The Costs and Benefits of Simultaneous Audits for Multinational Companies

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, All Articles, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Fraud Accounting, IFRS, Intermediate Accounting, International Accounting, Managerial Accounting.

Simultaneous audits mean two separate exams, conducted by different governments, in which those governments share with each other some of the taxpayer’s information.  Even though you may not have heard of them, they have existed since the 1970s, but are becoming more common today as government tax agencies race to match the level of global… Read more »

Sarbanes-Oxley Benefits without Cost

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, All Articles, Auditing, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Fraud Accounting, Intermediate Accounting.

Many have debated the cost of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) versus its benefits, given the recent accounting scandals that continue to “pile on”. However, according to Harvard Business School professor, Francois Brochet, the little discussed 2002 provision known as Section 403 is actually making a difference for investors and small companies (and with little cost, unlike some… Read more »

What’s the Diagnosis – Accounting Fatigue Syndrome (AFS)?

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, All Articles, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, IFRS, Intermediate Accounting, International Accounting.

At a recent conference in Orlando, financial executives discussed one of the top reasons for employee fatigue – a continuous stream of regulatory and accounting standard-setting guidance that has been issued in recent years and the promise of more to come over the foreseeable future. Questions: 1. Although the article provides little detail, what accounting… Read more »

The Effects of Converting to IFRS

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, IFRS, Intermediate Accounting, International Accounting.

The Effects of Converting to IFRS The primary question raised in this article is:  “What effects would switching to IFRS have for companies, if forced to switch by the SEC?” Based on a panel of four executives from four major companies, most agreed that there will be almost no material effects in areas that investors… Read more »

New Accounting Rules for Off-Balance Sheet Assets

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Intermediate Accounting.

New accounting rules governing off-balance-sheet transactions went into effect for most companies in January 2010. The rules force companies to put assets, like mortgage servicing rights, back on their balance sheets. Questions: 1. What financial accounting standards (FASs) are forcing companies to put such assets back on their balance sheets? 2. What are some of… Read more »

Getting to the Bottom of Repurchase Agreements (or Repos)

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, All Articles, Financial Accounting, Fraud Accounting.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is asking public-company CFOs for better disclosures and additional information about repurchase agreements, or repos, which are the same transactions that Lehman Brothers used to make its balance sheet look healthy before the investment bank collapsed into bankruptcy. Based on company responses, the SEC could ask issuers to amend their filings… Read more »

New Year Resolutions for Audit Committees?

Posted by & filed under All Articles, Auditing.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 increased audit committees’ responsibilities and authority, and raised the bar on the independence of members. As a result, the SEC and the stock exchanges also proposed new regulations and rules to strengthen audit committees. A recent report by the KPMG Audit Committee Institute presents New Year’s guidance for audit committees… Read more »

Is the SEC Going to Get Tough On Compliance with Executive Pay Disclosures?

Posted by & filed under All Articles, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis.

The SEC revised its disclosure guidelines for executive pay in late 2006. Since that time the regulator has been sending out letters to violator companies with insufficient disclosures, but has seen little compliance. Now the commission indicates that reviews will be tighter and there’s no room for a “Mister Nice Guy” approach. In fact, its… Read more »

Times are Tough for Everyone: Including the PCAOB!

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Just a week before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments about constitutionality of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and why it should be dissolved, the members of the Board asked for a 16% in the overseer’s 2010 budget. This amounts to an additional $25.7 million to hire 60 more employees, for international inspections,… Read more »

What are Non-GAAP Financial Measures?

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Amgen is a biotechnology firm that develops and manufactures human therapeutics that fight cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other serious illnesses. As part of its 2008 financial report, the Company issued non-GAAP financial measures to facilitate additional analysis by investors. QUESTIONS: In one paragraph, briefly describe non-GAAP financial measures and how they differ from… Read more »