AICPA News Update - September 7, 2012 

    AICPA Survey Shows CPAs' Economic Outlook Diminished 
    Published September 07, 2012

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    AICPA News Update
    A Weekly Email Newsletter on Issues & Events Surrounding the CPA Profession
     
     
      In This Update: September 7, 2012 - Volume 15 No. 36  
     
    AICPA Survey Shows CPAs’ Economic Outlook Diminished
    Sending Passport to IRS for 60 Days Is Not Practical, AICPA Tells IRS
    ASB Issues Exposure Draft to Amend SAS No. 122, Statements on Auditing Standards: Clarification and Recodification
    SOC Reports Marketing and Communications Made Easy
    Strategic Performance Management in the Public Sector
            
     
    AICPA Survey Shows CPAs’ Economic Outlook Diminished
     

    CPA executives’ optimism over the U.S. economy has faded substantially over the past two quarters, the AICPA’s Business & Industry Economic Outlook Survey for the third quarter shows. After a significant rise in confidence that ended in the first quarter of 2012, CPAs report dimming expectations in virtually every major economic indicator. The CPA Outlook Index--a comprehensive gauge of executive sentiment within the survey--fell four points to 63 for the quarter. The index had matched a post-recession high of 69 at the start of this year, but has declined each of the past two quarters. Read this Journal of Accountancy article and the press release for more information.

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    Sending Passport to IRS for 60 Days Is Not Practical, AICPA Tells IRS
     

    The AICPA told the Internal Revenue Service that the new interim rules about how taxpayers must apply for Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers for 2011 tax returns are burdensome and may prevent some taxpayers from getting the documentation they need to qualify for an ITIN. On June 22, the IRS started to require ITIN holders to mail original documents, such as their passports, which the IRS says it could take up to 60 days to return. The interim requirement for original documents is intended to address problems with tax refund fraud (related to refundable credits) and also address identity theft. However, the AICPA believes mailing the passport twice creates a greater risk for identity fraud.

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    ASB Issues Exposure Draft to Amend SAS No. 122, Statements on Auditing Standards: Clarification and Recodification
     

    Comments are due by Oct. 30 on the AICPA Auditing Standards Board’s issuance of Proposed Statement on Auditing Standards, Omnibus Statement on Auditing Standards—2012, to amend SAS No. 122 section 600, Special Considerations—Audits of Group Financial Statements (Including the Work of Component Auditors), and section 800, Special Considerations—Audits of Financial Statements Prepared in Accordance With Special Purpose Frameworks (AICPA, Professional Standards, AU-C sec. 600 and AU-C sec. 800). The exposure draft proposes to amend AU-C section 600 to, among other things, permit making reference to the audit of a component auditor in the auditor’s report on the group financial statements when the component’s financial statements are prepared using a different financial reporting framework than that used for the group financial statements if certain criteria are met, and the ASB is specifically seeking comments on this issue. The exposure draft also proposes to amend AU-C section 800 to add a definite set of logical, reasonable criteria that is applied to all material items appearing in financial statements to the bases of accounting defined as special purpose frameworks.

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    SOC Reports Marketing and Communications Made Easy
     

    Many CPA firms are developing niche practices performing Service Organization Control engagements in response to marketplace demands surrounding assurance of controls at service organizations. To help firms navigate this emerging service area, establish a niche practice and help clients, prospects and service organizations understand the benefits of SOC engagements, the AICPA has created a number of free resources and marketing materials in a helpful SOC Toolkit for Firms. AICPA members can use marketing flyers, an article, presentation, illustrative infographic and much more to explain SOC engagements to clients and prospects. In addition, the AICPA has created a separate toolkit to help service organizations better understand and capitalize upon SOC 1SM, SOC 2SM and SOC 3SM Reports. Access the SOC Toolkit for Service Organizations or share this toolkit with your service organization clients and prospects.

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    Strategic Performance Management in the Public Sector
     

    The Strategic Performance Management in the Public Sector report starts with an overview of some issues that make performance management in the public sector more difficult than it is in the private sector. The report also considers some of the cultural challenges involved in improving performance management and the specific role of the finance function. Performance management requires a thorough understanding of the context, diagnosis of the issues, assessment of different options and creation or adaptation of an appropriate performance management solution. This is a more creative, innovative and challenging process than merely importing a solution which has proved effective elsewhere; and this process should be entrusted to those (such as CPA, CGMAs) who combine analytical skills, problem diagnosis and creativity in designing solutions. The report is available for download on cgma.org.

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    “Being a CPA allows you to be designated as part of a profession held to a higher standard of integrity. The AICPA works to reinforce the reputation of what most CPAs strive to be.”

    Cherish T. Loog, CPA, CGMA

       
     
         



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