- The Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center has recently released a Plan Advisory (the Advisory) on the importance of hiring a quality auditor in respect to your employee benefit plan; this advisory covers the financial statement audit's significance to users, and the risk a plan sponsor will face if a quality audit is not performed. The Advisory also provides guidance in evaluating auditor qualifications, and includes a complete overview of the proposal process.
- The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has rolled out the long-awaited update of its accounting and review standards. Statement on Standards for Accounting and Review Services (SSARS) No. 21, Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services: Clarification and Recodification, represents one of the AICPA’s most significant revisions of its nonaudit standards since 1979. Among other things, the guidance creates a bright line between accounting (or preparation) services and reporting (compilation or review) services and lays out distinct requirements for each type of service. This article outlines what the clarified guidance means to those who use CPAs to perform nonaudit services — including reviews, compilations, and financial statement preparations — to report their historical and prospective financial results.
- More punitive regulatory approach raises financial statement audit scrutiny: In the aftermath of the Great Recession, regulators have turned dramatically to a far more punitive approach in dealing with actual and alleged instances of noncompliance with laws and regulations by financial institutions. The increased presence of significant financial consequences, brings into greater light a financial statement auditing standard that previously had infrequent application and limited effect on the financial condition and results of reporting companies’ operations.
- At the recent Mortgage Bankers Association annual convention, Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Met Watt and US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Julian Castro announced a relaxation of lending standards for Government-Sponsored Enterprise (GSEs).
- The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) recently updated its risk-management guidelines for third-party relationships, and the new guidelines give banks more responsibility than ever. According to the new guidelines, financial institutions have many of the same responsibilities for managing risk from vendors as they do from their own operations.
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