In a new study that even the hedge fund trade association calls “troubling,” hedge fund executives say corruption, misconduct and pressure to break the rules are rampant and routine in their business. The top ten findings include: 46% of respondents reported that their competitors likely have engaged in unethical or illegal activity in order to be successful. 35% of respondents reported feeling pressured by their compensation or bonus plan to violate the law or engage in unethical conduct, while 25% of respondents reported other pressures that might lead to unethical or illegal conduct. 30% of respondents reported that they had personally observed or had first-hand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace.
Warning: This article will make you question your controls and audit procedures. by Gary Zeune, CPA Managing Director, The Pros & The Cons Most risk is not in the accounting records. Why not? Because the vast majority of our work as CPAs involves monetizing and measuring activities that have already occurred. The risk starts before we do our job. Think recording sales, not making sales. In manufacturing, think cost accounting, not making widgets. Because our work is historical, one of the major flaws, no matter the type and size of the entity, is that we usually react to change after fraud has occurred. When a new law, regulation or competition affects our employer or client, we fail to implement new [...]
New comprehensive income display guidance. by Thomas A. Ratcliffe, Ph.D, CPA Plain-English Accounting The FASB has issued Accounting Standards Update [ASU] 2013-02, entitled Reporting of Amounts Reclassified Out of Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income. The ASU amends the guidance in the FASB Accounting Standards Codification [FASB ASC] Topic 220, entitled Comprehensive Income. The goal behind development of the ASU 2013-02 amendments is to improve the transparency of reporting reclassifications out of accumulated other comprehensive income. The amendments to FASB ASC 220 do not change current requirements for reporting net income or other comprehensive income in the financial statements. Essentially, all of the information required to be displayed or disclosed in financial statements already are required to be disclosed in the financial [...]
The hacker transfers receivables credit balances to payables in GP Dynamics (from the white paper) PRO members: Get the details in an instant download. by Rick Telberg When finance and accounting professionals worry about computer security, they may think about stolen laptops, purloined passwords, or lost backup drives. But few worry about hacker attacks against their accounting system software, the kind of attacks that could bring down an entire business or even up-end part of the global accounting system. Well, start worrying. A pair of computer science security experts has unveiled new research that shows just how easy it might be to crack into such commonly used software systems as SAP, Oracle, or even QuickBooks, Sage or Microsoft’s Dynamics. Get [...]
[Free podcast for PRO members] Practical accounting and auditing guidance from the Plain-English A&A update service by Dr. Thomas A. Ratcliffe, PhD, CPA EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AU-C Section 530: Audit Sampling In implementing the clarified auditing technical literature, auditors need to consider the new audit sampling guidance in AU-C Section 530 along with the companion guidance in the AICPA Audit Guide that addresses audit sampling matters. AU-C Section 540: Auditing Accounting Estimates AU-C Section 540 of the clarified auditing literature provides new guidance associated with auditing accounting estimates and financial statement disclosures associated with those estimates. COSO Framework: Looking at Some Planned Guidance Now that the public comment period associated with planned changes to the COSO internal control framework has ended has [...]
[Free podcast] Practical accounting and auditing guidance from the Plain-English A&A update service by Dr. Thomas A. Ratcliffe, PhD, CPA EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Accounting for Long-Lived Assets: Addressing Impairment Issues When events or changes in circumstances indicate that carrying amounts of long-lived assets might not be recoverable, it is important to remember that these assets need to be evaluated to determine if impairment losses should be recognized. AU-C Section 520: Analytical Procedures As auditors implement the clarified auditing technical literature in calendar-year 2012 and subsequent period engagements, they need to understand and implement new guidance associated with use of analytical procedures in audit engagements. Planned Nonattest Services Changes: Preparing Statements Both the AICPA Professional Ethics Executive Committee and Accounting and Review [...]
Should the world worry about mixing audit and consulting? Amid concerns among lawmakers worldwide that the audit function was being diluted by consulting, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu is reporting $31.3 billion in worldwide revenue for the year ended in May, an 8.6% advance for the year and the firm’s strongest increase since 2008. The revelations drew some sharp reactions. “It is hardly news that the Big Four accounting firms get bigger nearly every year,” says The Economist. “But where they are growing says a lot about how they will look like in a decade, and the prospects worry some regulators and lawmakers.”
Fast-growing niche attracting more firms and pushing up staffing costs. by Rick Telberg Fueled by demand from new deal-flow in a recovering economy, forensic accounting billings are on track to grow 7% a year through the next five years to $6 billion, according to new data provided to CPA Trendlines. To be sure, the growth rate for the next five years represents a marked slowdown from the last five years, but it remains significantly faster than the 2% projected for CPA firms overall.
“Unintended,” maybe. But not altogether unforeseeable. With a new generation of CPAs taking over as managing partners comes a host of new questions and issues. Marc Rosenberg addresses some of the concerns in Compensation Issues for the New Managing Partner, which inspires Gary Zeune, Managing Director at The Pros & The Cons LLC, to weigh in on the kind of comp issues that he sees all too often as a fraud-fighter. Zeune comments: Don’t tell anyone but the problem with CPA firms is they’re run by accountants who don’t understand the unintended consequences of decisions.
Are you shocked? A new report raises anew red flags for auditors and compliance officers, and brings into sharp focus the tough environment these days for honesty and integrity. And it suggests that the SEC whistle-blower protections put in place since 2008 are an abject failure. But should we be surprised?
Plus: Take care in communicating internal control matters and what’s new in comp & audit reports…