Contact: Peggy McCaffrey

In a no-action letter issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Division of Investment Management to Fidelity Management and Research Company in June 2016, the SEC provided temporary relief in connection with audit firm independence and Regulation S-X Rule 2-01 (c)(1)(ii)(A), or, the “Loan Rule.”

That temporary relief was set to expire on December 20, 2017, but now has been extended indefinitely — or upon “the effectiveness of any amendments to the Loan Provision designed to address the concerns expressed in the Relief.” Until such time, the SEC has promised not to take action against entities using auditors who are potentially in violation of the Loan Rule. The Rule deems an audit firm not independent if the firm, any covered person in the firm or any of their immediate family members have a loan to or from an audit client, or beneficial owners of more than 10 percent of the audit client’s equity securities.

Read more: SEC Extends No-Action Relief for Auditor Independence

Author: Chris Valponi, CPA

For many companies, keeping close tabs on revenue, expenses, and profit is the number one priority. However, companies that carry inventory may not realize its direct effect on profitability.  This effect is known as shrinkage.  Shrinkage is the excess amount of inventory (in accounting records) that no longer exists in the actual inventory. In other words, it is a loss of inventory.

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Contact: Lisa Brink, ESV (New South Wales, Australia)

Earlier this year the International Auditing and Assurance Board (IAASB) issued its new and revised suite of reporting standards. Included in the changes is a brand new standard, ISA701 – communicating Key Audit Matters in the Independent Auditor’s Report, which will become effective for new audit reports for financial periods ending on or after 15 December 2016.

Read more: International Auditing and Assurance Board (IAASB) Changes Audit Report Standards

Contact: Sherwin Brook; BrookWeiner L.L.C. (Illinois, USA)

The PCAOB has been running seminars around the country and one of the main topics of discussion was the indepence rule which prohibited the auditor of companies including broker dealers, mutual funds and hedge funds from assisting and or preparing the financial statement which are submitted to regulatory authorites.

Such entities need to either prepare their own financial statements or have an independent auditing firm do so in order for opining firm to be deemed independent.

Read more: PCAOB Expands Independence Guidelines

Contact: ESV Chartered Accountants (New South Wales, Australia)

Recently ASIC released the results of its review of responsible entities for registered managed investment schemes in the unlisted property sector. ASIC will be conducting ongoing reviews across the managed investment scheme sector, and will take action where they identify significant or systemic non-compliance in order to improve industry standards and generate broader investor confidence in the sector.

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