Attestation Update – A&A for CPAs

Technical stuff for CPAs providing attestation services

Archive for the ‘Audits’ Category

Various thoughts from continuing education classes this year, part 3. Not so good news on audit and peer review quality.

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The road we CPAs need to be on, but not all of us are…
Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

As I’ve mentioned here and here, I have reread my notes from several continuing education classes this year. Thought I would share a variety of stray ideas.

Probably need to note again that I have not gone back and read the original pronouncements supporting each idea and therefore I do not have a specific citation for you. (Reading three of the documents is the next step for  my writing project.)

(Cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

I should probably throw in a disclaimer. All of the comments I’m mentioning were the opinion of the presenter, not the agency from whom the person was drawing a paycheck. That is why I’m not mentioning the names of the presenters, or even the CPE event. In addition, the rephrasing of their comments is my interpretation, not their words.

Here are some tidbits you might enjoy:

More interest in Financial Reporting Framework for Small- and Medium-sized Entities (FRF-SME)?

The FRF-SME framework is a non-GAAP alternative to GAAP. It is dramatically less complicated with the promise it will not be revised more often every three years.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

October 5, 2017, 9:44 am at 9:44 am

California Board of Accountancy is serious about audit quality and enrollment in peer review.

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Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The Winter 2017 Update newsletter (#83) from the California Board of Accountancy shows that the board is continuing its active efforts on disciplinary actions.

There are obviously quite a few of our colleagues who are not performing up to standards.

I’ve heard stories from a distance that the Board has hired more enforcement staff. As I have read the last few issues of Update, it sure seems to me that the increased staffing is showing up in an increased pace of closed cases. Maybe my perception is off, but it seems there are more cases closed with more serious consequences in the last year or so.

I count 39 cases documented in this edition of Update. Only 2 of these have discipline level of suspension or less. All the others are surrenders, revocations, or stayed revocations. Just as a guess, I think that means the editor of Update is filtering out most of the suspensions.

I count 19 cases of those 39 with peer review problems or audit, review, or compilation failures or some combination thereof. I’ll break that down further:

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Written by Jim Ulvog

September 19, 2017, 7:28 am at 7:28 am

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

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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Brain stretching accounting articles for CPAs

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Image courtesy of Dollar Photo Club before their merger into Adobe Stock.

Here are a few articles to stretch your brain when you are ready for some mental exercise:

  • Is the double-entry accounting system broken?
  • What is the recidivism rate for white-collar criminals and how could that affect my audits?
  • What  possible changes are on the horizon for the audit opinion?

5/17/17 – Tom Selling at The Accounting Onion – Double-Entry Accounting and Modern Times – As a real brain stretcher, consider whether our double-entry accounting system is fundamentally broken.

Work with me a minute while I highlight and summarize a few ideas from the article.

A basic concept of double-entry accounting is that debits on the left side of the balance sheet represent all the assets of the entity. This includes all of the resources that are available for the entity to use in order to make money and all the assets against which creditors have a claim.

On the credit side, liabilities represent all of the claims against the organization. The equity section represents the value that belongs to the owners.

Prof. Selling points out there’s a variety of problems with using the statement of financial position as a representation of economic reality.

He points out and then moves past the idea that not all debits are assets and not all credits are liabilities. That’s easy to understand.

More significantly is that not all assets are reflected as debits and not all liabilities are reflected as credits.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

June 1, 2017, 9:43 am at 9:43 am

Posted in Accounting, Audits

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Helpful comments from 2017 CalCPA Not-for-profit conference, part 1

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Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Here are a few of the comments from the May 24, 2017 Not-for-profit conference presented by California Society of CPAs that I thought would be of interest to others in the nonprofit community. Since all comments are the opinion of the speaker, neither their name nor organization will be mentioned. The ideas mentioned can stand or fall on their own.

This is the first of two posts. The next discussion will address changes in financial statement presentation outlined in ASU 2016-14. In this post: tax, revenue recognition, and single audit.

(Cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

Tax update:

  • It might just be possible that filing a form 1023 or 1023-EZ is so easy that people can get exempt status for an organization without knowing the requirements to properly operate a charity and maintain exempt status. In examinations to follow-up on exempt status, the IRS is finding a lot of charities are out of compliance.
  • One of several focuses of the IRS is filing of FBARs, those forms used to report overseas bank accounts. One ripple effect of chasing money laundering is the impact on charities who have overseas accounts. Even though there is minimal risk of those accounts being used for tax evasion the FBAR filing requirement still apply. As a reminder, the deadline for filing FBARs is now April 15 with a six-month extension available.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

May 30, 2017, 7:46 am at 7:46 am

Posted in Accounting, Audits

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Not-for-profit risk alert for 2017 is available

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Cover of 2017 risk alert from the AICPA, used under fair use since I’m urging you to buy their product.

The 2017 risk alert for non-profits is available from the AICPA.

Highlighted updates this year include:

  • AUS 2016-14 – New financial statement presentation
  • ASU 2016-02 – Leases
  • SAS 132 – Going concern

If you don’t feel overwhelmed, you haven’t been paying close enough attention to recent pronouncements. If so, the risk alert will help you catch up.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, the risk alert is a great first step towards to getting comfortable.

Written by Jim Ulvog

May 25, 2017, 21:01 pm at 9:01 pm

Posted in Accounting, Audits

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