Attestation Update – A&A for CPAs

Technical stuff for CPAs providing attestation services

Articles for CPAs during the pandemic: Possible delay in SAS effective dates – 4/7

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Ultra modern audit interview. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Some background articles for CPAs. Won’t be covering the CARES Act here or general pandemic news. Instead these posts focus on those of us running an attestation practice.

4/6/20 – Journal of Accountancy – ASB to consider one-year deferral of effective dates – There is a string of new audit rules that go into effect the end of this year. The ASB will be meeting on April 22 considering whether to postpone the effective dates by a year. Under consideration are SAS 134 through 139 which have already been issued plus SAS 140 which is expected this week. Those include:

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Written by Jim Ulvog

April 7, 2020, 7:11 am at 7:11 am

Articles for CPAs during the pandemic: CECL postponement & going concern – 4/4

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Your new office. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

A few more articles as you work through your audits, reviews, and compilations during the pandemic, plus a video on how to make your own cloth masks out of a t-shirt.

Key issues in this post:

  • Postponement of new CECL accounting
  • Deep dive into going concern assessment

3/26/20 – Nicola White at Bloomberg Tax – Congress Poised to Derail Biggest Bank Accounting Change in Decades Congress put a provision in the giantic CARES Act to postpone CECL until 12/31/20 or when the governemnt declares the pandemic over.  CECL otherwise went into effect on 1/1/20.  This is the first time Congress has dictated accounting rules.  Article mentions this is a reminder of the debate over mark-to-market during the Great Recession.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

April 4, 2020, 8:25 am at 8:25 am

Articles for CPAs during the pandemic – 4/2

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The new conference room. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

A few more articles as you work through your audits, reviews, and compilations during the pandemic. Stretch question at the end: what are going concern implications if a third of grad MBA students will defer classes a year if they are not on campus and just under half expect a large tuition discount if classes are online?

3/25/20 – Financial Management – Ethical leadership at a time of crisis – Encouragement to maintain high ethical standards in time of turmoil and uncertainty.  Summary of tips:  Be transparent, be empathetic, be available.

4/1/20 – AICPA – Addressing pandemic-related audit challenges – Reminder that while creative techniques can be used to perform audit steps, the professional standards have not changed. Article points to following document:

4/1/20 – AICPA’s Center for Plain English Accounting – Consequences of COVID-19 –  Potential Auditing Challenges Agility and creativity is needed to complete audits. Document is a reminder that the professional standards still need to be complied with because they have not changed.

Document reminds us there are a range of possible scope limitations in an audit. Discussion includes a range of issues:

Written by Jim Ulvog

April 2, 2020, 13:42 pm at 1:42 pm

Articles for CPAs during the pandemic.

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Lots of articles are appearing that can help CPAs during the pandemic. There are new and depressingly creative ways this is going to affect financial reporting. I’ll start mentioning some of those articles that grab my attention and may be of interest to you.

3/31/20 – FEI Daily – How Lease Accounting Will Be Affected by Coronavirus – Turmoil in leasing office space will create lots of complications under ASC 842, the new lease accounting rules. Article calls attention to: rent concessions, discount rate, fair market values, impairment, partial termination, reassessment, full termination abandonment, and information delay.

3/29/20 – Forbes – For Higher Education, Nothing Matters More Than September Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jim Ulvog

March 31, 2020, 10:54 am at 10:54 am

Financial reporting issues to consider during early stages of COVID-19 pandemic

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A range of financial reporting issues need careful attention during the COVID-19 pandemic. These issues are old news in the professional literature but need to be considered more intentionally.

The AICPA published a special report on March 18, 2020. The report, Consequences of COVID-19 Financial Reporting Considerations, was drafted by the Center for Plain English Accounting and is available at no charge.

On 3/14/29, I was Pondering impact of coronavirus prevention steps on financial statements. An auditor’s perspective. The AICPA report goes into far more detail.

Here, in bullet point italics, are the items mentioned for your focus, with a few of my comments for highlight:

  • Subsequent Events

Type II subsequent events are those which take place after the financial statement date which are so significant that they warrant mention in the financial statements to keep those statements from being misleading.

  • Subsequent Events – Market-Value Declines

A technical Q&A (TQA 9070.06) indicates there are some occasions that can arise which warrant adjusting financial statements based on subsequent declines in market value.

  • Subsequent Events – COVID-19

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Written by Jim Ulvog

March 26, 2020, 8:08 am at 8:08 am

When will this mess from the pandemic be over? Focus on the idea that it will end, not what that date will be.

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We will prevail. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

When will we be done with this stay-at-home restriction?

When will the economy recover?

When will we be back to “normal?”

 

I don’t know the dates for any of those transitions.

I have a suggestion for you.

 

Don’t set a specific date in your mind. Instead firmly set in your mind that this mess will end, we will get through it, we will survive, and we will thrive at the end.

What is the danger of setting a date in your mind and having faith it will be over on that date?

Let me introduce you to the Stockdale paradox.

Admiral James Stockdale was an American pilot shot down during the Vietnam war. He was a prisoner in North Vietnam for 7 1/2 years, routinely subject to brutal torture, legs broken twice during interrogation, and held in solitary confinement during four of those years with his legs locked in a metal stock each night. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor a few years after his release.

I think we should listen to him. His physical courage and moral courage are a role model for all of us.

For one explanation of the phenomenon he described check out article titled The Stockdale Paradox.

 

Who did not come home from captivity?

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Written by Jim Ulvog

March 25, 2020, 11:36 am at 11:36 am

Posted in Pondering

Pondering impact of coronavirus prevention steps on financial statements. An auditor’s perspective.

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If you are an auditor getting ready to issue opinions on client financial statements, you might want to ponder the subsequent event implications of the U.S. shutting down large portions of the economy this week. Might want to take a closer look at going concern assumptions.

If you happened to have slept well last night, you might ponder the impact on the financial statements you released a couple weeks ago.

Subsequent events

Here are some initial thoughts for consideration as disclosable material subsequent events and perhaps contingent liabilities:

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Written by Jim Ulvog

March 14, 2020, 9:26 am at 9:26 am