• Update aims to simplify, expand hedge accounting

    The FASB issued an update to U.S. GAAP that aims to simplify hedge accounting, one of the most complicated areas of accounting. The update allows hedge accounting to be used for a broader range of risk management strategies.
  • Report: Revenue changes for software industry may be significant

    The FASB’s sweeping new revenue recognition rules go into effect in 2018 and will require a major change in the way companies calculate the top line in their income statements. The actual impact to the revenue figure reported, however, will vary from company to company, and most experts believe the software industry will see a significant impact.
  • International standard-setters outline ways to enhance auditor’s professional skepticism

    The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB), the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA), and the International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) published a joint report that outlines potential ways to promote professional skepticism in auditing. The three international standard-setters said increasing complexity of business and financial reporting underscores the importance of professional skepticism.
  • Webcast to explain proposed guidance for grants, contributions to not-for-profit groups

    The FASB plans to hold a webcast to explain an August proposal to help not-for-profit groups and some business enterprises determine how to record grants and other funds from foundations and government bodies. The proposal clarifies the difference between restrictions and donor-imposed conditions on a gift or grant and attempts to explain which arrangements qualify as exchanges.
  • Cybersecurity Audit and Accounting Guide is released

    The AICPA said the Audit and Accounting Guide (AAG) AAG: Reporting on an Entity’s Cybersecurity Risk Management Program and Controls (aag-cyb) provides a framework for managing cybersecurity risks. The guide explains how to implement the framework and report on an organization’s program for managing technology risks on a company-wide basis.
  • ICFR for Revenue Recognition

    Understand the nuances of internal controls over financial reporting (ICFR) for ASC 606 (revenue recognition), including transition methods discussed in this Financial Executives International (FEI) presentation.
  • The FASB has a full plate for 2016

    Actions the FASB takes can have a significant effect on your financial statements and the impression they leave with users of such statements. Here are areas the FASB is likely to focus on in 2016.
  • IRS issues regulation prohibiting lump sum payments from defined benefit pension plans

    On July 9, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2015-49, Use of Lump Sum Payments to Replace Lifetime Income Being Received By Retirees Under Defined Benefit Pension Plans, amending the required minimum distribution regulations under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). The regulation, as amended, no longer permits qualified defined benefit plans to replace any joint and survivor, single life, or other annuity currently being paid with a lump sum payment or other accelerated form of distribution.
  • Bill affects 5500 filing date and summary annual report distribution date

    On July 31, 2015, President Obama signed the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015, often referred to as the highway funding bill. The bill modifies the filing due dates for partnerships, C corporations, certain tax-exempt entities, and Form 5500 filers with the intention to create a more logical flow of information.
  • Revenue recognition requirements delayed one year

    On July 9, 2015, the FASB approved its April 2015 proposal to defer the effective date of ASU No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, for all entities for one year. Entities will, however, be allowed to apply the new standard as of the original effective dates set out in the standard. This article examines the revenue recognition standard and explains why the FASB granted an extension.
  • Baker Tilly Comment Letter to the FAF on the PCC

    We are pleased to have the opportunity to provide feedback to the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) with respect to the Private Company Council (PCC). At Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP (Baker Tilly) we have strong support for the PCC and its efforts to date in improving financial reporting for the users of private company financial statements.
  • DOL report finds major deficiencies in employee benefit plan audits

    The US Department of Labor (DOL) issued a report on its inspection of 2011 employee benefit plan audits, Assessing the Quality of Employee Benefit Plan Audits. The report is quite troubling as the DOL found a deficiency rate that is too high for such an important element of the system to protect participants in employee benefit plans.
  • Recap of the 2014 FASB ASUs

    In 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued eighteen Accounting Standards Updates (ASUs). There are several major areas expected to be updated in 2015, including leases, disclosure framework, and accounting for financial instruments. To help you review the most recent updates, links are provided to the detailed FASB information for each of the 2014 ASUs.
  • AICPA releases new plan advisory on quality auditors

    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.
  • Updated mortality tables affect employee benefit plans

    The Society of Actuaries recently released new mortality tables for use by plan sponsors when measuring benefit plan costs and obligations. The new tables, RP-2014 (mortality tables) and MP-2014 (longevity improvement scale), will most likely result in higher defined benefit obligations in benefit plans.
  • Common IRS document requests in 401(k) plan audits

    The IRS has recently increased its audits of employer 401(k) plans. Rather than wait for an audit, plan administrators should proactively consider potential issues and take any necessary corrective measures. The following is a brief rundown of what the IRS will request at the outset of an audit, as well as a non-comprehensive list of issues commonly scrutinized by the IRS during a 401(k) plan audit.
  • Income tax consequences of hedge or private equity fund investments

    Many tax-exempt organizations and employee benefit plans, such as pensions, IRAs and retirement plans, are attracted to hedge or private equity funds (Funds) as a method of realizing above-average returns on investments. Since related function or passive income is exempt from federal income tax, and many hedge or private equity investments are passive to the tax-exempt, most income generated from these entities can be generated free of federal and state income tax.
  • De-risking strategies in pension plans

    De-risking strategies in pension plans are currently much discussed by corporate management and pension plan fiduciaries. These strategies may include adopting a liability driven investment (LDI) strategy or purchasing participating annuity contracts (buy-in contracts) on the asset side to decrease volatility and manage cash flow.
  • Insight into annual employee benefit plan non-discrimination testing

    To ensure employee benefit plans meet certain Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Department of Labor (DOL) standards, plans must be subjected to a number of compliance tests each year. These tests are often referred to as the annual non-discrimination tests, and are required of plans in order to maintain their tax exempt status.
  • FASB accounting standards offer GAAP relief for private companies

    Since May 2012, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has been working with the Private Company Council (PCC) to determine whether alternatives to existing US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) standards are appropriate for private company financial statements. Two new accounting standard updates mark the first concrete steps toward providing relief from burdensome and costly requirements for private companies that need or are required to have financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP.
  • Recap of 2013 FASB ASUs

    In 2013, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued twelve Accounting Standards Updates (ASUs). There are four exposure drafts and seven final documents expected in 2014 according to the current FASB project plan. To help you review the most recent updates, links are provided below to the detailed FASB information for each of the 2013 ASUs.
  • Annual retirement plan limits and why plan sponsors should pay attention

    The key to ensuring compliance with plan document and regulatory requirements is being aware of your plan’s definition of eligible compensation and having appropriate controls in place to ensure benefit calculations use this correct definition. Applying the eligible compensation definition and compensation limits incorrectly can have a significant monetary impact on a plan sponsor.
  • Mueser Rutledge benefits from long-term service relationship

    Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers (Mueser Rutledge) was founded in 1910 and is a leader in providing structural design of foundations and waterfront structures and in performing complete geotechnical studies. The firm specializes in complicated sites, especially in urban areas, solving difficult foundation and special structure problems.
  • Fiduciary correction program available to employee benefit plan sponsors

    The US Department of Labor (DOL) provides the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP) for benefit plan sponsors that need to correct various violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Some examples include failing to timely remit participant contributions and loan repayments to the plan, and making below market interest rate loans with parties in interest.
  • Final repair and maintenance regulations

    In September, the IRS and Treasury Department released final regulations providing guidance regarding the deduction and capitalization of expenditures related to tangible property (commonly known as the repair and maintenance regulations). The final regulations will affect all taxpayers that acquire, produce, or improve tangible property.
  • Why SOC 1 reports are important to employee benefit plans

    Employee benefit plans use third party service providers (service organizations) for a variety of reasons including participant recordkeeping, trust reporting, plan testing, information systems, and claims processing. These services influence the financial reporting of a plan. If your company has an employee benefit plan that is audited, one of the items an auditor will ask for is the Service Organization Controls report (SOC 1 report) for each of the service organizations used by the plan.
  • Compliance check for section 457(b) deferred compensation plans

    The IRS announced that it is going to undertake a compliance check on section 457(b) plans operated by non-governmental tax-exempt organizations. Federal law generally permits section 501(c) tax-exempt organizations to sponsor Code Section 457(b) Eligible plans of deferred compensation.
  • International tax update

    In this webinar, our international tax professionals discuss the latest international tax legislation and reporting, as well as what you need to do to meet the burden of compliance and avoid costly penalties.
  • Law firm addresses unfunded partner retirement plan

    A large law firm sought advice and recommendations related to modeling the retirement obligation over future periods, assessing the sustainability of the benefits, and developing recommendations for management consideration related to potential plan adjustments.