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In the News: PCGAAP, Accounting Jobs, Sustainability

Happy Friday, dear readers – it has been a while. My weekly news wrap up post will now appear bi-weekly, with a post which spotlights interesting content from around the web appearing on alternate weeks. Should you want more frequent updates of news related to the accounting profession, please consider following AICPA Media Relations on Twitter @AICPANews or subscribing to the Media Relations RSS feed.

Now let’s get to the news, shall we?

One of, if not the most, pressing issues facing the accounting profession is the debate over the creation of separate reporting standards for private companies. The chorus of voices on one side of the issue got a lot louder this week with the announcement that thirty-three state CPA societies have joined the AICPA in calling upon the Financial Accounting Foundation to create a separate standard setting board for privately held companies. Michael Cohn of Accounting Today writes that AICPA advocates a separate board for private company accounting standards independent of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, under the oversight of the FAF. AICPA Chairman Paul Stahlin, CPA, said “after over 30 years of research by numerous diverse and independent groups, the only conclusion is that an autonomous standard-setting body under FAF to set differential standards for privately held companies must be created.”

Crain’s New York Business recently ran an article investigating why accounting jobs are among the hottest commodities on the NY job market. Looking for an accounting job that isn’t in NY? There’s some good news for you – according the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the accounting profession is roughly 3.5% compared to 9.1% nationally. The article notes that, according to AICPA data, enrollment in bachelor's degree accounting programs grew more than 40% between the 2001-02 and 2009-10 school years, while the number of master's graduates in accounting and business administration/accounting more than doubled. So there is plenty of supply in the pipeline to meet the demand.

Green Advisor reports that the AICPA, along with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, recently released a comprehensive international research report showing that sustainability is increasingly becoming critical to the business performance of small and medium-sized enterprises. The report, which highlights nine case studies from across the globe, found that 55% of companies surveyed either had a sustainability plan in place or plan on creating one in the next two years. Finance professionals, including accountants, are increasingly helping demonstrate the link between investments in a sustainability strategy and the commercial benefit that accrues “One of the lessons from the case studies is that finance professionals often play a key role in defining and guiding sustainability strategies, in part because they are used to navigating different parts of a business and keeping an eye on the big picture,” said Sue Coffey, CPA, AICPA senior vice president, public practice and global alliance.

Did you come across a recent article of note about the profession? If so, please let me know in the comments section or send me an email.



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