THE 2019 AICPA SEC and PCAOB Conference

January 2020

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The annual AICPA Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments was held on December 9-11, 2019 in Washington, DC, where representatives of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board shared their views on various accounting, reporting, and auditing issues. 
 
OVERVIEW
 
The reporting, accounting, and auditing environment continues to experience significant change.  The consequences of a volatile political and economic environment, significant new accounting standards, an enhanced auditor reporting model, a changing regulatory landscape, and evolving technologies are dominating the conversation of stakeholders in the financial reporting process.  This year’s Conference focused on these matters and provided insight into the regulators’ perspective on these and other accounting and reporting matters.  Some of the highlights include:
  • SEC Reporting Matters – reminders for registrants to pay particular attention to the risks and corresponding disclosures arising from the pending phase-out of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) as a key reference rate, the United Kingdom’s anticipated exit from the European Union (Brexit), and cybersecurity issues.  Additionally, the SEC staff discussed non-GAAP financial measures as it remains one of the most frequently-commented on topics in the staff’s review of filings. 
  • Accounting Matters – implementation observations related to the new revenue, leases, and current expected credit loss (CECL) standards.  Consistent with prior years, staff within the Office of the Chief Accountant provided several examples of consultations with registrants on these standards and other topics, including equity method accounting and the primary beneficiary determination for a variable interest entity. 
  • Auditing Matters – insights and reactions to the disclosure of Critical Audit Matters (CAMs) in audit reports, which appeared for the first time in 2019.  Other focus areas included the importance of audit committee communications, auditor independence, and the impact of evolving technologies on the audit profession and process.  
Our Conference summary provides additional insight into these matters and other accounting and reporting issues addressed at the Conference.   Our publication, 2019 SEC Reporting Insights, may be referenced for a summary of SEC rulemaking and related staff activities during 2019.   

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