• 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.
  • 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.
  • Baker Tilly Comment Letter to the AICPA on the Enhancing Audit Quality Initiative

    We welcome the opportunity to provide feedback to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in connection with the Enhancing Audit Quality Initiative (EAQI). Baker Tilly Virchow Krause (Baker Tilly) is committed to audit quality and believes the delivery of high quality audits not only serves the public trust but enhances the value that we provide to our clients.
  • 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.
  • Progress report: International convergence of accounting standards

    In 2002, FASB and the IASB agreed to work together to develop high-quality, compatible accounting standards that could be used for both domestic and cross-border financial reporting. Since then, the bodies’ efforts to achieve the so-called “convergence” of US GAAP and IFRS have had their ups and downs. Going forward, US standard setters propose an informal, collaborative model that will minimize differences in financial reporting, in lieu of the IASB’s one-size-fits-all approach. This article looks back at what’s happened with convergence to date and examines the future direction of financial reporting in a global marketplace.