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1. New conflict minerals guidance available   WebExclusive

Conflict minerals reporting and auditing is a newly emerging practice, as May 31 is the submission date required by the SEC for the first reports of issuers’ efforts to track the gold, tantalum, tin, and tungsten in their supply chains.The AICPA Conflict Minerals Task Force has developed new nonauthoritative guidance to address the attributes of a conflict minerals report that will facilitate an independent private-sector audit.

2. Court ruling doesn’t stop conflict minerals compliance work   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Despite an appellate court opinion that struck down a disclosure requirement in the SEC’s new conflict minerals rule, experts say companies need to continue tracing the origins of the gold, tantalum, tin, and tungsten in their supply chains and preparing to file their disclosures. The SEC’s conflict minerals rule was mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, P.L.

3. Companies lagging in conflict minerals process   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Conflict minerals reporting may be a significant challenge for executives this spring as many companies are just in the early stages of compliance exercises as the May 31 SEC filing deadline approaches, according to a report released Wednesday.The SEC’s new conflict minerals rule grew out of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, P.L.

4. How to calculate employer health care responsibilities   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
In compliance with new health care employer responsibility regulations, two halves indeed equal a whole for employers when they determine their number of full-time employees.To determine whether a business is subject to the employer mandate penalty under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), P.L. 111-148, the business must determine the number of its full-time employees, which includes its full-time equivalent employees (FTEs).

5. 11 issues that could flare up at the next shareholder meeting   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
U.S. public companies are operating in an environment full of both risk and opportunity as they prepare for their annual shareholder meetings.Cyberthreats, disaster planning, and political and economic unrest are among many factors that make the current climate hazardous for many companies.Although high values in the stock market indicate an environment that has improved significantly—if slowly—since the lowest depths of the global financial crisis, recent dips in the market indicate that volatility still exists.Shareholders are likely to be focused on both the risks and the opportunities in upcoming shareholder meetings, according to Wendy Hambleton, CPA, a partner

6. Regulatory issues requiring more attention from some CFOs   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Managing regulatory compliance has become a more arduous task in the past 12 months for one-fifth of U.S. CFOs, a new survey shows.In the aftermath of the financial crisis, new regulations have been added through legislation such as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, P.L.

7. Spending and sentiment on the rise for U.S. finance professionals   WebExclusive

BY Neil Amato
Businesses show a sustained desire to spend on technology and employee training while expecting profits to increase—signs that economic sentiment among U.S. finance professionals is improving.Respondents in the AICPA Business and Industry Economic Outlook Survey previously have projected rising profits. Until now, that expectation hasn’t been mixed with much optimism about hiring and training workers and investing in IT or other capital projects.Optimism reached post-recession highs on several fronts in the survey, which captured the opinions of 867 CPA decision-makers, mainly CEOs, CFOs, and controllers in business and industry.The CPA Outlook Index (CPAOI), a measure of nine

8. Five key defenses against risk   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
When does a company pull the trigger on an acquisition or investment? When is expanding into a new market a prudent choice? And when is the right time to hire additional personnel or change employee benefits?These are among the many questions organizations consider through a lens of strategic opportunities and risks.

9. Regulation leads list of top 10 risks for 2014   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Regulatory changes and scrutiny are the risks business leaders are most concerned about for 2014, according to a new survey conducted by N.C. State University’s Enterprise Risk Management Initiative and consultant Protiviti.“It’s a message for policymakers,” said Jim DeLoach, CPA, a Protiviti managing director. “… The bottom line is, it does have a cost in that it does affect business and it does affect decision-making around hiring and investing.”The survey, now in its second year, took responses from 370 executives and board members about the risks that concerned them most.

10. Crowdfunding poses benefits, risks   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Financial return crowdfunding does not pose systemic risks to the world economy yet, according to a report issued Wednesday by staff researchers working for the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). But in the marketplace, crowdfunding—which is growing in popularity—poses both benefits and risks, according to the report.Crowdfunding involves the use of small amounts of money from large numbers of individuals or organizations to fund projects or businesses through an online platform.Researchers focused on what’s known as “financial return crowdfunding,” which consists of peer-to-peer lending and equity crowdfunding.
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