering their job performance, according to a survey by CFO Magazine. Executives can maximize their time by separating critical and noncritical tasks and making better use of meeting time, consultant William Staats said. (7/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • More CFOs take control of IT spending
    Chief financial officers are playing a bigger role in information technology investment, according to a survey by Gartner. CFOs reported approving a higher percentage of technology projects, and 42% of IT departments report directly to CFOs. The findings demonstrate the importance of making sure CFOs and chief information officers collaborate effectively, Gartner said. (7/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 8 tips for writing a better performance review
    A good performance review can put an employee on the path to success, Wilma Davidson and Richard Easter write. Managers can provide better reviews by gathering data over time and offering concrete suggestions for improvement. This article offers a sample table that can be used to make observations about team members' actions in preparation for a review. "A well-supported, fact-based performance review and discussion lets everyone focus on the behaviors" that will benefit the company and the employee, Davidson and Easter write. (7/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Companies turn to natural hedges under fair-value rules
    Some companies are turning to fair value to hedge against currency risk without having to go through formal hedge accounting under the Financial Accounting Standards Board's Statement 133. The method has proved effective at helping companies weather fluctuation in currency prices. (7/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • CPA skills are key in sustainability reporting
    Involvement of finance staff in sustainability reporting is limited, according to a recent AICPA/CIMA/CICA survey. But CPAs can play an important role in the pursuit of "doing well by doing good" by making a business case for sustainability initiatives, identifying and tracking key performance indicators and bringing credibility to reporting. For more information on sustainability, visit CPA Insider (7/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  BIG News and Events 
  • Leveraging XBRL for Value in Organizations
    The Information Systems Audit and Control Association and the International Federation of Accountants' Professional Accountants in Business Committee, of which the AICPA Business, Industry & Government is a member, jointly developed this paper to provide accounting and assurance professionals with guidance to leverage value from eXtensible Business Reporting Language initiatives and compliance requirements. Benefits and opportunities of embedding XBRL within internal processes can enhance management communication, increasing the value of information used within an organization. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • GASB Standard Identifies Applicable FASB and AICPA Accounting Literature
    In December, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board issued Statement No. 62, Codification of Accounting and Financial Reporting Guidance contained in Pre-Nov. 30, 1989, Financial Accounting Standards Board and AICPA Pronouncements. It should make it easier for governmental financial-statement preparers and auditors to find relevant FASB and AICPA accounting and financial-reporting literature by placing all such applicable pre-Nov. 30, 1989, (hereafter, pre-1989) pronouncements within the authoritative GASB literature. For more on governmental accounting, visit the Government Resource Center on LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AICPA News 
  • AICPA releases updated brief on revenue-recognition project
    This brief provides background on the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accountant Standards Board's revenue-recognition accounting project. It also summarizes some of the board's tentative decisions that would change provisions in the original exposure draft. For more information on revenue recognition, visit LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Common Interest Realty Association Wiki
    In response to feedback from preparers and practitioners associated with Common Interest Realty Associations, the AICPA launched this collaborative wiki. Anyone preparing or auditing financial statements of CIRAs and interested in learning more about accounting aspects or auditing considerations related to CIRAs will find this tool a valuable resource. The AICPA welcomes those with knowledge and interest about CIRAs to read and contribute. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Ambition is a lust that is never quenched, but grows more inflamed and madder by enjoyment."
--Thomas Otway,
British dramatist

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The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the world's largest association representing the accounting profession, with nearly 370,000 members in 128 countries. The AICPA has served as the voice of the accounting profession since 1887. Members in business, industry and government make up 42% of the AICPA's membership. The AICPA provides financial professionals practicing in business, industry and government with the tools and resources needed to move their organizations forward.

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