To FEI Members:
Many exciting things are happening at FEI, as we welcome our 2011-12 Board of Directors
, and launch our latest member acquisition effort, the Member-Get-A-Member campaign
. This campaign provides incentives for new members to join, as well as encourages existing members to participate in our recruiting endeavors.
Our advocacy and accounting policy staff in Washington D.C. and our New Jersey headquarters continue to closely follow developments for you, such as those described in this newsletter. Our conference team is also planning outstanding opportunities for you to learn more about these developments, at programs such as our Washington Policy Conference
in September and our Current Financial Reporting Issues (CFRI) conference
in November. I hope to see you at our national and local chapter events; I know you will find them to be a great investment by earning CPE, learning about the latest developments and networking with peers.
Marie N. Hollein, CTP
SEC Reporting Today and Tomorrow:
Q&A Session with Bob Herz, former FASB Chairman
July 28 | 2:00 p.m. Eastern | 1 Hour | 1 CPE credit available | Register here
Join FEI and WebFilings for a complimentary webcast presentation, featuring Robert Herz, former FASB Chairman on July 28. The discussion will be moderated by Joe Howell, co-founder and managing director of WebFilings and organizer/community moderator of the SEC Professionals Group. Herz will be answering questions submitted by registrants about key financial reporting developments covering a variety of topics - from the current status of FASB projects and XBRL compliance to the future with IFRS.
Table of Contents
REGULATORY AND LEGISLATIVE UPDATES
NEWS TO USE
CONFERENCES & EVENTS
Upcoming FEI Conferences and Events
FEI Committee Meetings
FEI JOB LISTINGS
REGULATORY AND LEGISLATIVE UPDATES
Hans Hoogervorst Becomes New Chairman of IASB
Effective July 1, 2011 Hans Hoogervorst became Chairman of the IASB, succeeding Sir David Tweedie, whose term ended June 30. Among Hoogervorst’s former positions (see bio
), he chaired a number of organizations, including the executive board of the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM); the technical committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions, and as co-chair of the Financial Crisis Advisory Committee of the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the IASB.
In his welcome message
, Hoogervorst notes that the IASB will soon publish a consultation document seeking comment on its post-convergence agenda.
Regarding the SEC’s consideration of permitting or requiring IFRS by public companies in the U.S., Hoogervorst states: “IFRSs are already permitted for use by non-US companies listed on American markets, and I am optimistic that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will move to fully incorporate IFRSs into the US financial reporting regime shortly… It seems reasonable to me that the SEC takes its time to make the appropriate transitional arrangements, however it is clear that US companies would welcome some certainty in the near future.”
Senate Budget Chairman Suggests 50% Spending Cuts, 50% Tax Hikes
Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, will release a budget this week that suggest that the best way out of the current debt situation is a combination of spending cuts and tax hikes. Conrad said last week that his budget plan would cut the deficit by more than $4 trillion over 10 years. Given a one-to-one ratio of new tax revenues to spending cuts, tax increases and the elimination of special tax breaks would total more than $2 trillion. There are many conservative Democrats, including Senators Ben Nelson (Neb.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.) and Jon Tester (Mont.), who would be put in an extremely difficult situation if forced to vote on this budget package. All are expected to face very difficult reelections in 2012. Republicans will likely attack the plan as it raises taxes, but over the weekend, Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said that they would support the elimination of some special tax breaks. To read more, click here
Debt Ceiling Rhetoric Heats Up
The stalemate between Democrats and Republicans in Congress continues as debates over the debt ceiling continue to heat up. While both parties continue to focus on important issues for their constituents and place blame on each other, they seem to be settling on taxes as the most important issue. Democrats want to eliminate tax breaks for individuals making more than $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000 a year while Republicans are entirely against eliminating these tax breaks. “We’re not dealing just with talking points about corporate jets or other ‘loopholes.’ The legislation the president has asked for — which would increase taxes on small businesses and destroy more American jobs — cannot pass the House, as I have stated repeatedly,” House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday after President Barack Obama announced he was inviting leaders of both parties to a White House conference on Thursday. For more on the continued debate, read here
What Happened to Replace and Repeal?
When the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives, they focused diligently on the health care law with a promise to ‘repeal and replace’ it. Since then, talks and votes on the issue have decreased significantly. House Republicans have not been able to take any steps toward replacing the bill and all but one piece of legislation to repeal the bill have failed. Members cite a number of reasons for losing momentum on the bill, but claim they have not given up. “There’s a lot of tricks up our sleeves in terms of how we can dent this, kick it, slow it down to make sure it never happens,” House Speaker John Boehner said in November. “And trust me; I’m going to make sure this health care bill never ever, ever is implemented.” The Republicans are trying to push the repeal again, as the Energy and Commerce and Budget committees are expected to hold high-profile hearings next week on the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel tasked with controlling Medicare costs. Republicans are also using the current negotiations on the debt to control the costs of Medicare and Medicaid. To learn more about the ‘repeal and replace’ initiative, read here
PwC Recommends FAF Form Advisory Committee on Complexity
Last week, audit firm PwC published an article recommending that the Financial Accounting Foundation form an advisory committee to the FASB, on reducing complexity in accounting standards. Read more in PwC’s Point of View: Reducing Complexity
. As noted in the FEI Blog
, one of the major points made by PwC is that such an advisory committee could benefit both public and private companies.
Multiemployer Plans, Goodwill Impairment Discussed By FASB
At last week’s board meeting, FASB discussed (1) Disclosures about an employer’s participation in a multiemployer plan (scope of project, quantitative disclosures), and (2) Goodwill impairment assessments (comments received on the Exposure Draft released earlier this year). See FASB’s Summary of Board Decisions
FASB did not hold any board meetings this week.
FAF Trustees, IFRS Advisory Council Nominations Sought
The Financial Accounting Foundation (which oversees the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the Government Accounting Standards Board) is seeking nominations for FAF Trustees. The application deadline is July 29; read more here
Separately, the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation (which oversees the IASB) is seeking nominations for the IFRS Advisory Council. Nominations are due by Sept. 19; read more here
IASB Warns Of Invitations to Fictitious IASB Events
Earlier today, the IASB issued a press release
warning, “We have been made aware that an individual or individuals purporting to work for the IFRS Foundation or the IASB have sought to encourage organisations to participate in fictitious IFRS Foundation conferences or IASB round table discussions, using the names of staff in order to solicit payment. All details of official IFRS Foundation conferences or IASB round tables are available at www.ifrs.org
. If you have doubts about the authenticity of any approach, please contact the IASB switchboard, +44 (0)207 246 6410 or via email email@example.com
Additional FASB, IASB News
SEC Updates Financial Reporting Manual
As summarized in TheCorporateCounsel.net blog
, the latest changes to the manual relate to: “subsidiary guarantor financial statements, ICFR [Internal Control over Financial Reporting] reporting requirements for newly public companies, reporting requirements in a reverse recapitalization, as well as other changes.”
SEC IFRS Roundtable This Week; Comments Due on IFRS ‘Condorsement’ Paper
Tomorrow, the SEC is holding a public roundtable on IFRS, focusing on topics such as investor understanding of IFRS, the impact on smaller public companies, and on the benefits and challenges of incorporating IFRS into U.S. public company accounting. The agenda and list of speakers are linked in the SEC’s press release; the roundtable is open to the public and will be webcast.
The approach described in the SEC staff paper, informally referred to as a ‘condorsement’ approach (a term coined by SEC Deputy Chief Accountant Paul Beswick in a December 2010 speech), suggests that - following a model used in various other countries with their own national standard-setters - the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board could serve as the mechanism for endorsement of IFRS in the U.S., and coordinate any differences from particular IFRS standards for application by U.S. public companies.
SEC Rulemaking on Securities-Based Swaps
Last week, the SEC published final rules
containing interim relief, exemptions and additional guidance for securities-based swaps.
PCAOB, SEC Delegation to Meet With Chinese Officials
Earlier today, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board announced
that members of its staff, along with staff from the SEC’s Office of International Affairs and Office of the Chief Accountant, will meet next week in Beijing with senior leadership of China's Ministry of Finance and the China Securities Regulatory Commission. The joint delegation from the U.S. will be led by PCAOB Board Member Lew Ferguson.
Additional SEC, PCAOB News
NEWS TO USE
Was Your Business Impacted By Disasters in Japan?
We’re curious as to the affect of the earthquake and tsunami that occurred in Japan earlier this year on our members’ businesses, and would like to publish a few reports on the impacts in the September issue of Financial Executive. If you have a story to share, please let us know. Contact Editor-in-Chief, Ellen Heffes
Approaches to Providing Insight Survey
The IIA (Institute of Internal Auditors) Research Foundation was established in 1976 for the purpose of expanding knowledge and understanding of internal auditing by providing relevant research and educational products to advance the profession globally.
IIARF is in the process of launching a research project entitled “Approaches to Providing Insight.” The primary objectives of the research are to:
- Provide Chief Audit Executives (CAE’s) with timely information to support their efforts to promote and deliver the Insight portion of the Value Proposition for internal audit. It should help CAE’s (and their key stakeholders) understand what entity-level value-added insights are, benchmark their approaches for providing insights, and develop (or validate) their strategy for delivering this portion of the “Value Proposition.”
- Provide the Audit Committee (or other governing bodies) and Senior Management with an understanding of the types of IA Insights they could receive.
- Improve communication (and reduce any expectation gaps) between the CAE and key IA stakeholders.
IIARF is collaborating with IIA Institutes in Australia, Malaysia, The Netherlands, UK & Ireland, South Africa and Singapore to send the online survey invitation to their members as well as to key stakeholders in their region. The first phase of the study will consist of an online survey; the second phase will consist of one-on-one follow-up (phone) interviews with those who have agreed to participate.
IIARF would like to collaborate with Financial Executives International (FEI) to circulate the survey invitation to your membership. We are anticipating having the final report by Nov. 2011. In turn, IIARF would provide an electronic version of the results for FEI’s membership.
Do You Work For a ‘Unique or Unusual’ Company?
Does your company have a product or service that is unique or unusual? If so, we want to feature your company – and you as the financial executive – in an upcoming issue of Financial Executive in the new “The Office” column. To be considered, please contact Editor-in-Chief Ellen Heffes
Trends and Tradeoffs in Employee Medical Benefits
On the heels of the great recession and unprecedented health care reform legislation, businesses continue to be squeezed on all sides as they offer benefits to their employees. According to the “Trends and Tradeoffs in Employee Medical Benefits Survey,” conducted in partnership between Corporate Synergies Group and Financial Executive Research Foundation, many businesses have been forced to make hard choices in order to continue offering medical benefits to their employees as a result of rising costs – leading to less disposable income for employees.
Based on the survey and qualitative personal interviews, senior financial executives can take away insights about what their competitors are doing, and some lessons for the future:
- Financial executives want to maintain health benefits and dependant coverage, and are willing to increase employee cost-sharing to do so.
- Until the health care reform debate is more permanently resolved in Washington, many financial executives are loath to forecast changes or their potential actions in response.
- Minor, incremental changes in employee medical benefits each year can have a major cumulative impact on employees.
- Financial executives are impatient for the ROI of benefits programs and need to take a longer term view.
- HSAs and high deductible plans have a PR problem.
>> Download full report here.
A User’s Guide to the Cloud
ISACA has identified some key business benefits offered by the cloud, including:
- Cost containment – The cloud offers enterprises the option of scalability without the financial commitments required for infrastructure purchase and maintenance.
- Immediacy – Many early adopters of cloud computing have cited the ability to provide and utilize a service in a single day.
- Availability – Cloud providers have the infrastructure and bandwidth to accommodate business requirements for high speed access, storage and applications.
- Scalability – With unconstrained capacity, cloud services offer increased flexibility and scalability for evolving IT needs.
- Efficiency – Reallocating information management operational activities to the cloud offers businesses a unique opportunity to focus efforts on innovation and research and development.
- Resiliency – Cloud providers have mirrored solutions that can be utilized in a disaster scenario as well as for load-balancing traffic.
This “User’s Guide” seeks to help executives plan an optimal cloud strategy. The objectives of this guide are to define cloud technology, describe cloud service models and categories of applications and potential benefits of the Cloud that can be achieved, describe potential risks and pitfalls, provide the right questions that financial executives should ask vendors, IT departments, and their own staff, help customers evaluate vendors and provide considerations for contracts.
>> Download full report here.
Technology Issues for Financial Executives: 2011 Annual Report
The “2011 Annual Report of Technology Issues for Financial Executives” shows that enterprise business applications are CFOs' technology priority. Key trends include the shift in IT from a tactical operation to a strategic asset, and the link between technology excellence and business performance
This is the 13th year that FEI’s Committee on Finance & IT has collaborated on a survey of FEI members on key technology issues, and the third year that Gartner has sponsored the study, conducted the survey and developed the research shared in this compendium of reports. This research provides the CFOs’ perspectives on technology as it relates to the economic environment; their role in technology; their perspective on ERP, business applications, business intelligence (BI) and shared services/outsourcing; the regulatory impact on technology and their perspective on the IT organization.
Key findings include:
- Organizations that foster a strong alliance between CIOs and CFOs are typically more successful in realizing business value from their actions and investments. They consider IT in virtually every one of their strategic decisions.
- Only 32% of CFOs participating in the study see the CIO as a strategic partner and only 30% of CFOs believe the IT organization fulfills its mission.
- Only 12% of CFOs participating in the study see IT as a source of competitive advantage or business transformation.
- CFOs expect IT organizations to achieve the anticipated benefits of their IT investments and align business with the IT strategy.
- For the CFO, the IT organization's business skills are more important than technology excellence. CFOs rank understanding the business and core project management/communications skills higher than using the latest technologies.
>> Download full report here.
The Benefits of Continuous Monitoring
Business executives recognize the need to continuously monitor their business operations to limit their exposure to operational and compliance risk, especially in this environment of accelerating change and complexity. They instinctively understand that better monitoring means fewer surprises.
In order to better understand how companies have implemented Continuous Monitoring (CM) today, the research team interviewed executives at eleven major companies, from a variety of industries.
The research team identified a number of key findings from this research:
- CM Deployment: Leading companies recognize the importance of Monitoring, and are effectively deploying CM across functions and departments. They recognize how CM can be a precondition for achieving superior corporate performance as well as governance outcomes.
- Resourcing CM Initiatives: Continuous Monitoring programs require a company focus and a commitment of resources. Some companies mentioned the need for Return on Investment (ROI) estimates, but others look beyond monetary justifications and focus instead of operational effectiveness and risk reduction.
- Need for CM Champion: Continuous Monitoring programs need a Champion, preferably at a senior executive level, because resources will be required.
- Internal Audit as Evangelists: Although CM is a business operations issue, Internal Auditors (IAs), due to their familiarity with Continuous Auditing (CA), often become the champions of CM programs.
- CM of Payment Streams: CM is often initiated in payment-related areas, such as Accounts Payable and Claim Payments, in which, due to cash recoveries, the ROI can be estimated.
- CM Software and Tools: There are many new CM software products available that have improved capabilities and lowered the cost of using CM.
- Expanding Applications: For all of the companies that launched a CM initiative, there was a keen desire to expand the application beyond the initial sponsoring department or division, as well as move up the maturity curve.
- Benchmarking: Each company in our sample was curious to learn more about how CM is deployed in other environments and industries with a view to improving their own processes. This was also a prime reason for their participation in this research.
>> Download full report here
Economic Indicators and Their Impact on Business Decisions Survey
FERF, in collaboration with Merrill DataSite is launching the “Economic Indicators and Their Impact on Business Decisions Survey” to determine what, if any, economic indicators senior financial executives use in making business decisions.
This brief survey and in-depth follow-up interviews are intended to provide financial executives with best practices and benchmarking information that will allow them to gauge their own company’s practices. This will allow senior financial executives to better understand how these economic indicators can be used in the business planning process and benchmark against their peers to gauge what indicators they should be tracking.
We intentionally kept the survey to less than 20 questions to allow respondents to complete the survey in less than 10 minutes.
Should you have any questions regarding the survey, please contact Tom Thompson
, FERF Research Associate, at 973.765.1007.
Goodwill and Asset Impairments Survey
The Financial Accounting Standards Board’s standard for accounting for goodwill, Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 350, specifies that goodwill and other intangible assets must be periodically tested for impairment.
This is the third annual survey that FERF has conducted to examine how FEI member companies have responded to the aftermath of the recession with their recognition of goodwill impairments. We want you to be a part of it!
- Five minutes to complete: The survey should take no more than five minutes and all responses are strictly confidential and anonymous. If a question does not apply to your company, or asks for information that you do not have, please skip it.
- Get exclusive advance access to the results: All FEI members who complete the survey will be invited to a special, complimentary webcast to analyze the results and answer your questions. You will not want to miss this!
The FERF Executive Report analyzing the results of this survey will be available at the 30th Annual Current Financial Reporting Issues (CFRI) conference Nov. 14-15 in New York City.
If you have any questions about the survey, please feel free to contact Bill Sinnett
, director of Research at 973.765.1004.
IFRS – Revenue Recognition
Presented by CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business
July 27 | 1:00 p.m. Eastern | 2 Hour | 2 CPE credits available
FEI Members save 50% - entering promo code FEICCH when registering.
Join IFRS experts Cecil Nazareth, CPA, MBA, ACA and Peter Margaritis, CPA, in an informative CPE webcast that will help you understand how revenue recognition is treated under IFRS. This session will focus on key concepts of IAS 18 - Revenue Recognition and how it contrasts with U.S. GAAP, and it will update you on the joint IASB and FASB exposure draft on revenue recognition. Knowing how to handle this key topic under IFRS and how it differs from U.S. GAAP treatment is essential. This program will explain the scope, objectives, definitions and fundamental principles for revenue recognition, including measurement, timing, categories of revenue, and disclosures. Time will be provided during this seminar for Q&A.
SEC Reporting Today and Tomorrow: Q&A Session with Bob Herz, former FASB Chairman
Presented by Webfilings and FEI
July 28 | 2:00 p.m. Eastern | 1 Hour | 1 CPE credit available
Join WebFilings and FEI for a complimentary webcast presentation, featuring Robert Herz, former FASB Chairman on July 28. The discussion will be moderated by Joe Howell, co-founder and managing director of WebFilings and organizer/community moderator of the SEC Professionals Group. Herz will be answering questions submitted by registrants about key financial reporting developments covering a variety of topics - from the current status of FASB projects and XBRL compliance to the future with IFRS.
CONFERENCES & EVENTS
Enterprise Risk Management in the Banking Industry Conference
Presented by Marcus Evans
July 14-15 | New York City, NY
Attending this premiere conference will allow you to focus on the specific needs and challenges of implementing and evolving enterprise risk management strategies. The conference will address critical corporate governance issues, including securing senior management and board of director buy-in for ERM initiatives, developing a company culture that appreciates ERM and setting and articulating the institution’s risk appetite.
This practical, hands-on event will enable delegates to benchmark their ERM strategies against their peers. It’s a “must-attend” conference for any financial executive who wants to stay ahead of the game by developing a comprehensive ERM program.
, Senior Vice President, Corporate Risk Management, SunTrust Bank
The Path to the Boardroom: What You Need to Do Today to Get There Tomorrow
Presented by WECNY and FEI
July 27 | 8:00 a.m. Eastern | 1 Hour 45 Minutes | New York City, NY
During this breakfast session, Bonnie W. Gwin, Vice Chairman and Managing Partner, North America Board of Directors Practice will discuss topics including:
- Overarching introduction to board service
- Roles, responsibilities and good governance practices
- What do companies look for?
- Qualities of an effective board
- How do we get more women on boards?
- Getting “board ready” (in terms of how to become a viable candidate)
Gartner IT Financial, Procurement and Asset Management Summit
Presented by Gartner
Sept. 14-16 | The Peabody Orlando Hotel | Orlando, FL
This summit pulls together and creates a setting for the IT financial, procurement and asset management community to connect and share ideas, experiences and best practices on the latest ITAM topics.
Focused on practical advice and results, you'll learn about hot topics such as effective cost-savings strategies, evaluating ITAM strategies, asset life cycle management, vendor management, cloud computing and more.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS – Upcoming FEI Conferences and Events
Washington Policy Conference
Sept. 26-27 | Hotel Monaco | Washington, D.C.
FEI’s 2nd Annual Washington Policy Conference will bring together key business and government leaders who will provide insights into the policy questions facing senior-level financial executives and their companies. Topics include the policy impacts of reigning in the deficit, prospects of fundamental tax reform and the impact of new legislation and regulations currently being debated.
- Hon. Fred Malek, Founder and Chairman Thayer Capital Partners and former President of Marriott Hotels and Northwest Airlines
- Hon. Michael G. Oxley, of Counsel, Baker Hostetler and former Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and U.S. Congressman (R-Ohio)
The program will provide an optimal setting for attendees to hear from Washington’s key decision-makers in Congress and the administration and will also afford an opportunity to share information, ideas and experiences on current regulatory and legislative initiatives with high-ranking government officials and industry experts.
30th Annual Current Financial Reporting Issues (CFRI) Conference
Nov. 14-15 | New York Marriott Marquis Times Square | New York, NY
Focused on economic challenges and regulation reform, CFRI will detail the latest accounting and reporting developments from the SEC, FASB and IASB. Key topics include FASB/IASB technical accounting updates, status on key accounting proposals: Financial Instruments, Revenue Recognition, Leasing and Insurance, Controllers’ Roundtable on top-of-mind business issues, Q&A with FASB and the SEC and more.
- Anirban Basu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sage Policy Group Inc.
- Geoff Colvin, Senior Editor-at-Large, FORTUNE Magazine
6th Annual Hall of Fame Gala
Premier Sponsor: Microsoft
Nov. 14 | Gotham Hall | New York, NY
The FEI Hall of Fame
provides acknowledgment to senior financial executives who have epitomized the integrity, leadership and performance of the most exemplary financial professionals throughout their careers and in doing so, have made significant contributions to the betterment of their respective organizations and to the financial profession as a whole.
Join us to honor and celebrate the 2011 class of inductees in formal, black-tie attire at the Annual Hall of Fame Gala
on Nov. 14 at Gotham Hall in New York City. All proceeds from the 6th Annual Hall of Fame Gala benefit the work of Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF).
Visit for more information about the Gala or if you are interested in becoming a Hall of Fame sponsor, please contact Lorna Raagas
FEI Committee Meetings
Committee on Government Business (CGB)
Aug. 11-12 | BAE Systems San Diego Shipyards | San Diego, CA
Committee on Corporate Treasury (CCT)
Aug. 17 | 2:00 p.m. Eastern | Conference Call
FEI JOB LISTINGS
Job ID: 21701 – Controller
Location: San Francisco, CA
Controller will have primary responsibility for the day-to-day accounting operations. The successful candidate will independently oversee all financial aspects of the company including but not limited to; month-end closing, financial statement preparation, board reporting, forecasts, budget to actual analysis, work in progress reporting, invoicing, and revenue recognition as well as process and system implementation. The person in this position should have experience and be comfortable dealing with a variety of people, including senior management, Board of Directors members, banks and financial institutions, auditors, insurance companies, and various departments with a broad array of different personality types. Training, teaching and mentoring are pervasive within this evolving and dynamic organization.
Due to the company’s rapid growth, there is still a degree of “clean up and roll-out” that will be necessary to build a highly functioning accounting department. This includes process improvement, implementing better controls, and developing a financial statement closing process. We need someone who is willing to take ownership of the department and hit the ground running.
This is an exciting opportunity with a good deal of growth potential. The position requires knowledge of complex accounting issues, the ability to multi-task, patience, thinking outside the box, the ability to adapt quickly in an ever-changing environment, and a willingness to “roll up the sleeves” to ensure both financial and administrative matters are handled properly and timely.
For further details about this job opportunity, click here
WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS!
Congratulations to all the new members accepted in the last 30 days. Click here
to see a complete list.