Current Happenings in the Accounting Profession

          ARSC Approves Statement on Standards for Accounting and Review Services

          IRS Virtual Currency Guidance

          Governmental Accounting Standards Board New Tool Kit

          AICPA Code of Professional Conduct

          Affordable Care Act Resources

          GASB Outlook Newsletter

          Current IRS Updates

          Current AICPA Exposure Drafts

          Idaho State Tax Commission

          Idaho State Tax Commission Contact Information

          Idaho State Tax Commissioner Responsibilities - Who Does What

ARSC Approves Statement on Standards for Accounting and Review Services

The AICPA’s Accounting and Review Services Committee has approved a clarified and revised Statement on Standards for Accounting and Review Services that addresses reviews, compilations and engagements to prepare financial statements. The standards are scheduled to be issued as Statement on Standards for Accounting and Review Services (SSARS) No. 21 in the fourth quarter of 2014. This Journal of Accountancy article has details.

IRS Virtual Currency Guidance : Virtual Currency Is Treated as Property for U.S. Federal Tax Purposes; General Rules for Property Transactions Apply

The Internal Revenue Service issued a notice providing answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) on virtual currency, such as bitcoin. These FAQs provide basic information on the U.S. federal tax implications of transactions in, or transactions that use, virtual currency.

In some environments, virtual currency operates like “real” currency -- i.e., the coin and paper money of the United States or of any other country that is designated as legal tender, circulates, and is customarily used and accepted as a medium of exchange in the country of issuance -- but it does not have legal tender status in any jurisdiction.

The notice provides that virtual currency is treated as property for U.S. federal tax purposes. General tax principles that apply to property transactions apply to transactions using virtual currency. Among other things, this means that:

  • Wages paid to employees using virtual currency are taxable to the employee, must be reported by an employer on a Form W-2, and are subject to federal income tax withholding and payroll taxes.
  • Payments using virtual currency made to independent contractors and other service providers are taxable and self-employment tax rules generally apply. Normally, payers must issue Form 1099.
  • The character of gain or loss from the sale or exchange of virtual currency depends on whether the virtual currency is a capital asset in the hands of the taxpayer.
  • A payment made using virtual currency is subject to information reporting to the same extent as any other payment made in property.

Further details, including a set of 16 questions and answers, are in Notice 2014-21, read Notice 2014-21.

Governmental Accounting Standards Board New Tool Kit

GASB has released a new toolkit designed to help preparers, auditors, and users of state and local government financial reports understand and apply the revised pension accounting and financial reporting standards. Prepared by the GASB staff, the toolkit  highlights key implementation issues and provides guidance on how preparers and auditors of state and local governments can effectively comply with the requirements.

    It includes the following resources, amongst many others:
  • The Guide to Implementation of GASB Statement 68 on Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, an authoritative resource guide
  • A video which discusses the top implementation issues arising from the pension standards
  • A video and eight podcasts featuring GASB Project Manager Michelle Czerkawski discussing the implementation guide and the changes to accounting and financial reporting for pensions
  • A video featuring GASB Technical Director David Bean and Research Manager Dean Mead discussing stakeholder outreach for the pension standards.
  • A background document and six fact sheets answering frequently-asked questions regarding the pension standards
  • An article identifying several areas public officials should consider as they plan, prepare, and collaborate when implementing the new standards.

This toolkit complements the toolkit released in November 2013 for pension plans  looking to implement GASB Statement No. 67, Financial Reporting for Pension Plans


AICPA Code of Professional Conduct

Reformatted code offers easier navigation and broader guidance.

Ethical decisions often need to be reached quickly, but the AICPA’s Code of Professional Conduct (ethics code) is not structured for quick and easy navigation. The old ethics code started as eight rules that fit on one sheet of paper and was adopted April 9, 1917, by the American Institute of Accountants, predecessor of the AICPA. Over time, the rules evolved, and in 1973 they were codified into the current Code of Professional Conduct. Almost 100 years—and many sheets of paper—later, the ethics code and related guidance was ripe for reorganization. You may access  the online version of the Code of Professional Conduct here.

The intent of the reorganization was to maintain the substance of the existing ethics standards. Of course, enhancements are inevitable with any remodeling project.

ISCPA is pleased to present a 2-hour, on-demand webinar on this topic, complimentary to all ISCPA members in good standing. Not only will you learn about the changes that you need to know and abide by, you will also earn 2 ethics credits while you are at it!

Log into your member's only section of the website for more details and to gain access to this program!

Non ISCPA members may purchase the webinar for $245.