CPA Firms Increasingly Hiring Diverse Graduates

More diverse graduates are getting into the accounting and finance functions at U.S. CPA firms, according to an AICPA trends report. In 2018, less than one third (30.1%) were people of color, but that increased to 34.8% in 2020. New hires that are Asian, Black, and Hispanic have increased, by 1.9, 0.6, and 1.6 percentage points, respectively. These three groups comprise their highest or near their highest percentage of the whole of new graduate hires in the history of the AICPA report, which first collected data in 1971. “In recent years, firm and organization leaders increased their focus and strategies to address the various elements of diversity, equity and inclusion throughout their workplaces and workforces,” said Jan Taylor, academic in residence, academic & student engagement, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. “And, in turn, one of the highlights in this year’s report is the increasing diversity within the profession. There’s more work to be done on this front, but by continuing to tap into different people, cultures and perspectives, our profession continues to be well positioned to solve even the most complex and challenging issues.”

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Omnibus Coming Soon as Statement 99

GASB has voted unanimously to issue its omnibus of clarifying guidance as U.S. GAAP for state and local governments. The guidance will be issued as GASB Statement 99, Omnibus 2022, according to board discussions. The statement is expected to be issued in May or June this year. In July 2021, the board issued Exposure Draft (ED) 37-1, Omnibus 20XX, to solicit public comment. At a high level, the ED proposed clarifications to practice issues surrounding: the extension of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) beyond the original sunset date; implementing lease accounting; subscription-based information technology arrangements (SBITA); public-private and public-public partnerships and availability payment arrangements; and classification of derivative instruments when the derivative is neither an investment derivative instrument nor a hedging derivative instrument, among other issues. The package also clarifies terminology and other technical corrections in order to make the codification consistent with current guidance established in the original pronouncements, as amended.


External Affairs Director Jackie Cottrell to Depart

The PCAOB said that board spokesperson Jackie Cottrell will be leaving on April 21 to work for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. “Jackie’s departure is truly a loss for the PCAOB and for this board. She has been a tireless advocate and spokesperson for the PCAOB,” said board Chair Erica Williams in an April 19 statement. “While we are sad to see her go, we are happy that Jackie is realizing a long-held dream. She will be missed.” During Cottrell’s tenure, the PCAOB said it carried out major communications projects, including a comprehensive overhaul and relaunch of its public website to be more user-friendly. Cottrell joined the PCAOB as director of the Office of External Affairs (OEA) in June 2020 after serving almost 18 years as the chief of staff for then-Sen. Pat Roberts. “It’s bittersweet to leave the mission of investor protection and the dedicated Board members and staff who are committed to serving the public interest,” Cottrell said in a statement. “While I look forward to working on conservation issues that are my personal passion, I will continue to cheer for the PCAOB from the sidelines.”