April 12, 2022

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CAQ Release "Fighting Fraud" Video

The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) has released a video entitled “Fighting Fraud,” designed to explain how members of the system of investor protection, including internal and external auditors, audit committee members, and financial executives, can recognize and help mitigate the conditions that lead to fraud and thereby ensure the integrity of financial information released by public companies.

In “Fighting Fraud,” the CFO helps set a strong and ethical tone at the top of the company, and the external auditor exercises professional skepticism when assessing audit evidence. The Audit Committee Chair oversees the financial reporting process and makes sure that whistleblower reports on financial reporting fraud are carefully evaluated. The internal auditor assesses the company’s fraud risk management and testing controls to see if they work as intended.

“Fighting Fraud” is the fourth episode in a series of CAQ-created videos intended to inform investors and the general public about the people, laws and requirements that make sure the financial reporting process protects investors’ interests.

The “Fighting Fraud” video is available here.

A press release on the video is available here.

PCAOB Updates Its Standard-Setting Agenda

The PCAOB has posted an updated Standard-Setting Agenda to its website. The update, prepared by the PCAOB’s Office of the Chief Auditor, provides a table of the current PCAOB standard-setting agenda, with the status of key milestones on the various standard-setting projects. The update also provides an overview discussion of the current projects.

The revised standard-setting agenda discusses the following topics:

  • Framework for Reorganization of PCAOB Auditing Standards;
  • Related Parties;
  • The Auditor’s Reporting Model;
  • Auditors’ Responsibilities with Respect to Other Accounting Firms, Individual Accountants and Specialists;
  • Audit Transparency – Identification of Engagement Partner;
  • Audits of Brokers and Dealers;
  • Going concern;
  • Audit Transparency – Identification of Other Public Accounting Firms or Persons Not Employed by the Auditor;
  • Quality Control Standards, Including Assignment and Documentation of Firm Supervisory Responsibilities;
  • Auditing Accounting Estimates, Including Fair Value Measurements and Related Disclosures;
  • Auditor Independence and Audit Firm Rotation;
  • Confirmation; and
  • Subsequent Events.

The updated Standard-Setting Agenda is available from the PCAOB here.

Mary Jo White Sworn in as Chair of SEC

Mary Jo White was sworn in this morning as the 31st Chair of the SEC. Ms. White was nominated by President Barack Obama on February 7, 2013, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 8, 2013. Following the swearing-in, Ms. White chaired an open meeting that included the adoption of identity theft red flag rules. Under the new rules, stock brokerages, mutual funds, and investment advisers will be required to establish programs to help detect identity theft.

Ms. White was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. There, she oversaw more than 200 assistant U.S. attorneys, and prosecuted major terrorism and financial crime cases. Ms. White has spent the past decade heading the litigation department at the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

A news release on this matter is available from the SEC here.

The SEC has added a biography page on Ms. White here.

House Members Question SEC Delays on JOBS Act Rules

The House Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations (the Committee) held a hearing on April 11, 2022 entitled, “JOBS Act Implementation Update.” The purpose of the hearing was to review the SEC's efforts to implement rules required by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) and examine how delays have affected small business. The JOBS Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama on April 5, 2012, and is intended to increase American job creation and economic growth by improving access to the public capital markets for emerging growth companies.

Some members of the Committee accused the SEC of dragging its feet on implementing rules required by the JOBS Act. In his opening statement released in connection with the hearing, Committee Chairman David Schweikert (R-AZ) indicated that it is unfortunate that “one year down the road, we are still waiting on the SEC’s ground rules that are long past due.” Chairman Schweikert also warned that the “longer we wait for action by the regulators, the more our engines of economic growth will continue to simply tread water, or worse yet starve, for lack of opportunity.”

Witnesses from the SEC included Lona Nallengara, Acting Director of the Division of Corporation Finance, and John Ramsay, Acting Director of the Division of Trading and Markets. Neither witness provided any further insight on specific timing of when all the required new rules under the JOBS Act will be implemented. In joint testimony, Ms. Nallengara and Mr. Ramsay did indicate that while “there is still much to be accomplished, the Commission and the staff have made progress on, and continue to work diligently in, implementing the JOBS Act mandates.”

Further information on this hearing, including prepared statements by witnesses and video from the hearing, is available here.

SEC Staff Releases Updated Financial Reporting Manual

The staff in the Division of Corporation Finance (Corp Fin) of the SEC has released its updated Financial Reporting Manual, reflecting changes through December 31, 2012. This manual represents informal guidance prepared for use by the Corp Fin staff. Corp Fin has made this publication available because readers may find the guidance therein useful in preparing filings with the SEC. Updates in this edition relate to:

  • Age of financial statements in foreign private issuer IPOs;
  • Regulation S-X requirements for foreign private issuers; and
  • Financial statement requirements for foreign incorporated acquirees or investees that do not qualify as a foreign business.

A copy of the updated Financial Reporting Manual as of December 31, 2021 is available here.

Our strategic partnership with CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business, has enabled us to craft our Audit & Accounting eAlert. The articles have been selected from CCH’s Accounting Research Manager Daily and/or Weekly Summary and we hope you find them valuable and relevant. Please feel free to contact ParenteBeard LLC at info@ParenteBeard.com if you have any questions related to these stories or ParenteBeard's services.

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