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FASB Proposes Relief for the Transition Away from LIBOR and Certain Other Feference Rates

Published on September 19, 2019

The FASB proposed providing temporary optional expedients and exceptions to the US GAAP guidance on contract modifications and hedge accounting in light of the expected market transition from LIBOR and other reference interest rates to alternatives, such as SOFR. 

 Under the proposal, an entity could choose not to apply certain modification accounting requirements in US GAAP to contracts affected by what the proposal calls reference rate reform, if certain criteria are met. An entity that made this election would present and account for a modified contract as a continuation of the existing contract. 

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FASB Makes a Second Effort to Improve Balance Sheet Debt cCassification

Published on September 19, 2019

After considering comments on a previous proposal for improving balance sheet debt classification, FASB issued a re-proposal on the issue. 

FASB is attempting to improve guidance used to determine whether debt should be classified as a current or noncurrent liability on a classified balance sheet. The board issued its first proposal on the issue in January 2017. 

The initial proposal contained provisions to replace the current, fact-specific guidance with an overarching, cohesive principle for determining whether debt or other instruments within the scope of the proposal should be classified as a current or noncurrent liability as of the balance sheet date. 

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Take These 5 Critical Steps to Protect Yourself From Cybercrime

Published on September 19, 2019

Your data, private information, and finances are under attack. These are the key ways to fight back. 

High-profile data breaches at companies like British Airways and Marriott get a lot of media coverage, but cybercriminals are increasingly going after community groups, schools, small businesses, and municipal governments. Just in the Midwest, hospitalslibrariesvoter registration systems, and police departments have fallen victim to one type of digital hijacking or another. Cybercrime is not just a concern for corporate technology departments. 

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Fighting Ransomware: Breaking Down Walls Between Private Sector and Law Enforcement

Published on September 19, 2019

Accounting firms are an attractive target to ransomware authors. Not only do accounting firms store a lot of valuable and sensitive information, but the vast majority consist of just a handful of people who may or may not have the technical chops to implement and maintain a robust cybersecurity strategy. 

Of course, it’s not just accounting firms who are at risk. The number of ransomware attacks on businesses almost tripled between Q4 2018 and Q1 2019, while dozens of county, city and state government systems have already been hit this year. 

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How to Make the Most of FASB's Effective Date Delays

Published on September 19, 2019

Delays FASB has proposed for effective dates for certain preparers for three major accounting standards represent an opportunity for company finance departments to implement the standards more thoroughly, review public company filings, and make process and business improvements. 

FASB proposed delays in the effective dates for accounting standards for leases, credit losses, and derivatives and hedging. A delay in the effective date for long-duration insurance contracts also has been proposed. Depending on the standard, these proposed delays will affect private companies, small reporting companies, and not-for-profits. 

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Treasury and IRS Unveil New Form W-4 For 2020

Published on August 20, 2019

The Treasury said it doesn’t expect to make further changes to the redesign beyond some minor updates for inflation adjustments.

 

 

The redesigned Form W-4 employs a building block approach to replace complex worksheets with more straightforward questions that make it simpler for employees to figure a more accurate withholding. While it uses the same underlying information as the old design, the new form uses a more personalized, step-by-step approach to better accommodate individual taxpayer needs.  

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Could the Next Sin Tax Fall on Red Meat?

Published on August 20, 2019

Meat could be a target for higher taxes given criticism of the industry’s role in climate change, deforestation and animal cruelty, according to a report by Fitch Solutions Macro Research.  

The idea is still in its infancy and faces a lot of opposition from farming groups, but it’s emerging as a trend in Western Europe, said the research group. If taxes gain traction, it could encourage more people to switch to poultry or plant-based protein and help drive the popularity of meat substitutes.  

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FASB Proposes Delays in 3 Key Effective Dates

Published on August 20, 2019

Certain financial statement preparers would receive the benefit of effective date delays in FASB’s accounting standards for leases, hedging, and credit losses under a proposal the board issued.  

In response to preparers’ concerns about overload while implementing these three significant standards, FASB proposed amending the effective dates.  

“Private companies, not-for-profit organizations, and some small companies would benefit from additional time to apply major standards,” FASB Chairman Russell Golden said in a news release. “This represents an important shift in the FASB’s philosophy around effective dates, one we believe will support better overall implementation of these standards.”

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FASB Proposes Standard for Distinguishing Liabilities From Equity

Published on August 20, 2019

The Financial Accounting Standards Board released a proposed accounting standards update with the goal of enhancing the guidance for financial instruments with the characteristics of liabilities and equity, including convertible instruments and derivatives.  

The proposed update aims to improve the guidance for both convertible instruments and the derivatives scope exception for contracts in a company’s own equity. It would reduce the number of accounting models for convertible debt instruments and convertible preferred stock. The proposal would also revise the derivatives scope exception guidance to reduce form-over-substance-based accounting conclusions driven by remote contingent events. It also would amend the related disclosure and earnings-per-share guidance.  

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FASB Proposes Changes for Financial Instruments, Equity Method Investments

Published on August 20, 2019

The Financial Accounting Standards Board is aiming to clarify the interaction between two of its accounting standards: the standard on recognition and measurement of financial instruments and the standard on equity method investments. 

FASB issued a proposed accounting standards update  after hearing questions from some of its stakeholders about how the two standards worked together. In 2016, FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-01, "Financial Instruments — Overall (Subtopic 825-10): Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities," which added Topic 321, "Investments — Equity Securities." That addition made some targeted improvements to deal with certain aspects of accounting for financial instruments. 

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