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MICPA Will Host Annual West Michigan Accounting and Auditing Symposium

by MICPA | May 18, 2017   ()

Accountants and auditors from across the West Michigan will soon gather at JW Marriott in Grand Rapids on May 24 to discuss upcoming regulation changes and new trends in the world of accounting.

“The accounting profession is constantly changing,” said Christopher Harper, a professor at Grand Valley State University and vice chair of planning of the West Michigan Accounting and Auditing Symposium.

The Symposium focuses on changes in the accounting and auditing industry and is available for Certified Public Accountants in Michigan. The Symposium provides eight hours of continuing professional education in accounting and auditing, which is the required annual hours for continuing professional education.

“This is a great opportunity for CPAs to receive eight hours of continuing professional education,” Harper said. “It’s an entire day dedicated to accounting and auditing.”

The Symposium will feature two keynote topics: quality of auditing and passing the cybersecurity exam. Both topics, Harper says, are important for important in the future of auditing.

“Cybersecurity affects everything we do, from online banking to shopping,” Harper said. “There’s a lot of focus on protecting privacy.”

The keynote will provide insights on cybersecurity and tips for CPAs to pass the exam. Something all professionals should take seriously and learn more about.

The second keynote, titled “The Audit Quality Cornerstone” will discuss the importance of providing quality audits, which have a ripple effect extending out to investors and potential investors of the company.

Providing quality financial statement for a company is critical, says Harper, because it provides a clear snapshot of the company’s cash and cash flow. The session will provide insight on providing quality financial reports, as more people focus and scrutinize quality of financial reports.

The Symposium will also address changes occurring in the financial world. With several major regulation and standards changing, Harper encourages accounting professionals to attend to stay current. One of the changes is expected to be implemented by 2020 will affect how companies report revenue.

Previously, the United States had different accounting standards from international accounting standards.

“The changes will make a uniform set of rules to be followed by international and U. S. companies,” said Harper.

Another change will be the new formats to lease accounting where leases will need to be included as liabilities on a balance sheet.

The revolving world of technology will be another major topic. With the increased use of data and big data, the symposium will discuss how data is used today and the potential for data to become a more regular part of the industry in the future.

“Companies are using software programs that can digest data and draw conclusions,” Harper said. “They are looking for inconsistencies or transactions that don’t seem to fall within expectations. This can lead to discovery of theft or fraud.”

Big data and technology will continue to play an important role for auditors. Companies are not only looking to hire specialists in this field, but also develop their own professionals internally.

“Developing in-house expertise will be important for companies who are looking to design internal controls,” Harper noted.

Other topics will include discuss passing peer reviews, providing quality audits and exploring the changes with income taxes.

If you’re interested in attending the West Michigan Symposium on Accounting and Auditing on May 24 in Grand Rapids, you can visit www.micpa.org to learn more and sign up. The cost is $230 for MICPA members and $380 for non-members. 

Source: MICPA
Source: MICPA

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