As we enter into another audit busy season, I have started my standard exercise of compiling a list of frequently encountered audit and accounting issues that require research, additional analysis and often times detailed disclosures and even material adjustments to my client’s financials. An oft-recurring theme is the existence of related party transactions and how such transactions are recorded and disclosed.
Below are a few frequently asked questions on this subject that merit our attention: (more…)
A recent survey conducted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) estimates that fraud losses for a typical organization amount to 5% of total revenues each year with median losses to the tune of $150,000. More than one‐fifth of such losses hit the million dollar mark. The most common type of fraud: asset misappropriation with median losses of $125,000 comprised 83% of all fraud cases reported while financial statement fraud schemes made up just 10% of the total fraud cases, but caused the greatest median loss at nearly $1 million. The frauds reportedly lasted 18 months before being detected. The most telling fact was that private companies logged the highest median loss of $180,000 in comparison to public companies, government, non-profit and other sectors. (more…)
Being an auditor for so long has instilled in me the importance of looking at issues, even the non-work related ones and then asking myself, “is this material relevant to the issues that I care about?” And I find that this approach helps me tremendously in deciding where to expend my energies. Along similar lines, not too long ago, FASB issued two proposals on the concept of materiality to help organizations decide the appropriateness of financial statement disclosures. (more…)
Sometime ago, I wrote a post on useful accounting apps for start-ups. I find that as our lives are getting more global and mobile, we can use all the help we can get. I have compiled a list of the top three apps I have stumbled upon that I am excited to try out in the near future:
A few months ago, I had compiled a short list of common errors encountered in the consolidation of foreign operations. Now, I wish I had simply waited a few months to publish the post as I have since come across more issues that merit a mention while consolidating financials of related entities or even preparing the separate financials of related entities. Bear in mind that some of these could apply irrespective of whether they are related to foreign entities.
It is that time of the year again when I am working on audits of U.S. companies with significant international operations, either in the form of wholly owned subsidiaries or branch offices. And my observations while performing these audits have resulted in this compilation of common errors while accounting for foreign currency, recording translation adjustments and finally the culmination into consolidated financials.
Not so long ago, I had suggested a few useful accounting apps for startups
As luck would have it, I came across a user forum where members were soliciting feedback on a few mobile tax apps for CPAs and companies alike. And I have to admit that I came away feeling very impressed with some the options out there. So, in no particular order, here some more apps to consider for your small businesses:
It has been many years now since our firm transitioned to an all-electronic format of running our audit and financial reporting engagements. And over the years, we have invested significantly in new technology – devices, software, you name it. Not only have we impressed upon our clients the need to provide information electronically but where possible, encouraged them to use email, scanned images and our secure portal for data transmission over reams of paper copies. But a recent audit experience helped me take this process to virtually a whole new level (pun intended!).
Our recent travels over the December holidays to Latin America prompted my husband and me to add learning a new language to our list of New Year’s resolutions for 2014. To be realistic about meeting our resolutions, we decided to keep the list a short one at 3 each. Which got me thinking – that’s not very different from how many businesses reflect on the past year and make strategic decisions for the coming year. So, I thought I’d put together a short list of some suggested New Year resolutions for our readers’ businesses from my experiences in working with some of them.