How to ease common concerns about retirement | SEC amends guidance on MD&A, other disclosures | PCAOB amends independence requirements to align with SEC changes
November 20, 2020
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Top Story
Thinking about retirement can be a source of anxiety. However, taking these steps can allay common fears, such as worrying about running out of money and managing health care costs.
Full Story: U.S. News & World Report (11/18) 
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Gear Up Online Conference begins Nov. 30
Get unparalleled access to speakers, extensive peer-to-peer interaction, and a world-class CPE conference all from the comfort of your home, office, or wherever you choose. Register today >
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A&A Report
The Securities and Exchange Commission has voted to adopt amendments that are intended to modernize, simplify and enhance management's discussion and analysis and other required financial disclosures.
Full Story: Journal of Accountancy online (11/19) 
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The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has issued amendments that are designed to align independence requirements with Securities and Exchange Commission rules that were updated in 2019 and 2020.
Full Story: Journal of Accountancy online (11/19) 
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Upgrade your profits with Payroll Relief
If you're unsure about whether payroll processing can be a profitable service to your firm, don't worry! You just need to upgrade. If you have Payroll Relief, it can create a 25% improvement in your practice and will make payroll your most profitable service. Learn more.
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Financial Focus
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and subsequent executive action have put student-loan payments on hold until year-end, but it is unclear whether the moratorium will be extended further. Here are some tips for how people with debt can prepare to handle the situation.
Full Story: CNBC (11/20) 
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6 Outdated Areas of Your Accounting Firm
In order to get a better understanding of how the experience economy is affecting the expectations taxpayers have about their experience preparing taxes with an accountant, Canopy commissioned an independent survey of U.S. taxpayers.
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Tax Spotlight
The Internal Revenue Service has issued guidance for taxpayers who pay otherwise deductible expenses with Paycheck Protection Program loan funds, saying even if the payment and PPP loan forgiveness happen in different tax years, the expenses are not deductible. The IRS has also provided a safe harbor procedure for taxpayers whose application for PPP loan forgiveness is either withdrawn or denied.
Full Story: Journal of Accountancy online (11/19) 
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Your safety net just got easier to maintain.
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Career Development
During this trying year, the AICPA Foundation is supporting future CPAs more than ever. But your help is needed. If you're willing and able, here's what you can do.
Full Story: AICPA Insights (11/18) 
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Optimism is often seen as a positive trait in the workplace, but being unrealistically upbeat about the future can make it difficult to detect problems. Examining data and being aware of emotions can help you avoid toxic positivity.
Full Story: Fast Company online (11/19) 
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Upcoming tax and personal financial planning webcasts
Checkout these exciting webcasts! Washington Tax Brief November 2020 (11/12) and RPA for Tax (12/14). Register today
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Leadership
Workplace burnout can be exacerbated by self-sabotaging behavior, such as overextending yourself. Honing emotional intelligence can help you overcome stumbling blocks.
Full Story: Harvard Business Review online (tiered subscription model) (11/19) 
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Policy & Regulatory
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has indicated certain pandemic lending programs administered through the Federal Reserve will close at year-end. Surplus funds should be made available to Congress for reallocation, Mnuchin says.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (11/19),  Reuters (11/20) 
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Market Update
First-time claims for jobless benefits reached a seasonally adjusted 742,000 last week, an increase from 711,000 during the previous week.
Full Story: Bloomberg (tiered subscription model) (11/19),  Reuters (11/19),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (11/19) 
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AICPA News
How to keep staff safe during on-site client visits
Many firms have successfully made the switch to a remote environment. But some circumstances make on-site visits unavoidable. How can firms decide when client visits are appropriate and how they should be handled? Take these steps to minimize the risks for staff and clients.
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COVID's impact on the fair value of investments
Investment valuation is complex even under normal circumstances. But market volatility and COVID-19 have conspired to make circumstances anything but normal. If you have questions about performing a solid investment valuation in these challenging times, we can help you find the answers.
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If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.
Jim Rohn,
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About the AICPA
The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is the world’s largest member association representing the CPA profession, with more than 431,000 members in 137 countries and territories, 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, not-for-profit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination and offers credentials for a number of specialized areas. With The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), it offers the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation, which sets the global benchmark for quality and recognition in management accounting.
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