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. 186, No. 3, September

Accounting for Internal-Use Software
A reasonable way to report the benefits as assets. As with some other accounting standards, the conclusions in a recent AICPA AcSEC SOP may seem obvious. However, things are not always as they appear. In March 1998, AcSEC issued SOP 98-1, Accounting...
Budgeting for Curve Balls
For the Chicago White Sox, revenues are as unpredictable as next week's scores. Every company's fortunes can be affected by a variety of unanticipated factors, such as weather, buying trends and national or international economic conditions. In professional...
Coping with NPO Standards - It's Not Difficult
One small organization's experience. The new age for not-for-profit organizations requires those entities to find different ways to capture and account for transactions and to make new financial statement displays and disclosures. Perhaps no other...
CPAs Demonstrate in Congress
One of the developers of CPA WebTrust got a chance to present to Congress the AICPA's new assurance service in the context of consumer protection. Everett Johnson, chairman of the AICPA joint task force (with the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants)...
Doing Well by Doing Good
Giving time to children in the community can improve a firm's image--and its bottom line. What do a lynx, a bunch of third-grade students and a CPA have in common? And why would a CPA want to spend otherwise billable hours developing a program that...
FASB 132: What Companies Must Disclose
New pension and postretirement disclosures will bring uniformity to the requirements employers must meet. Employers have a new standard to follow in disclosing pension and other postretirement benefits in their financial statements. In February 1998,...
Franchise Rules You Should Know
Become a player in a growing business sector. There are few U.S. towns so small that they don't have at least one set of golden arches, to say nothing of Burger King, Wendy's and KFC. Franchises are clearly profitable businesses--but they can be...
IRS Restructuring Act Includes CPA/client Privilege
The landmark Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, which President Clinton signed into law on July 22, 1998, includes a provision that creates a confidentiality privilege between clients and the CPAs who represent them before...
Mapping the Road Ahead
We've all seen the vision. But how do we get there from here? The CPA Vision Process is a nationwide initiative intended to gather input from CPAs in all segments of practice to create a unified and comprehensive vision of the profession's future....
Solution Provider Wins Award
Maybe it's having Microsoft as a neighbor, but, for the second year in a row, the AICPA Innovative User of Technology Award has gone to a Washington CPA. An independent panel of technology and accounting experts gave the award, sponsored by Great...
Stay out of Court
How ADR can help you save time and money. The threat of lawsuits plagues CPAs as they expand their practices and offer new services in today's litigation-friendly environment. CPAs who offer attestation services are particularly vulnerable to lawsuits...
Tax Software Put to the Test
A review of the leading products. Tax accountants love to grumble about their tax software, telling war stories about how they survived software bugs, tardy arrivals of updates and state editions and occasional erroneous IRS code interpretations....
Third-Party Beneficiary Claim
A New York court ruled that a CPA firm does not owe a duty to a surety company that, when it extended surety bonding to a construction company, allegedly relied on financial statements the firm had audited. The surety company brought suit against...
Tips for Testifying
CPAs often act as expert witnesses, testifying in court or in a deposition. The key to being perceived as a credible expert witness is to be prepared. For example, a CPA who testifies should be well versed in the opposing expert's analysis, able to state...
Travel and Tour Activities of Tax-Exempt Organizations
In recent years, tax-exempt organizations have expanded the activities in which they are involved substantially. With this expansion has come criticism from for-profit entities involved in the same activities, as well as increased scrutiny by the...
We've Seen the Future, and It's Florida
Since 1994, American Express, the state of Florida and thousands of CPAs under the authority of the state board of accountancy have been playing out a regulatory drama--who can "hold out as a CPA." It appears to be in its final act: Florida will now...