Weekly News Round Up: U.S. Budget Deficit Lowest Since 2008; Investor Confidence Hits New High; and SEC Grapples with Financial Disclosures

Welcome to the Weekly News Round Up from the SC&H Group blog. Each week, we showcase a series of news stories that span everything from government contracting to personal finance to state and local tax issues.

This week, we have compiled stories about how the U.S. deficit fell by 28.5 percent in fiscal 2014, as well as a new study showing investor confidence is hitting a new high. In addition, audit fees are edging upward and there will be an increased demand for accounting services.

U.S. Budget Deficit Lowest Since 2008

The U.S. budget deficit fell by 28.5 percent during fiscal 2014 to $486 billion, the smallest shortfall since 2008 and the fifth straight year that the deficit has declined as a percentage of gross domestic product, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

SBA Extends Fee Relief on Small-Dollar Loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced that it will continue to charge no fees on loans of $150,000 or less for another fiscal year.

Audit Fees Edge Upward

Audit fees increased slightly in 2013, but remain lower as a percentage of revenue than in 2004, according to a recent study by Audit Analytics.

Investor Confidence Hits New Highs

U.S. investors’ confidence in a variety of aspects of U.S. markets has reached new highs, according to the Center for Audit Quality’s 2014 Main Street Investor Survey.

New Hiring Forecast Predicts High Demand for Accountants

An increase in hiring of accounting and finance professionals can be expected in the next 12 months, according to a new study.

IRS to Do More to Ensure Tax Compliance on Foreign Investments in Real Property

The Internal Revenue Service plans to take additional actions to improve taxpayer compliance with a law related to the disposition of foreign investments in U.S. real property, according to a new government report.

SEC Grapples with Forward-Looking Information and Financial Disclosures

The Securities and Exchange Commission has been conducting a review of the effectiveness of financial disclosures by public companies within and outside of financial statements, and some investors have wondered about where forward-looking statements should fit into them.