Attestation Update – A&A for CPAs

Technical stuff for CPAs providing attestation services

A Halloween costume that would make any CPA pass out from fright – an auditor performing one pension plan audit

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Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Amid the cute little kids in their funny costumes, this pleasant Halloween night there was a grown man in a suit at the door asking for candy. White shirt, red tie, gray pinstripe.

Not so scary, thought I.

(Tale of this particular night was originally posted on October 31, 2013.)

“What are you dressed up as?”

“An auditor,” came the reply.

That’s not frightening, since I’ve been an auditor for a long time. But it did explain the standard issue uniform.

So, putting on my peer reviewer hat, I asked, “what audit work do you do?”

“Oh, only one pension plan….

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Written by Jim Ulvog

October 31, 2017, 8:33 am at 8:33 am

Posted in Audits

Tagged with ,

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

Various thoughts from continuing education classes this year, part 2

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As mentioned in the previous post, I’ve reread my notes from several continuing education classes this year. Thought I would share a variety of stray ideas.

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

For what it is worth here are some tidbits you might enjoy:

Presentation of not-for-profit financials – ASU 2016-14

Presenter said that if an organization wanted to break out the with restriction column into more detail there is nothing to resented been broken into two or three columns. Perhaps it could be columns for:

  • donor endowment
  • other with restriction contributions
  • time restrictions
  • total with donor restriction
  • without donor restriction
  • total (total column is not required, but total change in net assets is)

Another possibility to present more detail would be to present multiple lines within the with donor restriction column, such as contributions to donor endowment, various purpose restrictions, time restriction, and a subtotal.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

October 4, 2017, 9:11 am at 9:11 am

Posted in Accounting

Various thoughts from continuing education classes this year, part 1

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Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

As part of working on a big writing project, I’ve reread my notes from several continuing education classes this year. (More details later and a link to the published material much later.) Thought I would share a variety of stray ideas. Here are a few tidbits from the classes.

Probably need to note 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.)

For what it is worth here are some tidbits you might enjoy:

Leases – ASU 2016-02.

One of the key on/off switches is whether a particular transaction or document is a lease. That will require an assessment of each transaction.

Right of use assets (the new description) resulting from operating and financing leases need to be listed separately on the statement of financial position. Those two categories (operating right of use and financing right of use) will be presented separately from fixed assets.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

October 3, 2017, 8:35 am at 8:35 am

Posted in Accounting

Tips on how to apologize

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Sorry by HypnoArt is in the public domain (CC0 1.0)

Let’s face it, we all goof up sometimes whether by insulting a client, dropping the ball on a project, or the good ol’ engage mouth before engaging brain routine.

To repair the damage, especially in the work environment, an apology is needed.

The Journal of Accountancy on 9/25/17 offered some great suggestions on How to make a professional apology.

Here are a few of the multiple tips suggested.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

October 2, 2017, 7:58 am at 7:58 am

Posted in Other stuff, Pondering

The story on Silk Road, an on-line drug bazaar, shows the power of rationalization and self-deception

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Cover of “American Kingpin” from Amazon. Used under fair use.

The sad tale of Ross Ulbricht and his on-line drug bazaar called Silk Road is a good study of the outer limits of how far rationalization can carry a person.

It is also a frightening illustration of Jeremiah 17:9. From the New International Version, ponder:

The heart is deceitful above all thing and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Considering the tale of Silk Road is useful for accountants wanting to learn about the outer fringe of the internet and he investigative power of the federal government, believers who would like an illustration of the frightening level of deceit that lives in the human heart, and anyone else wanting to learn more about the dark worlds that normal people will never see.

My posts are gathered into two collections on my other blog, Outrun Change:

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Written by Jim Ulvog

September 26, 2017, 16:22 pm at 4:22 pm

Posted in Other stuff, Pondering

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More explanations of virtual currencies and possible applications

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bitcoin” by komersreal is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Several recent articles provide more background on Bitcoin and other blockchain tools. For your daily brain stretching:

  • Blockchain as a possible tool for fast and cheap international payments
  • China is working to restrict blockchain transactions
  • Central banks ponder issuing of their own virtual currencies
  • Tax status of blockchain transactions and the IRS is out fishing for tax evaders
  • Description of blockchain as being the internet of money, comparable to how the internet moves and stores information

8/28/17 – Journal of Accountancy – Blockchain opens new era for cross-border payments – Moving money from one country to another is time-consuming and costly. There are fees at both ends. It takes several days for the money to arrive. An error in one digit of the routing or account information means the transfer will go astray and take more time and money to locate.

Blockchain offers the opportunity to make international transfers near immediate and at a fraction of the cost.

For an illustration, picture a company paying international vendors. Or an international worker sending part of his paycheck back to his parents in his home country. Or a mission organization moving funds to its many field offices.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

September 26, 2017, 10:34 am at 10:34 am

Posted in Pondering