Category: Public Policy

New Option Available for Accounting for Intangible Assets

The Financial Accounting Standards Board has issued new rules pertaining to accounting by private companies for identifiable intangible assets in a business combination, based on a consensus of the Private Company Council. Accounting Standards Update No. 2014-18, Business Combinations (Topic 805), was issued in December 2014. Under the new rules, an eligible entity is no …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2015/01/new-option-available-for-accounting-for-intangible-assets/

Whistleblower Protection Has Limits

The efforts to encourage and protect whistleblowers have been wide-reaching. However there are differences between the rewards and the protections based on the agency and laws involved. A recent case entitled Gary Vander Boegh v. EnergySolutions, Inc. demonstrated that not all protections are equal. Mr. Vander Boegh had previously engaged in a range of protected …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/12/whistleblower-protection-has-limits/

A Fishy Application of the Sarbanes Oxley Act

The Supreme Court has been asked to decide the case of a commercial fisherman accused of harvesting fish too small to meet federal fishing guidelines.  The reason the highest court in the US will hear the case?  Federal prosecutors have applied provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in trying their case. The scope of such application is …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/12/a-fishy-application-of-the-sarbanes-oxley-act/

Over $100 Billion In Improper Federal Payments Occur Each Year

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”)  testified before Congress to describe the breakdown of over $100 billion of improper federal payments in 2013.  Such errors included tax credits for those not entitled to them, unnecessary Medicare payments, and unemployment benefits for “under the table” workers, among others.  Shockingly, these types of monumental errors are generally repetitive and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/07/over-100-billion-in-improper-federal-payments-occur-each-year/

Washington Redskins Trademark in Flux

The Washington Redskins’ trademark registration has been cancelled by the Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) after petition by members of the Navajo Nation, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and Muscogee Nation of Florida.  The PTO found that the Redskins’ six registrations were obtained contrary to Section 2(a), 15 U.S.C 1052(a), which …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/06/washington-redskins-trademark-in-flux/

New standard for revenue recognition

The newly converged standard for revenue recognition has arrived. Both ASU 2014-09 (issued by FASB) and IFRS 15 (issued by IASB) are entitled “Revenue from Contracts with Customers”.  They represents a principles-based framework that is effective for revenue-generating public entities with reporting periods after December 15, 2016.  Private entities will have an additional year to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/06/new-standard-for-revenue-recognition/

IRS Audits Heavily Target Corporations Over Partnerships

The Government Accountability Office recently released a study on the subject of “Large Partnerships: Characteristics of Population and IRS Audits”.  This study tracked IRS activity related to such “large partnerships”, which the IRS defined as those that reported having 100 or more direct partners and $100 million or more in assets. The number of large partnerships …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/04/irs-audits-heavily-target-corporations-over-partnerships/

EU Requires 10-Year Auditor Rotation Amid Other Efforts to Improve Audit Quality

The European Parliament has adopted new rules regarding the statutory audit of public-interest entities in an effort to “considerably improve audit quality across the European Union and … ensure that auditors are key contributors to economic and financial stability….by strengthening of the independence of statutory auditors, making the audit report more informative, and improving audit supervision …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/04/eu-requires-10-year-auditor-rotation-and-other-efforts-to-improve-audit-quality/

College Football Players Get Employee Status

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) regional director Peter Sung Ohr recently ruled that a group of Northwestern University football players on scholarship are properly classified as employees of the university and thereby have rights to unionize and engage in collective bargaining. The NLRB relied upon the common law definition of an employee and was …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/04/9133/

FHA to Eliminate Phantom Interest Charges for Future Borrowers

Historically, loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) that were paid before maturity were subject to interest charges for the full final month in which they were repaid.  Not surprisingly, home sellers with closing dates early in the month have long complained about this practice, which increases their transaction costs. In arguing against the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/04/fha-to-eliminate-phantom-interest-charges-for-future-borrowers/