Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2012 AICPA National Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments

The AICPA Conference summaries are always a source of information that will keep companies out of trouble in financial reporting.

Following is Ernst & Young's brief summary of their longer documnet.
Representatives of the SEC, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), the FASB and the IASB shared their views on various accounting, auditing, and reporting issues at the three-day AICPA National Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments (Conference) in December 2012 in Washington D.C.
Highlights of their comments included: 
  • The SEC is continuing to evaluate whether further analysis relative to whether and, if so, when and how to incorporate IFRS into the US financial reporting system is necessary. SEC officials advised stakeholders to “stay tuned.” Various SEC and FASB speakers discussed the importance of the US setting its own accounting standards while continuing to work with the IASB to improve comparability and narrow differences in the standards.
  • Various speakers commended the outreach performed by the FASB and IASB and their progress on the convergence projects. Several speakers focused on the need for coordination when developing implementation guidance (e.g., on revenue recognition). Speakers from the FASB stressed the need for timely interpretive guidance to help during implementation and post-implementation.
  • SEC and PCAOB officials stressed the importance of audit quality to the capital markets and the relevance of inspection findings, particularly findings pertaining to internal control over financial reporting (ICFR). Some inspection findings could have implications for preparers in their own evaluations of ICFR. PCAOB officials also said they are considering feedback on mandatory audit firm rotation while taking other steps to improve auditor independence, objectivity and professional skepticism.
  • The SEC staff discussed year-end financial statement considerations and the staff’s areas of focus in its reviews of filings, including revenue recognition disclosures, the valuation of deferred tax assets and observations related to the new fair value disclosures.
  • Various panelists commented on the need to evaluate disclosure requirements, particularly the dividing line between the footnotes to the financial statements and the rest of the financial reporting package (e.g., MD&A). SEC Acting Chief Accountant Paul Beswick said he plans to host a roundtable in 2013 to better understand these concerns.
EY's publication, 2012 AICPA National Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments, discusses the Conference in detail.

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