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12 posts from September 2012

In the News: CGMAs Can Bridge the Gap in Human Capital Management

CGMA logoDavid McCann at CFO.com spoke with Arleen Thomas, CPA, CGMA, AICPA SVP of management accounting, about a recent talent management survey for Chartered Global Management Accountants conducted jointly between the AICPA and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The report found that 43 percent of the CEOs, CFOs and human resource directors surveyed said their companies have missed financial goals in the past 18 months because of inadequacies in human capital management. Almost the same number, 40 percent, indicated that such shortcomings—which could include insufficient systems, processes or management information—have hindered their ability to innovate. “We believe that talent and the human dimension drive business growth and companies haven’t focused enough on that,” said Thomas. “Too many companies look at talent in terms of what they have to do to comply with labor laws and regulations, rather than understanding that it can be a competitive differential.”

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CPAs Win Big at the Emmys

No, CPAs didn't actually win an Emmy. Nor were they nominated for one. But the Emmys and some of the cast of "The Big Bang Theory" took a new and creative approach to acknowledging the CPAs who tabulate and guard the Emmy votes. Traditionally, the CPAs involved are introduced on stage with little fanfare. However, this year they got special treatment and admiration from Sheldon Cooper. Watch the clip below. CPA! CPA! CPA!

 

What Can CPAs do about Tax Identity Theft?

identity theftI am constantly getting emails and calls from members who have stories about how one of their clients has become a victim of tax identity theft and the person’s refund has been put “on hold” until the government can sort things out. Some of these stories can be heart wrenching. 

It’s no surprise that these stories are on the rise. Tax identity theft has mushroomed – the IRS identified 1.2 million incidents in 2011, over double the amount from 2010 (440,581) and the numbers may actually be much higher according to a Treasury Inspector General analysis. So, unfortunately, the odds that your clients may be affected have gone up considerably.

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Expanding Your CPA Services to the Government

Federal-spending-on-financial-services-FY-2011In today’s economic climate, even with budget cuts on the horizon, the U.S. government is the largest consumer in the world. Yet, for many businesses -- small businesses in particular -- the thought of doing business with the federal government can be headache-inducing. Last year, the federal government spent more than $850 million on financial services. Just more than half of this was spent with CPAs; the remaining half was spent on other financial services, including debt collection.

The demand is there, but is it possible for a small CPA firm to capture a portion of this market? While well-established Fortune 500 firms have a definitive advantage in the contracting industry, the federal government has taken steps to level the playing field and create a more small-business-friendly environment. Two examples of this are small business goaling and set-aside contracts. 

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A New Chapter in the Profession’s Extraordinary Story

It’s amazing to see what can happen within a single year. That’s one of my main observations as I complete my extraordinary time as your chairman.

I was honored to serve as chairman during the AICPA’s 125th anniversary. The Institute’s founders wanted to make a difference in the lives of CPAs and the people and organizations with whom they worked. They clearly succeeded, and I am confident we will continue to create value for our clients, employers and the public as the 21st Century progresses. As this year draws to a close, I see an increasingly vibrant profession preparing for the immense challenges facing us. Most of all, I see a profession that, throughout its history, has served with integrity and unleashed opportunities for success.

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Stakeholders Invested in Sustainable Business Practices

CGMA Report Thirsty PlanetHave you seen the CGMA Report “Thirsty Planet”? The report expertly underscores the need for businesses to consider social and environmental sustainability as a means to sustain business. Ensuring that natural resources, such as water, are safe and clean for future generations, communities and businesses to come should be a priority for businesses. 

A sustainable enterprise has a clear strategy not only on how it will make money, but also on its social and environmental impact. An organization’s ability to create and preserve value for itself, its stakeholders and society at large, depends on the strength of its business model;  the sustainability of the financial, social, economic and environmental systems within which it operates; as well as on the quality of its relationships with, and assessments and decisions by, its stakeholders.  Businesses need to consider environmental and social impacts in order to have a genuinely sustainable business that makes money—not just because it is the right thing to do, but also because it makes good business sense. 

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In the News: Executives Pessimism Towards Economy Erodes Confidence in Own Organizations

CPA Outlook IndexWith the announcement yesterday that the Federal Reserve is launching a third quantitative easing in an attempt to generate momentum for the stalling recovery, the economy—and unemployment—are back in the spotlight.

The AICPA’s 3rd quarter Economic Outlook Survey results were released last week, which provided insights into the direction of the economy from 1,365 qualified CPAs who hold leadership positions, such as chief financial officer or controller, in their companies. Their gloom was reflected in last week’s jobs report, which showed the labor market continuing to stagnate and served as one of the reasons behind the Fed’s actions yesterday.

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Compelling Research and Helpful Tools for CGMAs

As a busy CPA in Business and Industry, you may not have time to seek out resources to help you in your day-to-day work. More than 33,000 CGMAs are already enjoying access to valuable benefits like innovative thought leadership reports and tools. The following is just a sample of the dozens of resources available on CGMA.org.

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Back to Saving

Back to schoolOver the past few weeks, kids across the country packed their backpacks and headed off to start the new school year. I still remember the mix of excitement and apprehension I felt as I laced up my new sneakers for the first day—they were the “special” annual back-to-school purchase in our family. The preparation for school may vary between households, but it can be agreed that every parent wants to set their children up to succeed. While there are many factors that may be out of a
parent’s control, teaching kids good financial habits, like saving, can give them the best opportunity for a financially stable future.

To help kick off the school year, Feed the Pig hosted a live Q&A on Kids and Money, with National CPA Financial Literacy Commission members Kelley Long, CPA and Clare Levison, CPA. Here are a few of the top questions and answers.

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4 Pieces of Advice to Help Clients Collect Money Faster

Imagine having more than 1 out of every 3 dollars you’ve earned tied up and inaccessible.

That’s money you can’t use to advertise, to develop new products and services, or to hire employees.

For many business owners, that scenario is a day-to-day reality as they sit with 40 percent or more of their assets tied up in accounts receivable. Obviously, when it comes to money that your clients are owed, they want to collect as quickly as possible.

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3 Things You Need to Know About Clarified Standards

Crystal-clear-vision-clarityWith only one AU section left to clarify, the Auditing Standard Board’s Clarity Project is substantially complete. During the past year, I have been traveling around the country talking about the 47 “AU-C” sections that have been clarified and converged with corresponding International Standards on Auditing. Here are some of the major points that you need to know about these standards and their impact:

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Accounting Offers More Career Opportunities: If You Know How to Find Them

Accounting careersUSA Today recently reported that service businesses are leading an uneven job recovery. In the service sector, accounting firms have regained 87% of the jobs they lost, in part because of the growth of start-up businesses, new financial rules and U.S. companies expanding globally.

Salaries of accounting graduates are continuing to rise. In an April 2012 report on the starting salaries of the college class of 2012, the National Association of Colleges and Employers said the median salary of accounting majors was $47,800, up 2.8% from the 2011 median salary. The overall average salary of new graduates was $42,569, up 4.5% from 2011.

Long term, employment of accountants and auditors is expected to increase 16% from 2010 to 2020, or about as fast as the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over that ten-year period, accounting employment is forecasted to increase from 1.22 million to 1.41 million jobs.

These statistics point to continued growth in the job market for CPAs, but where will CPAs find job and career opportunities?

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