Attestation Update – A&A for CPAs

Technical stuff for CPAs providing attestation services

Posts Tagged ‘audit

What can you learn from a list of common auditor mistakes?

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Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

You might learn a few things from a list of Forty Mistakes Auditors Make. If you can identify a few ways to improve your audit approach you could save time, improve the quality of your audit, and maybe reduce your risk.

Lots of auditors are in the midst of planning their year-end audits and reviews. Now would be a really good time to think about how to do better, more efficient work.

Writing at CPA Scribo, my friend Charles Hall outlines a number of goofs made by auditors. I’ll list a few tidbits in order to encourage you to read and ponder the whole list:

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Written by Jim Ulvog

January 15, 2018, 8:18 am at 8:18 am

Exposure drafts on major revisions to auditor’s report

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In November the AICPA released three exposure drafts which, if approved, would overhaul the auditor’s report.

Here are two articles to give you an overview:

An extremely condensed summary of the changes:

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Written by Jim Ulvog

December 21, 2017, 6:00 am at 6:00 am

Posted in Audits

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Lots more disciplinary actions from California Board of Accountancy

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Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

It takes thirty-two pages to describe the current round of disciplinary actions from the California Board of Accountancy in the Spring/Summer 2017 edition of the Update newsletter (Issue #84). By my count there are 38 actions, exclude one situation where a firm and the CPA are listed separately.

The overwhelming portion of cases are for CPAs who have an audit or review or compilation failure. Most of those firms also have a peer review problem, either not getting a peer review, failing two consecutive reviews, or getting a very late review.

Just in case you were wondering whether CPAs are regular people with the same, um, foibles as the general population, there were 7 CPAs disciplined for conviction of a crime.

I tallied the results for this edition of Update and came up with these results:

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Written by Jim Ulvog

November 17, 2017, 8:54 am at 8:54 am

Posted in Audits, Peer Review

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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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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

Tagged with ,

Updates for CPAs: going concern and location of debt issue costs

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Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub before they merged into Adobe Stock.

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub before they merged into Adobe Stock.

The accelerating pace of change doesn’t slow down merely because I have multiple audits in progress plus more that just started. Here are a few articles to help keep all of us up to date on two newly effective standards:

Going concern

For a long time the professional requirements for addressing going concern issues have been located in the audit literature. Yeah, the accounting requirement was in the audit standards.  There has been an effort for several years to this guidance out of the SASs and into GAAP. Two articles show the substantial progress:

11/8/16 – Charles Hall at CPA-Scribo – It’s Time to Apply FASB’s New Going Concern Standard –  ASU 2014-15 creates a requirement in GAAP for management to assess whether there are conditions or events which raise substantial doubt about ability to continue as going concern.

This is effective for financial statements ending on or after December 15, 2016. Translation: 12/31/16 financial statements. That would be the ones you’re auditing or reviewing or compiling at the moment.

If you haven’t tuned into this new requirement, check out Mr. Hall’s article before you download the ASU for study. Hint: the new requirements on management will seem remarkably familiar.

In case you hadn’t thought about it, having a GAAP-based going concern requirement placed on management means that there is now a specific need to address going concern in a review or comp.

2/22/17 – Accounting Today – AICPA changes going concern audit standard – Now that the going concern requirements are in GAAP, the ASB has modified the rules in the audit literature.

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Written by Jim Ulvog

February 23, 2017, 9:14 am at 9:14 am