Accounting

Updated warning for tsunami on the horizon for charity financial statements.

tsunami” by hansol is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The July 2017 post explaining Before the tsunami hits it might be time to tune into the accounting rules on the horizon  at my other blog, Nonprofit Update, has been updated to mention ASU 2018-08, which addresses accounting for contributions and grants. Might be worth your time to think about the major changes in accounting rules coming into play over the next few years.

2018 nonprofit risk alert is available. New edition adds discussion on valuation of GIK as rebuttal to California AG.

Cover of 2018 NFP risk alert, used under fair use since I’m recommending you buy the document.

The AICPA has released the 2018 edition of Not-for-Profit Entities Industry Developments.

If you are a CPA serving the not-for-profit community, you need to read this document each year. It provides a survey of the accounting and auditing issues affecting the nonprofit world.

If you are an auditor, there are several other risk alerts you ought to be reading every year.

(Cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update, since this information is useful for many CPAs.)

If you are working for a nonprofit, these alerts would give you a good survey of accounting issues in general and the audit issues your CPA will be dealing with this year.

Valuation of Gifts in Kind

Of particular interest are new comments responsive to the challenge from the California AG over valuation of GIK. The 2017 and 2016 editions had minimal comments on GIK.

The 2018 edition has a new section, Gifts-in-Kind: Reporting Contributions of Nonfinancial Assets, in paragraphs .53 through .57, which describes the AICPA’s interpretation of GAAP.

Years after the mebendazole issue has faded away, the second bullet point of paragraph .56 says that when GIK is sourced outside the U.S. and is not approved for distribution in the U.S., the meds should be valued at international prices. (If you have been following this issue for years, you realize the concession made by that comment.)

Accounting for donated medicine drawing regulatory attention: California A.G. files 3 cease and desist orders.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The California Attorney General has taken exception to the valuation of donated medicine by three large charities.

In March 2018 MAP International, Food for the Poor, and Catholic Medical Mission Board were served with cease and desist orders insisting the charities cease using their claims of extremely high program service percentages. The AG also seeks to revoke charitable registration status in the state for MAP and FftP. The cease and desist orders seek to impose substantial fines on the charities.

The AG also claims that FftP incorrectly applied joint cost allocation.

The filed actions alleged that financial reporting for the years 2012 through 2015 is incorrect. This would include the audited financial statements, 990s, and RRF-1s (for MAP and FftP).

Free update on new and recent accounting rules from CCH

For a summary of the accounting rules released in 2017 and the most significant new rules from 2016, 2015, and 2014, check out A Closer Look: Discussion and Analysis of Current Accounting and Audit Issues.

CCH made this update available for free to people on their mailing list. I received permission from my editor at CCH to make it available on my blog.

Click here to download the 54 page newsletter. CCH does not  have a separate landing page for the document, so that link automatically downloads the newsletter. UPDATE:  If link didn’t work for you, please try again. I reloaded the link and it is working now.

For each of the accounting rules covered, the newsletter provides:

Various thoughts from continuing education classes this year, part 3. Not so good news on audit and peer review quality.

The road we CPAs need to be on, but not all of us are…
Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

As I’ve mentioned here and here, I have reread my notes from several continuing education classes this year. Thought I would share a variety of stray ideas.

Probably need to note again that I have not gone back and read the original pronouncements supporting each idea and therefore I do not have a specific citation for you. (Reading three of the documents is the next step for  my writing project.)

(Cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

I should probably throw in a disclaimer. All of the comments I’m mentioning were the opinion of the presenter, not the agency from whom the person was drawing a paycheck. That is why I’m not mentioning the names of the presenters, or even the CPE event. In addition, the rephrasing of their comments is my interpretation, not their words.

Here are some tidbits you might enjoy:

More interest in Financial Reporting Framework for Small- and Medium-sized Entities (FRF-SME)?

The FRF-SME framework is a non-GAAP alternative to GAAP. It is dramatically less complicated with the promise it will not be revised more often every three years.

Various thoughts from continuing education classes this year, part 2

nonprofit” by sinclair.sharon28 is licensed under CC BY 2.0: EKG Technician Salary

As mentioned in the previous post, I’ve reread my notes from several continuing education classes this year. Thought I would share a variety of stray ideas.

(Cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

For what it is worth here are some tidbits you might enjoy:

Presentation of not-for-profit financials – ASU 2016-14

Presenter said that if an organization wanted to break out the with restriction column into more detail there is nothing to resented been broken into two or three columns. Perhaps it could be columns for:

  • donor endowment
  • other with restriction contributions
  • time restrictions
  • total with donor restriction
  • without donor restriction
  • total (total column is not required, but total change in net assets is)

Another possibility to present more detail would be to present multiple lines within the with donor restriction column, such as contributions to donor endowment, various purpose restrictions, time restriction, and a subtotal.

Various thoughts from continuing education classes this year, part 1

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

As part of working on a big writing project, I’ve reread my notes from several continuing education classes this year. (More details later and a link to the published material much later.) Thought I would share a variety of stray ideas. Here are a few tidbits from the classes.

Probably need to note that I have not gone back and read the original pronouncements supporting each idea and therefore I do not have a specific citation for you. (Reading three of the documents is the next step for my writing project.)

(Cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

For what it is worth here are some tidbits you might enjoy:

Leases – ASU 2016-02.

One of the key on/off switches is whether a particular transaction or document is a lease. That will require an assessment of each transaction.

Right of use assets (the new description) resulting from operating and financing leases need to be listed separately on the statement of financial position. Those two categories (operating right of use and financing right of use) will be presented separately from fixed assets.

FASB exposure draft on contributions and grants.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

FASB has released an exposure draft which slightly redefines the distinction between revenues and contributions for the nonprofit world.

Exposure draft is called Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958) – Clarifying the Scope and the Accounting Guidance for Contributions Received and Contributions Made.

On 9/11/17 I watched FASB’s one hour webcast on the exposure draft. This is only the second time I’ve seen a presentation on the issue and I haven’t yet dived into the 51 page document. That means I’m just starting to understand the changes.

What I’m going to do here is give a high level introduction. Keep in mind this is just an overview without all the details. Furthermore it is my preliminary understanding after having only heard the presentation twice and looking at the slide deck once. Please don’t cite this in your workpapers!

This exposure draft does not call for any change in how transactions are presented in the statement of activities. Organizations can present particular transactions as either revenue or contributions as they wish. The point was made several times in the presentation that the rules spelled out here determine which model is used for recognizing a transaction, not what presentation is used on the statement of activity.

There is a fantastic graph in the slide deck that provides a good visualization of the current and proposed accounting. It is copyrighted and thus I won’t be presenting it here. I’m sure you’ll be seeing the graphic before you get very far into your study.

Here’s a breakout of how exchange transactions are currently handled. These are also called reciprocal transactions. Currently we think of these as revenue, although the verbal comments in the presentation indicate that is no longer necessarily how exchange transactions must be presented.

Another overview of blockchain technology; time to start figuring out this stuff.

Buzzword Bingo: Blockchain” by planeta is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Sure does look like this blockchain technology is going to be a big deal. Might be time to start getting our minds wrapped around the concept.

For starters, check out this short overview:

[youtube=https://youtu.be/6WG7D47tGb0]

 

 

For a bit more detail:

8/4/17 – Bill Sheridan at Business Learning Institute – Block chain might remake accounting. The opportunities are huge. – Introductory article is one of the better overviews I have read. It introduces the video shown above.

One sentence description of Block chain, quoting from the article:

Before the tsunami hits it might be time to tune into the accounting rules on the horizon.

tsunami” by hansol is licensed under CC BY 2.0

While you have been sitting on the beach enjoying life this summer, have you noticed that dark, odd horizontal line out there on the horizon?

It isn’t a figment of your imagination. There really is a tsunami wave out there in the distance of the accounting ocean and it is going to hit the shore where you are sun bathing.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, there will be fresh waves of water hitting the beach over four years.

The good news? Maybe one or two or three of the waves will miss your organization.

Here is a quick glance of what’s on the horizon:

  • Overhaul NFP financial statement presentation
  • Restricted cash on cash flow statement
  • Revenue recognition for all entities
  • Grant and contribution recognition for NFPs
  • Most leases brought onto the statement of financial position
  • Credit losses on loans and receivables

Here is just a bit more detail:

(Cross-post from my other blog, Nonprofit Update, so this will focus on not-for-profit issues.)

Accountants coping with change. PTIN fees tossed out. New audit report from PCAOB.

Image courtesy of Dollar Photo Club

A few interesting reads for accountants.

  • If we keep learning, robots will free us up from dreary work but won’t take away our jobs
  • Federal court keeps PTIN requirement in place but overturns the fee requirement
  • PCAOB expands standard auditor’s report

5/30/17 – Bill Sheridan at Business Learning Institute – Robots aren’t stealing our jobs. They’re setting us free. – Mr. Sheridan describes how we as accountants could thrive as computers take away the basic number crunching parts of our work.

Those tasks we do that can be automated will shift. That will leave the strategic thinking, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and anticipation to us.

In my little brain, I have a way to describe this – So let’s say you have a program that can review 100% of disbursements instead of you drawing a sample of 40 or 60 items. Cool.

In any client that still uses humans to run their organizations, how many exceptions do you know think you will need to address?

Comments on changes to financial statement presentation during 2017 CalCPA Not-for-profit conference, part 2

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Here are a few of the comments from CalCPA’s May 24, 2017 Not-for-profit conference about major overhaul of financial statement presentation that I thought would be of interest to others in the nonprofit community. This post addresses ASU 2016-14. Part 1 addressed tax, revenue recognition, and single audit update sessions.

(Cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

Accounting update – The first presenter is a FASB staff person. While comments made are the presenter’s opinions, we ought to pay attention to such a person’s opinions. Another disclaimer is the following summaries are from me.

ASU 2016-14 is the document changing not-for-profit financial statement presentation. We all need to get to the place where ASU 2016-14 or 16-14 easily rolls off our tongues.

ASU 2016-14:

Brain stretching accounting articles for CPAs

Image courtesy of Dollar Photo Club before their merger into Adobe Stock.

Here are a few articles to stretch your brain when you are ready for some mental exercise:

  • Is the double-entry accounting system broken?
  • What is the recidivism rate for white-collar criminals and how could that affect my audits?
  • What  possible changes are on the horizon for the audit opinion?

5/17/17 – Tom Selling at The Accounting Onion – Double-Entry Accounting and Modern Times – As a real brain stretcher, consider whether our double-entry accounting system is fundamentally broken.

Work with me a minute while I highlight and summarize a few ideas from the article.

A basic concept of double-entry accounting is that debits on the left side of the balance sheet represent all the assets of the entity. This includes all of the resources that are available for the entity to use in order to make money and all the assets against which creditors have a claim.

On the credit side, liabilities represent all of the claims against the organization. The equity section represents the value that belongs to the owners.

Prof. Selling points out there’s a variety of problems with using the statement of financial position as a representation of economic reality.

He points out and then moves past the idea that not all debits are assets and not all credits are liabilities. That’s easy to understand.

More significantly is that not all assets are reflected as debits and not all liabilities are reflected as credits.

Helpful comments from 2017 CalCPA Not-for-profit conference, part 1

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Here are a few of the comments from the May 24, 2017 Not-for-profit conference presented by California Society of CPAs that I thought would be of interest to others in the nonprofit community. Since all comments are the opinion of the speaker, neither their name nor organization will be mentioned. The ideas mentioned can stand or fall on their own.

This is the first of two posts. The next discussion will address changes in financial statement presentation outlined in ASU 2016-14. In this post: tax, revenue recognition, and single audit.

(Cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

Tax update:

  • It might just be possible that filing a form 1023 or 1023-EZ is so easy that people can get exempt status for an organization without knowing the requirements to properly operate a charity and maintain exempt status. In examinations to follow-up on exempt status, the IRS is finding a lot of charities are out of compliance.
  • One of several focuses of the IRS is filing of FBARs, those forms used to report overseas bank accounts. One ripple effect of chasing money laundering is the impact on charities who have overseas accounts. Even though there is minimal risk of those accounts being used for tax evasion the FBAR filing requirement still apply. As a reminder, the deadline for filing FBARs is now April 15 with a six-month extension available.

Not-for-profit risk alert for 2017 is available

Cover of 2017 risk alert from the AICPA, used under fair use since I’m urging you to buy their product.

The 2017 risk alert for non-profits is available from the AICPA.

Highlighted updates this year include:

  • AUS 2016-14 – New financial statement presentation
  • ASU 2016-02 – Leases
  • SAS 132 – Going concern

If you don’t feel overwhelmed, you haven’t been paying close enough attention to recent pronouncements. If so, the risk alert will help you catch up.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, the risk alert is a great first step towards to getting comfortable.