In The News – 2018

Revenue Recognition, Leasing Rule Changes Boost Audit Fees


Major changes in accounting rules for revenue recognition and leases have pushed up audit fees for publicly traded companies.

Audit fees for public companies rise at faster pace


Though overall audit fee increases were modest, average public company audit fees grew at nearly twice the previous rate last year, according to a new report.

New GAAP rules drive audit fee increases, poll says


New accounting standards along with mergers and acquisitions are driving modest increases in audit fees, according to a new survey from the Financial Education & Research Foundation.

Rate of Growth in Audit Fees Doubled in 2017: FERF


The median rate of growth in audit fees for public companies doubled for 2017 compared with the prior year, according to research released on Tuesday.

The median reported fee increase among 83 public-company respondents — a majority of them at Fortune 500 companies — was 2.5%, following a median hike of only 1.3% for 2016.

New Accounting Rules Drove Up U.S. Audit Fees in 2017


U.S. public companies paid a median of 2.5% more in 2017 to auditors for assuring that their financial statements are free from material misstatements, according to an annual survey by the Financial Education & Research Foundation.

Fee-Based Planning: A New Model For A New Era


Regulatory unrest, digital innovation and growing wealth within new generations are pushing financial advisors to innovate their services and reassess their fees and costs. Tried-and-true models that base compensation on assets under management or commissions from investment products are quickly losing favor with a new kind of investor ― one who values a personalized, multi-dimensional, long-term approach that goes beyond transactions or AUM.

SEC Spotlights Areas of Subjective Judgement in Letters to Early Adopters of Revenue Rules


The Securities and Exchange Commission is homing in on subjective accounting decisions made by finance teams as the regulator reviews how companies comply with new revenue recognition rules.

Data, Graphics & More: 5 Skills Accountants Need for the Future


Accountants will need to pick up some new skills as automation, machine learning, and eventually, blockchain, begin to seep into their everyday work, some of the profession’s leading innovators told Bloomberg Tax.

Fuelled by a Fresh Funding of US$ 1.9 Million Swiss-Based Nummo Launches PFM Platform


Nummo, a personal financial manage­ment platform that provides a singular view of your financial health across multiple banks announced that they closed a funding round of US$ 1.9 million.

Hybridity Key To Betterment’s New Initiatives


Betterment ranks as one of the high-profile success stories coming out of the robo advisory market revolution, however changes are coming to the company’s robotics-based business model.

Are There Too Many Robo Advisors


The robo advisor industry is rife with new entrants but the loss of others, begging the question: Are there too many robo advisors?

New Lifetime Withdrawal Rider Offers Creative Withdrawal Option


A variable annuity policyholder typically collects guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits from an insurer when the account value drains to zero, but a new annuity rider allows insurers to start those payments even if there’s money still left in the account.

6 of the Newest Trends in Robo Advisors


Fintech robo advisors are blanketing the financial landscape – the robo advisory market is expected to reach between $2.2 trillion to $3.7 trillion in assets under management by 2020 and $16 trillion by 2025.

To realize their true potential, CPA firms must take themselves off of autopilot


What’s holding your accounting firm back? Chances are it’s not your marketing, your business model or your methods holding your CPA firm captive — it’s your mindset. The single greatest factor determining your firm’s success and satisfaction is your mindset.

‘Freedom’ is the key to Sammons’ new variable annuity


What makes a skeptical advisor sit up and notice a new variable annuity contract? Three factors rank high: ample equity exposure, a guaranteed floor income, and maximum ability to access the money in the contract.

Insurers Need to Give Retirement Savers What They Want: Bill Lowe


Back in early 2012, Bill Lowe was out promoting a new Sammons Retirement Solutions variable annuity contract designed for the shaky financial world left after the horrors of the 2007-2009 Great Recession.

3 Annuities to Watch: Sammons, Athene, Manulife


Sammons Retirement Solutions has introduced a variable annuity with a guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit rider. The new LiveWell Freedom Variable Annuity contract automatically includes a GLWB with a 2% minimum gain, and a 75% share of S&P 500 Index gains. The annual GLWB charge will amount to 1.45% of the GLWB value.

Penguins and Rock Stars: Luxury Concierge Servces Thrill Clients, Build Loyalty


If a wealthy client was throwing a black-and-white themed birthday party for his son and wanted 40 penguins delivered for the occasion, would you know whom to contact to make this dream come true—and strengthen your relationship with the client in the process?

Sammons Rolls Out Variable Annuity with Fewer Financial Restrictions


Digital Transformation Could Add New Jobs – Survey


More finance chiefs are looking to add workers to aid in the transformation toward a more digital workplace rather than reduce headcount, according to the latest report by staff firm Robert Half International Inc.

Transphorm Pumps Up Production


In just the last few days, California-based Transphorm has launched its third generation 650V GaN FETs, designed for high voltage power conversion applications. Targeting industrial, data centre, renewable and power supply applications, the latest devices offer a 4V threshold – an industry first for GaN FETs and eliminating the need for a negative gate drive – lower electromagnetic interference and reduced device price.

COSO offers enterprise risk management certificate 


The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission, also known as COSO, has introduced a COSO Enterprise Risk Management Certificate program for professionals who want to demonstrate their expertise in the COSO ERM Framework.

The most important skill for financial advisors, according to clients


To attract new clients, financial advisors would do well to have tax expertise and preferably a CPA qualification. That’s according to a new report which shows that 66% of affluent and emerging affluent consumers say they prioritize tax knowledge, while 47% of the survey’s respondents say they most associate the CPA designation with financial advice.

Got Tax Mojo? Survey Shows Affluent Americas Seek Tax Expertise from Financial Advisors


A new survey of affluent and “emerging affluent” consumers shows that 66 percent view tax knowledge to be the most important factor when choosing a financial advisor. Also, nearly half of respondents (47 percent) associated the CPA designation with financial advice, with 40 percent associating CFA’s with financial advice.

Tax know-how and CPA credential rank high for financial advice


Tax knowledge is considered to be the most important factor when choosing a financial advisor, according to a new survey, which also found the CPA credential to be the one most associated with financial advice.

FERF report examines blockchain use by financial execs


The Financial Executives Analysis Basis, the investigation affiliate of Financial Executives Worldwide, has introduced a report in conjunction with Deloitte on how blockchain technological innovation is getting utilized in financial programs.

Got crypto? Here’s how to avoid an audit from the IRS


Whether you were paid in ethereum or you sold some of your bitcoin in 2017, one key question will determine your responsibility to the IRS: What’s your cost basis?

Practical Guidance for GaN Power Conversion


More than 10 percent of electricity is lost in power conversion, even as silicon (Si) semiconductors are optimized to their utmost level of efficiency. This loss equates to tens of billions of dollars in wasted energy, along with systems that run hot and require additional cooling mechanisms—meaning more money and physical space spent generating power. Which is why the industry is shifting toward alternative materials, like wide bandgap semiconductors.

FERF finds more evidence of audit cost creep in 2016


Another new study confirms public company audit costs inched upward in 2016, albeit by a smaller amount than in 2015.  The latest analysis by Financial Executives Research Foundation says public filings show public companies paid a median 2.6 percent more in audit fees in 2016 than they did in 2015, when fees rose by 3.5 percent.

First GaN power consumer application


The AX1600i 115V PSU apparently achieves 99% efficiency, “increasing power output by 6.5% in an 11% smaller [20mm shorter] package at the same temperature”, said Transphorm, and earns a better-than 80 PLUS Titanium rating.