Friday Footnotes: Accounting AI Explodes; SOX Sux compliance; KPMG joins a list | 17.06.22

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The 2022 Client Advisory Services (CAS) Benchmark Survey is now open for participation [CPA.com] Participating in the CAS Benchmark Survey gives you the opportunity to work on your business – first, by reviewing your practice data in preparation for completing the survey, and later, when you can review the data of your practice compared to other CAS and CAS practices of high performance.

VCs target AI accounting startups as companies seek to control spending in an uncertain economy [Wall Street Journal] It’s finally happening! Let the robot takeover begin! Worldwide, startups making AI-powered accounting software raised $233.3 million in venture capital between January and the end of March, surpassing $210.2 million in funding overall of 2021, according to research provider PitchBook Data Inc. the first quarter for startups building AI-powered tools in areas such as media and entertainment, processor design and autonomous vehicles, among dozens of other software categories, said Brendan Burke, PitchBook’s principal analyst for emerging technologies.

Coping With Continuing Rising Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Costs [Journal of Accountancy] Technology tools have the potential to stem the tide of increasing costs and time spent complying with Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), but the current conditions facing businesses may slow the pace of progress. Protiviti surveyed 562 company representatives – half of whom are CFOs – and found that 53% reported an increase in SOX compliance hours, the same percentage that reported an increase in 2021. Twenty-one percent reported reported a decrease in SOX hours, a slight increase from 18% a year ago.

Hot (pun intended) on Reddit today:

NASBA, AICPA and Prometric Expand International CPA Exam Testing Locations [NASBA] NASBA, AICPA and Prometric announce that qualified candidates for the CPA Uniform Exam who apply in participating jurisdictions will have the opportunity to take the test at any international location where the CPA exam is currently offered. This is in effect as of June 2, 2022. Testing eligibility for qualified international CPA exam candidates was previously determined by jurisdictions participating in the international CPA exam administration and limited to sites based on the residency and citizenship of the candidate. Before June 2, 2022, for example, an applicant residing in Japan could take a test in Japan or the United States, but not in India or Brazil. Now this candidate can test in each of these locations.

While accounting technology is moving fast, some companies are still moving slowly:

New report from Deloitte: LGBT+ inclusion efforts have positive effects in the workplace, but challenges persist [PR Newswire] Many organizations are prioritizing LGBT+ inclusion, creating an overall positive impact in the workplace, according to nearly 80% of respondents in the latest Deloitte report, “LGBT+ Inclusion @ Work: A Global Outlook, released today. today. Research finds that over 70% of LGBT+ employees are more likely to stay with their current employer due to their approach to LGBT+ inclusion and many cited visible allies and availability of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) as key enablers of an inclusive culture. Yet despite these efforts, 42% of all respondents said they had experienced non-inclusive behaviors at work.

Growing EY initiative promotes neurodiversity in the workplace [Bloomberg Tax] “You have a lot of very capable people who communicate differently, who may approach work differently, and so they’re not getting the jobs and they’re not able to keep the jobs, but they’re very capable of performing,” said Theresa Haskins University, an adjunct associate professor from Southern California, who has researched the employment of adults with autism.

KPMG ranks 6th in Fortune’s Best Large Workplaces of 2022 in New York [Fortune] How many Omaha steaks did this person receive for those words? “KPMG has exceeded my expectations of a Big 4 accounting firm because of the care they give to their people. KPMG truly keeps people engaged through opportunities, communities and moments of appreciation. Every person I met made an effort to get to know me and my story, not just my professional story. I had the opportunity to connect and engage with others with similar interests, while expanding my own horizons and trying new things.

PWC Survey: Business Leaders Wrongly Think Their Customers ‘Trust Them A Lot’ [Axios] According to a new PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, 87% of business leaders “believe customers trust their business completely,” but only 30% of consumers actually do. Recent price spikes have had a deleterious effect on people’s confidence in businesses – in part because companies aren’t doing a good job overall of explaining their pricing decisions, the US president has said. PwC, Tim Ryan, at Axios. “It calls for a different way of thinking… around transparency,” Ryan says.

FRC chairman promises new board audit rules for UK companies [Financial Times] The new chairman of the UK accounting regulator has warned that the government’s decision to drop additional oversight rules for company boards to tackle audit failures was a “missed opportunity”. Sir Jan du Plessis, in his first public address since becoming chairman of the Financial Reporting Council in February, pledged to hold business leaders to account with his own version of the Sarbanes-Oxley style proposals that have been abandoned by British ministers.

UK accounting firms must prepare for crypto ‘tidal wave’ [AccountancyAge] Accounting firms in the UK need to consider the direction of the shift to cryptocurrencies and digital assets to stay competitive, according to Joe David, founder and chief executive of Nephos Group. “Because crypto is becoming more mainstream, accountants are getting more and more questions about it and realizing that it’s not an area that you can just pick up and put back together.” a tidal wave that will hit many companies if they are not careful.”

FASB Seeks Comments on Grants, Postpones NPO Webcast [The Nonprofit Times] The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued an Invitation to Comment (ITC) on its “Accounting for Government Grants by Business Entities: Potential Incorporation of IAS 20, Accounting for Government Grants and Disclosure of Government Assistance , in generally accepted accounting principles”. The FASB has also postponed its upcoming webcast which will provide a semi-annual update on its standard-setting activities relating to private companies and not-for-profit organizations.

ICAN to attract young people to the accounting profession [Punch Ng] Meanwhile in Nigeria…sound familiar? The new President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Mowe & District Society, Mr. Omoniyi Osunsanya, said the district will attract young people from secondary schools, tertiary institutions and graduates of the accountancy profession. “We will partner with tuition service providers to recruit high school students into the Accounting Technicians Scheme West Africa program as well as students and graduates from tertiary institutions into the Professional Examination pathway, leading them to become chartered accountants,” he said.

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