Companies often need financial audits when they seek additional funds or have to satisfy the requirements of owners, creditors, investors and other outside parties who want a higher level of comfort on the accuracy of financial statements.
My experience auditing privately held companies has taught me that a few proactive measures can go a long way in avoiding audit delays, keeping you and your auditor on track, and ensuring a smoother audit process for all. So, let’s jump right into those tips, shall we? (more…)
Not too long ago, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) released their Report to the Nations, a publication on worldwide occupational fraud based on real life fraud cases and it was certainly a telling study in fraud. As an auditor for private companies, it hit very close to home to learn that the median loss experienced by companies with fewer than 100 employees was $200,000! And nearly half of these fraud cases were the result of a lack of internal controls. (more…)
In the last couple of years, I have witnessed several of my private company clients reorganize their operations, through either a merger, an acquisition or a significant management member buyout. While such situations provide a great stage for all to display their accounting chops, they also present us an opportunity to consult with our clients and help them avoid an accounting faux pas or burdensome and unnecessary disclosures caused by an inadvertent accounting election. So, in no specific order, I thought I would summarize some of the unique accounting issues I’ve encountered in such situations and how to navigate them: (more…)
If you have been following Steps 1 (Identify the Contract with the Customer) through 3 (Determining a Transaction Price), of the revenue recognition update as eagerly as I have, then I am sure that you keenly await the discussion on Step 4 about the allocation of the transaction price to the performance obligations in a contract. The wait is over as we explore Step 4 in this blog post. A couple key concepts that we need to understand in this process: the allocation objective and standalone selling price. (more…)
Stories of cyber-attacks, malware, ransomware and all possible variations of data breaches have been grabbing headlines in recent months. Personally, I’ve been on the receiving end of phishing emails from several of my business contacts, unbeknownst to them, asking me to click on spurious links “recommended” by them. My colleagues Kay Filler and Nick Sabbatini wrote on the topics of ID theft and data breach risks not too long ago and offered some handy tips on the subject: ID Theft – Insider View & Technology and Connectivity: Understand and Mitigate Data Breach Risks. (more…)
It sure seems like it was a long time ago that I had anything to say on the subject of IFRS. Quite recently, a client approached me requesting assistance with the conversion of their US GAAP basis financials to IFRS to conform to their parent company’s presentation. And as I explained the key differences to them, I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be nice if I had a cheat sheet of considerations for making the switch to IFRS? To me, understanding the differences between the two standards and the advantages (or disadvantages) of one over the other can go a long way in deciding whether IFRS is the more logical choice and if so, how to plan the conversion. (more…)
As we enter into another audit busy season, I have started my standard exercise of compiling a list of frequently encountered audit and accounting issues that require research, additional analysis and often times detailed disclosures and even material adjustments to my client’s financials. An oft-recurring theme is the existence of related party transactions and how such transactions are recorded and disclosed.
Below are a few frequently asked questions on this subject that merit our attention: (more…)
A recent survey conducted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) estimates that fraud losses for a typical organization amount to 5% of total revenues each year with median losses to the tune of $150,000. More than one‐fifth of such losses hit the million dollar mark. The most common type of fraud: asset misappropriation with median losses of $125,000 comprised 83% of all fraud cases reported while financial statement fraud schemes made up just 10% of the total fraud cases, but caused the greatest median loss at nearly $1 million. The frauds reportedly lasted 18 months before being detected. The most telling fact was that private companies logged the highest median loss of $180,000 in comparison to public companies, government, non-profit and other sectors. (more…)
Being an auditor for so long has instilled in me the importance of looking at issues, even the non-work related ones and then asking myself, “is this material relevant to the issues that I care about?” And I find that this approach helps me tremendously in deciding where to expend my energies. Along similar lines, not too long ago, FASB issued two proposals on the concept of materiality to help organizations decide the appropriateness of financial statement disclosures. (more…)