- Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staffers are continuing to monitor public companies’ progress implementing the major amendments to U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has published in recent years. The staffers are satisfied with the progress they have seen companies make with the FASB’s revenue standard, but they are urging companies to continue their efforts for the standards for lease accounting and credit losses that will become effective in the next two years.
- The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s (PCAOB) data and technology taskforce picked data analytics and artificial intelligence as its initial topics for gauging the effect of technology on audit work. The task force is carrying out its work as companies and auditors are increasingly using data and technology. The PCAOB put the role of technology in audit work on its research agenda at the end of 2016, and it wants to determine if the rising use of technology creates a need to amend its standards.
- The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) recently added a project to its research agenda after inspections found that some accounting firms were not complying with board rules that require auditors to communicate with audit committees about their compliance with various independence rules. The board staff is exploring whether guidance or changes to the rule are necessary.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved a contentious rule to let mutual funds electronically provide annual and semiannual reports as their primary means of communications to shareholders. The rule previously required mutual funds to send paper reports unless shareholders opted to receive them electronically, and the change flips the default. The SEC also issued two preliminary rulemaking documents for comment to improve fund disclosures.
- The AICPA issued the 2018 edition of the Audit and Accounting Guide (AAG) for state and local governments. The updated state and local government guide includes material related to several standards the GASB has published recently.