CPA Profession in the News Feed

CPA Profession in the News

The AICPA and the CPA profession as a whole receive significant ‘ink’ each year, ranging from daily newspapers with large circulations to niche blogs with a few hundred readers. To help you keep track of it all, CPA Profession in the News is a short wrap-up highlighting a few interesting and informative articles about the CPA profession.

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

In the News: Dividends, PCGAAP, Deductible Loss

Barry Melancon, CPA Multiple news outlets, including Tax-News.com and Accounting Today covered the news that more than 2,600 letters have been written to the Financial Accounting Foundation demanding differential financial reporting standards for private companies and a separate independent board to oversee those standards. “Ninety nine percent of the letters from the privately held company constituency demanded that the FAF create differential standards for privately-held companies,” said Barry Melancon, CPA, AICPA president and CEO.

Paul Stahlin, CPAPaul Stahlin, CPA, AICPA chairman, said “now is the time for the FAF to take the bold step of creating a separate board to set relevant standards that privately-held companies sorely need. We call upon more CPAs and business leaders within the privately-held company constituency to push the FAF to make these changes.” The AICPA developed a letter writing tool to help members write letters to the FAF in support of a private company board.

Continue reading "In the News: Dividends, PCGAAP, Deductible Loss" »

In the News: Economic Outlook, Outstanding Govt CPA

Carol Scott, CPAEarlier this week, the AICPA released the results of the 3rd Quarter Economic Outlook Survey, which showed a decline in optimism among CPA’s who serve as chief financial officers and other high-ranking financial decision-makers. WRAL Tech Wire reported that AICPA found that 61 percent of the respondents think it's "somewhat" or "very" likely that the U.S. is heading into the second trough of a double-dip recession. The News & Observer noted in their coverage that "turbulence in the political and economic environment eroded the sense earlier this year that a recovery was taking hold," according to Carol Scott, AICPA vice president of business, industry and government. Accounting Today pointed out in their article on the results that only 9 percent of CPAs in executive positions expressed optimism about the U.S. economy in the third quarter, down 24 percentage points from the 33 percent who said they were optimistic in the second quarter.

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In the News: Hurricane Irene, Cloud Computing

Hurricane Irene Disaster PreparednessAs Topical Storm Irene left a trail of devastation in its wake, initial estimates of damages were in the billions. For individuals struggling to put the pieces of their life together, the aftermath can be extremely difficult to navigate. Michael Eisenberg, CPA/PFS, told MarketWatch that gathering the facts and carefully evaluating contractors was the prudent approach. “As much as somebody wants to jump in and do something now, you need to step back a little bit, take a breath, get your wits about you before you start making decisions,” said Eisenberg. Mitchell Freedman, CPA/PFS, advised readers that in the article if their house is unlivable, they need to find out whether their insurance policy covers the expense of a hotel or rental apartment.

In related news, the AICPA wrote a letter to the IRS asking them to extend the Sept. 15 filing deadline for business tax returns for tax payers and preparers in areas impacted by Hurricane Irene. Mike Cohn of Accounting Today reports that the AICPA asked the IRS to use its administrative authority to grant at least a two-week extension of the deadline for those in the areas affected by the hurricane. Patricia Thompson, CPA, chair of the AICPA’s Tax Executive Committee, also asked that any relief apply to situations in which the taxpayer, tax return preparer or the records are located in areas ravaged by the hurricane. The Tax Adviser reports that the IRS announced September 1 that taxpayers in certain areas affected by Hurricane Irene have until October 31 to file certain returns and make payments normally due before then. The areas eligible for relief include parts of North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, and Puerto Rico; the IRS expects to provide similar relief to other places affected by the hurricane, such as Vermont

As many business are considering transitioning to cloud computing, a CFO.com article tackles the not-so-simple question of what it means to ‘move to the cloud.’ As CPA firms who have adopted the cloud model likely know, there are a number of different options for companies looking to make the switch. In the article, Timothy Chou provides real life examples and breaks down six distinct different ways to make the move.

Going Concern recently covered the AICPA’s announcement of the second annual accounting case competition. The article notes that the contest asks college students to flex their fraud and forensic skills in advising a fictional client on a major overseas expansion. “The competition is an opportunity for students to get a hands-on, real-life understanding of one of the fastest-growing interest areas in accounting: fraud and forensics,” said Jeannie Patton, AICPA vice president for students, academics and membership. The top three teams will strut their stuff in Washington D.C. and the one that does the best job keeping the project on track — and on the right side of the law — gets $10,000.

If you come across a recent article of note about the profession, please let me know in the comments section or send me an email.

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In the News: Women to Watch, Financial Literacy, CPE

A recent AccountingWEB article spotlights the Women to Watch Program, an effort of the AICPA’s Women’s Initiatives Executive Committee, which will be honoring women who have made significant contributions to the accounting profession and to the development of women. Candidates are nominated by their peers and firm. Award winners will be honored at events sponsored by their CPA societies. "The women who are selected for the Women to Watch awards have made some outstanding or unique contribution to the profession. They have been successful in integrating their personal and professional lives. They are more visible because of the awards. They become role models. They prove it can be done," added Yasmine El-Ramly of the AICPA.

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In the News: Auditor Term Limits, IFRS, Technology

Public Company Accounting Oversight Board logo

Jesse Hamilton of Bloomberg reports that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board voted 5-0 earlier this week to open a public comment period on the idea of establishing term limits for auditors. Proponents said such restrictions may eliminate inappropriate company influence on long-term auditors. The board’s “concept release” would limit the number of consecutive years that an auditor could work for a client. It would combat “the pressure auditors face to develop and protect long-term client relationships to the detriment of investors,” PCAOB Chairman James Doty said. However, the board said it’s open to alternative ideas that would foster auditor independence, as board members expressed reservations. “I have serious doubts that mandatory rotation is a practical or cost-effective way of strengthening independence,” board member Daniel L. Goelzer said.  

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In the News: Financial Literacy, Mobility, CPA Exam

Mackey McNeill, CPA/PFS

The Times Daily in Alabama spoke with Mackey McNeill, CPA/PFS, and member of AICPA’s Financial Literacy Commission, about preparing college students to handle the responsibility of managing their own money. Without an understanding of the impact of their decisions, young adults can easily fall victim to overwhelming credit card debt and get behind on their student loan payments. McNeill says that one of the best ways to avoid that outcome is to begin teaching children about money long before they leave for college. “Our patterns about money are set before college, so if your kids are savers or spenders, you'll know before then; however, that doesn't mean you can't become better aware of the behavior and make difference choices,” she said.

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In the News: Financial Literacy, Mortgage Interest

Jimmy Williamson, CPA

Jimmy Williamson, CPA, and member of the AICPA’s financial literacy commission spoke to the Contra Costa Times for an article about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB, designed as a one-stop place for consumers to file complaints about financial products, is currently only handling credit card complaints. “Like any new federal agency it takes time for it to get its wheels rolling," said Williamson. “It's designed to help consumers make better financial decisions, if they are borrowing money for a home, if they are getting a credit card, those kinds of things. It's designed to improve transparency.”

Continue reading "In the News: Financial Literacy, Mortgage Interest" »

In the News: Debt-Ceiling, College Tuition, EDGE

Crashing through the debt ceiling spending taxes

This week’s post comes from Palm Beach, Florida, where I’ve been attending  the AICPA & CPA/SEA Interchange 2011 conference the past few days. It’s been a great experience learning about the issues impacting the profession, including informative forward-looking presentations from Barry Melancon, CPA, president and CEO of the AICPA and Paul Stahlin, CPA, AICPA chairman. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to meet so many of my colleagues from the state CPA societies around the country and learn about the projects they’ve been working on.

Now, on to the news.

Continue reading "In the News: Debt-Ceiling, College Tuition, EDGE" »

In the News: PCGAAP, Protecting Elderly Clients

Paul Stahlin, CPA

Paul Stahlin, CPA, AICPA chairman, wrote an editorial titled ‘One-Size GAAP’ Does Not Fit All for The CPA Journal, a New York State Society of CPAs publication, on the need for differences in accounting standards for privately-held companies. Stahlin highlights the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Private Company Financial Reporting, including the creation of a separate board with standards-setting authority under the Financial Accounting Foundation’s oversight and changes and modifications to existing U.S. GAAP, where appropriate, for private companies.

 

Continue reading "In the News: PCGAAP, Protecting Elderly Clients" »

In the News: IRS Tax Preparer Exam, Same-Sex Filings

CPA Profession in the News Accounting Today reports that the AICPA wrote to the IRS offering to help develop the IRS exam for registered tax return preparers by leveraging the AICPA’ s experience with the Uniform CPA Exam. AICPA Tax Executive Committee Chair Patricia Thompson wrote “we believe the examination should address problems faced by tax return preparers that might arise in the preparation of basic Form 1040 returns, including coverage of basic self-employment income.” Thompson noted that the IRS exam should have questions related to ethical responsibilities of tax return preparers and be updated annually to reflect the most current tax laws and regulations.

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