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BKD Dons a White Hat to Hack Clients

Published on July 19, 2019

The BKD Red Team stands ready to embarrass their clients — but all in the name of security. BKD Cyber, the cybersecurity arm of Springfield, Missouri-based Top 100 Firm BKD, has assembled what it’s calling its Red Team -- a digital attack simulation service that emulates the actions a hacker might take during a cyberattack. This service comes at a time when the accounting profession is on high alert for cybercrime, in the wake of several high-profile events.

BKD Cyber offers a number of cyber services including risk assessment, regulation compliance and incident response. The organization also offers penetration testing, where their professionals attempt to break into a business’ networks and assess their security strength; and “white hat” services, a colloquial term for “good hackers” that combat the activities of criminal hackers.

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Get Private Companies Ready for the New Revenue Standard

Published on July 19, 2019

Auditors of private companies are reviewing clients’ efforts to prepare for filing financial statements under the new revenue recognition standard in early 2020.

In the five years since FASB adopted its landmark guidance in Accounting Standards Update No. 2014-09, Revenue From Contracts With Customers (Topic 606), companies large and small have had to race to implement the standard by its effective date.

Public companies began complying with the standard with their regulatory filings for the first quarter of 2018. Now the focus has shifted to private companies, which, in little more than half a year, are going to prepare their first set of annual financial statements with the new standard. Private company financial statements for interim reporting periods will have to comply with the standard in 2021.

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Microsoft Will Soon End Support for Windows 7. Now What?

Published on May 20, 2019

If you haven't already upgraded to Windows 10, add the task to your to-do list
Over the next few weeks, millions of PC users will receive pop-up messages from Microsoft informing them that the Windows 7 operating system will reach the end of its life in January 2020.

After that, consumers will no longer receive updates of any kind, including critical security patches, for the nearly 10-year-old platform—potentially putting their computers at increased risk for viruses and other forms of malware.

“By starting the reminders now, our hope is that you have time to plan and prepare for this transition,” wrote Matt Barlow, corporate vice president, Windows, in a recent blog post. Microsoft recommends that consumers move to Windows 10, which it claims is the most secure version of the operating system ever developed.

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FBI Sees Big Rise in Internet Crime Complaints, Losses

Published on May 20, 2019

The FBI received nearly 17% more complaints in 2018 than in 2017, and nearly double the losses.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime and Complaint Center received 50,000 more complaints in 2018 (351,936) than in 2017 (301,580), with losses from those complaints amounting to $2.7 billion, a $1.3 billion jump from the $1.4 billion in losses reported in 2017, according to the agency’s recently released crime report.

The report, released Monday, found that California, Texas and Florida rank among the highest states for both the number of victims and the value of losses.

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Final Guidance FASB Issues Amendments to the Three New Standards on Financial Instruments

Published on May 20, 2019

The FASB amended its standards on credit losses, hedging, and recognizing and measuring financial instruments to clarify them and address implementation issues.

The amendments clarify the scope of the credit losses standard and address issues related to accrued interest receivable balances, recoveries, variable interest rates and prepayments, among other things.

With respect to hedge accounting, the amendments address partial-term fair value hedges, fair value hedge basis adjustments, application by not-for-profit entities and private companies, and certain transition requirements, among other things.

On recognizing and measuring financial instruments, they address the scope of the guidance, the requirement for re-measurement under ASC 820 when using the measurement alternative, certain disclosure requirements and which equity securities have to be remeasured at historical exchange rates.

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Strategic Planning Is A Process—Not An Event

Published on May 20, 2019

Most of the enterprises I’ve worked with have been strategically minded…focused on sustained growth and profitability. Some had written plans, others did not.  For those that did not, but ultimately opted to initiate a formal process, they found a bumpy road, often cluttered with false starts.  In the end though, most felt it was worth the ride. 

If you’re embarking on this journey or trying to energize the one you have started, here are a few things I’ve learned along the way. 

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IRS Adjusts Maximum Value of Employer-provided Vehicles for Inflation

Published on May 20, 2019

The Internal Revenue Service has issued a notice setting the inflation-adjusted maximum value of a vehicle provided by an employer to an employee for personal use at a maximum of $50,400 for tax purposes. 

Notice 2019-34 provides the inflation-adjusted maximum value of a vehicle — such as a car, van or truck — for 2019 for use with the fleet-average and vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rules. The notice also includes information about where the maximum value will be published in the future, and provides some extra flexibility for 2018 and 2019 in the consistency requirements under the existing regulations relating to use of the fleet-average and vehicle cents-per-mile rules. 

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3 Technologies Transforming Accounting, Finance and Tax

Published on March 25, 2019

The data is clear: when considering technology within an organization, the question is no longer whether to invest — it's how.

According to KPMG’s 2018 U.S. CEO Outlook, CEOs are thinking a lot about technology and data and analytics (D&A) for their organizations. Ninety-eight percent of CEOs view technology disruption as an opportunity rather than as a threat. Eighty-six percent of CEOs consider their companies to be active disruptors, and, for a vast majority, technology is the only significant disruption their business faces.

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How Workplace Trends Are Affecting Small Businesses

Published on March 25, 2019

It's widely known that finding top-tier talent is a challenge many small CPA firms and other small businesses face. On the most recent episode of The Small Biz Brunch, a podcast from AICPA's #CPApowered campaign, I chatted with Mark Astrinos, CPA/PFS about this issue, changing trends in the workplace and how they’re affecting bottom lines and company cultures.

A business owner himself, he had some key insights into hiring and retaining top talent, especially when it comes to millennials. We've distilled three of those in this post (lets people know there is more info in the podcast).

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What You Need to Know About the New Hedging Guidance

Published on March 25, 2019

The new hedge accounting guidance, which is effective in the first quarter of 2019 for calendar-year PBEs, changes the way entities account for and present their hedging relationships to better portray the economics of their risk management activities in their financial statements. The extent of the changes will vary by entity because some amendments are elective. However, other amendments require entities to change their financial reporting.

Entities must apply the new presentation and disclosure requirements prospectively to all new and existing hedging relationships. These requirements are applied prospectively, which means that comparative information for periods before adoption remains unchanged. This may result in a lack of comparability for entities that historically presented amounts related to hedge ineffectiveness and excluded components in an income statement line other than where the earnings effect of the hedged item is presented (e.g., other income or expense).

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