Attestation Update – A&A for CPAs

Technical stuff for CPAs providing attestation services

Time to renew your PTIN

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If you prepare tax turns you already know you must have a PTIN and must renew it every year.  The IRS days you can file your renewal now.

Fee is $63.00 for a renewal.

Check out PTIN Renewal Season Open.


Written by Jim Ulvog

October 22, 2014, 8:51 am at 8:51 am

Posted in Other stuff

Warning to bankers that too-big-to-manage might mean too-big-to-exist

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Federal Reserve officials gave too-big-to-fail bank leaders a warning at a private lunch that they need to improve the risk management and ethical behavior inside the banks. The alternative put on the table is a suggestion that if they are too large to manage then they may need to be broken up into smaller banks that can be managed.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

October 21, 2014, 13:15 pm at 1:15 pm

Posted in Other stuff

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SSARS 21 will be issued 10/23; will allow “preparation” and revise comp & review standards

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The rewrite of SSARS into clarified format will be issued this week, Thursday, October 23.

Here is a one sentence summary: The new document will completely rewrite the SSARS literature, will add a new service called “preparation”, and will add new requirements for comps & reviews.

For a bit more information, check out AICPA Modernizes Non-Audit Standards for Accountants in Public Practice.

Written by Jim Ulvog

October 21, 2014, 7:24 am at 7:24 am

Posted in Compilations & reviews

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FASB is starting to write a major overhaul of NPO accounting

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One discussion inside the accounting rule maker deals with a massive restructure of the accounting for nonprofit organizations. The FASB staff have started drafting the changes.

Exposure draft might be released in early 2015. Adjust the estimate by a few months to allow for the complexity of a rewrite that affects such a wide variety of organizations and I’ll guess we may see an exposure draft in spring or summer 2015.

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting News reports Not-for-Profit Proposal Targeted for 2015 Release.

If you are involved in the finance or accounting areas of the NPO world, it might be worth keeping your eye out for this issue.

Written by Jim Ulvog

October 21, 2014, 7:18 am at 7:18 am

Posted in Accounting

Starting template to develop a Quality Control document for CPA firm. It’s even legit to copy & paste.

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The AICPA has provided a number of new documents to help firms improve the quality control systems and to start looking at the enhancing audit quality initiative. I’ll list a few of them. It’s easy to copy & paste and at a great price.

Tools to develop a quality-control document

Every CPA firm performing assurance services is required to have a quality-control document. That applies even if you only do comps and reviews. Even if you aren’t going through a system review.

The AICPA has free practice tools to explain the QC standards along with a sample document based on the size of the firm.

You can find the documents on this page.

You can also find a document that is geared to the size of a firm: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jim Ulvog

October 20, 2014, 13:26 pm at 1:26 pm

Update for accountants – posts from CPA-Scribo

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While I’ve been getting a book into print and writing some CPE classes during the last few months, Charles Hall has posted a bunch of great articles of interest to CPAs. Haven’t mentioned any of them yet. Here’s a few that I think would be most helpful for you.

Here’s some more posts that would well be worth your time.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

October 16, 2014, 7:00 am at 7:00 am

Is the cost of reducing fraud risk greater than the loss from a fraud incident?

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I recently had the opportunity to visit with Sam Antar, convicted felon and former CFO of Crazy Eddie. This is cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.

During our interview, Mr. Antar suggested a reason why businesses don’t put enough effort into fraud prevention and detection. He said the cost of deterring fraud may be more expensive than the consequences of fraud. Before I refine the concept, look at some costs he mentioned:

  • In the corporate world, particularly companies that have grown for a while, there needs to be a lot of systems put in place to deter and mitigate fraud risk.
  • There needs to be an audit committee and they need to have resources available to them. Translate that to they have authority to hire legal and accounting experts. They need training personally. This is expensive.
  • The audit committee, consisting of skilled and knowledgeable people, must have a direct line of contact to the Board of Directors. That is expensive in terms of time.
  • The Board of Directors has to have a substantial amount of financial skills. That is expensive in terms of time and dollars for training and dollars for their access to expert resources.
  • At some point in the growth curve, there needs to be a robust, skilled internal audit department. That could get quite expensive, if you look at it only in terms of cash outflows.

I would add to that the time involved to implement quality controls, policies, and procedures. Those will take a lot of time for the finance & accounting team. In turn, those procedures will take time for operational staff to follow. All of that translates into more staff.

That can get costly fast.

What is the cost of a fraud incident

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Written by Jim Ulvog

October 15, 2014, 7:00 am at 7:00 am

Posted in Audits, Fraud

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