Attestation Update – A&A for CPAs

Technical stuff for CPAs providing attestation services

Land of the free because of the brave

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Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Those of us living in the United States are blessed with religious freedom, political freedom, and economic freedom because those who went before us fought for freedom.

Many of those fighting offered up their life for freedom and the offer was accepted.

I am humbled and grateful to God that some of my ancestors are included in the long list of those who fought. I am especially humbled that a great, great grand-uncle is in the list of those who died in the defense of freedom.

Because of their sacrifice, I get to enjoy this kind of freedom:

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Written by Jim Ulvog

May 29, 2017, 8:15 am at 8:15 am

Posted in Pondering

Logistics for a Viking force in the field – part 1

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Viking army in the field would require 4 pounds of grain a day to keep soldiers alive. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Keep in mind as a leader of  Viking force in the field you really don’t want to be the boss of a lot of grumpy, starving soldiers who also happen to be armed with heavy weapons. That is not a formula for a long reign and perhaps not a great plan for a long life.

This is one is a series of posts on this blog talking about ancient finances.

Logistics

I’ve read several comments so far on the logistical needs for a force in the field.

I’ll start with Viking: The Norse Warrior’s [Unofficial] Manual by John Haywood.

The book provides a reference for the goods needed to keep warriors fed. A force of 1,000 warriors would need 2,000 pounds of bread along with 1,000 pounds of meat. For liquids, the book says add about 240 gallons of beer.

Per warrior: That would be about 2 pounds of bread, 1 pound of meat, and 1 quart of beer.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

May 28, 2017, 15:33 pm at 3:33 pm

Posted in Other stuff

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How much labor did it take to construct a Viking longship?

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Replica of Viking longship – “The Sea Stallion – Viking Ship” by infomatique is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

This is another in my series of posts on ancient finances.

Let’s ponder how much time it would take to construct a Viking longship and consider how much of an investment that would be for a community. Any way you look at this, a longship is a major capital asset.

One estimate of time to build a longship

Philip Line, in his book The Vikings and Their Enemies – Warfare in Northern Europe, 750 -1100 written in 2014, provides one framework for the investment in a longship.

I’ll quote and then expand his comment on page 51:

“Experimental archaeologists have estimated that 40,000 working hours may have been needed to produce all the components of a 30-meter longship, consuming the surplus production of 100 persons for a year.”

Surplus production in the Viking context would be the amount of time not needed for subsistence living. In other words the amount of effort a warrior would have after raising enough food to feed his family with enough left over to survive the next winter.

If 40,000 hours is enough time for 100 warriors, that would be 400 hours each. Let’s assume that would be spread over a year except for my assumption that during the worst three months of winter no construction could be done. Since we are talking rough numbers let’s spread that 400 hours over nine months, which would be 44 hours a month, which would be about 11 hours a week.

So 100 warriors working 11 hours a week for 9 months would be needed to construct a longship.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

May 27, 2017, 8:00 am at 8:00 am

Posted in Other stuff

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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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What’s all this talk about blockchain?

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Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Looks like it is time for finance and accounting people to start learning about blockchain technology. Here are a few recent articles that are helping me:

5/8/17 – Journal of Accountancy – Why finance executives should care about blockchain – Good intro. Quick read. There is a difference between blockchain and bitcoin. I like the article’s analogy:  blockchain is the rail in the railroad and bitcoin is the train that travels on the rail.

Some ways to use blockchain: birth certificates, property deeds, securities trades.

2/21/17 – Foundation for Economic Education – So… What’s a Blockchain? – More detailed introduction. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jim Ulvog

May 9, 2017, 8:20 am at 8:20 am

Posted in Other stuff

Indicators of prices in Viking era

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Battle axe. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

What did it cost to arm a Viking warrior? Without contemporary writing, it is difficult to determine. Several books and articles provide some hints.

Viking: The Norse Warrior’s [Unofficial] Manual by John Haywood provides an entertaining view of Viking life. The book is presented as an unofficial guide to young men considering their future as a raider. Sort of a training manual to get young men ready.

The book provides some approximations for the prices of different weapons, measured in ounces of silver:

  • 1.5 – spear
  • 4-60 – sword, variation due to range of quality
  • 13 – helmet
  • 26 – chain mail coat

Another comment says that at the nicer end, a fancy sword could take a year for a blacksmith to make. So factor in a year of skilled labor for the high-end swords. That would explain the above guess of 60 ounces of silver for the nicest swords.

The book also gives another view of the cost of armament by describing the amount of arms a warrior might carry based on the level of the warrior’s wealth:

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Written by Jim Ulvog

May 2, 2017, 9:16 am at 9:16 am

Posted in Other stuff

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IFRS adoption is not quite as widespread as you think

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Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

A presenter at the CalCPA’s Accounting and Auditing Conference on April 25, 2017 said IFRS has been adopted by over 120 countries, essentially every country on the planet with the holdout exceptions of:

  • U.S.
  • China
  • Japan
  • India

The inference is the overwhelming majority of the stocks in the world are reported on a consistent basis.

The US is the main stubborn hold out. He suggests China is holding back to see what the US does. Ripple effect is that if the US continues to hold out, China will too. If we adopt, China will too.

There is still the uncomfortable reality that each country chooses which aspects of IFRS to adopt or reject.

Apart from that precisely-consistent-across-the-planet idea, the comment that only a few countries have not adopted and eeeeevryone else is doing it makes it sound like most stocks are reported on IFRS.

I checked.

That isn’t the case.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

April 28, 2017, 7:29 am at 7:29 am

Posted in Accounting

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