The 20th Annual Financial Reporting Conference was hosted virtually by Baruch College on May 4-5, 2022. The long-running conference brought together, via videoconference, representatives from leading regulators, standard setters, preparers, auditors and users. Although the new business environment brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic was at the forefront of everyone’s mind, the hot topics of discussion were accounting and financial reporting trends that have been accelerating for decades. years or even decades.
Separate panels were devoted to discussing cutting-edge topics and the impact they are likely to have on standard-setting, financial reporting and enforcement, now and in the future. . One session covered digital assets, such as Bitcoin, and the unique challenges they present within existing accounting and auditing guidelines. Another session focused on sustainability reporting and environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, once niche topics that have become relevant to a growing number of investors and stakeholders, as well as regulators. . These questions also permeated the presentations given by key representatives of the SEC, PCAOB and FASB.
As always, the speakers spent a lot of time explaining how they approached the implementation of new standards in force and the resources that are available to professionals in need of more guidance. Representatives of regulators repeatedly stressed the importance they attach to feedback from preparers and users; they encouraged participants to give their opinion on the current proposals, in particular those of the ESG space. There were also discussions throughout the conference about what to expect from the ambitious agendas under consideration at the PCAOB and the SEC. Mention was also made of the recent turnover among their senior staff, particularly at the PCAOB, led by new president Erica Williams, who served as the conference’s keynote speaker.