Author Archive | Jack Ciesielski

Volume 27, No. 3

Reading a firm’s 10-K and annual report might seem to be an anachronism in an era where tweets move stock prices and pure market volatility can be bought and sold just like so many cans of beans. Digital technology makes it possible for investors to do incredible things: they can monitor a company’s website to…

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Volume 27, No. 2

An early Christmas present to Corporate America arrived December 22, 2017 when President Trump signed the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA)into law. That piece of legislation re-engineered large portions of the Internal Revenue Code as it relates to corporations. While the Act simplified some aspects of corporate taxation, it overturned analysts’ conventional understanding of…

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Volume 27, No. 1

As the saying goes: those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. In business, most players are concerned with making history, not learning from it. While each year that passes is usually scorned by the press as the worst one ever, jibes about the severity of the year just ended aren’t…

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Volume 26, No. 13

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants held its annual “Current SEC & PCAOB Developments Conference” in Washington, DC from December 4th through 6th. CPAs of all sorts – auditors, preparers, regulators – teemed the conference center in search of camaraderie and gossip, and most importantly, information from the speakers. Those speakers came from the…

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Volume 26, No. 12

Publicly-traded firms have had years to prepare for adoption of Accounting Standards Update 2014-09,“Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606). “Go time” is at hand: calendar year end firms start reporting under its requirements on January 1, 2018. While long required by the SEC to report anticipated effects of the standard, firms have sparsely disclosed…

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Volume 26, No. 11

Accounting Standards Update 2017-12, “Targeted Improvements to Accounting for Hedging Activities,” was issued in late August and will be effective beginning in fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018 for publicly-traded firms. Expect that firms will want to adopt the standard early, which they are permitted to do.   Why would they choose to adopt…

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Volume 26, No. 10

Accounting Standards Update 2014-09,“Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606),” will go live in just a little more than three months. Publicly-traded firms have had years to prepare for it, and years to discuss its effects with owners of the firm. The means for that discussion is in the Management’s Discussion & Analysis of SEC…

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Volume 26, No. 9

The proxy season has come and gone, along with shareholder “say on pays” and votes on executive compensation package amendments – which are usually requests for investors to cede more of their ownership to the top five executives and other managers. The say on pays draw attention every year, and seem dramatic – but they’re…

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Volume 26, No. 8

In the “PC era” (that’s PC as in “pre-convergence”) the accounting standards for financial instruments were quite similar for both U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Once convergence efforts began in earnest in 2007, the standard setters sought to reach common standards in three major financial instrument areas: their…

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Volume 26, No. 5

A New Recipe For Pension & Other Postretirement Benefits Reporting:  In mid-2015, FASB added a project intended to improve the convoluted presentation of net periodic pension cost and net periodic postretirement benefit cost. In less than three years – a virtual wind sprint for the standard setter –  they issued a final standard that just…

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