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What's in a bitcoin?

Feb 15, 2018

Bitcoin is the name of by far the most well-known cryptocurrency based on blockchain technology and has paved the way towards the implementation of smart contracts and related applications.

But what's in a bitcoin? What's in a Smart Contract? And what is an Initial Coin Offering?

Read these article to learn more about cryptocurrency based on blockchain technology.

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FASB addresses stranded income tax effects of new tax law

Feb 14, 2018

On February 14, 2018, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued an Accounting Standards Update (ASU) that helps organizations address certain stranded income tax effects in accumulated other comprehensive income (AOCI) resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Under the new FASB rules, financial statement preparers are provided an option to reclassify stranded tax effects within accumulated other comprehensive income in each period in which the effect of the change in the U.S. federal corporate income tax rate in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (or portion thereof) is recorded.

Review the press release and ASU on the FASB's website.


Insurance contracts transition resource group - meeting summary, podcast, IFRS in Focus

Feb 13, 2018

On February 13, 2018, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) released a summary and a podcast of the Transition Resource Group (TRG) for Insurance Contracts' first technical meeting held on February 6, 2018.

The complete set of information around the TRG meeting is now available:

Review the press release on the IASB's website.

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The Benefit of an ICO Bubble Burst

Feb 12, 2018

On February 12, 2018, the D&O Diary released a guest post by John Reed Stark, President of John Reed Stark Consulting and former Chief of the SEC’s Office of Internet Enforcement, where he discusses how the recent dramatic decline in cryptocurrency prices certainly at least raises the question of whether or not the pricing bubble for cryptocurrencies that fueled the recent wave of initial coin offerings (ICOs) has burst – or at least, is about to burst.

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton stated: I believe every ICO I have ever seen is a security. ICOs should be regulated like securities offerings. End of Story.”

Mr. Stark adds that in the coming year or two, the SEC, the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and a slew of other federal and state agencies will initiate a continuing sweep of ICO-related enforcement actions, triggering a virtual earthquake in the ICO industry.

But an ICO bubble burst will inevitably ensure that whatever cryptocurrency marketplace survives will provide the same customer protections and capital safeguards often taken for granted in the context of the traditional trading of securities. This not only makes for good business, but for a more robust and resilient global financial marketplace as well.

Review the guest post on the D&O Diary's website.

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The future of finance is digital

Feb 12, 2018

On February 12, 2018, CPA Canada posted a blog on how some of our more robotic finance tasks will be replaced by robots.

Technology has had a profound impact on many fields, and forced industry leaders from publishing to retail to the automotive sector to rethink the way they go to market—and the value proposition they hold dear. It has also instilled a certain amount of fear about what the future might hold.

Grant Abrams would know. Abrams is a partner, Finance & Performance Management Services, at Deloitte in Ottawa, and works with CFOs to become strategic partners to their business, as well as helping them to become more efficient and effective organizational players. One of those ways is making sense of the increasing automation of finance.

Review the blog on CPA Canada's website.


IASB member discusses the importance of financial reporting when investing

Feb 08, 2018

On February 8, 2018, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) posted the response given by IASB member Nick Anderson, at the ICAEW’s Information for Better Markets event on December 18, 2017, to Professor Baruch Lev's speech, "Financial reporting for Investors—do the financial statements give them what they need?".

Mr. Anderson’s response provided his views related to the important role analysis reports play when making investment decisions as well as arguments to Professor Lev’s comments regarding the (1) growth of intangibles, (2) impact of financial reporting, and (3) role of standard-setters.

In addition, he commented on two proposed accounting changes Professor Lev believed will "restore the income statement matching." These proposals were to capitalize selected intangibles and the treatment of "one-off" costs.

Review Mr. Anderson’s response on the IASB’s website.


Summary of the December 2017 ASAF meeting now available

Feb 08, 2018

On January 8, 2018, the staff of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) made available a summary of the discussions of the Accounting Standards Advisory Forum (ASAF) meeting held in London on December 7 and 8, 2017.

The topics covered during the meeting included:

  • Primary financial statements
  • Disclosure initiative — Definition of material
  • Disclosure initiative — Principles of disclosure
  • Post-implementation Review of IFRS 13
  • Wider Corporate Reporting
  • Academic liaison
  • Information deficiencies and consolidated financial statements
  • Proposed improvements to IFRS 8
  • Business Combinations Under Common Control
  • Project updates and agenda planning

Review the press release and the summary of the meeting on the IASB's website.

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The IESBA Submits Comment Letter to the Monitoring Group

Feb 08, 2018

On February 8, 2018, the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) released a comment letter it submitted to the Monitoring Group's Consultation Paper, Strengthening the Governance and Oversight of the International Audit-related Standard-setting.

In developing its response to the Consultation Paper, the IESBA has taken the view that its primary submissions should focus on the particular proposals that will directly impact its remit – namely the development of a global Code of Ethics for professional accountants.   
In this context, the IESBA's overarching concern is that the proposal to create a single board – with responsibility for both (i) standards for audit and (ii) standards for ethics, but for auditors only – is misconceived.

There are three principal reasons for that view:

  1. It is not in the public interest to split the Code
  2. The development of standards for audit and audit-related ethical standards should not be undertaken by the same Board
  3. Global applicability is a much greater challenge when setting ethical standards than it is when setting standards for auditing

Review the press release and comment letter on the IESBA's website.

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IAASB Chairman Submits Comment Letter to the Monitoring Group

Feb 08, 2018

On February 8, 2018, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) released a comment letter submitted by IAASB Chairman Arnold Schilder to the Monitoring Group's Consultation Paper, "Strengthening the Governance and Oversight of the International Audit-related Standard-setting Boards in the Public Interest".

In the comment letter, he identifies the two principal dimensions – one at the governance and strategic level, the other at the operating level – that offer the potential to alleviate so-called perceptions of undue influence by any stakeholder group and improve the axes of relevance, timeliness and public interest. These are:

  1. Agreeing Standard Setting Strategy & Priorities – that is, the mechanism around WHAT ISSUES the IAASB is to focus on and AT WHAT PACE, and which ones they will not deal with at any point in time.
  2. Recalibrating the Task Force Model – that is, ensuring the veracity of the INPUT and on WHOSE recommendations the IAASB’s deliberations and decision-making are based.

Review the press release and comment letter on the IAASB's website.

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At the Crossroads: Innovation and Inclusive Growth

Feb 08, 2018

On February 8, 2018, the Bank of Canada published remarks by Carolyn A. Wilkins, Senior Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada, given at the G7 Symposium on Innovation and Inclusive Growth. In her remarks, she discusses how technological advances can leave people behind. It is perhaps only in the last decade or so that mainstream macroeconomists have sharpened their focus on how income distribution may affect long-term growth and macro dynamics.

There is compelling evidence that innovation has been an important reason behind rising income inequality in advanced economies in recent decades.2 Research also finds that rising inequality can result in weaker and less-stable macroeconomic outcomes. This places us, as policy-makers, at a crossroads. Do we choose to stay on the same road and repeat the past? Or do we apply fresh thinking to policy and choose a new road where innovation delivers even stronger and more-inclusive growth?

This is the challenge that the G7 countries have set for themselves for 2018. Canada is proud to lead the G7’s work this year to better understand the issues so that we can set priorities for policy.

Review the remarks on the Bank of Canada's website.

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