Federal Issues

    Federal Legislative and Regulatory Issues 

    The Congressional & Political Affairs Team is currently engaged in, or has recently followed, the issues below:

    Issues We're Following
    Accounting Partnership Retirement Practices
    The AICPA) has asked the EEOC commissioners to reject staff appeals to investigate and litigate against accounting firms regarding partner retirement provisions.
    Cash Accounting - Preserving the Cash Basis Method for CPA Firms
    The AICPA is opposed to certain provisions included in tax reform proposals that would limit the availability of the cash basis method of accounting.

    Interstate Taxation/Mobile Workforce Bill
    The AICPA supports legislation that would reduce the tax burden and compliance requirements related to
    nonresident state income tax withholding laws.

    Section 404(b) of Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
    Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, certain public companies will not be required to have their auditors attest to management's assessment of internal controls, and the SEC and GAO are required to study whether other smaller companies should be permanently exempted from the auditor attestation requirement. New bills in the current 112th Congress also have been introduced to modify this provision.

    Whistleblower Rules
    The SEC and CFTC are each required under the Dodd-Frank Act to promulgate regulations allowing bounties to be paid to whistleblowers for corporate malfeasance.  Read more about these rules, the accounting profession's concerns about their scope and implementation, and legislation related to them.

    Additional Issues
    Audits of Federal Funds (Single Audits)
    Interest in audits of Federal funds increased, in part, because of the 2009 Recovery Act. The AICPA continues to stay abreast of legislative and executive attention paid to these audits.
    ERISA Fiduciary Definition - Appraisers of Employee Stock Ownership Plans
    The AICPA opposes the Department of Labor’s efforts to change the definition of fiduciary under ERISA as it would apply to valuation specialists who provide appraisal services to ESOPs.
    FASB Independence
    Maintaining the independence of FASB and the IASB in keeping the accounting standard setting process free of political interests is one of the AICPA’s top priorities. Read more about the AICPA's ongoing efforts.
    Financial Literacy
    The AICPA supports legislative and executive branch efforts to promote financial literacy through all stages of life.
    Municipal Advisors
    Section 975 of the Dodd-Frank Act requires the SEC to regulate advisors to state and local governments who issue municipal securities. Read more about this regulation.

    U.S.-International Accounting Principles Convergence and IFRS
    Read about the AICPA's position regarding International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), the convergence of certain U.S. and international accounting principles, and the timing for their implementation by U.S. public and non-public companies.

    Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL)
    Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) used in financial reporting allows for easier access and more transparent information in company reports. Read about SEC rules to implement XBRL for public companies, and legislative proposals to utilize XBRL in other areas.
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