Accounting Estimates Present Challenges In Times Of Uncertainty

In today’s unprecedented market conditions, it can be challenging to predict metrics that underlie your company’s accounting estimates. Examples of key “unknowns” include how much longer certain pandemic issues will continue, how federal stimulus spending will affect the economy over the long run, and the extent to which tax laws and environment regulations may change […]

How To Strengthen Your Internal Controls

Internal controls are a system of policies and procedures organizations put in place to protect assets and improve operating efficiency. Effective internal controls are critical to accurate financial reporting. A solid system of controls can help prevent, detect and correct financial misstatements due to errors and fraud. Internal and external risk factors evolve over time. […]

4 Ways To Improve The Effectiveness Of Your Audit Committee

Audit committees face many challenges in 2021. As the economy rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic, there are new dimensions to the oversight roles and responsibilities of the audit committees. Consider taking these following four steps to fortify your committee’s effectiveness. 1. Focus on fundamentals  Once you’ve wrapped up the financial reporting process for fiscal year […]

How Auditors Assess Cyber Risks

Data security is a critical part of the audit risk assessment. If your financial statements are audited, your audit team will tailor their procedures to answer critical questions about cyber risks and the effectiveness of your internal controls. While conducting fieldwork, they’ll assess how your practices measure up and whether your company has weaknesses that […]

Analytical Procedures Can Help Make Your Audit More Efficient

The use of audit analytics can help during the planning and review stages of the audit. But analytics can have an even bigger impact when these procedures are used to supplement substantive testing during fieldwork. Definition of “analytics” Auditors use analytical procedures to evaluate financial information by assessing relationships among financial and nonfinancial data. Examples […]

Footnote Disclosures: The Story Behind The Numbers

The footnotes to your company’s financial statements give investors and lenders insight into account balances, accounting practices and potential risk factors — knowledge that’s vital to making well-informed business and investment decisions. Here are four important issues that you should cover in your footnote disclosures. 1. Unreported or contingent liabilities A company’s balance sheet might […]

Assessing And Mitigating Key Person Risks

Auditing standards require a year-end risk assessment. One potential source of risk may be a small business’s reliance on the owner and other critical members of its management team. If a so-called “key person” unexpectedly becomes incapacitated or dies, it could disrupt day-to-day operations, alarm customers, lenders and suppliers, and drain working capital reserves. Common […]

How Well Do Your Nonprofit’s Development And Accounting Departments Communicate?

Your accounting and development departments are central to the continued financial health of your not-for-profit. So what happens when communication between these two functions break down? It could result in conflict between staffers, inaccurate financial statements and, in a worst-case scenario, the forfeiture of grant funds. Here’s how you can encourage collaboration. Note different accounting […]

ICFR Assessment And Attestation: Are You In Compliance With The Rules?

Each year, public companies must assess the effectiveness of their internal controls over financial reporting (ICFR) under Section 404(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). In some cases, private companies should follow suit. In addition, a public company’s independent auditors are generally required to provide an attestation report on management’s assessment of ICFR under Sec. 404(b). But some […]

Year-End SWOT Analysis Can Uncover Risks

As your company plans for the coming year, management should assess your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. A SWOT analysis identifies what you’re doing right (and wrong) and what outside forces could impact performance in a positive (or negative) manner. A current assessment may be particularly insightful, because market conditions have changed significantly during the […]