Various thoughts from continuing education classes this year, part 3. Not so good news on audit and peer review quality.

October 5, 2017, 9:35 am

The road we CPAs need to be on, but not all of us are…
Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

As I’ve mentioned here and here, I have reread my notes from several continuing education classes this year. Thought I would share a variety of stray ideas.

Probably need to note again that I have not gone back and read the original pronouncements supporting each idea and therefore I do not have a specific citation for you. (Reading three of the documents is the next step for  my writing project.)

I should probably throw in a disclaimer. All of the comments I’m mentioning were the opinion of the presenter, not the agency from whom the person was drawing a paycheck. That is why I’m not mentioning the names of the presenters, or even the CPE event. In addition, the rephrasing of their comments is my interpretation, not their words.

Here are some tidbits you might enjoy:

More interest in Financial Reporting Framework for Small- and Medium-sized Entities (FRF-SME)?

The FRF-SME framework is a non-GAAP alternative to GAAP. It is dramatically less complicated with the promise it will not be revised more often every three years.

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Various thoughts from continuing education classes this year, part 2

October 4, 2017, 9:10 am

As mentioned in the previous post, I’ve reread my notes from several continuing education classes this year. Thought I would share a variety of stray ideas.

For what it is worth here are some tidbits you might enjoy:

Presentation of not-for-profit financials – ASU 2016-14

Presenter said that if an organization wanted to break out the with restriction column into more detail there is nothing to resented been broken into two or three columns. Perhaps it could be columns for:

  • donor endowment
  • other with restriction contributions
  • time restrictions
  • total with donor restriction
  • without donor restriction
  • total (total column is not required, but total change in net assets is)

Another possibility to present more detail would be to present multiple lines within the with donor restriction column, such as contributions to donor endowment, various purpose restrictions, time restriction, and a subtotal.

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Various thoughts from continuing education classes this year, part 1

October 3, 2017, 8:33 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

As part of working on a big writing project, I’ve reread my notes from several continuing education classes this year. (More details later and a link to the published material much later.) Thought I would share a variety of stray ideas. Here are a few tidbits from the classes.

Probably need to note that I have not gone back and read the original pronouncements supporting each idea and therefore I do not have a specific citation for you. (Reading three of the documents is the next step for my writing project.)

For what it is worth here are some tidbits you might enjoy:

Leases – ASU 2016-02.

One of the key on/off switches is whether a particular transaction or document is a lease. That will require an assessment of each transaction.

Right of use assets (the new description) resulting from operating and financing leases need to be listed separately on the statement of financial position. Those two categories (operating right of use and financing right of use) will be presented separately from fixed assets.

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Tips on how to apologize

October 2, 2017, 7:58 am

Sorry by HypnoArt is in the public domain (CC0 1.0)

Let’s face it, we all goof up sometimes whether by insulting a client, dropping the ball on a project, or the good ol’ engage mouth before engaging brain routine.

To repair the damage, especially in the work environment, an apology is needed.

The Journal of Accountancy on 9/25/17 offered some great suggestions on How to make a professional apology.

Here are a few of the multiple tips suggested.

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The story on Silk Road, an on-line drug bazaar, shows the power of rationalization and self-deception

September 26, 2017, 4:24 pm

Cover of “American Kingpin” from Amazon. Used under fair use.

The sad tale of Ross Ulbricht and his on-line drug bazaar called Silk Road is a good study of the outer limits of how far rationalization can carry a person.

It is also a frightening illustration of Jeremiah 17:9. From the New International Version, ponder:

The heart is deceitful above all thing and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Considering the tale of Silk Road is useful for accountants wanting to learn about the outer fringe of the internet and he investigative power of the federal government, believers who would like an illustration of the frightening level of deceit that lives in the human heart, and anyone else wanting to learn more about the dark worlds that normal people will never see.

My posts are gathered into two collections on my other blog, Outrun Change:

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FASB exposure draft on contributions and grants.

September 12, 2017, 8:09 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

FASB has released an exposure draft which slightly redefines the distinction between revenues and contributions for the nonprofit world.

Exposure draft is called Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958) – Clarifying the Scope and the Accounting Guidance for Contributions Received and Contributions Made.

On 9/11/17 I watched FASB’s one hour webcast on the exposure draft. This is only the second time I’ve seen a presentation on the issue and I haven’t yet dived into the 51 page document. That means I’m just starting to understand the changes.

What I’m going to do here is give a high level introduction. Keep in mind this is just an overview without all the details. Furthermore it is my preliminary understanding after having only heard the presentation twice and looking at the slide deck once. Please don’t cite this in your workpapers!

This exposure draft does not call for any change in how transactions are presented in the statement of activities. Organizations can present particular transactions as either revenue or contributions as they wish. The point was made several times in the presentation that the rules spelled out here determine which model is used for recognizing a transaction, not what presentation is used on the statement of activity.

There is a fantastic graph in the slide deck that provides a good visualization of the current and proposed accounting. It is copyrighted and thus I won’t be presenting it here. I’m sure you’ll be seeing the graphic before you get very far into your study.

Here’s a breakout of how exchange transactions are currently handled. These are also called reciprocal transactions. Currently we think of these as revenue, although the verbal comments in the presentation indicate that is no longer necessarily how exchange transactions must be presented.

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Final thoughts on the tale of Silk Road. Part 9.

September 7, 2017, 8:28 am

Cover of “American Kingpin” from Amazon. Used under fair use.

This is the 9th and final part of a discussion of Silk Road, as discussed in American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road, written by Nick Bilton. For the longer story, you may enjoy reading parts one, two, three, four, five, sixseven, and eight.

Other thoughts on the book

If you have previously been following the Silk Road story, you will enjoy the book. It reads like a good detective novel, except it is all true.

The book describes the mutual low opinion held of other federal agencies by the staff of most of the federal agencies that had a part in the investigation. This is not the first time I’ve read of those attitudes or heard of poor cooperation across agencies.

Lack of technical discussion

A couple of the reviews at Amazon indicate there is minimal technical detail in the book. That is absolutely the case.

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