Weekly News Round Up: World Bank and the Global Growth Rate; Small Business Optimism Low; and Americans Are Giving More

Welcome to the Weekly News Round Up from the SC&H Group blog. Each week, we showcase audit, tax, and consulting news to keep you informed about the current stories and events impacting the accounting and business landscape – and ultimately your financial obligations.

This week, we highlight the World Bank’s global economic forecast for 2016, as well as new studies about small business growth and IT operational budgets. In addition, there’s a new IRS scam happening around gift cards, and Americans have become more generous.

World Bank Calls Global Growth Rate “Insipid”

The World Bank has downgraded its global economic forecast for 2016 to the same “insipid” growth rate as last year, citing sluggish growth in advanced economies, low commodity prices, weak global trade, and diminishing capital flows.

Small Business Optimism: “No Real Enthusiasm”

U.S. small businesses have “no real enthusiasm” for capital spending, boosting inventories, or expanding their enterprises, according to the National Federation of Independent Business’ monthly survey.

IT Operational Budgets Barely Increasing

Slowing corporate revenues mean increases of only about 2 percent in company IT budgets, according to the latest Computer Economics survey.

Staggered Boards Affect Audit Committee Quality

Audit committees at companies with a staggered board structure are not responsive to low shareholder approval, making them less effective than their counterparts at firms that do not stagger board elections, according to a new study.

Companies Still Behind on Implementing Revenue Recognition Standard

The majority of companies admit they are behind on implementing the new revenue recognition standard from the Financial Accounting Standards Board, according to a new survey.

IRS Scammers Demand Tax Payments on Gift Cards

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration recently warned about a new twist in the IRS impersonation scam, with fraudsters pretending to be IRS employees demanding taxpayers send them tax payments not only on iTunes gift cards, but other types of gift cards as well.

COSO Updates Enterprise Risk Management Framework

The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission has unveiled a proposed update to its 2004 enterprise risk management framework.

LinkedIn Deal Sparks Talk of Another Tech M&A Boom

According to the Financial Times, Microsoft purchase of LinkedIn shows appetite for buying big Internet brands as observers look to next targets.

Americans Are Now More Generous Than Ever

In 2015, Americans gave more to charity than they’ve ever given, according to a report released by the Giving USA Foundation.