Re­def­i­ni­tion in the new year

Accounting Today - - Profession­watch - 65 60 50 52.91 3 MOS. 6 MOS.

The Amer­i­can In­sti­tute of CPAS and the

Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of State Boards of Ac­coun­tancy set up a work­ing group to ex­plore pos­si­ble changes in how CPAS are li­censed and the kinds of skills needed for the li­cense, as more CPA firms look for ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy skills like data an­a­lyt­ics. The changes could in­clude test­ing for such skills on the CPA Exam.

Fol­low­ing a call from Pres­i­dent Trump to

move away from quar­terly fi­nan­cial re­port­ing, the Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Com­mis­sion is seek­ing stake­holder in­put on “the na­ture, con­tent and tim­ing of earn­ings re­leases and quar­terly re­ports.” The com­mis­sion noted that it is in­ter­ested in ways to lower the bur­den on re­port­ing com­pa­nies with­out sac­ri­fic­ing the ef­fec­tive­ness of dis­clo­sures and in­vestor pro­tec­tions — and that it wants to hear whether stake­hold­ers be­lieve the cur­rent pe­ri­odic re­port­ing sys­tem, earn­ings re­leases, and earn­ings guid­ance fos­ter too much short-term think­ing.

The SEC gave its ap­proval in late

De­cem­ber to the Pub­lic Com­pany Ac­count­ing Over­sight Board’s 2019 bud­get and its an­nual ac­count­ing sup­port fee. The PCAOB’S 2019 bud­get to­tals $273.7 mil­lion — ap­prox­i­mately 5 per­cent higher than 2018’s — with its ac­count­ing sup­port fee at $262.9 mil­lion.

Top 100 Firms Schenck SC and Clifton-

Lar­son­allen an­nounced they would merge ef­fec­tive Jan. 1, 2019, amid a rush of year-end merger an­nounce­ments. ( See M&A Watch, page 25.)

The Pub­lic Com­pany Ac­count­ing Over­sight

Board has named Me­gan Zi­ets­man as its new chief au­di­tor and di­rec­tor of pro­fes­sional stan­dards, to as­sume the role in early 2019. ( See page 18.)

Though over­all au­dit fee in­creases were

mod­est, av­er­age pub­lic com­pany au­dit fees grew at nearly twice the pre­vi­ous rate last year, ac­cord­ing to a new re­port from the Fi­nan­cial Ed­u­ca­tion & Re­search Foun­da­tion, an af­fil­i­ate of Fi­nan­cial Ex­ec­u­tives In­ter­na­tional, which found that pub­lic com­pa­nies re­ported a me­dian in­crease in au­dit fees of 2.5 per­cent in 2017, com­pared with 1.3 per­cent in 2016. Pri­vate com­pa­nies re­ported a me­dian in­crease of 3.2 per­cent for 2017, down from a me­dian in­crease of 3.7 per­cent for 2016 au­dits.

The Cen­ter for Au­dit Qual­ity re­leased a

new pub­li­ca­tion to help au­di­tors deal with the crit­i­cal au­dit mat­ters sec­tion of the au­dit re­ports that will soon be re­quired un­der a new au­dit­ing stan­dard from the Pub­lic Com­pany Ac­count­ing Over­sight Board. ( See page 18.)

The AICPA pro­posed new pro­fes­sional

stan­dards for foren­sic ac­count­ing en­gage­ments. ( See page 19.)

KPMG In­ter­na­tional re­ported in mid-

De­cem­ber that its global rev­enue in­creased 7.1 per­cent to reach a record $29 bil­lion for the fis­cal year ending Sept. 30, 2018, up from $26.4 bil­lion in fis­cal year 2017. KPMG’S ad­vi­sory prac­tice grew at the fastest pace, climb­ing 9.9 per­cent to $11.47 bil­lion. Its au­dit and tax ser­vices prac­tices grew 4.8 per­cent to $11.15 bil­lion; tax in­creased 6.3 per­cent glob­ally to $6.34 bil­lion. KPMG brought in more than 55,000 new hires in the past fis­cal year, for a record-high of 207,000 em­ploy­ees. The firm said it has in­creased fe­male di­ver­sity in its lead­er­ship ranks to 24 per­cent of part­ners and direc­tors.

BDO re­ported a 10.7 per­cent in­crease in

global rev­enue across its net­work of ac­count­ing firms, reach­ing a to­tal of $8.99 bil­lion for the fis­cal year ending Sept. 30, 2018. The firm now has a to­tal of more than 80,000 staff mem­bers work­ing in 1,591 of­fices in 162 coun­tries around the world. It ex­pe­ri­enced growth across all geo­graphic re­gions in the past fis­cal year,

All re­sponses from a De­cem­ber 2018 sur­vey of the Ac­count­ing To­day Ex­ec­u­tive Re­search Coun­cil, an online panel of over 1,500 ac­count­ing pro­fes­sion­als. The ACI was cre­ated in part­ner­ship with:

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