Journal of Accountancy

A monthly publication of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants focusing on the latest news and developments related to the field of accounting, and written for CPAs and other accounting professionals.

Articles from Vol. 190, No. 5, November

401(k) Distributions and Portability
Same desks but different results. The modern workplace differs greatly from that of even a few years ago. Companies merge (or are gobbled up and taken over) with much more frequency. Employees tend to move around--they're no longer wedded to one...
Accountants Are Thriving on the Web, Says Survey
Almost two decades after the introduction of PC-based electronic spreadsheets, accountants' enthusiasm for technology continues to grow. The profession's focus has broadened, however, from stand-alone computing to the wide array of resources available...
Creating Value with Tangible Assets
Every company has tangible assets (computers, copiers and company cars, for example), but few companies use them to create shareholder value and increase cash flows and income. The more money a company has invested in these assets, the greater the...
Expensing Corporate Activities
One of the most difficult questions a company faces is whether it must capitalize an expenditure or whether it can deduct it. Minor variations in the facts can greatly affect the answer to the question. American Stores Co., a corporation that filed...
Exposure Drafts Outstanding
(This list was compiled as of October 1, 2000. For exposure drafts issued after that date, consult The CPA Letter. Note: The policy for updating the list of exposure drafts is that a document should remain on the list until a final document has been...
Golden Business Ideas
Take Control of Your Time What's your typical workweek look like--50, 60, 70 hours--or more? If you're putting in such hefty hours, it's time to take stock of your work life and figure out what you're doing wrong and what you can do about it. ...
Help Keep the World Green
The ISO 14000 standards present a challenge for companies and a service opportunity for CPA firms. As we approach the new millennium, concern about the environment is becoming a worldwide phenomenon. Environmental costs and obligations have grown...
How to Scale the Deduction Barriers
The IRS is denying deductions for many pre-opening and expansion costs. The IRS seems intent on erecting as many barriers as possible to deny companies deductions for pre-opening and expansion costs, such as due diligence activities before an acquisition,...
IFAC Provides Guidance on External Confirmations
The International Federation of Accountants recently issued an international standard on auditing that provides guidance on the use by auditors of external confirmations as a means of obtaining audit evidence. Confirmation is the process by which...
Is a Contingent Attorney's Fee Includible in Plaintiff's Income?
The courts disagree on whether taxpayers must report (and can deduct) certain attorneys' fees. Agnes, a 64-year-old resident of California, successfully sued her exemployer in 2000 for wrongful termination; a jury awarded her $2 million. Agnes paid...
ISB Issues Employment Standard
In July the Independence Standards Board reaffirmed its earlier (June 1) approval of ISB Standard no. 3, Employment with Audit Clients. The guidance addresses independence concerns and updates rules for situations in which a professional or partner...
Letter from the AICPA President
PORTAL TO CREATE OPPORTUNITIES, ESPECIALLY FOR SMALL FIRMS The Internet economy is changing the way all enterprises, large and small, do business. By the year 2004, online sales of goods and services are expected to hit $3.2 trillion in the United...
Letters
News or Views? The special report "ABA Gives Thumbs Down to Lawyers' Fee-Sharing," (JofA, Sept.00, page 22) purports to be a news item, but in my opinion the editorial intent of the article cannot be mistaken. The House of Delegates of the American...
Line Items
Black Tie Not An Option: Appeals Are Informal * The 1998 IRS Restructuring and Reform Act contained a taxpayers bill of rights. One provision expanded taxpayers' due-process protections when dealing with collection matters: IRC section 6330 gives...
New Standards for Tax Practice
Has anything changed for AICPA members who provide tax services? Following eight years of debate, the AICPA tax executive committee voted in July to adopt eight Statements on Standards for Tax Services (SSTSs) as enforceable standards for AICPA...
Official Releases
SAS No. 92 SAS No. 92--Auditing Derivative Instruments, Hedging Activities, and Investments in Securities(1) (Supersedes Statement on Auditing Standards No. 81, Auditing Investments (AICPA, Professional Standards, vol. 1, AU sec. 332) APPLICABILITY...
Prelude to the Millennium
During Philip B. Chenok's tenure, the PC, the service economy, globalization and expanded legal liability transformed the profession. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY * AICPA MEMBERSHIP NEARLY DOUBLED during Philip B. Chenok's tenure to nearly 325,000 in 1995...
Sizing Up NPO Software
Identifying strengths and weaknesses of 10 leading products. Trying to adapt conventional accounting software to handle the books of a not-for-profit organization (NPO) is like struggling to fit a square peg in a round hole. While the two applications...
Smart Stops on the Web
NOT-FOR-PROFIT (NPO) SITES The Law of the Not-for-Profit Land www.icnl.org The mission of the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law is to assist in "the creation and improvement of laws and regulatory systems that permit, encourage,...
Tax News
Donating Excess Inventory to Charity CPAs may want to remind clients with excess inventory that they can earn a federal tax deduction when the product is donated to charity. Corporations with a fiscal year ending December 31 should be urged to check...
Technology Q&A
Add a sound to any file ... A fast way to edit headers and footers ... Protect your computer from cats that prance on keyboards ... The right way to delete hyperlinks ... You can insert a graphic in a header and footer ... Fast ways to move around...
The Downside of Good Times
In a strong economy, small businesses may suffer if they forget about the basics. Not long ago, CPA Stanley Person uncovered an embezzlement at a small company client. The thief was a veteran employee who had oversight of the company's finances....
Yes, You Can Program in VBA
Writing macro code is easier than you think. If the thought of having to perform some software programming leaves you anxious, then you must read this article. You'll find--much to your surprise and delight--that if you've created macros in Excel...