• Implementing an effective cybersecurity management program

    Cybersecurity is one of the most urgent topics in business today. It seems that every week, there is a new story about a company’s data being breached with millions of customer records, payment card data, or lost trade secrets. The best-prepared companies are shifting their cybersecurity strategies from prevention, to implementing techniques that quickly detect breaches and limit the damage once a breach has been confirmed. What are the effective components of a modern cybersecurity management program? We consider five main components to improve cybersecurity effectiveness.
  • AICPA updates standards for accounting and review services

    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.
  • Regulatory noncompliance is now a financial matter

    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.
  • GSEs to loosen lending standards

    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).
  • OCC: You can’t outsource responsibility

    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.