March 2016 Article Archives

The Expanding View of Expense Management

Published on March 29, 2016

With its origins in paper trails and manual processes, travel and entertainment expense reporting historically has been more of a black box for accounting professionals than a source of financial insight. 

But by changing the expense management process, companies today are able to gain valuable insight into spend management trends and leverage their data in ways they didn’t necessarily anticipate. The benefits of which can reach beyond traditional expense reporting functions and result in an overall better experience, including increased employee satisfaction, greater compliance, and reduced spending. 

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Financial Execs Concerned about Internal Controls

Published on March 29, 2016

Nearly a third of financial reporting executives in a new poll said internal control over financial reporting was their highest concern beyond their financial reporting responsibilities. 

KPMG surveyed nearly 400 financial executives during the firm’s 25th Annual Accounting & Financial Reporting Symposium and 31 percent cited internal controls as their biggest concern. Approximately 26 percent of the respondents said they were most worried about data infiltration and IT security, a sharp contrast from a similar survey that KPMG conducted at last year’s symposium, when those concerns ranked at the bottom of the list. 

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Financial Performance Reporting Among Priorities as FASB Sets Agenda

Published on March 29, 2016

FASB decided to perform research on six topics for consideration of possible accounting standard setting, according to a news release from the board. 

Four issues will be added to its research agenda and included in an agenda discussion paper that will be issued to the public in the first half of this year: 

Financial performance reporting.

Pensions and other post-retirement employee benefit plans.

Intangible assets.

Distinguishing liabilities from equity. 

The board also will place two additional projects on its research agenda on consolidations and on inventory and cost of sales. 

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FASB Proposes Amendments on Classification of Certain Cash Flows

Published on March 29, 2016

The FASB issued a proposal that aims to reduce diversity in practice in reporting on the following types of cash flows: 

Cash payments for debt prepayment or extinguishment costs would be classified as financing cash outflows. 

Cash payments made to settle a zero-coupon bond attributable to accreted interest would be classified as an operating outflow, and the portion attributable to principal would be classified as a financing outflow. 

Contingent consideration payments made after a business combination would be classified as financing outflows if they don’t exceed the acquisition-date fair value of the contingent consideration liability, and any payments that exceed the liability would be classified as operating outflows. 

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FASB Proposes Changes in Pension and Post-retirement Reporting

Published on March 29, 2016

The Financial Accounting Standards Board has issued two proposed accounting standards updates to improve financial reporting by employers related to defined benefit pension and other postretirement benefit plans.

One of the proposed updates, Compensation—Retirement Benefits—Defined Benefit Plans—General (Subtopic 715-20): Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Defined Benefit Plans, is part of the FASB’s broader disclosure framework project to improve the effectiveness of disclosures in the notes to financial statements by focusing on the information considered to be most relevant to users of financial statements. 

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Companies Expected to See Biggest Impact from New Leasing Standard

Published on March 29, 2016

The lease accounting standard that the Financial Accounting Standards Board plans to release this quarter is expected to have a major impact on many companies, requiring current off-balance sheet leasing activities to be reflected on balance sheets for the first time. 

Earlier this month the International Accounting Standards Board released its version of the standard, which differs in some key respects from FASB’s (see IASB Releases Lease Accounting Standard). A new study from LeaseAccelerator, a developer of equipment lease management software, examines the impact of the new leasing standards on major U.S. corporations, listing the off-balance sheet lease obligations of the 500 largest U.S. public companies. The report, “Who is Most Impacted by the New Lease Accounting Standards?” aims to provide greater awareness of the potential impact of the new lease accounting standards. 

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Companies Getting Ready for FASB's Leasing Standard

Published on March 29, 2016

The Financial Accounting Standards Board is expected to release its long-awaited lease accounting standard this quarter, and companies are bracing for the impact on their balance sheets. 

The changes will require companies to gather significantly more information and require more management judgments each reporting period, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. The changing model might affect financial ratios and metrics, “lease vs. buy” decisions, accounting processes and controls, along with technology. 

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Revenue recognition, lease standards challenge preparers

Published on March 29, 2016

Important new standards for revenue recognition and leases are causing difficulty for corporate financial statement preparers, a new survey shows.

Just 29% of corporate preparers said their companies have a clear plan to implement the new revenue recognition standard, according to a KPMG LLP survey of nearly 400 financial executives at the firm’s annual Accounting & Financial Reporting Symposium.

The revenue recognition standard was issued in May 2014 by FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) in an international convergence project but is undergoing clarifying changes as a result of questions raised with the boards’ joint transition resource group. The standard was designed to create comparability across industries and jurisdictions, with a more principles-based approach than previously existed for U.S. GAAP reporting entities.

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FASB plans to issue new leases standard on February 25, 2016

Published on March 29, 2016

The FASB said it plans to issue its new leases standard on February 25, 2016. The standard will require lessees to recognize most leases on their balance sheets and could have significant financial reporting and business implications.

Internal Audit Increasingly Proves Its Value

Published on March 23, 2016

The internal audit function is increasingly providing significant value, according to a new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers. PwC surveyed more than 1,600 chief audit executives, senior management and board members. Fifty-four percent of the respondents indicated internal audit is contributing significant value, up six points from a similar PwC survey last year. In addition, 62 percent of the respondents said they expect more value from internal audit, with 55 percent anticipating internal audit will be a more proactive trusted advisor within the next five years.

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