The Week of September 21: My Travels to FASB and the AICPA

On Monday, September 21st, I had the opportunity to represent NCACPA at the FASB Round Table on the NFP Financial Statement Exposure Draft. As Chair of the A&A Committee, I worked with Kristen Hoyle and Chuck Hicks of the NFP Committees to draft the NCACPA Comment Letter. Our subcommittee put together a 75-minute webinar on the Exposure Draft and included a survey with the 22 questions posed in the Exposure Draft. Based on the survey response, the committee drafted our response and included many quotes from survey respondents. NCACPA was one of over 250 comment letters to provide feedback to FASB on the largest proposed changes to NFP financial statements in over 20 years.

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I flew up to New York’s LaGuardia airport Sunday evening and drove to Norwalk. I was assigned to the afternoon round table so I took the opportunity to listen to the first round table from my hotel. I then walked over to FASB’s headquarters down the street and was greeted by security, and sent up to the 5th floor. I was then invited to go into the board room which is the same room where the FASB board deliberates and makes updates to US GAAP. It was a pretty humbling experience.

The round table had assigned seating and I had the pleasure to sit between Norm Mosrie from Dixon Hughes Goodman and Tom Linsmeier from the FASB Board. Other members of the Round Table included Debbie Johnson from American Diabetes Association, Fran Brown from Capin Crouse, Jennifer Hoffman from Grant Thornton, Amanda Nelson from KPMG, Michael McNee from Marks Paneth, Philip Pacino from Massachusetts Society of CPAs, Kerri Tricarico from New York University, Martha Garner from PricewaterhouseCoopers, John Shanley from Self-Help, and John Horn from University of Pennsylvania.

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The Round Table lasted just over 3 hours and it was a great opportunity to share ideas. At one point, Rick Cole, from the FASB staff, specifically asked me a question about NCACPA’s response to a particular question. I was able to explain how we developed our response and some of the reasons I felt the membership supported the FASB proposal. The group was respectful and truly passionate. Participating in due process is an amazing experience and it was an honor to represent the NCACPA. I look forward to seeing the final standard issued next year. If you are interested, listen to the Round Table discussion.

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But, I wasn’t done yet with visiting standard setters. On Wednesday, September 23rd, the A&A Committee held their annual fall meeting at the AICPA’s headquarters in Durham. We kicked off our meeting with an hour and a half discussion on the AICPA’s Six Point Plan for Audit Quality. The AICPA had graciously provided us with an amazing guest speaker on the topic. Carl Mayes presented the plan and allowed us the opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions. He asked us to share the audit quality website with our members:

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We continued our normal meeting with discussion of current and proposed standards. Then, we switched gears and began planning a NEW NCACPA A&A Conference! We are very excited to go through this process. We plan to have a fabulous line-up of topics and speakers that will contribute to the “CPA Learning and Support Point” in the AICPA’s Six Point Plan. Our goal is to increase competence in some of the more complex A&A areas.

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We then closed our meeting with a tour of the AICPA buildings. We were walked through floor 3 of Palladium II where we held our A&A Committee meeting, and then walked over to Palladium I where we visited each of the 4 floors and met various employees.

Here is the layout of the AICPA:

Main building (HQ): Palladian I

  • 1st floor – HR, Strategy, Communications, Graphic Design, and Web Teams
  • 2nd floor – IT and Member Services
  • 3rd floor – Member Learning & Competency, Business Industry & Government,
  • 4th Floor – Finance, Member Value & Specialization, Firm Services, Internal Audit

Palladian II

  •  Magazines and Publications (JoA), Peer Review, Ethics, Legal, Meetings and Conferences

We learned a few fun facts as well! Did you know that the AICPA Service Center and Operations (SCO) handled 264,535 phone calls and 62,410 emails during FY15 (August 1, 2014-July 31, 2015)? They have         102 team members and 70% interact with members each day. We also visited their gratitude wall. SCO employees realize that having an attitude of gratitude improves health, sleep, and health esteem. We learned that most of the employee engagement work is based on scientific research and publications. Our tour also included a few AICPA goodies for us to take home including laptop covers and an AICPA pen.

The NCACPA has given me so many opportunities to interact with standard setters and I am very grateful. I’ve always heard you get out of an association what you put into it. I have to say, we have an amazing association and I encourage all of you to get involved. You never know where you might end up!

MelisaGalasso_avatar-70x70Melisa is a Senior Manager in the Professional Practices Department at Cherry Bekaert LLP, in Charlotte. She currently serves on NCACPA’s Accounting & Attestation Committee and is immediate past-president of the Charlotte Chapter. Melisa can be reached at