Certified Public Accountants
& Business Consultants

Business Advisory News


Focus on Cyber Security: SolarWinds Cyber Attack

The recent intrusion of high profile government systems via the SolarWinds Orion vulnerability has gained quite a bit of media attention and is likely to dominate the cyber security news cycle for the foreseeable future.


Focus on Business Interruption: Update on COVID-19 Lawsuits

We have previously provided two updates  on the business interruption landscape that has resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. There were certain regulatory actions proposed several months ago, but those have been tabled or terminated.


COVID-19: Identifying Black Swan Events

Black swan events rarely occur, defy predictability, and usually trigger extreme consequences.


COVID-19: Business Interruption and the Impact to Your Business

Business owners may have options to help them weather the storm during these unprecedented times.


Focus on R&E: Welcome News about the R&E Tax Credit for Start-up Companies

The Research & Experimentation tax credit, also referred to as the “R&E”, “R&D” or “Research” tax credit incentivizes companies to invest in people and technology that can lead to growth in revenues and profitability, as well as to promote job retention and expansion. The credit focuses on three types of expenditures: qualified wages, supply costs and contract research.


Focus on Cyber Security: Human Firewall or the Weakest Link - Preparing Your People

Email phishing attacks are sent to us at work, home and anywhere else we have email. Most of us use email filters to check these emails and cut down the number of bad messages we receive, but sometimes these filters can be bypassed. Avanan’s Global Phish Report analyzed more than 55 million emails and found that 1 out of every 100 contained a phishing attack.


Focus on Cyber Security: Changing Technology and the Role of CPA Firms

With the rapid pace that technology evolves, understanding how those changes can impact business is important.


Focus on Cyber Security: Takeaways from the 2018 DefCon Hacking Conference

This year marked the 26th annual DefCon, the annual hacker conference attended by thousands of people ranging from high school students to well-known security researchers and infamous personalities in the industry.


Focus on Cyber Security: GDPR – A Common Sense Approach

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect on May 25, 2018. With fines as high as €20 million or 4% of global revenues, the GDPR cannot be ignored. How do you know if the regulation applies to your organization and how can you comply?


Focus on Cyber Security: Penetration Testing – Why pay someone to try and break into your network?

RubinBrown Cyber Security Center of Excellence – Security You Need to Know. Testing your cyber security on a regular basis is part of sound strategy to identify and eliminate risks in the environment. Penetration testing, or "white hat" hacking, tests the external and internal network to assess the effectiveness of controls. Whether you are demonstrating due care in addressing cyber security threats or addressing compliance requirements, penetration testing is a core component of regular security assessment efforts.


Focus on Cyber Security: A New Cybersecurity Risk Management Reporting Framework

Organizations are under increasing pressure to demonstrate that they are managing cybersecurity threats, and that they have effective processes and controls in place to detect, respond to, mitigate and recover from breaches and other security events.


Focus on Fraud & Forensics: The Fraud Risk Management Guide

Organizations are continually faced with how to best address the risk of fraud. This challenge sometimes comes with uncertainties on what steps should be taken to assess the risk of fraud and what internal controls would be helpful to reduce the risk of fraud. Performing a Fraud Risk Assessment is a key step in evaluating the potential for fraud.


Focus on Fraud & Forensics: RubinBrown Joins Movement to Shine a Spotlight on Fraud

International Fraud Awareness Week kicks off November 13, 2016 worldwide. ACFE provides statistics and prevention checklist.


Focus on Cyber Security: Protecting Against Cyber Extortion

Prevent, detect, recover and above all else prepare. Ransomware holding data hostage. Threats to release sensitive information. Disruptive denial-of-service attacks. All are extortion schemes used by cyber criminals to separate you from your money. Extortion schemes are not new, but cyber criminals are constantly looking for new ways to use our technology against us.


Focus on Cyber Security: U.S. Government Ramping Up on Cyber Security

The Cyber Security National Action Plan – what to expect. On the surface the news of the Cyber Security National Action Plan sounds impressive – increasing the federal government’s investment in cyber security by 35% to $19 billion and creating a Federal Chief Information Security Officer position.


Focus on Cyber Security: Your Internet Explorer Could Be Exposed

Microsoft Ending Support for Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10.

Why do you need to care Microsoft ended support on Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 on January 12, 2016? We all use web browsers all the time. In fact, you may be reading this with a web browser right now. If you, or your organization, still use any of those versions of Internet Explorer you will no longer receive patches and updates, putting your system and organization at risk.


Focus on Risk Services: Changes in Internal Auditing Standards

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) has unveiled proposed changes to its International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards), and announced a 90-day exposure period — February 1 to April 30 — for public comment.


Focus on Valuation: Proposed Regulations May Limit Valuation Discounts for Interests in Family-Controlled Entities

Recent developments suggest that the IRS has once again prioritized its intent to limit the tax benefits afforded to FLPs and LLCs when transferring minority interests amongst family members.


Focus on Fraud & Forensics: RubinBrown Joins Movement to Shine a Spotlight on Fraud

Fraud costs organizations worldwide an estimated 5% of their annual revenues, according to a study conducted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). If applied to the 2013 estimated Gross World Product, this translates to a potential projected global fraud loss of nearly $3.7 trillion.


Focus on Fraud & Forensics: 2014 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ (ACFE) 2014 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse was recently released detailing the current trends and findings in the areas of fraud detection and prevention. 


Focus on Mergers & Acquisitions: EBITDA and Cash Flow, A Tale of Two Metrics

In the worlds of M&A and valuation, companies’ values are often quoted based on multiples of EBITDA. However, its usefulness is limited to the financial sophistication of its user. In fact, in very few instances is EBITDA a reliable indicator of cash flow.


Focus On Information Technology: Windows XP Support is Ending

After April 8, 2014, your XP computer will no longer receive automatic updates that help protect your personal information. Even if you have anti-virus software, your computer will still not be fully secure.


Focus on Internal Audit:  Updated Guidance on External Auditor’s Responsibilities When Using the Work of Internal Auditors

The Auditing Standards Board (ASB) has released updated guidance on the use of internal audit work in an external audit.  SAS No. 128 applies to financial statement audits performed for periods ending on or after December 15, 2014.


Focus on Mergers & Acquisitions: Considerations With Buying A Company That Owns Real Estate

Many financial buyers prefer to acquire companies free-and-clear of real estate. However, there are times when there is little choice but to acquire a business’ real estate in tandem with the business.


Got Revenue?

In a number of recent financial due diligence engagements, RubinBrown's advisors noticed probable misstatements of a target's reported revenue. Revenue misstatements usually result in a reduction to revenue (and EBITDA), but not always. The following is a list of revenue misstatements that have been uncovered, as well as the usual direction of any adjustment necessary to bring a company's reported revenue in line with reality.


Focus on Internal Audit: Proposed Rule Change Would Require Internal Audit Function for NASDAQ Listed Companies

On February 20, 2013, NASDAQ submitted a proposed rule change to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that would require NASDAQ listed companies to establish and maintain an internal audit function.

The proposed rule, open for comment through March 29, 2013, would bring the NASDAQ into alignment with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), which already requires its listed companies to have an internal audit function.


Focus on Fraud & Forensics: Fraud Awareness Week Casts Spotlight on White Collar Crime

RubinBrown is promoting International Fraud Awareness Week, November 11-17, 2012 to increase businesses anti-fraud awareness and offer education resources.


Focus On Internal Audit: New Revisions to The International Standards for Professional Practice of Internal Auditing

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) has approved changes to the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards). The revised standards will go into effect Jan. 1, 2013. In total, 18 revisions were made.


Focus on Business Advisory Services: Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Assesses the Effectiveness of the Internal Audit Function in Banks

On December 2, 2011, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (the Committee) issued revised guidance for assessing the effectiveness of the internal audit function in banks.


Focus on Business Advisory Services: COSO Integrated Framework

In December 2011, the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) issued for public comment an updated Internal Control – Integrated Framework (Framework). Comments are due by March 31, 2012 and can be submitted via the COSO website at After evaluating the comments received, COSO plans to release the final Framework in the Fall of 2012.


Focus On Business Advisory Services: Controls at Third Parties You Rely Upon

Does your company outsource any services? Do you rely on outsourced services? If so, there is new guidance and reports which may be of interest.


Focus on Business Advisory Services: Approaches to Successful Enterprise Risk Management Programs

Enterprise Risk Management, commonly known as ERM, is the identification and mitigation of risks associated with a company’s strategic goals. An organization must align strategic goals and resources when implementing and maintaining a successful risk management program.


Focus On Internal Audit: Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Compliance

What risks facing your company keep you up at night?

If your company conducts business beyond the US borders, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) should be close to the top of the list.


Focus On Internal Audit: The International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF) Is Updated

The International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF), the blueprint of knowledge and guidance for the practice of internal auditing, undergoes a required review every three years by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). This review keeps the Standards relevant and focused to address the needs of stakeholders.


Focus On Internal Audit: Changes To International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF)

The International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF) serves as the blueprint of knowledge and guidance for the practice of internal auditing.