Redefinition in the new year
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: