Summary of the 2017 AICPA Conference

Video Dec 07, 2017

The AICPA Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments is a chance to hear about current and emerging hot topics related to accounting and auditing directly from each of the participants in the financial reporting value chain. 

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Transcript

Hi, I’m Valerie Wieman, a partner in PwC’s National office.

The annual AICPA National Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments features representatives from regulatory and standard setting bodies, along with auditors, preparers, securities counsel, and industry experts. Presenters express views on a variety of accounting, auditing, and financial reporting topics.

A focus on the need for management, the auditor, and the audit committee to work together to provide investors with decision-useful information has become an AICPA conference tradition. And while this came across clearly, the theme this year more broadly focused on (1) the importance of communication throughout the financial reporting value chain, and (2) that regulators and standard setters are working to reduce the burden and cost of compliance with financial reporting rules and regulations. The FASB and the PCAOB also provided an update on their activities.

This was the first conference for the SEC’s new Chairman, Jay Clayton. In his remarks - and in the other panels that included the SEC’s practice fellows and members of the staff, the message was, to use a cliche: We’re from the government and we’re here to help. For example, the SEC staff consistently invited companies to contact them for help with technical and regulatory requirements and to discuss their specific facts and circumstances when asking for waivers and pre-clearance requests.

The SEC staff also summarized its efforts to update its regulations and ease certain filing requirements to alleviate some of the burdens that may discourage companies from entering the US capital markets.

Of course there was also a significant focus on the new revenue, leases, and credit losses accounting standards, including preparer panels sharing best practices for implementing the revenue and leases standards. In addition, the FASB summarized its recent standard setting developments and laid out its priority projects for 2018. These projects include financial performance reporting, liabilities and equity, and finalizing the accounting for long-duration insurance contracts. The PCAOB provided an update on its recent standard setting, including the Auditor Reporting Model. Some changes to the audit report will take effect with this year end, while the disclosures of critical audit matters will begin for some companies with 2019 audits.

We are finalizing our In depth summarizing the Conference’s key messages which will include links to the materials and speeches from the Conference. Look for this publication to be posted soon to CFOdirect.com.

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Beth Paul
US Strategic Thought Leader, National Professional Services Group
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David Schmid
IFRS & US Standard Setting Leader, National Professional Services Group
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