NEWSLETTERS

May 2017 • Issue 50

A year ago, we reported on the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ (ACFE) biennial Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud and Abuse. That report found that worldwide fraud over the prior twenty-year period accounted for 5% of annual revenue, which equates to several trillion dollars a year. The survey supporting the report indicated that over 80% of the frauds included asset misappropriation, a third included corruption, while 10% revealed financial statement reporting fraud.

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March 2017 • Issue 49

American politicians debate whether expansion of manufacturing in the country will bring new jobs or just new opportunities for companies to further embrace the growing attraction of robotic technology. Accountants and auditors need to watch this development closely, and not just to develop methodologies that track the accounting measurement and reporting for their companies and clients. Robots and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) are rapidly progressing to take over many of the tasks traditionally performed by them.

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January 2017 • Issue 48

Cybersecurity Reporting - A proposed standardized framework for assessment of risk
Threats to cybersecurity are pervasive at all levels of society today. Recently, the objectivity of America’s election process was drawn into question by alleged cyberattacks on candidates, if not the actual voting mechanism itself.

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December 2016 • Issue 47

Brexit and Financial Reporting - Short and long term implications
An unexpected benefit of the drive my wife and I took across the heart of the United Kingdom this past June was the first-hand opportunity to hear reactions of British citizens before and after the Brexit referendum, the UK’s vote on whether to remain a part of the European Union (EU).

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November 2016 • Issue 46

Leases to Take Center Stage on Balance Sheets World-Wide
Well over two years have passed since the monumental revenue accounting standard was jointly issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in April 2014. Since then, six amendments have been made to the FASB pronouncement and two to the IASB pronouncement, including deferral by both Boards of the effective date for an additional year to 2018, which provides the better part of four years between issuance and implementation...

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October 2016 • Issue 45

Revenue Accounting Standard Progressing Toward Implementation
Well over two years have passed since the monumental revenue accounting standard was jointly issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in April 2014. Since then, six amendments have been made to the FASB pronouncement and two to the IASB pronouncement, including deferral by both Boards of the effective date for an additional year to 2018, which provides the better part of four years between issuance and implementation...

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September 2016 • Issue 44

Facing the Challenge of Financial Reporting Obsolescence
Over recent years, we have followed the relentless pursuit of global financial reporting standards. From the latest analysis as of July 25, 2016, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) reported that just over half of all listed companies worldwide now use International Financial Reporting Standards.

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Inside Swenson • Issue 2

Summer 2016
Inaugural Swenson Children's Foundation Event a Success
The Swenson Children's Foundation was officially launched in May and last week the Foundation held their kick start event. Sarah Austin, Executive Director of the Foundation, with the assistance of Karen Keith from the San Diego Rescue Mission made the dream of flying a reality for ten children from the San Diego Rescue Mission.

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June 2016 • Issue 43

Boosting Profits with Non-GAAP Alternative Financial Reports
We have followed the successes and setbacks in recent years of the efforts to converge international accounting standards, which goal has been to produce uniformity in financial statements that are consistent and comparable throughout the world. The United States has resisted these efforts, preferring to stick with generally accepted accounting principles (US GAAP), instead of the widely adopted International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

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Inside Swenson • Issue 1

Spring 2016
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), the world's largest anti-fraud organization and leading provider of anti-fraud training and education, recently awarded Brian Mendez, Audit Manager at Swenson, the globally recognized Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential. Brian met a stringent set of criteria and passed a rigorous exam administered by the ACFE.

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May 2016 • Issue 42

Fraud Numbers Hold Steady
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) was established in 1988 with a mission to “reduce the incidence of fraud and white-collar crime and to assist the Membership in fraud detection and deterrence.” Today the organization boasts over 75,000 members and sets high membership standards through education, examination and ethics requirements.

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April 2016 • Issue 41

Audit Quality Survey is New, But the Results Are Not
On March 3, 2016, the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR) released the results of the fourth annual survey of audit inspection findings, this time for 2015. Sadly, our Audit & Accounting Alert (A&A) article from May, 2015, covering the third annual survey of 2014 results, could be repeated here with only the dates changed, and still be largely accurate. Last year’s A&A article title, “Improved Audit Quality Slow in Coming,” still speaks to the persistence of shortcomings in performance.

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March 2016 • Issue 40

New Era Decision Making Requires a More Robust and Nimble Approach
In the December, 2015, Audit & Accounting Alert, we described a vision for new professional accounting services, as put forward in an International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) thought paper: Creating Value with Integrated Thinking. Now a February, 2016 survey, jointly commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the American Institute of Public Accountants (AICPA), has confirmed that many companies are struggling to adapt decision making processes to a world “characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.” The survey report, Joining the Dots: Decision Making for a New Era, notes that the successful minority are the ones that have embraced integrated thinking.

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February 2016 • Issue 39

Seeking a Sound Future for Europe’s Auditors
The Federation of European Accountants (FEE), based in Brussels, Belgium, represents 50 institutes of professional accountants and auditors from 37 European countries. As the mouthpiece of the profession, the FEE is “committed to inform the European public policy debate independently. It offers technical expertise and coordinated views on developments affecting the European economy. FEE’s contributions are based on the practical experience that professional accountants gain daily in all economic sectors and the values underpinning the profession’s practice.”

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January 2016 • Issue 38

China: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
While China is anxious to gain full acceptance into the world economy, the country’s guarded emergence from decades of a tightly controlled system can still present obstacles that are stubbornly resistant to change. The past two months have brought China admirable success with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation, while posing a stiff challenge for the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).

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December 2015 • Issue 37

The Path to Future Relevance for Accountants
Over the past year, the Audit & Accounting Alert has addressed various aspects of rapidly changing technology and the need for accountants to pay close attention to those changes, or risk descending into irrelevance. The warnings continue to come, while also offering avenues of support for keeping pace.

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November 2015 • Issue 36

Concept of Materiality up for Clarification
When the mood for convergence of accounting standards was going strong, the IASB and FASB were on the way to jointly producing an updated conceptual framework for financial reporting. Alas, the momentum was lost when, in 2010, the project was suspended in deference to more framework had been completed. Included in Chapter 3, Qualitative Characteristics of Useful Financial Information, the following definition of materiality was agreed upon.

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October 2015 • Issue 35

The Elusive Goal of Global Accounting Standards
How quickly times change. Several years ago, accountants were asking when, not if, they would need to implement International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Today, the march toward world domination by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), the promulgator of IFRS, appears to have slowed to a crawl, if not a complete stall, at least for the foreseeable future in the United States and elsewhere. Yet voices pro and con can still be heard, though the language used by some appears to have changed.

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August 2015 • Issue 34

Mixed Signals for Audits in the Future?
Recent papers and discussions continue to call for more changes in financial statement audits, and in some cases for no audits at all in the future. While the British try to get comfortable with assurance reviews as an alternative, Americans seek more relevance and effectiveness in order for audits to remain viable in the long-term.

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July 2015 • Issue 33

Integra Meets With European Commission in Brussels!
In conjunction with the Integra International June 2015 Conference in Brussels Belgium, Integra CEO Maria Nazario and Integra Global Board member Steve Austin met with Zbigniew Zach, IFRS Policy Officer, and Christelle Fontbonne Proniewski, Policy Officer, for the Accounting and Financial Reporting Office of the Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA) of the European Commission (EC).

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June 2015 • Issue 32

Simplification Efforts Continue
Efforts are underway on both sides of the Atlantic towards more practical accounting and reporting standards. The Financial Accounting Standards Board of te US (FASB) is one year into its Simplification Initiative, while the European Union’s Accounting and Transparency Directives, first published in 2013, are now also in place in the UK.

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April 2015 • Issue 31

Bitcoin: A Fad or the Future for Business?
The jury is still out on the prospects for bitcoin. Will perceived flaws lead to its ultimate demise, or will the world of commerce be upended in a way not seen in hundreds of years? Three aspects of this phenomenon that accountants will want to consider are: transacting business in bitcoin, accounting treatment, and audit implications.

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March 2015 • Issue 30

Is Your Accounting Data Secure?
With almost daily reports of major new internet attacks and identity thefts, we live in a world paranoid as to when, not if, data precious to us will be stolen. Recently on 60 Minutes, a weekly US news program, a segment titled “DARPA: Nobody’s Safe on the Internet,” featured Dan Kaufman, former video game executive, who now heads up the information innovation division at DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

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February 2015 • Issue 29

Big Data is Transforming the Audit and Accounting World
Will Google eat the accountant’s lunch? From time to time, trends emerge with the potential to transform the accounting profession. When I started out in the sixties, the adding machine had already transformed the work of my predecessors.

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January 2015 • Issue 28

IFRS Deployment Expands Globally While SEC Stalls
Number of countries embracing IFRS keep growing. Since the report in the October issue of the Audit & Accounting Alert, the IFRS Foundation has added 41 more countries to the survey of global accounting practices, bringing the total to 122 countries.

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December 2014 • Issue 27

Integra Highlights 20th Year Anniversary Conference with Worldwide IFRS Roundup
Variations standout as countries adapt the “universal” standards to local conditions. Showcasing the association’s far reaching impact since its founding in 1994, Integra International members from six continents highlighted the changing role of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in their ...

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November 2014 • Issue 26

When Going Concern Becomes an Issue
Approaches for reporting and disclosure differ across the Atlantic. Assessment of an entity’s ability to continue as a going concern has always been a key requirement for auditors. However, there has been no clear guidance on the reporting and disclosure of the issue in US GAAP, as reflected in the Financial Accounting Standards (FAS).

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September 2014 • Issue 25

Revenue Recognition Standard – Early Issues and Resources
After taking fourteen years to reach agreement about revenue accounting, the FASB and IASB anticipated that questions would arise, even allowing for three years prior to implementation.

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