In The News – 2017

Libra Just Made it Easier for Exchanges to Remain Tax Compliant


With Bitcoin having broken the $10,000-mark yesterday and currently sitting just shy of that level as of the start of play on Thursday, many holders will be considering cashing out some of their portfolios and converting it to fiat so as to book profits on their longer-term coins.

Yaskawa invests in GaN specialist Transphorm


A few weeks ago Yaskawa revealed its Σ-7 F servo motor relies on Transphorm’s high-voltage (HV) GaN. Transphorm intends to allocate the funds to various areas of its GaN product development.

GaN Chip Vendor Snags $15 Million in Funding


SAN FRANCISCO —High-voltage gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor vendor Transporm has secured $15 million in funding from Japan’s Yaskawa Electric, bringing the total it has raised so far to more than $230 million.

Libra introduces enterprise accounting product for blockchain companies


Libra, which provides accounting, audit, and tax software for the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, has released a new enterprise application called Libra Crypto Office, which automates back- and middle-office processes and reporting for funds, market makers and exchanges.

Blockchain Conference: Bitcoin’s At $10,000? Crypto Is Just Getting Started


At the CoinDesk’s Consensus: Invest conference in New York on Tuesday, on the same day Bitcoin hit the $10,000 mark, the crypto space seemed both to have matured and to recognize just how far it had to go.

Venture Deals: Libra


Uber’s moment of truth: Everyone is anxiously awaiting SoftBank’s multi-billion dollar tender offer for Uber shares. But, according to media reports, the offer isn’t so hot. A Softbank-led group is hoping to buy up to 20% of Uber, which has a valuation of ~$69 billion. The proposed price per share is reportedly $32.96, which comes out to a much lower valuation of just about $50 billion. In other words, this is a 30% discount to Uber’s private valuation. The offer is conditional on Softbank buying 14% of Uber’s shares through the tender, so if enough shareholders choose not to tender, it may have to raise its price — or the deal could crumble entirely.

Wrangling Data For Enterprise: Blockchain Company Libra Launches Crypto Office


Libra, a developer of blockchain tax and auditing software, has launched Crypto Office, a new product aimed at the industry’s biggest players: exchanges, market makers and hedge funds.

Libra blockchain startup raises $7.8 million- Series A


The firm announced today, the Series A funding in which the Blockchain startup Libra raises $7.8 million.

The economic assets got from the unnamed family office in Europe. By circular contribution the seed-stage VC firm Liberty City Ventures, Lee Linden an early stage investor and XBTO a crypto market maker formerly functioned for Facebook.

Blockchain startup Libra raises $7.8m


LibraLibra, a pioneer in financial software for the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, today announced a $7.8 million Series A round led by a prominent, multi-billion dollar European family office.

Crypto Tax Software Startup Libra Raises $7.8 Million


Blockchain startup Libra has raised $7.8 million in a new Series A funding round, the company announced today.

The financial resources came from a group of investors which included an unnamed family office based in Europe. Also contributing to the round, according to Libra, was seed-stage VC firm Liberty City Ventures, cryptocurrency market maker XBTO and Lee Linden, an early-stage investor who previously worked for Facebook.

SEC comments on leasing expected this year-end


If regulatory posturing on revenue recognition is any indicator, companies can expect the Securities and Exchange Commission to begin scrutinizing disclosures about the pending new lease accounting requirements at this year end.

Unquenchable Appetite for Innovation—Auditors Journey to Leverage Technology in Audit


“How many of you still remember back in 1985, when we started our careers in audit?” Deloitte partner Mark Davis asked attendees at the Financial Executive International’s annual Current Financial Reporting Issues (CFRI) conference in New York City. “We were using 12-column yellow paper, eight-column yellow, pens and pencils, drawing straight lines, and checking things off.” A couple of hands in the audience were raised.

Blockchain: An opportunity for accountants? Or a threat?


The emergence of blockchain technology has led to a concern in the CPA profession that is perfectly understandable.

Technological advances can threaten people’s livelihoods in any number of professions. The development of the internet had a devastating effect on newspaper journalists, and some experts say self-driving vehicles may cause huge job losses among truck drivers.

Automating Finance: Robots, AI and Other Disrupters Headline CFRI 2017


Automating Finance: Robots, AI and Other Disrupters Headline CFRI 2017

OCA trying to understand blockchain technology applications: SEC Chief Accountant


The Office of the Chief Accountant (OCA) is focusing on blockchain technology and its applications, a senior official at U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said recently.

Speaking at the Financial Executives International 36th Annual Current Financial Reporting Issues Conference, chief accountant Wesley R. Bricker said that the OCA is exploring the potential impact of distributed ledger technology (DLT) for financial reporting.

J&J, Aetna CEOs Hit Fee-for-Service System


Running counter to the Trump administration, which is moving to stall changes to the fee-for-service system for paying doctors, the chief executives of two of the world’s largest health-care companies say they favor health-care providers being paid according to medical outcomes rather than on a per-procedure basis.

SEC looks at blockchain technology for accountants and eyes initial coin offerings


The Securities and Exchange Commission is taking a close look at the trend toward blockchain technology, including the burgeoning investments in bitcoin and initial coin offerings.

EY Stresses Replacing the Job, Not the Person, With Robots


Every robot, or bot launched can replace between five and seven full time employees, according to Fran Exley, a partner at EY.  At the same time, companies must remember to focus on talent management as they increasingly turn to robotics and automation to make their finance function more efficient.

Anti-Fraud Collaboration issues case study


The Anti-Fraud Collaboration between the Center for Audit Quality, Financial Executives International, the Institute of Internal Auditors and the National Association of Corporate Directors has released the fourth in a series of case studies highlighting ways to deter financial fraud.

Servo motor first to use high-voltage (HV) GaN


Transphorm Inc. along with Yaskawa Electric Corporation announced that Yaskawa’s Σ-7 F is the first servo motor to use high-voltage (HV) GaN. Transphorm’s technology enables Yaskawa to deliver better performance in a smaller form factor versus what is possible with incumbent silicon semiconductors. The groundbreaking achievement of this co-developed device is that the Σ-7 F integrates the servo amplifier with the servo motor itself. Further, Yaskawa’s use of Transphorm’s GaN FETs produces an integrated servo motor half the size of a similar design using Silicon (Si) technology.

Driving the Adoption of High Voltage Gallium Nitride Field-Effect Transistors [Expert View]


High-voltage (HV) gallium nitride (GaN)-650-950 V- field-effect transistors (FETs) are becoming the next standard for power conversion. They provide costcompetitive, easy-to-embed solutions that reduce energy loss by more than 50%, shrink system size by more than 40%, and simplify power converter/inverter design and manufacturing. These benefits are being realized today in various markets, including consumer, industrial, server, servo motors and drives, solar, telecommunications, and electric vehicles. So what is driving this current industry momentum, and what more remains to be done to further quicken this adoption?

Whitepaper Examines Best Practices for Companies Transitioning from Emerging Growth Status


Financial Executives Research Foundation and Donnelley Financial Solutions, Inc. today released a white paper examining best practices for companies that are maturing out of Emerging Growth Company (EGC) status per the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act of 2012.

GaN? SiC? Or, do you prefer silicon? (German)


Inzwischen stehen neben Leistungshalbleitern aus Silizium auch solche aus GaN und SiC zur Verfügung. Das macht es dem Praktiker nicht einfacher, das richtige Bauteil für seine Anwendung auszuwählen. Ziel des Anwenderforums Leistungshalbleiter am 22. und 23.11.2017 ist, da Klarheit zu schaffen.

4 Best Ways to Use Advanced Analytics


Predictive and prescriptive analytics help companies use the increasing amounts of data to improve their business and financial performance. Predictive analytics use statistical analysis, data modelling, real-time scoring, and machine learning to detect trends for forecasting. Prescriptive analytics rank the trade-offs of different courses of action companies may take to reach certain objectives, for example through scenario modelling.

The New Skillsets CFOs Need to Acquire to Provide Strategic Leadership


Many CFOs are frustrated by how often their companies face significant new business threats, a study by the Financial Executives Research Foundation suggests. Of the 55 financial executives of Fortune 500 companies interviewed for the study, 24% said they don’t see significant changes and unknown threats to the business until it is too late.

Companies grapple with leasing standard complications


Organizations are finally starting to prepare for the new lease accounting standard that will be taking effect in 2019, but as they do they’re running into some unexpected complexities. Deloitte partners Jeanne McGovern and Derek Bradfield convened a panel last week at a Financial Executives International conference in Philadelphia to discuss the leasing standard.

Survey: Financial Leaders Understand Risk, But Few Feel Ready


Despite the importance of aligning risk with their core business strategy, only 25 percent of financial leaders feel they are able to execute a proper response to risk, and almost 60 percent feel they are too late in recognizing the key risks imperiling their businesses.

Skills that help CFOs handle disruption strategically


Many CFOs are frustrated by how often their companies face significant new business threats, a study by the Financial Executives Research Foundation suggests.

Google Sees Minor Change to Revenue as a Result of New Accounting Standard


Add Google Inc. to the list of companies that expects little change to their financial results from the FASB’s sweeping new rules for recorgnizing revenue. The internet company, which adopted the standard one year ahead of its 2018 effective date, recorded revenue for 2016 that was $15 million lower than it would have been if calculated under old revenue rules. For a company with $425 billion in revenue, the decrease felt like a “rounding error,” said Josh Paul, director of technical accounting for Google.

Regulator: Make Sure Judgments on Revenue Accounting Match up With Internal Controls


The FASB’s landmark revenue accounting standard erases U.S. GAAP’s industry-specific guidance for the sales proceeds from construction projects, software deals, and real estate ventures, among others. Without the detailed accounting requirements for individual industries, companies have to use more judgment when they calculate the top line of their income statements. This means businesses must have proper controls in place to ensure the veracity of these judgments, an SEC official said on June 27, 2017, at a Financial Executives International conference in Philadelphia.

As Pace of Standard-Setting Slows, Effort to Aid Implementation of Major Standards Picks up


After years of watching the FASB develop major new accounting standards, companies now have to start following them. First up is the sweeping revenue recognition standard, which goes into effect in 2018 for public companies. Lease accounting changes hit public company balance sheets in 2019, and new rules for estimating losses on bad loans follow the year after.

Executives Uneasy Over Lease Accounting IT Systems


U.S. companies—facing challenges on how they will account for some of their leasing contracts under new rules—are starting to worry about whether the computerized systems they’re putting in place will be ready for the complex tasks required.

North American, European cardless ATM cash access providers unite to pursue global goal


HalCash North America, introduced in the U.S. in 2015 under the brand name Pin4, has announced the acquisition of a majority equity ownership stake in HalCash International.

PIN4 acquires controlling stake in HalCash International


PIN4HalCash North America (HCNA), referred to in the U.S. as its operating brand Pin4™, announced the acquisition of a majority equity ownership stake in HalCash International (HCI).

PFC totem pole architecture and GaN combine for high power and efficiency


The Open Compute Project (OCP) was begun by Facebook, in an effort to reduce OPEX and CAPEX of hyperscale data centers, by openly sharing data center solutions and building blocks between interested companies. Google joined the OCP in 2016 and Bel Power Solutions has been providing OCP-compliant power solutions since OCP began.

PE-backed Pin4 aquires HCI


Pin4, which is backed by Ashby Point Capital, has acquired Madrid-based HalCash International, a developer and owner of mobile phone-based technology that enables cardless cash withdrawals at ATMs. No financial terms were disclosed.

FEI Says Tax Reform May Significantly Affect Financial Reporting


The Trump administration and GOP lawmakers are calling for a major overhaul to the U.S. tax code. If the final changes are as sweeping as the proposals lawmakers have put forth, the implications for the accounting for income taxes will be significant. The largest U.S. companies want the FASB to closely monitor the legislation as it works its way through Congress to soften the final effect on financial reporting.

U.S. Accounting Rulemakers Urged to Mull GOP Tax Reform Impacts


A prominent business group said that U.S. accounting rulemakers should start to informally engage with companies about the implications of potential U.S. tax law changes.

Bel Power introduces ac/dc power supply using Transphorm GaN FETs


The Transphorm 650-V GaN JEDEC-qualified semiconductor is part of the TET3000-12-069RA power supply from Bel Power Solutions. The supply uses the Transphorm GaN-based bridgeless totem-pole PFC topology to achieve greater than 96% efficiency. The power supply is on display during the Power Conversion and Intelligent Motion (PCIM) Europe conference as part of the co-located showcase in the HY-LINE Power Components booth.

Transphorm showcasing GaN FETs at PCIM Europe


At the 2017 Power Conversion and Intelligent Motion (PCIM) Europe expo in Nuremberg, Germany (16-18 May), Transphorm Inc of Goleta, near Santa Barbara, CA, USA – which designs and manufactures JEDEC-qualified 650V gallium nitride (GaN) field-effect transistors (FETs) for high-voltage power conversion applications…

Transphorm Bringing the GaN Revolution to Nuremberg


At the 2017 Power Conversion and Intelligent Motion (PCIM) Europe expo, Transphorm Inc. will demonstrate high voltage GaN’s momentum in the market. Various displays will exhibit the advantages of Transphorm’s high voltage GaN FETs when used in power electronics systems including power supplies, servo motors and photovoltaic inverters. Further, the company will showcase its recently announced AEC-Q101 qualified GaN FET—the industry’s first automotive-grade GaN technology.

Three Overlooked Questions That Can Affect a Financial Plan


It’s always a good time to sit down with clients to review their financial goals and plans. But the new Trump administration gives advisors an extra reason to touch base with clients who may be wondering how this change may impact public policy and the financial markets.

Advisors and Firms Must Now Adapt to Survive


Everyone is talking about the uncertainty around whether the Department of Labor’s proposed fiduciary rule will be delayed further due to the executive order from President Donald Trump, or if it will be implemented at all. What they are not talking about is how — in response to the fiduciary rule’s planned introduction and preparations for it — the business of financial advice has changed and what advisors need to focus on to grow their businesses.

Umesh Mishra: GaN and power to the people and planet


The wide bandgap semiconductor Gallium Nitride (GaN) has been out of the lab and into products in some markets for almost a decade. But this is a new and exciting time for GaN as it finds its way into rapidly expanding high-speed, high-power applications like data centers, motor drives, EVs, and more. A significant player in this “GaN Revolution” is global semiconductor company Transphorm, Inc.

Why Financial Advisors Need To Be Coaches


Financial advice is best delivered in the context of a long-term relationship between a financial advisor and a client. Keeping a client for the duration of that financial journey can be hard work. Advisors who approach each client relationship like a coach, with a focus on helping their clients achieve positive financial outcomes and maintain their financial discipline over the long-term, will be the ones who develop a successful partnership that will stand the test of time.

Transphorm launches first automotive qualified GaN FETs


Transphorm’s second generation, JEDEC-qualified high voltage gallium nitride (GaN) technology has passed the Automotive Electronics Council’s AEC-Q101 stress tests for automotive-grade discrete semiconductors. These are the first such GaN FETs, says the company.

Transphorm introduces Silicon Valley Center of Excellence


Transphorm Inc of Goleta, near Santa Barbara, CA, USA, which designs and manufactures what it claims are the industry’s only JEDEC-qualified 650V gallium nitride (GaN) field-effect transistors (FETs) for high-voltage power conversion applications, has formally introduced its Silicon Valley Center of Excellence.

Groups recommend ways to fight financial fraud


The Anti-Fraud Collaboration, a coalition of the Center for Audit Quality, Financial Executives International, the Institute of Internal Auditors and the National Association of Corporate Directors, has released a new report on how organizations can deter fraud and improve financial reporting.

State Bankruptcies: Why Obamacare Will Never Be Repealed


The Trump administration, along with Congress, is hard at work on their quest to repeal and replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA). Last week their proposal passed through two House committees and is moving on to a budget panel before it hits the floor.

5 ways to build quality financial plans amid DOL fiduciary rule uncertainty


As advisers grapple with an uncertain regulatory environment, increased competition and fee compression, it’s imperative for them to focus on strengthening client relationships. One of the best ways to do this is by creating and implementing a culture of quality financial planning.

Hanson McClain “Money Matters”


Growth Opportunities Can Appear When Re-examining Financial Advice, Plans


The business of financial advice is changing. People want more transparency, there is fee compression, robo advisors are entering the business to provide formulaic advice and clients, as well as financial advisors, are nearing retirement age.

Establishing the reliability lifecycle of GaN power devices


Extensive reliability testing is an essential phase of any new product or technology. Transphorm utilizes standard JEDEC qualification testing prior to commercializing its GaN (gallium nitride) FETs to ensure that the quality of the devices will meet customer expectations for reliability. However, since the JEDEC tests were originally developed for silicon technology, Transphorm’s testing has gone beyond the minimum requirements of JEDEC testing by running tests on a much larger number of devices than the minimum required. In addition, aggressive accelerated life testing was also performed.

6 Ways to Protect Against the Biggest Threat in Retirement


It’s the job of a financial professional to help clients pay for their health care costs in retirement. But what if you could help them control these costs, too?