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ssfs 1

AICPA Introduces SSFS 1

The Statement on Standards for Forensic Services No. 1, (SSFS 1) was announced by The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) in July of 2019.  SSFS 1, developed by the AICPA’s Forensic and Valuation Services Executive Committee, gives better authoritative and enforceable guidance for the CPAs performing forensic accounting services. It applies to all AICPA members, AICPA member firms, and their employees.

What you need to know about SSFS 1

The new standard helps to clarify the definition of “litigation and “investigation” for accounting purposes. It also helps to establish clear boundaries on what services members can deliver. 

SSFS 1 defines investigation as:

Collecting, analyzing and evaluating evidence to assist clients, the board of directors, independent auditors, or regulators in reaching a conclusion. [Source]

SSFS 1 defines litigation as:

Appearing at a regulatory proceeding as an expert witness, consultant, mediator, or arbitrator in connection with the resolution of disputes between parties. The term litigation is inclusive of all forms of alternative dispute resolution. [Source]

Anne Stalker, chair of the AICPA’s Forensic and Valuation Services Executive Committee says, “These new forensic standards are the first time we are codifying best practices for litigation and investigation consulting work.” She also goes on to state, “Forensic accounting is a diverse practice, and this standard is unique because it is applied based on why a service is provided -litigation or investigation- rather than what skill set is employed.”

Additionally, SSFS 1 also brings clarity to the following topics:

  • A member acting as an expert witness, may not work under the Agreed Upon Procedures Standard.
  • The judge, jury or mediator, not the member, makes the ultimate decision of fraud. However, based on an objective assessment, the member can suggest whether the evidence is consistent with fraud.

For more news relating to accounting and finance professionals, check out: The Accountants’ Code of Ethics is Under Revision.

cryptocurrency less overwhelming

Making Cryptocurrency Less Overwhelming

The cryptocurrency and blockchain technology buzz has been trending since the cryptocurrency or “crypto” boom of 2017 and shows no sign of slowing down. Everywhere you look, more and more accounting and financial professionals are attempting to learn everything they can about crypto. But, with so much information out there, many are feeling overwhelmed.

If you want to stay ahead of the crypto curve, follow these methods:

Keep tabs on the compliance laws, taxation and regulation of cryptocurrency

The best way to follow the rules is to know the rules. You can easily stay up to date with the latest laws and regulations in the cryptocurrency market by setting up Google Alerts. This will allow Google to send you email notifications when something new is published online regarding your chosen topic. Setting up Google Alerts for the terms: cyrpto accounting, crypto tax, crypto law, and crypto compliance will be very helpful.

Also, consider adding an alert specialized for your state so that you can have localized information as well.

Stay Organized

Learning more about cryptocurrency will mean nothing if you don’t find a way to stay organized with your knowledge. Developing a reliable system for handling crypto can make it much more manageable. While it might take a lot of work and effort to set up a good system, it will pay off in the end. You will have much quicker access to the complex information of crypto.

Create an Automated Process

Manually inputting information from every transaction or account is practically impossible when it comes to crypto. With automation revolutionizing the accounting industry, why not make the crypto process automated and save yourself some trouble?

The world of crypto runs incredibly fast, and when it comes to finances, crypto moves significantly faster than traditional finances. As a bonus, using automation can help you to reduce your error rate.

While cryptocurrency can be overwhelming, it can also be rewarding. Set aside some time to study up on the topic, set alerts, and organize your knowledge and documents that relate to crypto. In the end, it will help you to turn a stressful topic into one that’s much more relaxed.

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accounting industry

Digital Future of the Accounting Industry

A Perspective for the Finance and Accounting Industry:

Soon, the accounting industry will be working with brand-new technologies that haven’t even been imagined yet.  Today’s digital environment can be a strange dichotomy. On one hand, we hear constant buzz about dramatic advances and the opportunities presented by them.  We are inundated with the promises of growth and the impact of artificial intelligence (AI). On the other hand, for some people, new technologies can be confusing, and the real benefits seem like a pipe-dream.

Despite the dichotomy between the industry buzz and the frustrations that some people experience, technological developments in the accounting industry will be dramatic and ultimately beneficial.

Trends in Accounting Technology

Advances in processing power, memory capacity, connectivity, AI, robotics, and blockchain technologies are changing the accounting industry. Below are  important trends that will have a material impact on the way data is collected and processed.

  • Big data sets, drastically improved performance and memory capacity
  • AI augmentation of compliance and consulting capabilities
  • Robotic process automation and integration
  • Talent sourcing, crowd problem-solving, and shared ecosystems systems
  • Publicly available and easily accessible knowledge

Tomorrow’s Accounting Industry

By engaging in new technology processes, accounting and finance professionals will be able to enhance compliance practices, improve analysis, and provide greater value.

  • Big data will lead to better detail and accuracy.  Allowing enhanced analysis at the transaction level.  
  • Algorithms will be used to apply expertise, knowledge and experience. Meaning accounting professionals will need to apply that expertise early in the processes as real-time reporting accelerates the times at which data is submitted.
  • Robotic process automation technologies are evolving and becoming easier to use. Additionally, they will likely become smarter and therefore will have a greater impact.
  • Information will be delivered in a more personalized way through mixed-reality media and video. In the future, we might expect more use of natural language processing for emails and engaging virtual agents.

Overview

The finance and accounting industry will continues to transform with a significant change of pace and associated risk as we advance into the digital future.  Which means finance and accounting professionals should monitor technology developments and remain agile.

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