Attestation Update – A&A for CPAs

Technical stuff for CPAs providing attestation services

Free resource you can copy and paste to develop a Quality Control document for a small CPA firm.

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Cover of free resources from AICPA, used under fair use.

Did you know the AICPA has provided a tool you may use as a starting template to develop a Quality Control document?

If you perform compilations, reviews, or audits, you are required to have a written QC document. Even if you aren’t going through a system review. Even if you only do comps.

If you perform audits and will have to go through a system review, keep in mind you are obligated to have quality control program in place before the system review starts, even before the peer review year begins. That means you really really need to have a QC document in place. (Yes, I’m talking to you, my fellow sole practitioners.)

The AICPA’s template can give you an easy starting point, in case you want to step up your policy.

There are two documents, one tailored for a sole practitioner and the other for small firms. Here are links to the documents:

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Written by Jim Ulvog

July 13, 2017, 7:08 am at 7:08 am

Things really can go terribly wrong. Do your backups work? How’s your disaster planning?

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Image courtesy of Adobe Stock

Disasters can happen. Consider:

  • How will you recover if you lose your wallet?
  • How will your business recover if ransom ware encrypts your server?
  • What is your planning to survive a tornado if your business is in Oklahoma, a hurricane if you work on the east coast of Florida, or a flood if you live in low territory next to river that overflows once a decade?

Rumbi Bwerinofa-Petrozzello ponders these questions in her 7/2/17 post If Lost…Then What?

She tells of finding a wallet on the ground, walking into the adjacent restaurant looking for the owner by glancing between the patrons and the photo on the driver’s license in the wallet. No luck.

When she got home she was able to do a bit more research. She located the woman and returned the wallet.

Life hack tip: make sure you have a business card with a current phone number and email in your wallet so that if a kind-hearted person finds your lost wallet the nice person can reach you quickly.

From there she transitions to disaster recovery.  A few questions for you to ponder:

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Written by Jim Ulvog

July 12, 2017, 9:45 am at 9:45 am

Posted in Other stuff, Pondering

Before the tsunami hits it might be time to tune into the accounting rules on the horizon.

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tsunami” by hansol is licensed under CC BY 2.0

While you have been sitting on the beach enjoying life this summer, have you noticed that dark, odd horizontal line out there on the horizon?

It isn’t a figment of your imagination. There really is a tsunami wave out there in the distance of the accounting ocean and it is going to hit the shore where you are sun bathing.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, there will be fresh waves of water hitting the beach over four years.

The good news? Maybe one or two or three of the waves will miss your organization.

Here is a quick glance of what’s on the horizon:

  • Overhaul NFP financial statement presentation
  • Restricted cash on cash flow statement
  • Revenue recognition for all entities
  • Grant and contribution recognition for NFPs
  • Most leases brought onto the statement of financial position
  • Credit losses on loans and receivables

Here is just a bit more detail:

(Cross-post from my other blog, Nonprofit Update, so this will focus on not-for-profit issues.)

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Written by Jim Ulvog

July 10, 2017, 8:39 am at 8:39 am

Posted in Accounting

Happy Birthday America!

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Silhouette of charging Union soldier. “Happy Birthday America” by Steve Corey is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Two hundred forty-one years ago today marked the start of this wonderful, fantastic, heaven-blessed, messy, delightful, powerful, flawed, and glorious experiment called the United States of America which has delivered unimaginable levels of freedom to hundreds of millions of people here in the US of A and contributed massively to the freedom of hundreds and hundreds of millions more around the world.

Happy birthday America!

If you want a really short description of this day, consider a photo of a sign on a store’s door I saw while browsing the ‘net:

Closed on July 4

in observance of

Brexit 1776

If you are looking for a brief description of the string of events which led to signing the Declaration of Independence and the follow-on events leading to full independence, Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jim Ulvog

July 4, 2017, 9:06 am at 9:06 am

Posted in Pondering

Announcing “Ancient Finances”, my newest blog

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Silver Roman denarius. Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Ancient Finances will explore finances and money during the Viking age and Roman Empire. Lots of posts on other blogs addressing those topics have been cross-posted to the new blog. This includes lots of discussion of the loot Alexander the Great lifted during his rampaging world tour.

I’ve been having loads of fun reading about the Viking age and am intrigued by finances and money during the Roman Empire.

Why a new blog?

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Written by Jim Ulvog

June 16, 2017, 8:37 am at 8:37 am

Posted in Other stuff

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Accountants coping with change. PTIN fees tossed out. New audit report from PCAOB.

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Image courtesy of Dollar Photo Club

A few interesting reads for accountants.

  • If we keep learning, robots will free us up from dreary work but won’t take away our jobs
  • Federal court keeps PTIN requirement in place but overturns the fee requirement
  • PCAOB expands standard auditor’s report

5/30/17 – Bill Sheridan at Business Learning Institute – Robots aren’t stealing our jobs. They’re setting us free. – Mr. Sheridan describes how we as accountants could thrive as computers take away the basic number crunching parts of our work.

Those tasks we do that can be automated will shift. That will leave the strategic thinking, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and anticipation to us.

In my little brain, I have a way to describe this – So let’s say you have a program that can review 100% of disbursements instead of you drawing a sample of 40 or 60 items. Cool.

In any client that still uses humans to run their organizations, how many exceptions do you know think you will need to address?

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Written by Jim Ulvog

June 8, 2017, 8:20 am at 8:20 am

Posted in Accounting, Audits

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Description of Scutum, a Roman Legionnaire’s shield.

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This shield is flat. It is also protected on the edges by metal.  “Shield of Roman legionairies ‘Scutum’, after AD 100. Athens War Museum, replica” by Dimitris Kamaras is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Adrian Goldsworthy provides a good description of a Roman shield, called a scutum, in his book The Complete Roman Army on page 129. A well-preserved shield was found at Dura Europus that dates from the 3rd century.

The shield is 3’ 3” tall by 2’ 8” wide in a curved shape.

It is two inches thick, consisting of three layers of wood glued together.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

June 7, 2017, 9:08 am at 9:08 am

Posted in Other stuff

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