Friday Footnotes: The CPA Is A-Changin’; Audits Still Suck; CPA.com’s New Partner | 12.13.19

Proposed CPA licensure model emphasizes core plus disciplines [Journal of Accountancy] A newly proposed CPA licensure model developed by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the AICPA is designed to help newly licensed CPAs learn the skills and competencies they will need in the workplace of the future. The draft licensure model, which is not considered final, is designed similarly to the professional engineer licensure model, which requires all professionals to develop strong core skills and then choose a discipline in which to demonstrate deeper knowledge and abilities.

Upgrading the Engagement [CFO.com] The Financial Reporting Council (FRC), which regulates auditors, accountants, and actuaries in the United Kingdom, issued a report in July 2019 strongly criticizing firms’ auditing quality. The FRC assessed 75% of the FTSE 350 audits for December 2017 year-ends as good or requiring limited improvements. The council’s target is 90%, and no firms examined achieved that level. Overall there was no improvement from the previous year, FRC says, and 25% of assessed audits were below an acceptable standard. “Poor quality audit work remains unacceptably common,” the report opined.

Half of firms’ clients have been with them 8+ years [Accounting Today] More than half of accounting firm clients (56 percent) have been with them for eight or more years — and over a third (34 percent) have been with them a decade or longer, according to a recent survey.

TaxChat™, powered by EY, offers tax preparation directly to individual US taxpayers [PRNewswire] Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) announced today that beginning January 2020, EY TaxChat™, its award-winning, on-demand mobile tax preparation service, will be offered directly to consumers who are required to file US tax returns. Until now, EY TaxChat has been accessible exclusively as an employee benefit from participating companies.

Crypto accounting firm and CPA.com partner to roll out new software ahead of tax season [Yahoo] A partnership between crypto software company Lukka and accounting service CPA.com is building crypto tax tools for accountants, according to a joint release. The two have plans to unveil their “LukkaTax for Professionals” in mid-January, enabling companies to onboard and serve clients reporting digital transactions. The platform will provide both education and tools for accountants in the digital asset space, which Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com said is of growing importance in the wake of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) activities this year.

KPMG announces drop in profits, but shows signs of positive audit investments [Accountancy Age] Big Four firm KPMG has announced a 14% drop in profits and a slow-down in revenue growth as it prepares for increased regulatory scrutiny that will likely lead to greater separation of its business.

SEC Charges Man With $42 Million Crypto Fraud Scheme [Infosecurity Magazine] The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged that UnitedData founder Eran Eyal conducted a “fraudulent unregistered securities offering” by selling tokens for his Shopin business from August 2017 to April 2018. It’s claimed that Eyal pocketed at least $500,000 of investor funds for rent, shopping, entertainment and even a dating service.

Deloitte Has Made $42 Million Working With ICE This Year [VICE] On the “Values” section of its website, professional services giant Deloitte makes clear what kind of company it believes itself to be. “We believe that nothing is more important than our reputation, and behaving with the highest levels of integrity is fundamental to who we are,” the company states. One way to apparently operate a business with the highest levels of integrity is to make millions per year working with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the law enforcement agency heavily criticized by human rights organization for denying migrants basic human rights. Deloitte—one of the Big Four multifaceted consulting firms–has made more than $42 million working with ICE in 2019 alone.

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