Regulation: A moving but immovable target

Regulation: A moving but immovable target

Compliance requirements related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, P.L. 111-148, are just one example of the regulatory changes keeping finance departments busy these days.

Amid local, state, and federal regulations, CPA decision-makers have a hard time finding time for forward-looking analysis. Regulatory requirements and changes, for the 11th consecutive quarter, top the list of challenges in an AICPA survey of finance executives in business and industry.

The strategies for dealing with regulatory clutter vary, but one thing is certain: Regulation is not going away.

“The world’s not getting simpler anymore,” said John Robinson, CPA, the treasurer for U.S. operations for IKEA, the global furniture and home accessories retailer. “It’s getting more and more complicated.”

Some accounting leaders are having staff do extra work to deal with issues such as Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, which employers of a certain size must complete for each full-time employee to comply with the federal health care law (for more on that topic, click here).

“It’s not that one form that’s a big deal, but it’s one more thing added on,” said John Bradshaw, CPA, the controller at public utility Arizona Water Co.

Bradshaw said that health care reporting requirements, in addition to water-quality reporting changes and other regulations, have taxed his staff. He also cited Internal Revenue Code Sec. 199, which contains rules for the domestic production activities deduction, and the Treasury’s tangible property (or “repair”) regulations as tax-related issues that add to the staff’s workload. Read more on the Journal of Accountancy.