'AUDIT PERIOD' TWEAKS RULE IMPLEMENTATION: The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board will delay implementation for one part of a rule relating to professionals who provide both tax and audit services to companies.Adopted in July 2005, Rule 3523, Tax Services for Persons in Financial Reporting Oversight Roles, went into effect on Oct. 31. The rule prohibits auditors from providing tax services to certain members of management who serve in financial reporting oversight roles at an audit client.
At the time of adoption, the PCAOB said that the rule would apply to all tax services performed during the "audit and professional engagement period." As part of the announcement, the board said that it will be revisiting the application of the rule to the period before a firm becomes the auditor of record - the "audit period."
The rule will not go into effect for tax services provided on or before April 30, 2007 - so long as those services were actually provided during the audit period and have been completed before the engagement began. The implementation schedule for Rule 3523, as it applies to tax services provided during the professional engagement period, remains unchanged.
The full PCAOB release is available at www.pcaobus.org/rules/docket_017/2006-10-31_release_2006-006.pdf.
IFAC BOARD ISSUES PROPOSAL ON EMPLOYEE BENEFITS: To assist governments and other public-sector entities in appropriately accounting for the costs of employee benefits, a board within the International Federation of Accountants has issued an exposure draft of a new standard.
The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board's Exposure Draft No. 31, Employee Benefits, is based on International Accounting Standard No. 19, of the same name. The draft addresses the same categories of employee benefits - short-term employee benefits, post-employment benefits, other long-term employee benefits and termination benefits.
The proposed standard deals with a number of issues of specific relevance to the public sector, including:
* Determining the risk-free discount rate to be applied for discounting obligations arising from post-employment benefits;
* The treatment of post-employment benefits provided through composite Social Security programs; and,
* Mechanisms for the orderly implementation of the proposed standard in the public sector.
Comments on the draft, which can be viewed online at www.ifac.org/eds, are requested by Feb. 28, 2007.
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